Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ladies, You Was Robbed!

It was a great speech magnificently delivered. She was at her best. Hillary Clinton's convention speech calling everyone to unify around Barack Obama and win the White House for the Democratic Party reminded everyone in the hall why half of them had supported her to be the first woman to occupy the Oval Office.

Unlike many of the state governors who preceded her on the stage but who seemed lost and threatened there, Hillary was never more at home, never more in command. Hillary Clinton is the most plausible, indeed the only plausible, Democratic candidate for President since...well, we have to go back quite a way...Jimmy Carter in 1976 (who, of course, turned out to be utterly incompetent).

With Obama sliding in the polls and moving out of the rock star Messiah persona of the primaries into that of a professorial, triangulating Chicago pol for the campaign, many of the delegates felt the way Republicans did in 1976 after Ronald Reagan gave his concession speech: "We've nominated the wrong man." The officially and liberally distributed unity placards were a plea, perhaps a nag, but not a convention-wide mutual embrace.

Despite Hillary's smiling, forceful, look-em-in-the eye endorsement of her opponent, the subtext erupted to the surface all over the place: "We was robbed!" In both the video and the speech, she made pointed reference to "the glass ceiling" that still exists for women who seek the highest office, though she reminded her heart-broken supporters that they had made 18 million cracks in that ceiling. In other words, "Sex discrimination is the only reason that Obama is the nominee instead of me, so if you want this woman to be president in 2012, you know what to do ladies!"

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