Saturday, June 07, 2008
Hillary Nails It; Endorses Obama
Moments ago, Senator Clinton officially announced her support for Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton made history over the past 16 months -- not just because she has broken barriers, but because she has inspired millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to causes like universal health care that make a difference in the lives of all Americans.
Please take a minute to thank her for her hard work and for supporting this campaign.
Obama's website is displaying the above message and I wanted to include it here. You know how hard I can be on both Hillary and Bill Clinton, but today is the day for coming together, as Democrats and as human beings who want to join forces and defeat the negative forces that have been pulling us down for too long in so many critical ways. Now we need to unite behind our best hope for change at the national level, reach out to everyone who has been active in this extraordinary primary season, join our energies and work for the change door to door, phone call by phone call, dollar for dollar, up and down the ticket. Lives are literally in the balance.
I thought Hillary Clinton gave a soaring and inspiring concession speech today that hit all the right notes, gracefully and with dignity. She brought home the truly historic nature of her campaign, as well as that of Barack Obama, and articulated beautifully so many of the ideals and values we share as Democrats -- for equality, for justice, for the environment, for peace, for lifting one another up, for creativity and gumption, for moving humans forward into better ways of relating, working and being.
Of course given the often brutal nature of politics and power, as well as our flaws, foibles and fumbles, none of us lives up to these ideals all the time, or even most of the time. The important thing is that we try. And keep trying. That we continue to wring out the best we can from every situation, from every challenge. And work together despite our differences to replace fearmongering with hope this November. As Hillary said, echoing Obama's moving message: Yes We Can.
Of course the true test of HIllary's dedication to a presidential win for us this November will come in seeing what actions she puts behind her words, and the kind of commitment she urges her supporters to make to Obama as we go forward. But today, I feel relieved, optimistic, fired up and ready to go. I'm that corny. And that Democratic at my core.
Excerpt of speech:
Just think how much more progress we could have made over the past 40 years if we'd had a Democratic president. Think about the lost opportunities of these past seven years on the environment and the economy, on health care and civil rights, on education, foreign policy and the Supreme Court.
Imagine how far we could have come, how much we could have achieved if we had just had a Democrat in the White House.
We cannot let this moment slip away. We have come too far and accomplished too much.
Now, the journey ahead will not be easy. Some will say we can't do it, that it's too hard, we're just not up to the task. But for as long as America has existed, it has been the American way to reject can't-do claims and to choose instead to stretch the boundaries of the possible through hard work, determination, and a pioneering spirit.
It is this belief, this optimism that Senator Obama and I share and that has inspired so many millions of our supporters to make their voices heard. So today I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes, we can!
Good speech. I hope we see a bump this week in the polls and get a better idea of what Hillary can do to bring back the defectors and bring in the undecideds.
Posted by: suz | Jun 7, 2008 1:22:23 PM
Our goal is now to elect democrats from top to bottom. In order to achieve this goal, we must all put aside our differences.
"Unity we stand, Divided we fall". While,we are not exactly excited with the demo. ticket, we are
willing to put aside our differences. Are you?
Posted by: dnl | Jun 7, 2008 2:18:59 PM
I just finished reading her speech and watched an excerpt. I, too, thought it was an exceptional speech that really "Nailed it..." regarding both of their historical roles, where we are today, and pulling together to put a Democrat back in the White House.
Do I feel relieved? A little... I feel more empowered than ever and excited and hopeful.
All good things!
Posted by: Natalie | Jun 7, 2008 3:08:55 PM
Thank you Barb for you kind words!
Now I think it is time to unite our party. I hope Obama selects Clinton as VP. I think this would be the most appropriate gesture and would be an olive branch of signaling a desire to fight for the same issues that Hillary fought for during her campaign.
Not to mention our list of VP candidates is not too long or enthusiastically spectacular. With the exception of Clinton/Richardson/Edwards....our list is pretty sad. We need to hit a home run on this one. Odds are that this is gonna be a huge progressive wave and we will have large majorities in Congress and the Senate. Now is not the time to deflate the unity cause. Pick her as VP and lets focus on beating John McCain! :-)
Posted by: Dan | Jun 7, 2008 5:00:32 PM
I will certainly vote for a Obama/Clinton ticket, and heck I may get off my lazy butt and work for a Obama/Clinton ticket, but I do not want a Obama/Clinton ticket.
Nothing unites likes winning, and Senator Clinton will harm, not help in that regard, imho. This is due to a number of things, but, simply put, the number of voters who will vote against/not vote for a Obama/Clinton ticket is higher than the number who will vote against/not vote for a Obama/X ticket.
I admit that in this election I want a clean break with everything DLC, the 90s and whatever Bill Clinton has touched (including utensils). Nevertheless, I just don't see, come November, a high percentage of fanatic Hillary supporters abstaining or voting for McCain via spite/anger/whatever if Clinton isn't VP. I do see a significant number of "independents" bailing/voting for McCain if Hillary is on the ticket.
Naturally, stating the obvious and it goes with saying...I could be wrong.
p.s.: Dan, looking at the short list there, I gulp and with a weirdly quavering brain would actually pick Richardson over Edwards (my personal favorite going into all this for Prez) or Clinton. After reading the NYT piece on the Clinton campaign, I do have to admit Guv Bill showed something there....plus he will help out West, maybe.
Posted by: scot | Jun 8, 2008 8:51:40 AM
Good points Scot!
The thing I am afraid is Obama picks a rather unknown figure and introduces them into politics. Someone like Kathleen Sebelius, Ted Strickland, Jim Webb, Sam Nunn, Cindy Fiorna, or any other protege that represents "change"
I would LOVE to have someone like Clinton, Richardson, Gore, or even Edwards accept the offer. They are great statesmen and they don't need to advertise their names too much.
The main job responsibility and goal of a VP is to help WIN the election. While I agree Clinton is a divisive figure, she has what it takes to win the states and demographics that we NEED. Whoever wins Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Michigan WINS the Presidency. Those were the states that pretty much decided who got the Presidency.
I am sure Clinton supporters in states such as California, New York, Massassusetts, and New Jersey are gonna agree to back Obama regardless. It's the good handful of OTHER swing purple states that concerns me.
Posted by: Dan | Jun 8, 2008 10:50:23 AM
As Scot says, I'd support an Obama-Clinton ticket but I sure wouldn't prefer it and I think Clinton's presence on the ticket would hurt more than help.
Obama's message is about turning the page to fresh thinking, creative approaches, improved strategies, out of the box solutions. The Clintons are all about the 90s, the DLC and top-down, conventional politics and governance. Timing is everything and now's the time for a changing of the guard so to speak.
Hillary's negatives are much too high, and yes, she'd make it harder for independents and moderate R's to support the ticket.
As for Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Michigan, once Obama is campaigning in these places on his own and the Dem political infrastructures in those states are working to elect him rather than Hillary, I have great faith that Obama will do very well indeed. Also, Obama will be competitive in states like Colorado, Virginia and NC, where Clinton would be no help.
Perhaps the strongest argument against Hillary on the ticket is that Bill Clinton would be back on stage. I don't see how Obama could govern with Bill looking over his shoulder in Washington. Bill would just remind people of all the weaknesses he showed while president.
I'm not sure who I'd want to see as Obama's VP. Webb might be an interesting pick though he has some baggage with women from his Navy days and is a bit of a loose cannon. Still, he'd be helpful in Appalachia.
VA Gov. Tim Kaine might help in the same way, at least in VA, and is much less likely to steal the limelight or blurt out something problematical. He's also Catholic, although he's against messing with Roe v. Wade despite his personal views on choice. Former VA Gov. Mark Warner would also be a compelling choice as he's very popular with independents and moderate R's. Of course, he's running for Senate in VA and has a terrific chance to win.
Claire McCaskell comes to mind, because of her plain-talking, tough enough, common sense approach. While it's hard to see Bill Richardson playing second fiddle, he might help with Hispanic voters. Maybe Obama will pick someone who's totally off the radar. Can't wait to see his short list.
Please, no milque-toasty Evan Bayh!
Posted by: barb | Jun 8, 2008 12:44:43 PM
How about Joe Biden for VP? Solid foreign policy credentials and he can be combative and assertive. That is something valuable in a VP especially because Obama is more low key. He could be Obama's attack dog.
Posted by: JJ | Jun 8, 2008 1:08:07 PM