Did Hillary nail it? Was her speech a slam dunk?
The common consensus seems to be that she did. It was the speech of her life, even better than her very good concession speech.
I liked it because there were no misty eyed reflections about her campaign. No sense of defeat. Instead, it was punchy, resilient and with a clear a sense of purpose. She was unequivocal in her endorsement of Barack Obama. The speech will help to erode tensions within the Party and present a united front to the electorate.
It was also peppered with some exceptionally fine rhetoric and oratory. As well as urging Democrats to come together to support Obama she also went on the attack when it came to the Republicans. Three lines stand out:
"No way, No How, No McCain."
"We don't need four more years of the last eight years." And...
"With an agenda like that it makes sense George Bush and John McCain will meet together in the twin cities because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart."
These quotes will and should be replayed as much as possible. The Democratic strategy has to be about linking McCain with the Bush years.
She did talk a lot about herself and she did talk a lot about Democratic values but on every occasion she tied it back to Obama. I don't know how she could have shown more support than this.
It was more like a Presidential statement than anything else. Perhaps, if she had found that voice more during the Primary campaign, she would be making that speech on Thursday night instead of Obama.
A word of caution though.
In today's Guardian, Michael Tomasky has written an excellent piece. He points out that Hillary did not vouch for Obama's character in the speech nor did she say anything about his abilities as Commander-in-Chief. Strange considering this is his main area of weakness and her main focus of attack during the Primary season. It is possible that in a few weeks time we will have forgotten Hillary's calls for unity and the Party will remain divided.
I find this unlikely though.
The speech helped shut down the negative narrative that was beginning to define the convention and create a more positive climate in time for Obama's speech. It moved me and I am Barack Obama's biggest fan and for Democrats at least, it should put the wind behind their sails. It was a call to arms for Democrats everywhere.
"Before we keep going, we need to get going by electing Barack Obama."
Good on ya Hillary! I could not have put it better myself.
Joe Biden now has a big job matching that and we will wait and see what Bill says tonight...
This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!