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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

 
Hillary Night

by digby

Clinton did a great job last night, as I expected. She's a pro.

Her supporters were ecstatic in the hall, cheering and crying. I was standing with a group of Obama supporters who were skittish beforehand, obviously because of the media hype. They too were thrilled with her speech, spontaneously clapping and high fiving the big applause lines. Lots of love for Hill tonight from Dems of all stripes.

I'm sure Jack Cafferty and Chris Matthews won't stop flogging the dead horse until somebody finally stages an intervention for their uncontrolled Clinton addiction, but I would hope that the rest of the gasbags could give it a rest for a while. (McCain shills, not so much.)

She had many good lines tonight, but the one that really sticks is this one:

"I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?


It's a very effective line and a generous one. She showed leadership there by explicitly challenging her most ardent followers to look beyond her. That's not easy for politicians to do.

I also think this campaign may have been a crucible for her in that she rediscovered her feminist roots. An awful lot of progressive women did. It wasn't so much because of a commitment or loyalty to Hillary Clinton herself but rather an unexpected and stunning realization that sexism still runs so close to the surface in our culture. Hillary didn't lose because of sexism but her campaign certainly exposed it. And it's had an effect on a lot of women. Certainly, last night, some of Michelle Obama's biggest applause lines had to do with women's equality (and it didn't just come from Hillary supporters.) Clinton's grandest achievement in this campaign may have been to raise that awareness --- and hopefully she will use her position as the most powerful woman in the US Senate to advance the cause.


As a personal aside, I have a telling anecdote to share about the evening. I was waiting at the elevator at the Pepsi center with Julie Bergman Sender, who is shooting a film of the convention, when we were rather brusquely pushed aside by a couple of security guys and told to wait. A large entourage of big men in black suits came marching down the hallway and I thought, this has to be somebody really, really important like Al Gore or Bill Clinton. After all, politicians are casually hobnobbing all over the place this week. Only the biggest names have this kind of security.

It was Steny Hoyer.

Why would he need that kind of security in the friendly environs of the Democratic National Convention, of all places?

Oh wait ...


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