Well, I watched Hillary's speech, as I'm sure most of those who show up here at BC Politics did as well, and it was a damn good one! She touched all the bases, even stomped on a few of them. It was the best speech she has ever given.
No doubt the McCain people and conservative pundits will go to great lengths to find cracks in it, but they will be hard pressed to do so.
Hillary graciously thanked her supporters and reflected on how great it was to have met people on the campaign trail who were ardently behind her. But then she hauled them up and stated flatly that they must get behind both the Democratic Party and its candidate, Barack Obama. There was no equivocation. No half-hearted or left-handed compliments. If her words were not genuinely felt, she hid it very well.
I, along with many others have felt that, since the end of the primary season, both she and hubby Bill have been less than enthusiastic in their support of Obama. Although in recent weeks Hillary has been out stumping for Obama and, according to some, has done so with apparent energy and sincerity. It will be incumbent, first upon Bill to deliver the goods Wednesday evening, then on both of them, to follow up in the coming days and weeks all the way through to November, maintaining highly visible and sincere efforts on behalf of the Democratic ticket. Anything less will tarnish both of them for years to come.
To me, it was understandable that the Clintons did not immediately jump on the Obama bandwagon, given the circumstances. Most of us will never know what went on behind the scenes during their protracted primary campaign against each other or how intense the rancor must have become. I doubt that the Obamas and the Clintons will ever be bosom buddies hanging out together at the mall, but the Clintons did definitely drag their feet far too long, to the detriment of Obama and the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, Hillary's performance Tuesday night went a long way toward mending many of the broken fences within the Party.
Hillary had some good lines bashing McCain – some that may be taken on as campaign mantras like "No way, no how, no McCain". Now, both Bill and Joe Biden must take the campaign against McCain to a much higher level on Wednesday evening.
The Republicans will spend virtually every waking hour of their convention bashing Obama and Biden. If Obama is to prevail all thoughts of avoiding negative campaigning must be tossed out the door, just as the McCain campaign has done since June. They must hit McCain hard and hit him often. Should Romney be McCain's choice as running mate, then every charge, every slight Romney made against McCain during their less than amicable primary battle must be brought out and brandished for all to see.
McCain should be brought to task for playing his POW card every time he can't think of anything else to say. The Democrats must remind voters of McCain's determination to reverse Roe v Wade and his desire to install conservative justices on the Supreme Court, as well as on the lower courts.
Anytime McCain's people, or McCain himself, make any reference to Obama being an elitist the Democrats must show just who the elitists really are. Say, let's compare the McCain/Romney net worth against Obama/Biden's. Let's count houses. Let's remind people that McCain has never lived as most blue collar or middle class people must live – paycheck to paycheck. McCain's POW experience was a singular event shared by a select few. It was, no doubt, a horrific experience. But it does not lend itself to McCain's having any real understanding or empathy for what it is to live as most working and middle class Americans, let alone the poor, must live. Let's remind people that McCain, in his patented condescending and dismissive fashion, stated that anyone earning less that five million dollars a year should be considered "middle class" and that a viable solution to problems in the middle east is to "bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran."
It should be pointed out that McCain comes from a long line of career military men, and that he actually was very reluctant to join the military. He wanted to study literature. It should be pointed out that other than his POW experience, McCain did not distinguish himself greatly through his command experience.
McCain has only briefly held any real jobs in the private sector. Except for his military experience, most of his adult life has been spent in the political arena.
McCain is mean spirited, short tempered and has been seen to be personally cruel and disrespectful publicly to his wife and on some occasions to members of his staff, as well as to members of the press.
The Democrats must NOT allow McCain to take a pass on all this. He is not a delicate flower who must be handled with kid gloves. He is a grizzled political veteran who must be dealt with accordingly. The gloves must come off.