Last night at the Pepsi Convention Center in Denver, Hillary Rodham Clinton commanded the attention of everyone in the center for over 30 minutes. She gave one of the best, if not the best, speeches of her life.
Daughter Chelsea introduced her mother, and when Senator Clinton appeared the delegates rose in a solid standing ovation that lasted almost five minutes. To break the underlying tension she referred to her supporters as, "The sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits," and made it crystal clear that her wish is for them to file the primary away, and solidly unite behind Obama and Biden in the national election.
Convention delegates have been clamoring for more "red meat" in the speeches, and they finally got it last night. Her mantra was, "No way. No how. No McCain," admonishing the delegates that the most important task before them is to insure that Democrats are in the White House come January 2009. The consensus afterward by the media watchers is that she came across strong, positive and sincere.
I was watching Bill Clinton closely. Early in the speech he encouraged his wife by mouthing, "I love you" at least three consecutive times while the camera was on him. Genuine love and pride oozed from his eyes as they almost filled with tears.
Delegates have not seen this between Barack and Michelle Obama, so far. Some have suggested the couple is "too business-like" toward each other.
Last night was ladies night. Tonight will be gentlemen's night.
Former President William Clinton will also speak in prime-time (top of the hour, 8 - 9). The headline prime-time speaker tonight is Vice Presidential Nominee Senator Joseph Biden (9 - 10 hour, CDT).
There is no doubt that Bill Clinton has been angry that Barack Obama, considered by many as a young upstart indorsed early on by the powerful Kennedy family and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, out boxed Hillary to win the nomination. Can Bill take his wife's advice? Has he left anger behind? Can he genuinely support Obama? We shall see tonight.
Some of the other men expected to speak today and/or tonight are: Former Senator Tom Daschle; Governor Bill Richardson; Senators Evan Bayh, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, and Ken Salazar; House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn; and Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) along with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth will lead a tribute honoring those who give so much to secure our nation’s future - - veterans, active duty military and their families.
See previous posts for more info, times, etc.