Saturday, June 07, 2008

Live Blogging Hillary's Concession Speech

12:29, My daughter Miss Teen RSI and I have dueling computers set up so we can watch the speech on one computer while I can blog on the other. I'm SUCH a good dad. Hillary's half an hour late. I just got off the phone with my mom. She's still bitter about Hillary losing to Obama, but her reasons for hating Obama have switched from Obama being "black" and "blacks taking over everything" to Obama being arrogant. Seeing my mother's racism is one of the saddest things I've had to deal with in an extemely sad year, but it is interesting that her racism switched from "open racism" to "colorblind" racism. She even said that there weren't any racists in my home town of Waverly, NY. Yeah, right.

Mrs. RSI has been mopping the floor. I've got to get back to putting away clothes.

12:40, This Hillary speech is the most highly anticipated surrender since Appomattox, but the top Democrats are taking a relaxed approach. Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea didn't even leave their house until after noon and the speech is only going to be 20 minutes long. According to CNN, Obama's playing golf in the Chicago area. I don't know why the politicians are acting so cool, but I feel the tingle of momentousness myself and I'm not mocking Chris Matthews at all here.

I asked my daughter how it felt to be "Miss Teen RSI." She said she without a hint of sarcasm that she was "deeply honored."

12:46, Hillary's on-stage by herself in a pantsuit of her very own getting a "Standing O" from 1500 people. No Bill, No Chelsea, No Mark Penn--Hillary's the big dog in the Clinton camp now.

12:49, Hillary's giving thanks to her supporters, people like me who took their daughters to Hillary events. She got almost 18,000,000 votes. That's a lot of people to thank and she's taking her time with stories of young women and old women. My mom, 73, is one of the older women who supported Hillary to the end.

12:52, Not exactly a soaring speech, but Hillary doesn't do soaring. What she's saying is heartfelt and it does does connect. Now, Hillary's promising to stay on the front line. She hits the transition line exactly right--taking the energy of her campaign and her supporters and helping elect Barack Obama as the next president.

And there's her endorsement.

Lots of cheers, but there is an echo of booing from the crowd as well.

12:55, Now the testimony to Obama. The goal is to put the country on the right path and supporting Barack Obama is the way to do that.

I think she would do better to say that "Obama won and I lost" as part of her testimony. American politics has a strong monarchical streak. She needs to kiss his ring.

12:58, An interesting development--Hillary is giving gay rights the same status as civil rights and labor rights. That's the second time she's mentioned gay rights. That's a new and very welcome departure.

12:59, Now the reference to Bill. She's married to him, but I'm not. Bill was a big negative to her campaign because he's so stuck in the 90's.

1:01, Much of Hillary's argument is that the only way to make progress is to elect a Democrat and that she shares his optimism about America. I forgot whether "Yes, We Can" is Hillary's or Obama's slogan.

Now, it's elect Barack Obama for health care, fiscal responsibility, a strong middle class, energy independence, solving global warming.

She's ending every policy issue by saying "that is why we must help elect Barack Obama our President."

And the crowd seems to be turning as well. I don't think the Hillary camp has any reason to be bitter about the Obama campaign. A lot of Obama supporters on the internet blogs were viciously sexist, but none of that came out of the Obama camp itself. The Obama side didn't fight any harder for advantage than the Hillary people. It really is time to move on.

1:05, Getting beyond the 3:00am ad, Hillary emphasizes that Obama has answered the question of whether an African-American can serve as president and the answer is yet.

1:06, Moving to gender--wanting an America that "embraces the potential of every last one of us." She wants women to enjoy "equal opportunities, equal pay, and equal respect." That's great! I wish she had done more of this early in the campaign.

The speech is getting better as she goes along.

"Never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on"

1:10, Now Hillary's putting herself in the line of progress for women's rights and civil rights from Seneca Falls to the suffragettes to MLK. Too bad she didn't mention Betty Friedan. I would have liked to see Hillary do a better job of putting the two things together and emphasizing progress for African-Americans. But very few if any white politicians have any competence when it comes to race and Hillary is taking a shot at it. She deserves credit.

1:12, Emphasizing that she's not going to look back to the wouldas and couldas and that she's going to work her heart out to elect Barack Obama for president.

1:13, And now she's moving to the end. Is there one more soaring line in her acknowledgements of friends, family, and staff? Let's see. Yes, there is something that is interesting. She's emphasizing that our imperfect humanness means that we need each other and need to help each other. Now there's a difference between Hillary and the Republicans, especially the activists of the right. For people like Ann Coulter, our imperfect humanness means that we get plenty of opportunities to kick people when they're down.

1:17, In the final analysis, this speech has to rate as pretty good. I would have liked to see a more explicit concession but I'm also pretty sure that the crowd would have booed an explicit acknowledgement that Obama won and that the boos would have been the lead story in the media. So, I'm okay with a less explicit concession as well.

1:19, Having come from a political family in NYC, Mrs. RSI relentlessly "works the crowd" everywhere she goes. As a result, our family has a vested interest in seeing how Hillary works the crowd. You've got to give her credit. She's out there circulating, shaking hands, and talking with people. It must be tough when you lose like that.

There it is. Hillary's concession. Onto more housework.


Anne McCrady said...

I am at the Texas Democratic State Convention where Chelsea spoke last night and we watched Hillary's speech on the big screen until we lost our feed (arrgh!). Here there are many who will carry Hillary's dreams forward even as we work hard for Barak. Texas women especially dreamed of a woman president, but our work now is to insure that Democrats take back the courthouse, the state house and the White House. And we will!

Ric Caric said...

That's great. I'm going to sign up to work for Obama in Kentucky as well.