Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary and the Crying Supporter (Now with Ezredit)

It was a good speech, all in all. I still don't think she's the most dynamic speaker in the world, and I wish she had spent more time talking about what she likes about Obama instead of "he's a Democrat like me!"

But it was still a good speech, aimed directly at the PUMAs and resentful women, and that's what the party needs right now.

And then all it took was one woman on CNN to drag it down. Hoo-ee, there's a producer at CNN who's absolutely ecstatic over that find. Singlehandedly managed to bring down a whole stage-managed production with one interview with one Dem who, honestly, probably shouldn't have been there if she couldn't toe the line. Almost every Dem in that room waving "unity" banners and they find one who wasn't. Typical.

But effective, I'll give it that, and it keeps their treasured Hillary narrative alive.

Edit: Ok, Ezra Klein makes a good point:

The criticism of Clinton's speech largely argues that she should have spoken more about Barack Obama. His talents, experience, vision, and leadership. I disagree. Clinton didn't want Barack Obama to win the Democratic primary. She is on record making this point. A fulsome speech praising her opponent would have come off as insincere, forced, the convention equivalent of a taped confession. And it wouldn't have converted the constituency she was speaking to that night: Her supporters. In order for her speech to be effective, it had to read as authentic. And that meant a tincture of sadness, and a focus on the parts of Hillary Clinton's campaign that were not specific to her person but reside in her party. Even the best speech last night wouldn't convert her diehard supporters over to wholehearted support of Barack Obama. But then, she didn't need to. All she needed to do was remind them of their place in the Democratic Party.
Considering how many Republicans are already saying "bah, she didn't mean a word of it", I think Ezra probably has it right here. And let's be honest, the Republicans were going to pounce on ANYTHING that happened here. They probably had the talking points all laid out:

If Hillary praises Obama to the hills: "insincere. She didn't really believe it, and that's why she was contradicting herself."

If Hillary didn't really praise Obama at all: "See? The Dems are divided. C'mere Hillary supporters, she doesn't like him either."

If Obama had picked Hillary as VP: "Hey Republicans! Do you hate the Clintons? Oh yes, yes you do. And now they're coming BACK, because Obama's too weak to lead without them!"

Hell, they probably already had ads cut for all of these. The only wildcard was that crying anti-unity Hillary delegate, and that's why she's so notable.

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