Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Democratic Convention Day 2

(not blogged from the convention)

Day 2 of the Democratic Convention brought us the much anticipated speech of Hillary Clinton, which to all but the sharpest critics was a very powerful endorsement of both the party ideals and Barack Obama.

After a touching mother and daughter introduction, Senator Clinton gave what I felt was probably the most powerful and the most important speech of her entire career, essentially fully conceding the election to Obama and expressing in no uncertain terms that her supporters should support him now.

Although cynics would say Clinton had no choice here because to fight would have been to lose future party support, I think these relationships are fairly well defined from the outset, and Clinton has known for some time that she'd be backing Obama pretty much as she has for the past several months. The election will not hinge on Clinton support - rather Obama must try to convince the approximately 10% of Clintonians who say they will now support McCain that although Clinton was their choice, Obama is their man now. Given that Clinton and Obama's politics are very similar this is unlikely to be a problem.

Tonight there are likely to be some minor Clinton supporter skirmishes but it will be very hard to stand in the way of what has so far been a very positive and powerful message of support for Obama from all corners of the Democratic Party, including a simply brilliant speech by Michelle Obama on Monday night.

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