Update: The video we posted below is only one of many great Hillary moments from last night’s speech. What Hillary says in that short clip is reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s speech to New Hampshire citizens in 1992. Back in 1992, under attack by just about everyone, Bill Clinton at the Elks Lodge said “I’ll be here for you—until the last dog dies.” “Now there are some who will say they don’t know where I stand,” she said. “Well, I think you know better than that. I stand where I have stood for 35 years. I stand with you and with your children and with every American who needs a fighter in their corner for a better life.“
Last night we learned several things. First, Democrats need some professional messaging lessons. Holding auctions might be “down home” but not a good message to send. Events of such importance should not drift past midnight. Hillary and her team of professionals will bring good communications skills to all Democrats when she is in full charge of the Party.
We also learned that Edwards and Obama are incapable of learning the most simple lessons. In 2000 and 2004 Gore and Kerry listened to Michael Whouley and utilized the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Iowa to revive their campaigns. Gore and Kerry used the similarly sounding slogans “stay and fight” (Gore) and “stand and fight” (Kerry) at the dinner. Gore and Kerry signaled to Democrats they understood presidential campaigns were about the voters and fighting for what Americans need to better their own lives. Edwards and Obama last night essentially attacked Democrats as corrupt; Hillary put the blame where it belongs: on Bush and the Ripublicans and promised to “Turn Up The Heat” as she reassured voters that she will fight – for them.
We also learned that Richardson at the next debate will again resist joining the anti-Hillary desperate campaigns. “It is desperately important that Democrats not tear each other down,” Richardson said. Biden poked the Chicago crowd Obama imported, so it is possible that he will not join the anti-Hillary crowd at the next debate. Dodd rambled, but maybe his morbid poll numbers in Connecticut and near zero national poll numbers have convinced him that an anti-Hillary “electability” argument sounds foolish.
Edwards needed to rescue his campaign last night, not with a speech, but with a galvanizing message. He failed.
Obama appeared to have trouble with either too much or too little intake of Nicorette gum. Obama confused anger with passion. Obama tried to appear to be with the living instead of his usual Ivory Tower slumping delivery, but only came across as angry, very angry. Obama delighted in attacking Democrats and their chances in November 2008. When I’m your nominee, my opponent won’t be able to say that I supported this war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I support that Bush-Cheney diplomacy of not talking to leaders we don’t like. And he won’t be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether it’s ok for America to use torture – because it’s never ok. That’s why I’m in it. Ugly stuff from Obama.
Obama, who spends more than other candidates on polls and promises unity bathed himself in mud politics. This party – of Jefferson and Jackson; of Roosevelt and Kennedy – has made the most difference in people’s lives when we’ve led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we’ve had leaders who could summon the entire nation to a common purpose – a higher purpose. And I am running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States because that’s the party America needs us to be right now. Obama sounds more and more like Ronald Reagan who quoted Democrats but whose intent was the defeat of Democrats.
The naive Obama said I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America, I want to lead the United States of America. Obama’s rhetoric is sweet but as we all know, it takes two to tango. The Ripublicans do not want compromise, they want capitulation.
After spending recent weeks lambasting those who fought for civil rights, Obama dared invoke one of the great fighters of the last century. Obama praised Dr. King but apparently understands none of Dr. King’s lessons. Dr. King’s “fierce urgency of now” was not a call for brotherhood but rather for justice. In the name of conciliation Obama offers retreat and weakness. Little wonder that Americans fear his inexperience.
Obama said: Because I will never forget that the only reason I’m standing here today is because someone, somewhere stood up when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn’t popular. And because that someone stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand. And then a few million. And together, standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world. But again Obama fails to understand that it wasn’t just about standing up, it was standing up and fighting for what you believe. It is not sweet words of understanding but tough actions and taking the heat.
The liberal Mother Jones magazine summed up Obama’s night and the level of support for him: “I’m not sure the speech actually earned it. It wasn’t his best.”
Hillary of course was great. She modulated her voice, whispering when needed, sounding a clarion call for unity against the Ripublicans who have looted the American economy and subverted our government with incompetence and grotesque policies.
Hillary took on her bashing critics, particularly Obama: “Change is just a word if you don’t have the strength and experience to make it happen. We must chose a nominee who has been tested and elect a president who is ready to lead on day one.” Aong with making her long history of fighting for Americans clear, “As First Lady, I fought my heart out for health care.” Hillary rightly took credit for the progress universal health care is making in 2007.
Hillary will not fall into the trap other Democrats have fallen into of attacking fellow Democrats.
“I’m not interested in attacking my opponents,” New York Senator Clinton, 60, said yesterday in Des Moines at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, a fundraiser for the Iowa Democratic Party. “We should be turning up the heat on the Republicans.” [snip]
At least one political observer gave Clinton high marks for her speech last night.
“Clinton was very, very good,” said Charlie Cook, independent analyst and publisher of the Cook Political Report in Washington. “She’s had a tough 10 days or so, I think she turned in the performance she needed.”
Clinton touted support she’s received from Democratic leaders in Republican-leaning states such as Arkansas who “know that I can win.” She also noted the endorsement she won last week from Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.
“Democrats know when we win Ohio, we win the White House,” she said.
Still, Clinton said she’s also prepared for a tough fight as the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses draw near.
“I know as the campaign goes on, it’s going to get a little hotter out there, but that’s fine by me,’‘ Clinton said. “As Harry Truman said, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen, and I’ll tell you what, I feel really comfortable in the kitchen.”
Clinton called on Democrats to fight harder to champion civil rights, combat climate change and end the war in Iraq. On cue, her supporters chanted the refrain “turn up the heat.”
Tim Russert embarrassed himself today. Russert did not put up nifty videos of Obama followed up by tough questions implying a contradiction – like he does to Hillary. Russert asked a few questions which touched on a few issues, but Russert was just going through the motions. Russert proved himself a hack today.
Hillary proved herself a champ at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Hillary turned up the heat.
We’ll get the transcript and analyze Obama on Meet The
Hack Press when the transcript is posted. We will also post more Hillary video and speech excerpts as they come in.