Hillary Clinton issued a strong call for party unity at the Democratic National Convention, listing the many challenges America will face in coming years and emphasizing that Barack Obama, not John McCain, is ready to face them. Is she convincing? She warms up in the second half, appearing truly engaged by what Obama has the opportunity to do during his presidency — including implementing universal health care. It’s undeniable that she wants her supporters to unite behind Obama — but it seems clear that she’s still longing for the opportunities she would have had as President.
Clinton evoked all the aspects of American life that would be radically different under a another presidential administration: "Think about the lost opportunities of these past seven years on the environment and the economy, on health care and civil rights, on education, foreign policy and the Supreme Court." This was the only mention of the Supreme Court in her speech, surprising given the effect the institution has had on the country, and on issues particularly dear to the Senator, over the past eight years.
Notably, Clinton invoked the struggles both for women’s rights and for gay rights. Ted Kennedy made mention of the g-word at the Convention, too — "Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race and gender and group against group and straight against gay" — but this time sounds different to me, in that Clinton is making an explicit comparison between women’s struggle for civil rights and the civil rights struggle of gay people. Dana Goldstein notes that the acknowledgment came with a "cute little eyebrow raise." Clinton must be proud of herself!
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