I watched Hillary's Big Speech last night, in which she was supposed to make the sale to all her supporters that were still expressing reservations about Barack Obama. I haven't read the commentary in the press this morning, and I suppose probably at least 75% of the MSM will say she nailed it. But, did she?
The money line in her speech was essentially that if you care about the same things I do, which she listed as things like affordable healthcare, support for veterans, looking out for the working class, etc., etc., you should vote for Barack.
But what does that mean exactly? It essentially means that because Hillary thinks Barack is closer to her in his ideals than John McCain, you should vote for Barack.
But was that what most supporters wanted to hear? Most Hillary supporters already knew that, and they knew that she was going to endorse Barack at the DNC and call for unity. But, prior to the convention, that wasn't enough to send them in droves to Barack's camp, at least not according to the polls.
I guess if all you needed was Hillary's official "permission" last night to vote for Barack Obama, you got it, and Barack should see a huge jump in the polls.
But I'm not so sure. What Hillary really failed to do was explain why she was WRONG all this time, in all the impassioned speeches she gave during the primary, the "3 a.m. phone call," the criticism of Obama's character, ethics, ties to convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko, and all the rest.
Why should we vote for the guy you'd beaten up for months and told us he wasn't ready for the job? That you had real foreign policy experience, and he had a 'speech he gave in 2002.'
That's what Hillary's speech was lacking, and while I think a lot of Hillary supporters truly did just want to get 'permission' from the horse's mouth, a lot more will still have reservations about whether Barack Obama is truly ready to lead this country.
Hillary didn't think he was ready before, and she didn't give anyone any real reason as to why she wasn't wrong back then.
UPDATED: Here's the reaction from Camp McCain, via CNN, which is pretty much in line with my thoughts posted above.
One more thought I didn't get in above--given Hillary's great delivery of her speech, do you think Joe Biden is going to suffer in comparison? For my money, despite all the effort to bring about Dem unity, a lot of Dems have to be asking themselves if the only reason Barack Obama didn't pick Hillary is due to his ego. As many pundits have suggested, in the end, his elitism and attitude may crater for him what should, in many respects, have been a walk-away this fall. Stay tuned...