Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hillary's speech

Yesterday Hillary Clinton gave a great speech about moving forward. Unfortunately, it seems that many of her supporters were not listening. To them, Barack Obama stole the election. Why? Because he wouldn't allow the votes in Michigan and Florida to be counted. Of course, there isn't an ounce of truth to this. The reason the votes were not counted is that all of the candidates, including Hillary Clinton, agreed to a set of rules that included eliminating the delegates from any state that held primaries earlier than they were officially scheduled. Clinton only decided this was a bad idea when it was clear she needed those votes. Suddenly she was fighting for these people whose voices could only be heard through her. Her rhetoric shifted to suggest that people (ie, Obama's supporters) were disrespecting her supporters and trying to silence them. What is curious is that during this entire time, Obama said virtually nothing to dismiss Clinton or her supporters. During this time, Clinton herself did a number of things to fan the divisive flames of the party: suggesting the Obama might be Muslim (as if that matters), suggesting that his supporters were elitist (and therefore, apparently, not worthy of being heard), feeding the idea that Obama's supporters were against women (but, oddly, not that Clinton supporters were against that idea of a darker-skinned president), etc.

So, it was great to hear Clinton speak about the real issues before us. And it was great to hear her unwavering endorsement of Obama. For a while, it seemed as if the campaign had become too personal for her, but in her speech yesterday, she made clear to anyone listening that what matters is not who wins, but how we move forward as a country.

Still, many of her supporters are still clinging to the ideas that Clinton's campaign feed them for all these months. It would help if Clinton could come forward and explain that she, really, was equally responsible for the delegates being stripped from those two states. But it seems to be something she's still incapable of doing.

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