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Hillary Clinton again does her rhetorical part for Barack Obama

DENVER -- For the third time in less than three months, Hillary Clinton played the good soldier. Whether some of her troops choose to follow her lead remains to be seen.

As she did in Washington in early June and again a few weeks later in Unity, N.H., Clinton made a strong, direct public plea for her supporters to put aside their disppointment in her failure to win the Democratic presidential nomination, remember their commitment to larger causes and unite behind Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton on the stage at the Pepsi Center in Denver Inside packed Pepsi Center, at least, there were few overt signs of a renegade movement to ignore her words. As she spoke (she's now a dramatically better orator than when her presidential campaign began) there was the occasional discordant shout of "We love you, Hillary."

But in what must have caused a huge sigh of relief from top Obama aides, there were no boos or hisses at any mention of his name (at least none that could be heard in the hall's press section), and there was no surge of Hillary supporters toward the stage as she finished her remarks and quickly left the podium.

She was introduced by a video narrated by her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and took her place in the spotlight, wearing her patented pantsuit. On this night, the outfit was a bright tangerine color (in contrast to the black she wore at her concession speech in Washington).

To no surprise, she was greeted by huge and sustained cheers -- so much so that it took her a while to quiet the crowd and begin.

She offered herself to her audience as "a proud mother, as a proud Democrat, as a proud senator from New York, a proud American and a proud supporter of Barack Obama."

Whatever dissenters there were to that payoff line, the huge burst of applause from Democrats yearning for unity overwhelmed them.

Clinton continued to offer call after call for her supporters to become Obama supporters. Such as:

"The time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose."

"We are on the same team."

"Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president."

On a night when most of the speakers sharpened the barbs directed at John McCain, she delivered the pithiest.

She stressed to her backers that they hadn't worked so long and hard for her to see another Republican in the White House. Summing up, she said: "No way, no how, no McCain."

Based on the response to this and other lines, perhaps her third time to try to transfer allegiance to Obama will be the charm.

(UPDATE: After her speech the McCain campaign reacted to her remarks on the GOP candidate: "Sen. Clinton ran her presidential campaign making clear that Barack Obama is not prepared to lead as commander in chief. Nowhere tonight did she alter that assessment. Nowhere tonight did she say that Barack Obama is ready to lead.")

Then again, perhaps the Wednesday night roll call will simply reopen wounds that can't seem to heal within this party.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (22)

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Hillary was awesome, brilliant and tough... the perfect qualities for a commander-in-chief.

The DNC picked the wrong candidate!

Am I alone in thinking that her speech was the bare minimum that could be expected in advocating the party unite for Obama? It was a good speech IF the purpose was to cement her standing as this figure in feminist history, but it fell far short of extolling the virtues of Barack Obama. Consider what this speech would have been if she had chosen to actually talk a little bit about his character, leadership, how she had come to know him, etc. Even one anecdote would have personalized it in his favor. Instead, she only talked about herself and then said, in effect, oh, Barack supports that, too. No, this speech was all about Hillary.

She did her duty to the Democ"rat"ic Party and to the "APPEASEMENT KID" but the truth is he has no experience in Economics, National Security, World Affairs, etc, etc

VJ Machiavelli

what a sad convention for one talks about why Obama is the one ? why is he ready for the presidency? what has he done that deserves our vote? Has he run a business, has he run a city, has he run a state?

Obama had the judgment thing against Hillary during primary because he was anti-war and she voted for war...but Obama turns around and selects a VP that did not have the same "judgment" that he was complaining Hillary did not have...

what a sad day for Obama the best they could do?

Amazing speech!! And what I like most is that it makes her supporters proud to have supported her... and it makes those who didn't support her regret.

Go Hillary!! Yippee! Yeh!! So Proud of being a woman!!

This quote from a delegate at the bottom of a story on her speech says it all: "I will not support Obama. He’s not qualified. The whole system was totally fraudulent. He claimed to be something before, in the primaries, that was different, that was a new kind of politics, but he’s not. He’s not Washington politics, he’s Chicago-style politics and that’s even worse.

Shouting, "we love you hillary!" during one of her greatest speeches, makes them renegade how?

Scratching my head on that one.

That was an outstanding speech for the ages. Now, the ball is in ObamaMessiah's court. The Democrats have nominated the wrong person for sure. That's plain as day.

I like that pantsuit, so hot

You will see in this speech what you need to see but the fact is that it was Great! As a strong and devoted and heartbroken Hillary supporter, I will vote for Obama and Biden in November in her honor, because I answered her question, "Were you in this for me? Or for all those people who need the things I advocated for?" What she told us was that Obama can deliver because he feels the same way. With his selection of Biden, he has shown me that he is not adverse to reaching out to those who can help him govern and accomplish the change he desires.
If you are not her supporter, you will continue to see her as people who do not like her see her. The truth is, what you saw tonight, is the consummate professional, a devoted public servant, a true patriot, an effective leader, and she will be an allay for a President Obama.

It was a good speech well delivered and devoid of bitterness. However, at the end of the day, large segments of her supporters (particularly Latino-Americans) may choose not to support Obama. It has to be reminded that political conventions are only a show, devoid of sincerity and/or substance. In my view, it will be very difficult for Mr. Obama to add to the 19 million or so votes he got in the primaries. General elections are about experience, substance and trust, and he is lacks these qualities. Articulate speaker, yes, a welcome representative for the black race, yes, but also a little wet behind the ears and not yet qualified for the highest office. If he only could wait another 4 or 8 years...

When she asked, "Were you in this for me? Or for all those people who need the things I advocated for?" it really spoke to me. I am not completely on board yet, but I am the closest I have ever been, after she made her speech. It is up to Obama to show me he is qualified. I am listening and willing to give him a chance to earn my vote.

It's funny to see people complain about Obama's inexperience when McCain has been the poster child for failure and hypocrisy for years:

- crashing FIVE planes in Vietnam
- embarassing himself as part of the Keating 5
- pathetic, failed campaign finance reform legislation (then embracing the lobbyists who came calling)
- being defeated in the 2000 nomination by the worst president in decades
- backing that same President's terrible policies

This is supposed to be experience? The only thing McCain is good at is advancing himself and his political career.

One of the best things that happened in this election season is Sen. Hillary Clinton. She has a whoppiing 18 million voters. Her speech tonight will have it's effect
on this election, and as for me, my vote will cast a reflection on the greatest woman ever in our Country's

Yeah, dig that pantsuit, she is SO hot...

Hillary was great. Those delegates should vote for her.

Hillary did her part, she basically said, "Vote for Brack because he can bring about what we all have been fighting for".

Barack has to do the rest. Hillary can only do so much to push her supporters to Barack's side. Barack has to pull them in, otherwise, nothing.

At the end of the day the "rhetorical part" is which of two simple choices will you make? Fascism or socialism? No doubt I despise socialism but I'll take it over fascism any day of the week. And I suppose most Americans (including Hillary supporters) will as well.

When will you fake conservatives realize that debt-and-spend imperialism grossly benefits a rare few, and that isn't you!

Josh B. Of course he could have waited another 4-8 years, but like many rock stars out there he started to believe the hype of the screaming college kids in the front row of his life, and he got greedy. He could have waited, and the Democratic Party could have had 8 amazing years of Clinton....followed by 8 amazing years of Obama (for by then he would have more than just a few months of experience in the Senate). But no...

One quick question to the Obama die hards: How does Obama know it won't be politics as usual for him? He hasn't been around long enough to even know IF he can actually follow through on that. It's not like he's been practicing what he preached for years in Washington and can now say he lived to tell. No. He talks about a hope and a dream but has no clue if it can actually happen. That's Hollywood, not Washington.

I am being asked to vote for a man - who is practically a political intern, to be the leader of the free world. That's like electing an inexperienced attorney to sit on the Supreme Court. Insanity.

Hillary rocks - best speech by any losing candidate ever for a winning party nominee. Over the next 69 days Hillary will campaign and inspire millions of females, Hispanics and moderates in both parties to elect Obama, and help increase the democratic margin in both the house and senate. Then she we tackle health care reform in the senate with full support of the new increased Democratic majority. Hillary will help lead the senate to help Obama achieve real change in Washington without republican filibusters. Just watch, history is being made and Obama and Hillary will lead it in both branches of government. McCain simply has no chance of beating Obama, with Biden and Hillary on the campaign trail, not to mention Bill. Who will help McCain on the stump, Bush? McCain better get Collin Powell or a female to be V.P. to even have a chance. McCain simply does not inspire Americans.

Republicans had their chance over the last 8 years and they blew it big time. 4 years of Bush + 4 years of Bush equals 8 years of White House incompetence with a president to failed to inspire and connect with the American public. Democrat or Republican, we are all worse off now 8 years later. Change for the better is coming in 69 days for Americans here and abroad. Finally!

Hillary Clinton says support Obama. How can anyone clearly listen and believe whatever Barack Obama says? It is, as every day, he says something different and contrary from what he said yesterday. Whenever he says something stupid, he attempts to attack the one who is pointing out whatever stupid things he says, even if he, himself, knows he is lying. If Obama will lie as a candidate, what can we expect of him as a US President? An example is documented that Obama killed legislation, as an Illinois legislator, which was written to protect an infant when a botched abortion is born. How can Obama sleep at night when failing to protect infants? Read and It is obvious that the Liberal media such as the New York Times, NBC TV News, etc. are trying to elect Obama at all cost to the Americans I hope the American voters are more intelligent than the Liberal media is giving them credit for.

First I would like to express myself about Hillary. Hillary did a pretty good speech last night. I am not one of her supporters but I will give her the credit for that speech. I can only imagine her hurt feelings for losing. But you must look at it like this she can now learn from all her mistake and maybe next time come out a better canidate. We as deomocrates need to lay aside all of our differents, just like she said last night and come together and fight the real enemy. The republicans does enough attacking our party, so why should we give a helping hand. Obama is a good man and I feel that somewhere in the white house they will find a place for Hillary. When Hillary was running a head I had to come to a conclusion, as much as I didn't like her I would vote for her because of the Democrat Party. Look at it like this, if a black snake was running against John McCain, I would vote for the snake, knowing that either way I go I just might get bitten. We as a people must pull together to get the Republicans out of the white house. Why should any of you cut off your nose to get even with your face. You will be hurt anyway. We need to be heard, and helped. With gas and grocery sky high, we need to be saved. Just imagine if you was drowning in a sea, would it matter if Hillary or Obama threw the life support, If it does you could end up losing you life. Is it worth all this, let's pull together. Because at the end of the day on November 4th, the Republican is not gonna care how much we hated or disagreed with each other just so they get another 4 years in office. Now you must make up your own mind. Have you Had enough of Bush and McCain? If not vote for them. We will just suffer together.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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