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Clinton catharsis on the convention floor: Was it enough?

August 26, 2008 | 10:24 pm

Alan Kessler, a major Hillary Rodham Clinton fundraiser, watched the speech from the Pennsylvania section on the convention floor in Denver's Pepsi Center.

Kessler said he got emotional during the address. Taking out his BlackBerry, he showed an e-mail he got from a friend as Clinton spoke: “I still want her," said the message.

Pointing to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, standing a few feet away, Kessler said, "I saw the governor wiping his eyes."

For his part, Rendell, credited with helping Clinton win the Pennsylvania Democratic primary soundly, said, "She blew the lights out." In an interview on the convention floor, Rendell said Clinton's mission, in part, was to "send a message to her recalcitrant supporters that there's no time to look back. We have to keep going and get this done."

Kessler added: “People all around me were saying it was hard to believe a year ago she wouldn't have been up there giving her acceptance speech. That's why tonight was great. It's a great opportunity to show the emotions and then get down to business and do our work."

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who competed in the Democratic primary before rejecting longtime Clinton ties and throwing his support to Barack Obama at a crucial time in March, described the speech as "a home run."

"It sends a huge signal that the Democratic Party should be unified," Richardson said. "No more divisions. Obama and Clinton are together."

We'll see about that over time.

-- Peter Nicholas

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