August 26th, 2008
11:37 PM ET
6 years ago

Gergen: Hillary's finest hour

There will no doubt be cynics who thought that she didn't believe what she was saying, just as some cynics thought Michelle Obama last night wasn't the person who appeared on stage. But just as Michelle struck me as authentic last night, Hillary Clinton struck me as authentic tonight. And I have to add, Hillary also struck me as a class act.

Over and over again, I have heard that the Clintons only care about themselves. What we saw tonight is that Hillary Clinton cares a great deal about her party and her country, too. As both Governor Rendell and Candy Crowley have said on the air tonight, she posed exactly the right question to her supporters: were you in this just for me or were you in this for the larger causes? Isn't that the right question for Democrats?

What do you think? Would welcome your thoughts.

soundoff (629 Responses)
  1. Angel

    I wonder, after listening to Hillary, how many Dems left the hall tonight feeling they made a HUGE mistake...

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  2. KO

    People on this board who profess to admire Hillary Clinton but are saying they support McCain are petty, racist, or both. I'm an Obama supporter, but first and foremost I'm an American and a Democrat. Sen Clinton showed that she's the same–of course she's still disappointed she didn't win the nomination, but she's putting the interests of her country and party first, and that means electing Barack Obama president. Too bad many of her "supporters" apparently can't be as magnimous, and wise, as she is.

    Thank you, Sen. Clinton. Obama/Biden all the way!

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  3. Michael

    I was not impressed with Hillary's speech. As usual it was about her. Hillary Hillary Hillary. I am so SICK of the Clintons!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  4. MISSOURI FOR OBAMA

    she did a fantastic job for unity

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  5. Patrick

    Hillary as VP would have been a SURE win for the Dems in November. But Obama chose Biden. Just another example of Obama's poor judgment.

    No how. No way. No Obama!

    Another Democrat for McCain!

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  6. Sharon

    I feel that the democrats are in for a big, and unpleasant, surprise. Hillary is the most qualified person for the presidency. Undermining her was a bad move.

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  7. Seanie

    Hillary gave a great speech to unite the party. If those Hillary supporters think voting for McCain in 08 will help Hillary in 12 to get nomination that is not guarantee.
    Obama-Biden 08/12!!!

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  8. Joe

    What a brilliant, moving speech be a great American. A great American who clearly knows what is at stake in this election! It amazes me to see the comments of so called "supporters" of Hillary on here who are basically spitting in her face and refusing to listen to her out of pure selfishness. The PUMA's and there ilk are quickly putting themselves into the delusional and deranged category previously occupied by Ron Paul supporters and the members of Code Pink. Please, if you can't join us true supporters of the Clintons, the Obamas (and the Bidens!) – as true Americans who want to restore our great nation and solve the many issues that face us as a nation – then maybe you are part of the problem.

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  9. Patrick in Georgia

    Enough with Hillary and Bill Clinton....

    She ran a poor race...and LOST! She had my vote early on until she and her husband strted up with their nonsense...I had a flashback to their scandal ridden days and decided....ENOUGH!

    She's been given more deference than she deserved at this convention.

    If her so called "supporters" (some of them calling themselves life long democrats) can so easily get in line behind John McCain and his right wing machinery after 8 years of George Bush. Good Riddance to you!

    If Senator Clinton Shows up in 2012 looking to be president after messing things up for Obama and the rest of us, I'll manufacture "Hill NO!" signs for everyone that wants them.

    August 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  10. Danny Foglia

    Hillary's speech was wonderful tonight! It amazes me how Democrats voted for Obama in the primaries. Yes, he had a wonderful message of hope and change, but what good is that message if you don't have a record of it! Hillary did. Democrats had a sure-fire win with a Clinton/Obama ticket. Now it's all up in the air, and McCain has a very very good shot at winning. This was supposed to be the Democrats year, but they made the very big mistake of nominating Obama over Hillary. There's always hope for 2012....

    August 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  11. Kay, Charleston, WV

    She gave a great speech but, as the delegate commented afterwards, only Obama can convince the unconvinced that he has what it takes to be President. There is nobody who can do it for him. So, while she may have convinced many not to vote for McCain, she couldn't and didn't convince them to vote for Obama.

    Obama has work to do and he's left it until very late.

    August 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. Mary

    Great, great speech. She has done her part, it is up to Obama now. He needs to step up and do his part to heal the rift–show us that he can lead.
    He has not truly spoken to Hillary's supporters yet. To paraphrase one Hillary delegate "He has asked for our money, but not for our vote." He needs to recognize that he did not win by a landslide, but rather it was a very close primary. Moreover, it was not an election. He still has the general to go, and he needs HRC's supporters. He needs to step up and recognize their work, their hopes (which have been dashed), and their value as Democrats and Americans.

    We are waiting....

    August 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  13. Obama4prez

    I think the sheer fact that her speech generated so much talk that she should have been the nominee shows how ignorant people can be. Anyone can make a great speech, that's what she and her husband are both good at, but anyone can be dramatic and theatrical.

    I believe Obama will still take home the presidency and do it without fabricating stories during campaign time as Hill did.

    Obama '08!

    August 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  14. magic beans

    An amazing speech by an amazing woman. I think she delivered. I think supporters like me who feel they have been pushed out of the party and ignored by Barrack Obama, his media friends and his vicious supporters will give a lot of thought to the words she spoke. Now its up to Obama. Is it like I keep hearing from his minions? Does the Democratic Party just not need us? Or is it like Hillary says it is? Are we in this together?

    Not running Hillary Clinton is America's loss, I truly believe that with every fiber of my being. She would have made a incredible president. I still don't know what I'm going to do in November but Hillary has opened my heart again. And frankly after all the nasty, untrue, and sexist crap I have heard on these boards I was sure I was through with this party.

    I must admit I really don't see how he can justifies not putting her on the ticket. And don't give me that Change crap, Biden is hardly change. And don't tell me how evil the Clinton's are because you just don't know what you are talking about.

    August 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. Navy LT

    I hope and pray that if McBush wins he brings back the draft. I'm sick of these whining arse people saying Obama is not ready. Let's see some of you or your children fight to defend this country. I am a proud democrat who supports what the party stands for and realize its bigger than one person.

    August 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. Sheris

    Hillary made me proud to spell my name W-O-M-A-N tonight. She is a fighther and a uniter. I was very dissappointed in how she conducted herself during the primaries...but she more than redeemed herself tonight! I think that she received bad advice during the primaries to her detriment. Had she conducted herself during the primaries as she did tonight I think she would have been the nominee !

    August 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. Nobama

    Wow. Should have could have. Hillary showed why she deserves the nomination. NoBama has accomplished absolutely NOTHING!! He has a good speech but that is about it. He has no foreign policy, he has a awful economic policy. DEMS for McCain. Hillary 2012!!

    August 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  18. WOW!

    After that speech, we decided to name our newborn daughter after Hillary Clinton. Welcome to the world Hillary Anne! May you make it a better place just like your namesake.

    August 27, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  19. Michelle

    No way, no how, NOBAMA!

    August 27, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  20. C

    Obama preaches to question Mccain's judgement and not his experience. Well tonight, while watching this presidential speech by Hillary, I have begun to question Obama's judgement in not selecting the strongest candidate to run with him as VP. His first opportunity to make a smart judgement is clearly lacking. By the way, where was he and why was he not at the convention? Nobody has been able to explain this. Another bad judgement call Barrack!!!!

    August 27, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. David Sobel

    Gergen is exactly right. If the Dems lose, no one can say it was because of Hillary. Now let's see what Obama is made of–and here is betting he will be wise and tough enought to get the job done.

    August 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  22. LEH

    INSPIRING. Yet simple and straightforward. Not soaring and lofty.

    I supported her campaign because I shared her values and most pressing issues, and believed she had the experience and history to follow-through on the issues that were relevant to me.

    McCain, on the other hand, was good enough to be considered to be Kerry's VP in 2004. And Biden, Feingold, etc. have all good things to say about him. Am I really expected to believe that he has changed so drastically within 4 years? Like Clinton, he has the experience and history to follow-through on the issues that are relevant to me. Not just words, and "promise" of hope and change.

    August 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  23. Souza

    Hillary sounded like a President to me. Obama has the presure to measure up now.
    We all know Hillary is a much better choice than Biden.

    August 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. Joe from NYC

    I have not been a supporter of Barack Obama. I have not believed in him as a presidential candidate. I have not trusted his speeches or the hippie idealism of the Democratic party that has erupted out of his campaign. However, I was quite moved by Hillary Clinton's speech this evening. I felt that she was pragmatic about why we need to unify, why we need to vote for Barack Obama, and why the Republicans cannot continue to run this country. I have been convinced to vote for Mr. Obama as long as he doesn't screw up between now and November. I am voting for the presumptive Democratic nominee because I believe in the ideas outlined by Hillary Clinton this evening. My vote is now Mr. Obama's to lose over the next two months. He would be wise to find a significant spot for Hillary Clinton in his proposed administration and let it leak to the world.

    Michelle Obama's people better get her some coaching about how to appear more diplomatic when the camera pans to her. She looked angry and irritated through much of the speech. I was unimpressed last night with her, and I was unimpressed again this evening.

    August 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  25. Tony from Phoenix

    Mr. Gergen, I've appreciated your insightful views since the late 70's. Hillary is putting party first. By questioning why her supporters would vote for her, persona or issue based, Clinton helped clear any illogical reasons for voting against their own self interests.
    What I can't understand is CNN printing Castellanos' illogical views as somehow meaningful.

    August 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
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