August 26th, 2008
11:37 PM ET
10 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. Larry E Denman

    If the talking heads and pundits would take a day off and stop trying to mold public opinion, then maybe the truth would find its way to the surface.

    Tonight a valiant woman made a hard speech, and in her place ANYONE would have had just as hard a time. She was honest and she was a statesman.

    The problem that we the public have is the constant attempt by you media hacks to show cause where there is none. To generate confusion and malcontent when there is none. Heaven forbid that politicians treated each other in a humane nature. LET GO and GROW UP. Take Hillarys speech for what it was, an acknowledgement that she just did not make it, so WE ALL must support the nominee. Nothing more and nothing less

    August 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  2. Taylor

    It is really way late in this game to be remorseful about Billary name-calling and other attacks during and after the primary. That over zealous support for Obama at Clinton's expense created PUMAs. Don't doubt it.

    August 27, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  3. Phyllis/ PA

    After Hillary's speech, aCNN reporter was on the floor to interview some Hillary supporters.Well the reporter only needed to interview one! This was a young very articulate black lady. (I only mention she was black because polls are always pointing out the % of blacks who vote for Obama.) Anyhow, this young lady was emotional and had tears in her eye as she clearly shared her reasons for supporting Hillary. At the end she stated that as a strong democrat she has always voted. Now, for the first time, she is not sure what she will do. When asked she said that she will not vote for McCain. However, because Obama has such a "weak resume", she just does not know if she can vote for him.

    What I have just written fails to communicate my point. Only a video can do this. She clearly explained why many Hillary supporters are having difficulty supporting Obama

    August 27, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. Hillary is awesome!

    She was presidential tonight, she was firm, she was fun, she was clear and on-message, she was embracing and complimentary, she challenged her own supporters, she was courageous and gracious. I have seen her give speeches many times and hold her own and seen her in person, but tonight was THE BEST – she is part of the elite of the Dem party and I pray she will not be forgotten.

    Tell me again why she cannot be pres and why she could not be on his ticket? Somehow it feels like a woman thing yet again with men – black or white. I don’t see a similar woman reaching so close for a long time. We had our chance…

    ps I was for Biden from the very start! Obama got my vote just by having him on his ticket.

    August 27, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. John Lane

    I've read a lot of the comments here. I didn't watch the convention on TV. Many are saying Hillary was great. I believe them. But some are also saying Obama is nothing. you are wrong there. He too has something special. He has the brains and the vision, the education and the experience. He trained in the law, and majored in international relations. Where do people get the idea he is not ready? He has no less experience than Abe Lincoln did when he was elected president. Good for Hillary, and good for Obama. He will be a fine president.

    August 27, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  6. Mike P

    I for sure thought that these PUMAS would unite. I guess you really weren't there for the issues. Fake Democrats!

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. WakeUpAmerica

    Hillary did a superb job tonight – She was poise, confident, and I couldn't be more proud. However, it is a shame that many of her supporters are still missing the point. Yes, Hillary would have made a GREAT president ( I voted for her in the primaries), but the reality is – she will not be on the ticket. It hardens my heart to see that so many of her supporters and followers will sacrifice their children's future out of spite. WAKE UP AMERICA!!! Do the citizens of this nation want to continue to suffer from the continously declining unemployment rate and increasing gas prices? Are you that blind and selfish that you can not swallow your pride and do what's right for our country? I beg of you, take a moment and really consider the consequences of your action – why should the country have to suffer because of your spite. Many of Hillary's supporters are saying that Obama will have to win them over... Well – Will it win you over if he is not elected President and as a result you can't afford to send your children to college? Will it win you over when you lose your home and don't have anywhere to go? Will it win you over when you see your grandchildren suffering from our mistakes? You should want to continue Hillary's legacy – by not voting for Obama, you are only hurting yourself... Think about it!

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  8. Dale Newton

    Kahlil Gibran said that :

    "When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

    Hillary was a delight to watch and very effective in rousing the crowd with her powerful speech. Yet, in stark contrast to the warm heartfelt speech given by Michelle Obama, no one in the audience seemingly shed a single tear during Hillary's speech. Why not?

    The answer lies in the simple question that Hillary asked of her constiuents, "were you in this just for me or were you in this for the larger causes" ?

    Those who wept during Michelle's Obama's speech recognized the 'larger causes' that the Obama's stands for and how they have and were willing to forsake many things like a Wall Street career and pursue those causes and the values that they believe in.

    Even though there may still be some staunch Clinton supporters who have lingering sorrows and bitterness or feel angry and frustrated about the treatment that Hillary allegedly received by the DCN, the media, and the Obama campaign prior to the convention -

    Anyone who searches their heart will have to agree that Hillary's speech moved the Democratic party closer to being more unified than ever before because it forces them to recognize and accept those same common goals and values that both Barak and Hillary share and that is what makes the Democratic party so strong.

    Democrats Envision Living In Great Harmony Together –and delight in sharing their values with each other !!!

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  9. Ms. M. Outing

    Hillary delivered an excellent speed. All thou she put some of her own feeling into it, I know it must have been difficult for her. How ever it was a momentus speech to unify the Demecratic Part. I was very very disturbe that some at cnn to pick out this unscrubleless woman to say what she said. To make it seem like his own people does not want him for President and that is not true. We are smart people, and inventors of many thing you and I enjoy for every day living. I believe God is bring a change in America and to the whole wide world, through Barack Obama. May God help us to love and respect one another. And help make America and the world a better place to live.

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  10. Sergio

    The only thing I will say is..."She should have been our President."

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  11. Trish Hussien - PA

    All around the country, idiots and morons alike still vow to vote for McCain because Hillary lost. it's like a really bad B movie, isn't it? For crying out loud, people. What more do you want??? If you think the woman is so great, why don't you listen to her and vote democratic in November? I guess you really don't have as much respect for her as you say. Otherwise, you would quit whining. Didn't someone in the McCain camp call us a nation of Whiners? I guess he was talking about all of you Puma people and disgruntled Clinton supporters. I guess that's why you all want to vote for him. Caus he can relate to you.

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  12. Jack from Freedom USA

    Hillary's speech was great and despite what McCain #1 thinks – we will finally have a leader in the White House named President Barack Obama.

    Eight years of lies, deceptions, grand thief are enough, yes I remember the 90's with fondness, no more Bush/McCain!

    August 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  13. Dan Pape

    What is wrong with you strange people who say "no Hilary, hello McCain"? Are you just stupid or do you realize that McCain will put the necessary heads on the supremem court to rule against legalized abortion. Plus McCain will certainly start another war as he has already said he would bomb Iran and has begun to threaten Russia. Does the guy relaize THAT ARE MILITARY IS ALREADY A LITLLE BUSY? What a mistake McCain would be... Although most of you who supprt McCain propbably voted for the worst president EVER. No need to introduce you to GWB.

    August 27, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  14. NewVoter


    I know your love for Obama is never ending. But I am not gonna change my mind just because of a speech or 2 (prepared). I have a certain opinion about both Barack and Michelle and that is not gonna change. Certainly not because of a speech that is just acting. My opinions about them formed over the last 18 months.

    I would have loved to vote for Hillary but now it will go to Mccain.

    God Bless America

    August 27, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  15. judyco

    Hillary was magnificent tonight. This is what her supporters have always seen in her. It's true – it is a bad night for the Hillary haters – Chuck Todd in particular. David Schuster, etc. you all know who they are. Good job Hillary – we haven't seen the last of you thank God!

    August 27, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  16. Chris in Va.

    What's wrong Repub's ? Can't disguise yourself as the PUMA crowd anymore? -Pathetic Republican losers.

    August 27, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. MJ

    Sure, she delivered a speech: "Tonight's speech was written by Lissa Muscatine, Jim Kennedy and chief speechwriter Jon Lovett, working closely with long-time Clinton advisors Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills."

    August 27, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  18. tsKY

    It sounded cleverly tongue-in-cheek support for BHO...........

    August 27, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  19. Devron Averett

    Senator Clinton's speech was superb in tone and substance. There will be those story-hungry media and Republican rabble-rousers who seek and highlight a few individuals willing to express disappointment. Such unbalanced reporting is unrepresentative of Senator Clinton's posture, denies the expressed opinion of Michelle Obama and others in the Obama campaign, and is a disservice to accurate reporting of substantive issues. Of course we cherish her achievement, but her support of Barack Obama to achive progress for our great nation on shared issues is true to Senator Clinton's core values. Hillary Clinton gave a great speech pointing out why the USA needs Barack Obama as its next president, and why she supports him.

    August 27, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  20. texas democrat

    great speech hillary and thank you! obama/biden/08

    August 27, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  21. Erik / Iowa

    If she would have given that speech earlier in the year, she'd be the Democrat nominee. It's time to put away our self centered ways and unite the party.

    August 27, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  22. Susie L Beasley

    After reading the response from David Gergen on Hillary's DNC speech and the comments from across the USA and Canada, I can truthfully state that WE STILL have a uneducated electorate out there For "a Clinton supporter" to even convey that voting for John McCain will be the best action for them to take is absolutely silly silly silly. Why? Because the Right-wing armpit, of the Republican Party has RAN our country in the GROUND. Reality check, John McCain is there in the armpit with Bush. Do just a little bit of research–McCain has flipped.

    He is being handled by lobbyists and operatives of gutted companies(ENRON-Phil Graham) and then McCain has the gall to say that he is traveling on the "Straight Talk" Express. Isn't it interesting that the media who gingerly had a lovefest with Mccain for so so long has been shut out, Because some of his new handlers see McCain as someone that really CANNOT "Straight TALK"....his talk is somewhat CROOKED.
    By the way, if our nation is doing so GREAT , why is the US borrowing money from China(Communist Nation) to pay for the Iraq War? I owe I owe so off to a war I go...
    Come On, people. Get a CLUE. REALITY CHECK.-101
    Deficit? Good Surplus? Bad YOU BE the JUDGE.

    Natural Born Citizen

    August 27, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  23. Lisa

    What I dont understand is. Why are Hillary supporters already dissing Obama? He hasnt even made his speech. dang, this is what irks most of us. You are so quick to criticize while also claiming to be part of a process. Please, give us all a break. We all know you wanted Hillary. Well, a lot of us wanted Obama too. you have to understand our resolve as well. @-]–

    August 27, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  24. George

    Hillary is going to be remember for this night, she sure be the Vp and not Biden, Obama is thinking right now that he made a huge mistake about that, but lets get united and vote for Obama, so that way if he doesn't win , he has not blame anybody but himself for don't pick Hillary Clinton as his VP ,
    Go Obama and Hillary God Bless you you are brilliant

    August 27, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  25. Kay from Illinois

    Hillary certainly did her supporters proud. Now it is up to Barack to convince us that he can and will do what her (no longer necessarily mine) party says it stands for. Hillary was very poorly treated by the DNC. I did not interpret their actions as democracy in action and there is a tremendous flaw in the system when party members feel this way. I still feel Obama was forced on us and now the pressure , and I mean REAL pressure, is on him to convince us that he deserves our support.

    August 27, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
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