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. An Obedient Supporter

    Ok, I will VOTE Barack Obama as my president come November because Hillary asked me to do it.

    August 27, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  2. American_Fool (Ex-Republican)

    There are still many incredibly ignorant Hillary supporters claiming that Obama has no substance, no experience. Obama was a community organizer for three years, and helped force city renovations to dangerous buildings, and build after-school programs for at-risk youth. He was chosen to lead the Harvard Law Review, and successfully integrated many viewpoints while publishing strong editions of the review. He single-handedly drove through the most meaningful campaign ethics reform in Illinois of the past 25 years. He built trust with the police to gain their support on police reforms that protect all of our rights. He's an expert on Constitutional Law. In his 2 short years in the Senate, he has sponsored and enacted major legislation at roughly the same rate as Clinton and McCain (and the first years are the hardest.) Republican foreign policy (otherwise known as flailing at ancient ghosts) is more and more following the direction Obama laid out over the past couple of years. Obama is more than qualified, and only willful ignorance or malice could suggest otherwise. Obama not only has detailed policy proposals, if you make less than $118K per year you'll save $900 per year under those same proposals, vs $200 under McCain's proposals, regardless of right-wing fear-based advertising. McCain doesn't even have a Health Care policy... he's willing to just watch our 12% uninsured figure (1999) grow to 16% (2007) and just keep on rolling. McCain doesn't even know what he's for – he contradicts his own policy positions all the time while on the campaign trail. I don't mind an informed vote for McCain. There simply aren't many. It's the uninformed voters that keep him in the race. This election is about throwing off the shackles of fear and doubt, and grasping at opportunity. That's how the American Dream has always been won. Obama Biden 2008.

    August 27, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  3. From California

    She should have been the democrat nominee and not that big loser Obama! DNC really blew it this time.

    August 27, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  4. Proud to be an American and a Democrat

    So, so proud of my party tonight!! The message could not have been any clearer...if you support what Hillary stands for then you must support the party candidate....Barack Obama. If you do anything else you were never a true Hillary supporter or Democrat...period!!!

    August 27, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  5. Brian

    As ALWAYS, Hillary was AWESOME!!!!!
    What a waste not to have her as the Pres. candidate or even the V.P. candidate....but as she requested and reminded us tonight.....
    I'll support Obama too, now.

    August 27, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  6. druid

    I like the speech however from the introduction of her looks to me like she was the nominee. It is hard for me to believe what she says. Knowing she was not going to win the nomination she kept going on for no reason and gave the republican armination due to her campaign speech. She is doing all she could however, one, trying to fight for her own political career and two, come out and say she endorse Obama. The damage is already done. Let us see what happen as time goes on. As for Hillary supporters Hillary the commentator in CNN said it best. When she said Hillary tell her supporters I'm not your therapist let us unit. That was well said by her.

    August 27, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  7. Hillary 2012

    Obama is just using Hillary

    Hillary will always be my president!

    McCain 08

    Hillary 2012

    August 27, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  8. Shanee Garner

    As an Obama Supporter I commend Hillary–great job! Just made a donation to her campaign.

    Let's get out there and win

    Obama/Biden 08
    Hillary as secretary of defense

    August 27, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  9. Rigo from Mesa

    To all the PUMA members out there. You are not Democrats. If you were, you would be supporting Obama after Hillary gave her speech. She's supporting him, why not you? If you were a real democrat , then you should vote democrat. Not for McSane. I should I live in Arizona and he has not done nothing for us.


    August 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  10. Wanda an Obama Supporter from MO

    Now if Hillary supporters after her great speech is still pouting over Hillary's loss and will vote for McCain, then they were supporting Clinton for the wrong reasons to begin with. I did love how Clinton presented those questions to her supporters and anybody else who were sitting on the sidelines. Were you in it for her or for the issues? Now that was the 64K question. Ok Hillary supporters, which one was it? I am enjoying this season for sure. Proud to be a Democrat in 2008. I wouldn't have it no other way. And Hill supporters, it would be a slap in Hillary's face and a sinful shame if you would dare cast a vote for McCain in which you have nothing in common than for the Democratic ticket in which you have much in common.

    August 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  11. Ray M.

    This is Hillary's "best?"

    Me, me, me, me, me, me...and if you like that, I guess vote for Obama?

    Let's be honest – it's in Hillary's interests to have Obama lose and she is already working on her 2012 campaign.

    August 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  12. Louise

    She is fantastic and she was my choice for President, but I think she would make an excellent Supreme Court justice., or Obama has so many places he could use her effectively.

    August 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. Geri

    You Obama supporters just can not let go of your nastiness. It was an excellent speech and she did ask her supporters to vote for Obama. If they don't it's not her fault. A lot of people just plain don't care for him. When the camera panned to Michelle Obama she had that mean, disgusted look on her face. Jaw jutting out and no smile or anything. I did notice last night that she needs to get rid of some of the excess on her behind.

    August 27, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  14. johnymavrik5

    To all Hillary supporters. She gave a great speech. She was believable and gracious in her support for Obama and she's right about the Dems needing to unify against McCain. She's a formidable woman with the qualities to be a great leader and millions supported her. But, as great as she is, she's not the nominee and this is not her time. I hope those Hillary supporters who are thinking about voting for McCain or sitting this one out out of spite remember that millions supported Obama too. In the beginning, this contest was hers to lose, and she did. He didn't do anything personally to Hillary, he just won. And as far as experience, NONE of these candidates have any being President or even the leader of a large organization. Being a part of a governing body is not the same as being a single head or leader like a CEO or a Governor of a state. For Obama and the Dems to win, he is going to NEED your Hillary votes and a unified Dem party. Now, we know that Hillary wants to be President and if things go right, she'll probably get a VERY good chance in a few years, but just remember, Obama has millions supporting him, too. And when its Hillary's turn at bat, she's going to NEED those who support Obama, to help her make history. GO Obama!, GO Hillary!, GO Democrats 08!!!

    August 27, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  15. Ronda

    The Hillary supporter that was interviewed after Hillary's speech says it all. She answered the question with regard to where the Hillary supporters stand, the problem is it isn't what the "Best Political Team" wanted to hear. SHE ANSWERED THE QUESTION.

    Here is a BLACK WOMAN that stated that she would be voting for Hillary as she was there as a Hillary Delegate. She also stated that while she wouldn't be voting for John McCain, she made it clear that Obama had 2 months to prove himself to her or and that he deserves her vote or for the first time in her life, she might do something that since the ge of 18 she has never done and that is not vote at all.

    She represents both ends of the Democratic spectrum. She's an African-American Woman and she isn't going to vote for Obama just because his skin color is black and that he was the Democratic Nominee.

    August 27, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  16. Dick

    You so called PUMAs just don't get it. You don't.

    You will be a little baby because you didn't get your way, and as a result, you will hand the election over to John McCain. You will ensure 4 more years of Bush, and for what? Revenge? You're going to be MIGHTY quiet at the dinner table during the holidays when everyone is moaning and complaining about how McCain hasn't changed a single thing, and we'll have YOU to thank. Hillary has guided you on who to vote for, and still, you'll vote McCain. You're all idiots.

    August 27, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  17. Monica, Texas

    Tonight clearly showed that Hillary lost not because of her ability however because of two reasons:
    1. Mark Penn
    2. Bill Clinton

    August 27, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  18. w. reyes

    The democrats, especially the clinton supporters who are undecided about obama's capacities as a presidential timber, should remember the saying: "your loyalty to your party ends where your loyalty to your country begins!" if the clinton supporters, up to now, have not seen any reason for voting for obama because of his lack of experience and they are leaning towards McCain because of his experience and stature and beliefs...then, i think, they should not let the party stand influence their decision on who to vote for; after all, the party was not fair to the clintons and their supportes anyway during the primaries!
    so, to the clinton supporters, let your conscience decide..if you're leaning for McCain, then vote for McCain! after all, it's your country that you are safeguarding, not your party's interests!

    August 27, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  19. Clinton Supporter for Obama

    As a NY resident who has voted for Hillary into senate, I can guarantee you that had she won the nomination, John McCain and the Republicans would have tried to smear her into the ground. They would bring up scandals from the nineties and try to discredit her. They would do whatever possible to chew her up and spit her out. I had to deal with a lot of these Republicans who hated her, and I mean HATE her b/c she is smart and outspoken. Voting for John McCain only shows that you support the people who have tried to destroy the Clintons. Additionally, McCain has a bad record on women's issues. Be smart, be informed, and remember that this is election is greater than our petiness during the primaries. I am a Hillary Supporter and I WILL VOTE OBAMA!!!

    CNN post this!!

    August 27, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  20. DANerica

    All of the Hillary supporters who are going to vote for McCain should go and join the US Army since you're willing to put a pro-war candidate in office. It is only fair that you put some skin in the game and learn to fire an M-16 and dodge mortars. My wife is a USAF officer and has served 3 tours. I am voting for Obama because his platform reflects what I care about, which is ending this war. If Hillary was nominated I would vote for her because her platform reflects what I care about. I am not going to cast a protest vote and put McCain into power and watch him continue to sacrifice the lives of our military just because my feelings are hurt.

    August 27, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  21. Marcia

    Thanks for being honest, Mr. Gergen, rather than trying to spin the event to support your candidate as Castellanos did. Hillary got it right, even though you don't know it: The future of America, the future of democracy as we know it, of freedom in America, of our beloved Constitution, hangs in the balance. The continuation of the failed policies of the Bush years that a McCain presidency would represent would be the death blow. Four more years and we'd be no better than China.

    August 27, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  22. stephanie

    You saw the person that should have been accepting the nomination..gracious as ever, poised, smart – with limitless information at the tip of her tongue, tough. Tough enough to handle McCain, ready for the fight. Hillary did MORE than she was SUPPOSED to do. Now it's up to Obama to bring her supporters on board...He already made it more difficult by dissing her for VP...but the reality is HE needs her and her supporters NOW.

    I watched her and thought again..Obama is just not ready. he needed time to toughen, to season, to build more than build a bridge to reality. As Carville said, Hillary set the table, now people will decide if the like the what's being served. Obama has a tough game to match...he can talk lofty ideals, and hope hope hope. Bu the needs to spread th elove, come down to earth, and reach out..
    If he loses..he only has himself to blame.

    August 27, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  23. Kelley

    And what the heck would have been wrong with her name being on the roll call and a good, old-fashioned duking-it-out on the convention floor like we used to have, back in the good old days when politics was politics and not some orchestrated, politically correct show?

    August 27, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  24. Heather

    Hillary's speech was typical of what I would expect from her.It was incredible! She covered every subject,everyone and every issue.The intro brought tears to my eyes. Her speech shows she has the experience needed to be Pres.I was watching Suzanne Malveaux interview that Clinton delegate.I completely feel the same way.She is not alone! I have decided that I have to stick with my principles and will write in Hillary on my absontee ballot in Nov.I can't vote for someone who I do not identify with at all.Sorry Oprah,Obama is not one of my favorite things! Experience matters.Especially in the White House.Hillary didn't get to participate in certain discussions,but I'm sure Pres Clinton would talk to her and share what was happening.She has traveled the nation and the globe.The Obama's don't understand how the world works.They seem to lack the concept of foreign affairs.Hillary is it.Her speech was not only about her but about all of us.I know Hillary,the good and the bad.I know what to expect with her.Her speech was a reminder of the fact that a moderate Dem does exist,Hillary.I can't identify with Obama who wants to meet with dictators and Iranian terrorists who are head of state.

    August 27, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  25. BooBots

    Hillary is about Hillary. She was required to support the Democratic nominee, but all the rousing histrionics was about HER historic brilliance, with Obama tacked on at the end of each Hillary "greatness." Can you see now why Obama didn't want Hillary in the White House with him? Who would? She wouldn't be subordinate to him, she would usurp him. You'd have THREE presidents, and the other two, Bill and Hillary, would outnumber him, two-to one. Obama was smart to choose to win without her. By the way, the reports that Bill will not attend Obama's speech show you the reality of the Clintons. What is it about "they lost" that they don't understand.

    August 27, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
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