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. Patty C., Austin, TX

    The speach was great, but....she should have been the candidate running against McCain. Clinton showed her suave, kick-me-when-I'm-down-but-I'll-get-up-again, tough political resolve. She spoke with a stiff upper lip, but still made her political points just as she did during her campaign. In my opinion, the Republicans pulled off the biggest political misdirection since George Bush stole the election from Al Gore in 2000, and since Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld began the Iraq War by manipulating the country's grief from the September 11,2001 tragedy. We've been duped again. It's pretty obvious to me that the biggest political opponent to the Republican party was Hillary Clinton. So what did the Republican's do? The oldest trick in the book. They secretly backed the horse with the least experience and the least chance of beating their party candidate. Barack received support, alright! It was from the Republican party who secretly made sure that this man raised more money, and bombarded more emails and internet video ads than any other Democratic candidate. All of this to one end: get rid of the best chance the Democrats have to win the Presidency...Hillary Clinton. Clinton's speach showcased her political saavy and skill more than any other time in her campaign, and convinces me more than ever that there was something amiss about Obama's campaign. And the stench of Carl Rove and dirty Republican tactics are still at work to manipulate Democrats yet again to win in November. The sad part is that it seems to be working. And as a life-long Democrat, I'm afraid of a future with either candidate. But as a life-long Democrat, I have to support my party and back the lesser of two evils. I'm not happy about it, but I feel as if I have no choice. The problem is that even if Obama manages to win the Presidency, but fails miserably on executing his policies, it will set the stage for a Republican victory after a failed Democratic administration. What a nightmare. I feel helpless to stop any of it, and I already mourn the stolen elections from both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. Obama better be worth my vote because he certainly hasn't earned it yet.

    August 27, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  2. Nick FL

    There are 3 outcomes. Listen closely.

    1. Hillary supporters can vote for Barack Obama, and in return we will eventually vote for hillary Clinton.
    2. Hillary supporters can vote McCain, and they will lose their election in 2012 by a landslide. (ALL obama supporters will vote republican for what you selfish people did.) They will fail to see that a McCain win completely takes away the historic significance of what she has done. It's historic if her party wins. It's just a "memo" if Republicans win. It diminishes what her effect was.
    3. Hillary supporters can stay at home, and will live with the conscious of not participating in the greatest change election we have ever seen. Not to mention not voting for the party that elected the first black president, and the first major woman as presidential candidate.

    I am as ardent Obama supporter you will find. And part of the job to unify the party is on our shoulders. Instead of ridiculing Hillary's supporters, we should welcome them. We are ONE party. NO McCain. We need them.

    August 27, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  3. Nick FL

    one more thing. Obama will announce soon that Hillary will have a VERY HIGH place on the administration. Most likely Sec. Of State, or maybe even a supreme court nomination. But if McCain wins, you think he's appointing Hillary to ANYTHING? No. Please don't be puppets to this smear campaign. McCain is playing you like a fiddle. Take a stand with Hillary and say NO MCCAIN. Do you think he will give you anything if he wins? No. He will throw you in the trash and laugh at the fact he pulled an election out of nowhere. He will brag about how he fooled Hillary's supporters. He'll sit in that office and bask in his accomplishment, not giving any credit to you. You won't be remembered ever again by him, or anyone. (except Obama supporters...see above post.) We in the Obama camp. will fight for you, even if you refuse to fight for us.

    August 27, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  4. Joe

    Thank you so much Hillary! You were incredible tonight! I am an Obama supporter and always was, but now I have doubts about it-I am looking forward to the day when you are sworn in-if not 2012, I'm looking forward to 2016! YOU WERE PERFECT!!!!

    August 27, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  5. leo

    The democratic party's super delegates have said that they can not ignore the popular vote when obama had it and therefore, said that they can not vote against the popular vote and then when Hillary got the popular vote they just ignored it and said it's not about the popular vote it is about the delegate count...... well you know what democratic super delegates I will ignore you and my family and I will vote for McCain that’s 6 votes!

    CLINTON 2012!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  6. Brandon Hillary Puma4Mc

    Mc Cain 2008

    Hillary 2012

    I did vote for just Hillary. I voted for the better qualified candidate with a list of accomplishments not a candidate that no one can name his accomplishments.


    August 27, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  7. John G.


    I think Hillary Clinton delivered a fine speech and I have no doubt she meant what she said. It is true, however, that there was a lot un-said which must be factored in, as well. She did snot speak much of Obama, the man who would be president, other that to say, "for the good of the Party, he has my vote". She did not say *why* she feels he is worthy over John McCain. It was all about the Party, not the person... I'm not sure that was enough to convince some of the fence sitters.

    August 27, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  8. saba

    People in this blog are babies. What do you want her to do???
    She has done what she can to unite the party. I am sure all these iodiots are McCain fellowers.

    August 27, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  9. Stacey Leighton

    Senator Clinton is an AMAZING American. I am so proud to be a woman. Until this election I didn't really think there would be a female President in my Life tme. I am 39. I know now without a shadow of a doubt there will be. THANK YOU SENATOR CLINTON, from my 7year old daughter and myself. Thank you for being more than any other MALE nominee that came before you, I supported you until you ended your campain, but first and formost I am a democrat. I hope everyone sees that you are as well. I hope everyone knows that a vote for McCain or if they decide to stay home is a vote for more of the last 8years. Thank for putting America first. You truly showed tonight that we are ONE, We are UNITED, We are about the ISSUES, We are DEMOCRATS. A VOTE FOR OBAMA IS A VOTE FOR A BETTER AMERICA. NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN.

    August 27, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  10. Hillary Supporter Voting for Barack!!!!

    I'm clueless to why some Hilary Supporters are turning to John McCain. Do they think that if they vote for McCain, Hillary will be president? Let's get over it, move on. She lost. Ok she'll run again. I'm sad also that she didn't make it. But that's life and that's politics.

    Please tell me why? Why are you voting for McCain so-called Hillary supporters?
    To make a point? What are you trying to prove? Prove that Barack can't make it without your vote?

    Please tell me who does your vote for McCain hurt... Obama? Obama will except his defeat and continue what he did prior to running for president. But, I want to remind you exactly who you're hurting and punishing in your process to make your point PUMA'S....

    You're punishing those families that are living paycheck to paycheck to get by because their spouse was laid off from a company that moved overseas.

    You're punishing those people who have used up all their savings to send their children to college to make sure that tomorrow they'll have food on the table.

    You're punishing our military members who are suffering coming home from the Iraq war with injuries, broken homes from the 4th and 5th tour of duty. Leaving their child as a newborn and not being able to watch their child take that first step, say their first words. These same men and women who sacrificed their lives in a war that was based on lies.

    You're punishing those same americans that have to live in homeless shelters because they can't find a job to support their families.

    These are the people you are hurting.

    So when your sitting at home on election day or you're going to the polls to vote for McCain, I hope you reflect on what America is right now. A war that was based on lies and could last another 100 years if McCain becomes president.

    PUMA members, I hope you're one of these families that can't afford to send your child to college because you wanted to make a point. Make your point and do what you need to do to get McCain in the White House. But just remember, you didn't punish just Obama, you punish us TRUE Americans that believe in CHANGE.

    August 27, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  11. Raymond

    Well, I wished I could believe that Mrs. Clinton honestly felt and meant all she said to the effect it is not, and never was, just about her but the country.

    History has shown that to be not the case however. It was, is, and will be all about power and influence. That is just the Clintons and it is what it is.

    She lost. Voters didn't buy her agendas. The past months have shown, and continue to show, the "sore loser" mentality. All the speeches in the world don't change that. Her party was not first, her country was not first. She was first and wanted to be first foremost.

    I am utterly astonished anybody with any common sense at all can't see through all that.

    August 27, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  12. Dharmendra Rai

    I am Obama supporter but always carefully listened Hillary’s speeches; this was her best so far, but better ones are on the way. She has found her real voice and charisma; as on of her supporter said, it was absolutely presidential. Today she proved that she can make the right choice and provide the leadership that one needs to claim the Whitehouse. I hope to see her there in 2016.

    August 27, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  13. dno

    Hillary made a good case for her policies. Not that I agree with them, but she made her case for the programs and the concepts she believes ought to be supported by the Democrat party. She didn't indicate that Barak Obama would support those policies and she didn't convincingly argue that her proponents should throw their support to Obama.

    I think that women, successful women who are striving entrepreneurs and executives, will see Obama's policies...
    – higher income taxes (personal and business)
    – government mandated energy regulations
    – mandated marketing (both sides of the cash register) of alternative fuel cars
    – refusal to tap American owned fuel reserves
    – lack of confidence in nuclear power
    – mandated coverage of employees by employers (small business)
    ... and other, similar objectives, as highly detrimental to the economy in general. His lack of experience, his unrealistic theories regarding world economies and his socialist thinking will drive this country's economy into the ditch.

    The comments in here indicate the authors may be experiencing a bit of "buyer's remorse" in their selection of Obama as their standard bearer. I think the party's choice was more emotional than thoughtful and the election will likely be lost because of this decision.

    August 27, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  14. lynne burke

    I certainly did not see a 'smug' look on Mrs. Obama's face; I did see, however, apprehension on her face when Mrs. Clinton started to talk and consequently saw that apprehension disappear as Mrs. Clinton gave that magnificent speech.

    August 27, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  15. Peachy Keen

    I was hoping that Hillary would say something about the fact all McCain can talk about is war, war, war. He has said in the past "I know how to win a war!" How could he possibly be so sure. The only war he has been involved in is the only war this country lost.

    Get a life.

    August 27, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  16. Marcia

    Sorry Hill, your just a day late and a dollar short, where were you 2004? Bush needed taken out of office then, before we were all losing our jobs, houses, etc... etc... etc... If you would have ran then you would be getting ready for your second term. Your time to shine was in 2004. You missed the boat, left us all broke. And now you have been left twisting in the. Doesn't feel very good, does it?

    GO OBAMA 2008!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  17. Kara

    If you truly did your research the differences between Obama and Hillary (and btw, why do we call Hillary "Hillary" and Obama by his last name – food for thought) on the majority of the issues were miniscule and if you vote based on the issues, you will vote for Obama. To do otherwise, just shows you never really believed in your cause and were merely following hype. Hillary hit the nail on the head – This is about the issues and our country and our economy are in crisis and we need out. Our economy is "fundamentally strong," really? That is why I supported Hillary and why I support Obama now.

    (McCain#1: Go back to 1950, thank you for proving once again, why we need a democrat in office)

    August 27, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  18. Sam Joshi

    This is the exact kind of crap that would make us democrats lose our election- talking about what the clintons did or didnt do enough of, what obama thinks of hillary and more nonsense. the more you talk about this subject the more divided we get. the fact is when hillary spoke EVERY person that was at the dnc got fired up and cheered her on whenever she said obama.

    hillary had 18 Million supporters she's being an amazing team player about this and jumped on obamas campaign the day after she ended hers.

    the only reason hillary gets so much attention is because the media tries to get more coverage by trying to find faults in the democratic party that really dont exist.

    August 27, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  19. How about the Obama AND Hillary Supporters?

    She was great. Much respect. It is time. Four more months.

    August 27, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  20. Suzanne

    You hit it way out of the ball park Hillary!! A truly inspiring speech. I was sitting on the fence thinking of doing a write in for you but now I will vote Obama!!

    August 27, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  21. John in VA

    Excellent speech....just makes me wonder. Are people in it for Obama, or are they in it for the cause?

    August 27, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  22. gina

    Obama knew he could have had the Presidency handed to him if he chose Hillary for VP, but he couldn't get over his hurt feelings. What does that say about Obama? He doesn't get to tell others to "get over it".

    August 27, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  23. MIG

    Excellent speech by Hillary. No way, no how, no McBush. Vote for the issues. McCain is not fighting for the interests of the people. Do we really want 4 more years of the last 8 years?


    August 27, 2008 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  24. DB

    As an Obama supporter, I've been extremely bitter for the last 3 or 4 months- over what I've perceived as desperate "down and dirty" tactics by the Hillary campaign.


    Before, I honestly couldn't stand that woman, because of the division I saw her bringing to the Democratic party.
    But tonight- I honestly would've loved to give her a big hug and say "THANK YOU"....
    To put action to my newfound fuzzy feelings- I will also donate 25.00 right now to help pay off her debt.
    Please Join me if you feel it....

    August 27, 2008 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  25. kaleb from toronto

    David, you said it again. There's a reason you've been an adviser to so many presidents.

    August 27, 2008 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
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