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. Juan Carlos

    Hillary '12

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  2. carl

    Hillary touched my heart . she is so loved. an i will now be voting for obama. she has just chaged my mine. i was not going to vote this fall. but now i will vote for obama.

    go obama 2008. we will always love hillary.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  3. Mun

    Very nicely done speech. Democrats should all unite under Obama and work together to make the change for brighter future.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. lms

    Very interesting speech by Sen. Clinton I noticed she only mentioned Obama's name 11 or 12 times, and the speech was about her and her accomplishments. Hillary wants Obama to lose, so she can make a run, and a more calculated one at that, for president in four years.

    She is smart. She is running. And she was less than generous to Obama.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. MK

    Michelle Obama has a lot to learn from Hillary Clinton tonight. If she could be a lot less angry, a lot more humble, she might some day grow up to be as accomplished as Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, stop blaming others for her own failures. The fact that a person as mediocre as she is could even attend Princeton is already a blessing or a stroke of luck or simply affirmative action at play. She should learn to open her eyes and admit that a lot of people, many of them white, are simply better than her.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  6. Cal Dipkin

    Mr. Gergen,

    She did what she had to do for her political future.

    Having said that; I think the speech will be well received; and,

    will hopefully unite all the un-decided voters to vote Democratic.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. sety

    Excellent speech. Please, democrates let us unite and vote Senator Obama for president.

    Obama '08

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  8. Connor in NY

    Hillary Clinton is a true inspiration, the most amazing presidential candidate of my lifetime. I am deeply honored to stand beside her in throwing my full support behind Senator Obama in his bid for the presidency.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. deidre

    It was exactly the right question. Right now keep on going. One day, she will be our Commander in Chief!

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  10. Alex, Omaha NE

    I think Hillary did exactly what the gameplan asked for. I also think her 'calling out' her supporters by saying "did you vote just for me or for the woman with cancer" was a masterful touch. It's obvious that many of the supporters who are saying they won't vote for Obama because Hillary didn't win (or get a VP nod) DID only vote for Hillary – and not the issues.

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  11. Luke

    Hillary Clinton......I will vote Obama for you and my country.
    God Bless.....You have changed my mind

    August 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. BuyersRemorseConvention

    HILLARY! Buyers Remorse Convention. We will see you in 2012! Fantabulous Speech! We Love You Hillary!

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  13. Brett Dahlin

    I have to disagree with the opinion's that Hillary Clinton did a excellent job when speaking her speech tonight at the DNC. She did not say that she thinks that Obama is experience to be President, which she needed to do. She spoke of herself, mentioned what she would do" A B and C" and then spoke of Obama. She did not speak with such enthusiasm about Obama,only mentioning him 10 or so times. I feel it could have been any Democrat she was talking about. She mention Obama not with pashion, but it seem because she had to. I agree this is one of her best political speeches she has done for herself, not for Obama. She is great at what she does, and I think it made it feel like she should had been the Vp on the ticket

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  14. Michelle

    Eloquence personified–that's what Hillary was tonight! We haven't seen the last of her. Her powerful spirit will resonate positively during the campaign, and beyond.

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  15. Danny in Chicago

    We are united – just as they said we would be. Now lets go out and take the republicans down. This is way too important. We must bring change to America. Think about the people before us, and think about where we can be. This is about America people. Think about it – AMERICA!!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  16. LT for Obama

    What is scary is that so many were in it for her and are still in it only for her. I hope they start to digest her words and really understand the damage to this country if they don't let go of the bitterness and vote democrat in November.

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. Toni

    Wonderful speech Hillary! I had tears in my eyes the entire time. I have so much respect for you and I believe that you are such a great role model for women and children all around the world. Your spirit and wiliness to keep pressing forward have inspired me in every aspect of my life.

    Though you asked that we support Obama for president I cannot. It is still unclear whom he is and what he stands for. I am still waiting to hear something of substance from him. The presidential race is not a popularity contest but one based electing someone who is qualified, has the vision, knowledge of the issues, and policy to back it up. I will vote for McCain. He is qualified and at least I know where he stands. Whoever is in the white house needs to be held accountable by all Americans. Your speech did not just speak to only democrats but also to republicans and independents in America who need to hold politicians accountable to their needs. The issued you discuss are concerns for ALL Americans.

    My four year old daughter loves you and told everyone they should vote for you. She is just as disappointed as I am that you are not the nominee. She stayed up late to watch and cheer you. You made all of us proud and we are further saddened today knowing you are not the presidential nominee.

    See you in 2012!

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. Ken

    If she had spoken this way throughout the entire campaign, not concerned with pandering to one group or another, I have no doubt that she would be the nominee today. Here's the lesson: always show who you are and what your intentions may be. If enough people believe in you and your message, you will get elected. The only "expert" I would ever trust to run my campaign is Carville. Hillary, if you go for this ever again, pick people who know you, not people who want to transform you.

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  19. Earl, Manchester, Wa

    Senator Clintons speach only proves that the wrong Senator is about to be nominated as the parties candidate.

    Senator Obama lacks any objective qualifications and with his selection of Senator Biden as Veep can only mean that the country will have another president on training wheels for the next 4 years.

    How Sad!

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Franky

    Well......well. What do we have here, huh? Arguably Hillary's biggest speech of her career. But let's face it, my boy has to come through, is no secret. But this is what I like...

    I'm gonna be honest with you but I just don't plain like her. Trust me, I could find something in that speech and make her look bad, LOL!! Ohh and by the way, tell that ardent Hillary supporter that is O.K. Why?? Because sometimes dreams just don't come true and guess what? The Cubs have been living it for 100 years...if they can last, so can you!

    I'm just gonna be honest with you, I just don't like them. And you're right, she did good but guess what? I just don't plain like her, that's all....I don't feel like talking about it...

    Have a good evening guys...

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. barbara

    Sorry, but all you have to do is look at the stupid look on Clinton's face and you know she is not telling the truth and it is all over her face in the pictures. She has never looked this wide-eyed stupid, ever and this phony in any of her previous pictures. She was lying through her teeth and everyone knows it.

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. Thebat

    I can only hope that we're now free of any more commentary and, more accurately whining, by Caraville, Begala et al.

    This has been an intelligently choreographed conventions to this point. Michelle told a great story and left the politics out.

    Today, the speeches became increasingly tough as the day and night went on. No doubt that there was an unbroken chain of indictments of MCain and the current administration. Warner may have been the "keynote" but he was juas a warm-up act.

    I was not a Hillary fan but she was great tonight. She told it the way it needed to be told.

    No more, no way, no McCain.

    Go Democrats, 08 and onward.

    August 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  23. leon

    The speech only shows that
    1) A mistake that she is not the nominee
    2) A mistake that she is not the VP nominee
    3) She is only human and Obama is still God
    4) Mccain 2008 and Hilary 2012

    August 26, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. David

    David, I always value your perspective. Please consider this:
    I think the CNN team has missed a major aspect of Hillary Clinton's speech tonight. While she said "what she had to say, " and gave an absolutely tremendous speech, she said nothing positive about Barak Obama himself, or why one should vote for him, for any reason other than that he is the Democratic nominee and shares/champions democratic values. I am a democrat, but find it disturbing that the republicans had to point this out– and then one after another of the "best team" (including John King and Anderson Cooper) proceeded to not only ignore this subtle yet obvious point, but they actually rebutted it (making it seem as if it were just a republican ploy). This makes me very concerned about using CNN for analysis from now on. It also does a disservice to the democrats when such a glaring element of the story is not only ignored, but suppressed. Sure this was a major, wonderful speech supporting the democratic cause, and it once again highlighted Hillary's tremendous strengths (as it was probably intended to do) but the subtext and omissions (which one does not have to be a psychologist to understand) are key here.

    August 26, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  25. David

    Is CNN trying to emulate Fox News?

    Why did CNN air free McCain ads?

    Why did CNN air that so-called 'fake' delegate after the Hillary speech, garbling stupid sentence after sentence.

    Why did Wolf Blitzer read on air the McCain campaign's fake response?

    Shame on CNN.

    August 26, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
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