Hillary The Unifier
Clinton rallies most Democrats behind Obama . . . but some Clinton supporters are not so sure
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): And whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose.
PEPE ESCOBAR, SENIOR ANALYST: Hillary Clinton finally closed the number-one drama at the Dem convention in Denver. Ted Kennedy had passed the torch from the Kennedys to Obama; now Hillary has passed the torch from Bill Clinton to Obama. This is now the post-Clinton Democratic galaxy.
CLINTON: Let’s elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country.
ESCOBAR: It took three Hillary speech writers stressing economic justice in Middle America to supposedly bring to a closure a fierce fight among the elite of the Democratic Party and unleash a unified push against a clear and present danger, which is John McCain.
CLINTON: No way, no how, no McCain.
ESCOBAR: But is the party really united? Will Obama get the full Democratic vote? And how much CNN—not that one in the back, but the Clinton News Network—is still shaping the whole narrative. The Clinton camp had been saying that Obama had, I quote, no interest in Hillary as VP, and they had, I quote, no meetings. What The Real News has learned is that they had only one face-to-face meeting, at the house of California representative Dianne Feinstein, just the three of them—Hillary, Obama, and Feinstein. And Obama bluntly told Hillary she would not be considered to be part of the ticket.
KATHERINE VINCENT, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I was a little disappointed myself that he didn’t consider her.
ALAN CLENDENIN, FLORIDA DELEGATE: Well, I’m disappointed, because, of course, I would have liked to have seen her on the ticket. But he is going to run to be president of the United States. He’s going to be the nominee. That’s his decision to make, and I respect his decision.
PAMELA BATES, NEW YORK DELEGATE: I felt that she should have been the vice president. I mean, and I’m not by myself with that.
ESCOBAR: A new Rasmussen poll shows that 47 percent of Democrat women, they still think that the party would only be unified with Hillary as Obama’s vice president. According to Clinton insiders, the couple still has doubts about Obama’s electability. They don’t think he’s qualified enough for the job. And then their intimations of mortality—how does it feel to be a conventional political couple in their 60s overshadowed by a young, magnetic, global celebrity? Powerful Clinton supporters and many among the 18 million Hillary voters, they’re still angry that Obama did very little to reach out to the Clintons.
VINCENT: I think at times he was dismissive of her in some ways. You know, I don’t know if that’s what he intended, but a lot of women interpreted it that way.
ESCOBAR: There was no high-profile statement rejecting the notion that Bill Clinton played the race card, and Obama never showed he needed to learn anything from Bill Clinton. Nonetheless, Hillary organized a very complex Denver operation to make sure no supporters staged a revolt against Obama.
ELIZABETH FICHTER, FOUNDER, 18 MILLION VOICES RISE HILLARY RISE: I think that there’s been some question that maybe he doesn’t have as much experience as she has, obviously. And I need to get to know him a little bit more, and I need to get to know that he’s going to take the issues that I hold dear, women’s rights issues, very, very seriously.
RUBY GILLIAN, OHIO DELEGATE: I was on a conference call with her as a delegate, and I know Hillary Clinton, so I know she’s a stateswoman—she will do the right thing. And then this conference call, she urged all of the high delegates, when we got to the convention, to support Barack Obama, that she had just come back from New Mexico, campaigning for him.
ESCOBAR: After days involved in a very nasty guerrilla war, the Obama and Clinton camps, they finally made a deal. There won’t be blood on the floor.
ESCOBAR: You were a Hillary supporter, and now you support Obama. Why?
BATES: Well, Hillary is from New York. I’m from New York. I’ve worked with her. I know her. She approached disability before disability was popular.
CLINTON: And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he’ll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, we did it before with President Clinton and the Democrats.
BATES: Now that she’s not in the running, this is the second-best person. But I’m all in his corner now.
ESCOBAR: So it’s been a tightrope act. Hillary had to honor her passionate supporters without setting them on fire, while selling Obama to at least 50 percent of her voters who are still undecided.
FICHTER: We have achieved history. We have had the first black candidate. We have had the first woman candidate. We have two strong candidates that have moved women’s rights, minority rights, human rights to a new plane. And this whole entire party should be dancing in the streets.
CLENDENIN: As a delegate—I’m a pledged delegate—I will cast my vote for Hillary Clinton. But come Friday, when Senator Obama stands on the podium and accepts the nomination of this party, I will compare Senator Obama with Senator McCain and realize, just like the rest of the American public, there’s no comparison.
ESCOBAR: Do you see the Democratic Party as united, as of today?
VINCENT: No, I don’t. I’m sorry. I don’t see them as united.
ESCOBAR: Will you vote for Obama?
WILLIAM D. MARTINEZ, CLINTON SUPPORTER: No, I will not. [subtitled translation] I am a chicano and I recognize that my race has suffered, but I cannot. I cannot vote for Obama.
MARTINEZ (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Because Hillary is with us. She taught us that we can fight for the people. She is our queen. So I will vote for McCain.
ESCOBAR: Would you ever consider voting for John McCain?
GILLIAN: Oh, heavens! John who?
ESCOBAR: In the end, this was not the first speech of the 2012 Hillary campaign, but Hillary will be back.
MARCIA MICHALS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: But in a few years, we will have a woman president. It’s just not quite time yet.
CHARLOTTE MARTIN, INDIANA DELEGATE: And I think she’ll come back eventually into the politics and maybe be a president or a vice president. You know, she’s not too old to do those kind of things again.
ESCOBAR: For the moment, meet an appealing, populist, working-class heroine and champion of the poor—St. Hillary.
CLINTON: And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going. I have seen it. I have seen it in our teachers and our firefighters, our police officers, our nurses, our small-business owners, and our union workers. I’ve seen it in the men and women of our military. In America, you always keep going. We’re Americans. We’re not big on quitting.
UNCLE SAM: I want you to vote—for Obama.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.