August 27th, 2008
08:06 PM ET

Behind the convention cheers – Obama's discipline

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/27/art.triplet.obama.hrc.bill2.jpg]
Carl Bernstein
AC360° Contributor

Barack Obama is getting the convention he wants, under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. The convention he is building reflects him and his priorities: it’s thoughtful, not just red-meat; and he’s in surprising control of the message, given the forces he’s dealing with. Indeed, the convention-building and the message may be far more sophisticated and effective than we instant commentators were prepared to discern. Witness the opening night grousing on-air about the convention’s supposed thematic absence, and aversion to instant butchery of the opposition.

Task Number One for Obama:
Defining himself as a person, not just a politician: telling his story and that of Michelle Obama and their family. An American story, meant to definitively undermine the oppo-narrative of the Clinton campaign, and now the Republican oppo-narrative – that he is some kind of vaguely alien, exotic candidate. (For some undecided voters, that also means uncomfortably black). Michelle Obama – as well as the team that produced her bio-pic – delivered with perfect pitch on Night One.

This was the real opening business of the convention, the essential themes to get right. As well as to establish an umbilical connection between Obama and the greatest of Democratic traditions and immutable principles… a generational passing of the torch that Caroline and Ted Kennedy declared unmistakably – and emotionally – had now moved past the Clintons.

It would be hard to underestimate how personally difficult the defection of the Kennedys has been for Hillary and Bill Clinton: consider how, as an adolescent, Bill idolized JFK, emulated him as a politician; that JFK Jr. was among the first contributors to Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign; and that Caroline’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy, formed a close friendship with Hillary (in private, they shared a wicked sense of humor), and told friends that, of all her successors as First Lady, she was most fond of Hillary Clinton. Caroline and Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama on January 28 was a critical blow to Hillary’s campaign).

Task Number Two:
Defining Obama’s Politics: Anyone who has talked to Obama knows he genuinely believes in ending the cultural wars that have poisoned the politics of past generation; and, whether you agree with his solutions or not, he has given great thought to the condition and state of America—its problems, its strengths, and how to initiate a tectonic (and generational) change in political direction. What he has not done, say even many of his allies, is get very specific during the campaign about programs, numbers, legislation. (See Task 4.)

Mark Warner’s keynote speech was on a plane not usually in evidence at conventions: subtle, powerful, inspirational, cerebral, practical – and as convincing a case as can be made for the underpinnings of Obama’s politics and a post-Bush, post-Clinton, post-partisan agenda. He made the connection between the man and his politics. Substantively, there were reminders of how thoughtful, humane, and forward-looking Bill Clinton’s politics looked some 15 years ago.

Task Number Three, a Houdiniesque Proposition:
Easing the Clintons off center stage (inevitably, still kicking) and into the kind of major supporting roles in the Obama campaign that capture all the unique Clintonian star power, and even compels Hillary and Bill Clinton to help Barack Obama win the presidency.

This Houdiniesque proposition recognizes that the Clintons, campaigning for Obama in the right places, and pushing the right political and media buttons, can deliver as no other Democrats in America. And that it is in their interests to do so, thus rescuing Bill Clinton’s damaged legacy from a brutal primary season’s beating (and his own self-destructive instincts); and even further enhancing Hillary’s stature as a leader in the party and the nation — without further threatening Obama.

Hillary’s speech last night was the crucial first step: a huge stride toward uniting her genuine movement of women and blue-collar workers with Obama’s formidable new Democratic movement that almost couldn’t close the deal by the end of the primary-caucus season. If she and Obama can fuse those two movements in Denver without a divisive struggle on the convention floor (as seems likely), Obama is a lot closer to being able to win the presidency than he was a week ago. And already, Hillary has delivered for him, big-time – despite some carping that she didn’t go far enough.

Now, look for both Clintons to begin campaigning in critical battleground states as early next week. And for Bill Clinton to deliver a powerful speech on Obama’s behalf tonight, throwing the hall into predictably pandemonious excess (as did Hillary), leaving no doubt among Democrats of all persuasions that John McCain and Bush-Republican policies are a totally unacceptable alternative to Barack Obama.

A footnote to the ongoing Clintonian psychodrama that, as usual and quite reasonably, has mesmerized the media and continues to hang over the political landscape in Denver and beyond:

First, the essential dynamic: that the Clintons do not like Obama, hate how he systematically went about burying their attempt at a Clintonian restoration to the presidency; and they have never found it easy to be gracious in defeat. The final, gratuitously vicious wound (in their view) was Obama’s decision not to make Hillary his vice presidential nominee.

Fact: Once the “Atlantic Monthly Memos” were published — with Mark Penn’s overt strategy of smearing Barack Obama as coming from an “unAmerican” background — there was virtually no chance Hillary would have been acceptable to Obama or his wife. The only possibility, say his aides: if it were indelibly clear that he could not win the presidency without putting her on the ticket.

Obama and his small cadre of top aides were convinced there is a far better way, without the oxygen-consuming formula of Hillary-as-Veep now on display at the convention: Put the Clintons to work for the Obama-Biden ticket, getting them to fly the Democratic flag against John McCain, and — based on Obama’s real respect for them both and their singular accomplishments – giving them outsized roles in national life during an Obama administration.

Meanwhile, the Clintons — as if to underscore the personal (as differentiated from simply political) chasm between Obama and themselves — let it be known that Mark Penn had a hand in drafting both their convention speeches.

Task Number Four:
Delivering — beyond the Obama aura and the oratory — with specifics: His speech on the last night of the convention. It is instructive to watch Obama’s remarkable speech to the 2004 Democratic convention: he must do it one better in 2008, laying out a vision for the country under his leadership that is specific enough (his top aides seem to agree) to put an end to the Clinton-McCain refrain that he’s all about oratory.

He — and others, including Joe Biden tonight — will be addressing the supposed commander-in-chief gap and the “3 a.m.” assertions that he’s not ready to lead. Look for a passel of generals to be on-stage with Obama in the stadium tomorrow night.


Obama beat the toughest Democratic machine of modern times, and a candidate considered by the media, the pollsters and most of the political class to be the Democrats’ inevitable nominee. He did it by staying on message; out-organizing the Clinton campaign in state after state; harnessing the power of a new generation of voters; and utilizing a set of tools (particularly the Internet) that his opponents vastly underestimated.

The most consistent aspect of the Obama campaign from the beginning has been its discipline, and the nominee’s control of his own message and apparat. Thus far, the Denver convention seems to be on that same track.

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    Carl. Well said. I always enjoy your commentaries and your inside knowledge of the Clinton's. I thought Biden and Bill were great last night and the convention's message is coming through loud and clear. I was a Hillary supporter early on, but the primary proved to me who the real leader is in the Democratic Party..Obama. The simple fact that he has been in control of his campaign from the get go and what they have accomplished in all 50 states is remarkable. A true leader surrounds himself with people who are experts in their areas and listens and analyzes before making any moves or decisions. That coupled with his brillant intellect and knowledge of the Constitution is exactly what this country needs..and none to soon. What the Republicans have done to the United States, in every area imaginable, is tragic and unacceptable. How anyone can consider voting for McCain is not paying attention. Obama/Biden 2008!!!!!

    August 28, 2008 at 9:52 am |
  2. Tom

    Obama needs to giive a broad outline of his economic and foreign policy ideas and how it will be different from McCain's. No need for details as detail always changes when you negotiate with Congress or as the situation changes.

    August 28, 2008 at 9:45 am |
  3. Krissy

    Joseph G: Have you seriously not noticed that everyone who has ever run for president is arrogant? You have to be arrogant in order to even run.

    Hillary as VP? No. Joe Biden proved during his speech last night that he is the one for the job. Obama's selection had to do with who would be the best in the position, not who would 'guarantee a win.' Additionally, I highly doubt Clinton would have even accepted a VP nod.

    August 28, 2008 at 9:44 am |
  4. Mary


    I disgree with you on many points. First, Obama' big EGOOOOOOOOO is going to crash and send him back to be a Senator.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have saved Obama and they did more than thier share. If Obama wants to win, it is up to him now. Bill & Hillary shouldn't be on the Campaing trail working for him, because at the end when Obama looses this election, they are going to blame Bill and Hillary. Enough is Ennough.

    August 28, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  5. Chris, Ohio

    I was spellbound by both Hillary and Bill Clinton's speeches. Together they have unified the Democratic party, NOT Barak Obama or any other speaker. Their speeches were unequivocal in their support of Obama, they went farther in their support then I ever imagined they would. Even in the crushing disappointment of Hillary's defeat, they both were gracious, powerful and uniting speakers, for the good of the Democratic party AND Barak Obama.

    That said, both Barak and Michelle Obama should be ASHAMED of themselves. Michelle for looking like she's pissed at the world and wishing she were anywhere but where she was the nights of the speeches and Barak for not appearing at the convention until the last day. What could be more important then his being at the convention to continue uniting the Democrats? If Barak Obama thinks this is an example of how you act during your "shining hour", he's going to have to work much harder to get my vote. This sure doesn't dispell the "rock star" or celebrity personna he's said to have. Obama needs to show me he wants the presidency, not that he thinks its a done deal. I'm still undecided but time is running out. I need to see how Obama is planning on change, not just hear that he's the candidate OF change.

    August 28, 2008 at 9:40 am |
  6. Peter

    Obama is by far a better speaker than Hillary and even Bill Clinton. Besides that, he is more intelligent than either and has a natural ability to inspire people with not only his words but his body language. The Clintons have attested to his power influence and as good as their speeches were, I guarantee Obama will deliver not only the best speech of this convention, but with the venue and the significance of this event, this speech will be remembered as the most dramatic and world changing speeches in history.
    i wish I could be there.

    August 28, 2008 at 9:32 am |
  7. Sande

    Carl, Carl, Carl

    Too bad Jackie Kennedy and John Jr. were not here. The rest of the Kennedy's would have heard from them. Isn't it a shame that the media could buy the "bill of goods" that Obama is trying to peddle. The United States missed a real opportunity for leadership w/Hillary; a shame that most of the male population couldn't get a grasp on women in leadership positions.

    Hoping for more women being born to rectify this in four years.

    August 28, 2008 at 9:11 am |
  8. Rick

    Finally! An objective viewpoint on what actually transpired and the leadership Sen Obama has for his difficult tasks ahead.

    Look, the Clintons weild too much power to have the nomination stolen from Hillary. Sen Obama is the real deal folks. The fact that he can communicate the vision should not be held against him. I think he's a get it done guy and I know he will work in a non-partisan way to move the country forward.

    Mary and the other republican women who supported Hillary: your candidate lost. Your candidate lost early. Your candidate needs your help paying off the debt she raised trying to trash Obama. Now send your money to her you lost sheep. Your team lost!

    August 28, 2008 at 9:10 am |
  9. Bob

    I think the more interesting thing is that the candidate of CHANGE has picked a MORE of the SAME for vice president – white, male, washington establishment, no executive leadership, old time democrat. It just goes to show you that Obama like most politicians says one thing and does another.

    August 28, 2008 at 8:43 am |
  10. guy

    It better be more than a talk about vision for change. He must tell us what he will actually be doing to bring about that change. Fluff time is over

    August 28, 2008 at 8:32 am |
  11. Lois from Texas

    I was not impressed with the McCain bashing. McCain is not my choice, but I do NOT want another man in the Big House who talks pretty and sleeps on the job! McCain is a HERO!

    August 28, 2008 at 8:30 am |
  12. cherie

    We have already had one inexperienced fool in the white house, why would anyone want to vote for another man who talk good, makes promices he does not keep and looks to his wife to run the show. At least Hillary has BALLS!

    August 28, 2008 at 8:27 am |
  13. Anika Eden Chant

    I think that it's going to take all Democrats together to make this Change that being chanted. I think they're off to a good start. Senator Obama should seal the deal that Senator Kennedy, his wife and the Clintons set the stage for. All of the speakers were moving the train down the track.

    I'm glad the Democrats decided not to cut off their noses to spite their faces. It's time for a Change and make America an even playing field. Not by punishing the rich, but by celebrating them and strategically partnering with them to build a better America for all.

    Is Senator McCain being a HYPOCRITE by getting the celebrity Danny Yankee to swing the Latin vote. I wonder what he will do with Danny Yankee after the election? Will he throw him away like a piece of tissue after he's done with him and what will he do with the Latin Americans after he's nominated?

    The Republicans seem to use their money to viciously bully. Let the debates be the gentlemen's battleground, but let every man have his day. And shut the hell up when it's not your day or you will force an unnecessary fight. Stick with the issues.

    I believe the Republicans are not being very sportsman like. They are fighting dirty, and that insensitivity to humanity is frightening. It translates, "if you're not with us. We will do anything against you. Non-negotiable." That's war talk, all the way and it's scary. Where is the peace that we need?

    August 28, 2008 at 8:26 am |
  14. John T.

    I wish that I could write as well as you do. Your message is succinctly put and lucid. I think you have hit on the four most important issues that Barack has to face. However, there is the overarching problem of race that won't refuse to go away. The youngins' may talk a good game about voting, but the polling booths reek of Bengay and Aqua Net. Until my mother's generation wins the gold medal in the dirt olympics, any black person, even a mulatto, will have a tough time succeeding in a national election. Perhaps the current ipod generation, can get off of their collective cans and join forces with the blacks and hispanics to turn the tide to get Obama elected. Until then, sadly, we may be forced into four more years of Republican dominance.

    August 28, 2008 at 7:43 am |
  15. Julius Cesar

    I think that Bill Clinton over shadowed Obama at the convention. I think that the Democrats understand now that having John McCain in the White House to continue the policies of the last 8 years will be a devastating blow to America's prosperity. Obama is capable. However, can he rebuild America? No single person can rebuild the nation. What that person can do is enact the right policies that allow Americans to rebuild America. The work on the ground will be done by entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, social workers, and educators. These in turn will allow people to find jobs, produce economic outputs, earn an income, buy and sell, raise the next generation, and carry out the activities of human society more prosperously.

    August 28, 2008 at 7:22 am |
  16. Micheline Schulte

    Last night was magical. The greatest President of our generation Bill Jefferson Clinton was incredible!. Thank you Mr Clinton, you were fantastic in your support for Barack Obama. Your speech was great, truthful, just awesome! You were there 100% behind Obama our next President of the United States.

    Hillary you were fantastice.You gave your all for your support of Obama. You are a classy lady. Good example for allour daughters.
    Joe Biden you were great with your beautiful family. You are going to
    be a superb VP.

    Obama/Biden, what a perfect partnership to lead our country.

    I Love you guys.

    August 28, 2008 at 7:21 am |
  17. Tom

    The Bush and the boy have fumbled the ball so many times people have gotten use to it. They think American is suppose to be on the botten. Its been so bad for so long, many people have gotten use to it

    Its time for a big change. Could not be any worst that it is now

    Obama has the vision and the good judgement to make the right calls.

    August 28, 2008 at 7:10 am |
  18. Amber

    I don't understand why people say Obama is arrogant. He worked as a community organizer with the poor for gosh sake's! McCain and his wife are millionaires who want to give tax breaks to all of their rich friends and have no interest in tax breaks for the people who really need it, or national health care. Do they think Obama is arrogant because he went to Harvard? Don't we want one of the most intelligent and moral people in the country to run the country? Someone who really worked for their money rather than having it handed to them on a silver plate? Isn't working for what you have the American way? It's what makes this country so great!!

    At any rate, I guess all of the attack ads are doing their business, or else Jon Stewart is right that people would rather have someone average than someone intelligent as president because they'd rather have an imaginary pal than a real leader.

    I think Hillary is a great politician and will certainly be voting for her if she comes around again. But if you were a Hillary supporter and cared about any of the issues she cared about: universal healthcare, women's rights, stopping this ridiculously overexpensive war when our own economy is suffering... and you are voting for McCain. Well, at least a Republican voting for McCain is doing it for the right reasons. Hillary's an intelligent woman too and she wanted and still wants the country to go in the right direction! Don't be one of the "personality voters" that got us into this Bush mess! The issues a candidate supports speaks more about their real personalities than an advertisement ever will.

    August 28, 2008 at 6:43 am |
  19. Keith

    Wow, Obama deserves an Olympic medal of some kind. This convention has been one big crazy obstacle course and he and "Team Obama" has hit every target. Now he has a respectable chance...provided he gives the speech of his life tomorrow.

    I can't help admiring the Clintons despite myself. They would have made wonderful Roman emperors 2,000 years ago!

    August 28, 2008 at 5:12 am |
  20. Dori in AZ

    Thank you, Carl. Good job!

    I'll take my chances with the young bi-racial man with the open mind and heart from Hawaii who moved to the mainland to feed his hunger to learn, pursuing the degrees and credentials he needed to make a difference in the world. I'll trust that young man who took his higher education and his multicultural life experience, and put those to good use on behalf of the less fortunate, and now, our nation as a whole.

    McCain teetered through Annapolis, graduating in the very lowest rungs of his class. Education was unimportant to the party boy. Opportunities to learn were wasted on him. Other than his prominent military family and his looks, what did John McCain actually have going for him?

    If he hadn't been a POW in Vietnam, where would McCain be now? Married to Cindy Hensley? Wealthy? A U.S. senator? Running for the presidency? Not very likely, is it? Nope. Not likely at all....

    August 28, 2008 at 4:26 am |
  21. HL

    You've given a thoughtful, insightful analysis of Obama's convention
    and I do believe you have a handle on the mindset of the next president. Behind every event at the convention there's been a carefully orchestrated process that's been put in place to build up the momentum for the finale, as well as cover any contingency. Obama is a masterful organizer and leader. He's surrounded himself with experts in the field, has given them all their missions and has sent them out to do their (his) thing within his discipline. Case in point, Obama's supporters were really able to stroke Bill's ego with all their continuous applause. Everyone so far has hit their marks and delivered the goods. Now it's Obama's turn to wrap it up. I hope he didn't set the bar too high.

    August 28, 2008 at 4:18 am |
  22. Rusty

    When Obama comes on stage, there is energy, energy, energy! Suddenly the place lights up! He wants to lead, is ready to lead and will lead the country in the right direction. With Joe Biden at his side, we could hardly ask for more. Plus we are getting his mega-watt smile as a freebie!!

    August 28, 2008 at 4:04 am |
  23. Nate

    right on. I agree that Obama has displayed incredible leadership quality in running his campaign, defeating the Clintons (why are they such sore losers?) and in articulating and actually building, a new coaltion of Americans. This is leadership.

    Policy details? They'll come but let's not get too hung up on this. That is what the cabinet is for and the bureaucracy. He needs to articulate the vision, the new direction. The American President is called a 'leader' not a 'managing director' for nothing.

    August 28, 2008 at 3:22 am |
  24. Alex

    Carter, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kennedy, Obama.

    Most of all, the convention makes me so proud to be a democrat. The leaders of our party have wisdom, intelligence, grace, spunk, humanity, and most importantly, gravitas. In this primary our choices are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, not to mention early Al Gore chatters. All would make great presidents. We have heavy hitters at the top of our party, conducting serious business of the people.

    It has been an uplifting convention so far and I look forward to tomorrow night. The bar has been set very high but I am confident that our candidate will clear it.

    August 28, 2008 at 3:00 am |
  25. Chris

    To be honest, I'm just confused by the drama. I can't really see how anyone would vote for anyone or any party that even vaguely resembled or sounded like the current administration. I find the current situation in our government so embarrassing and so badly botched I would sooner not vote at all than vote for a person who had any alliance with or allegiance to anything like the conservative politics my family's been enduring for the past eight years - how can anyone actually stand on two feet and say "I think me-for-myself trickle-down politics is going to work if we just try it via McCain"? How many more years do we need, really, to see that conservative politics and this fraudulent myth of "small government" just doesn't work in a country as large and economically and socially complex as ours? Well, as I say, I just don't see the need for the hoopla - it's clear Obama is organized enough and competent enough to at least pull us out of this mess if not get us going the right direction. These days, I'm an easy democrat and I don't know why I shouldn't be.

    August 28, 2008 at 2:55 am |
  26. scott

    The D.N.C. seems like a tight hollywood production, really waiting for some real issues like a tough energy policy to be taken on,very little talk about the one issue that is at the heart of all our problems. it's all about energy!!

    August 28, 2008 at 2:53 am |
  27. Travis

    To Angela and Mary: wake up from your fantasy worlds. Neither the Clintons or Obama has ever claimed to hold resentments to the other. People like the two of you take it upon yourselves to assume so. You only needed to see Hillarys eyes to see the true jubilation she is feeling this historic week. I believe Obama has great things in store for Sen. Clinton.

    August 28, 2008 at 2:29 am |
  28. Gram

    I've seen many elections in my day, but none have been as spirited or polarizing as this one – although the last 2 came very close.

    I'm an Independent, and although I didn't vote for Hillary, I was impressed with both Bill & Hillary's speeches this week and I'm grateful to them for being so gracious at this time when we ALL need to unite. They are both great politicians but I support Obama's new direction and pray his unique talent will bring us all together – citizens, congress & our administration, our allies and, yes, even our foe. I think Obama & Biden will make a great team and will begin to put us back on the right track. I hope we will again have a trusted government OF THE PEOPLE and not of the corporations & special interests. But we have SO many challenges, I doubt that any one administration can do it all in 4 or 8 years. Let's hope we have more great politicians willing to take the next shift.

    I personally have had enough of all the bickering and smear tactics – it's such a destructive waste of time and energy, and it prevents us from making the progress we all so desperately need. Our president is only one person on the team and he (or someday she) will need the talents and support of everyone willing to do their part to turn this ship around. We're all in this boat together, and right now it's sinking.

    August 28, 2008 at 2:04 am |
  29. Kujo

    Wake up G.B. Etheridge.

    What part of the last 8 years did you miss.

    Under the Clinton administration we actually came up with a surplus.

    The difference between the Democrates and Rebublicans is that the Republicans spend more money and they spend it overseas. Democrates invest within the US and because of this investment, we receive the benifits and able to generate a surplus.

    If you look at the both Bush's administrations and the Regan administrations, look at the rise in our trade deficit.

    Reducing taxes did not reduce government, they spent more.

    And in what programs they did reduce in the USA, it caused Enron, our housing crisis, Bears Stern.

    You are a person who must prefer to have 2 dollars in your pocket instead of 1 even though a gallon of milk 20 dollars instead of 3.

    Wake up America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 28, 2008 at 2:04 am |
  30. Frieda

    No One talks about Obama's achievement...his resume is so thin that no one at the convention talked about it.

    I am not ready to vote for a president that has as much experience as I have and is about the same age as I am.

    I think age matters and presidency is not fit for younger crowd. Look, at Clinton and Kennedy both were young and both of them were very busy going after women. Both of them were failure at foreign policy. Remember Somali, Haiti and first World Trade Center bombing? What was Clinton accomplishment in these areas?

    August 28, 2008 at 1:47 am |
  31. Bob

    Obama supporters sound like folks that have never been in charge of anything, never built a business, and never had to unify people of differing viewpoints to work together toward a common goal. And he is a perfect reflection of them.

    He has no executive experience. He sounds like kids in high school running for ASB President – I promise candy for lunch, no more homework, more days off, etc. – making promises that sound like wonderful ideas but can never be fulfilled because the candidate has no real world experience. Did Obama hire a bright, top of his class, recent graduate from Harvard Law to head his campaign? No, he surrounded himself with experienced hands to guide him. Do average Americans who are not committed liberals want to put someone in charge of the world's largest economy, the most powerful military on earth and greatest model of liberty in history? No. Because people who understand how the real world works, with it's tough decisions and meaningful consequences, those people realize that Obama's ideas are not grounded in the wisdom that comes from having to make those decisions and live with their outcomes.

    This would be cool – if Obama took the podium on Thursday night, thanked the crowd for their confidence in him, then, in a moment of true selfless service and humility, admitted he wasn't ready for such high office and gave the nomination to Biden or Clinton. But, that's not going to happen. So, we are stuck with the promising rookie vs the grizzled veteran in the race for the Oval Office.

    Come November, more people will end up pulling the lever for the experienced guy. I sense McCain is going to win, and it won't be as close as people want to pretend it will be. Regardless of what happens, Obama's nomination is a historic moment.

    August 28, 2008 at 1:46 am |
  32. DJ

    Well the majority of democratic america has spoken, I am 48 yrs old I grew up in Florida and reside in Alabama and i can truly say America has made a positive change in race relations some people just dont understand that most black americans my age did not belive that this would happen in our lifetime. We (americans)should be very proud of ourselves we have come a long way in human relations taking that chance to allow ourselves to trust without reservations of race, may God continue to bless America with strong persistent people that fight for the greater good, with out them this moment would have never happened thank you Jesus we love you

    August 28, 2008 at 1:19 am |
  33. linden

    Yes, easing the Clintons off center stage will be a Herculean feat! Losing that primary will be a bitter pill to them for years to come. They learned the hard way that bitter infighting among the inner circle got them nowhere. But for goodness sake, why this continual sense of entitlement they both subscribe to? What they are seeing is that American politics are moving beyond them. Even if one is a Clinton supporter, we can do the math. Twenty years of the American presidency run by two families is just too weird!

    August 28, 2008 at 1:19 am |
  34. Kurt

    Bill & Hillary Clinton saved their own politacal legacy and any future chances for Hillary to run for President by setting aside the vineyard of sour grapes that they were trying to cultivate in the mind of their digruntled supporters.

    Somebody gave them a wake up call and America will gain from reality, finally, prevailing.

    They got over it and we all can breathe a little more easier.

    Their selfishness and almost put this country in a position of having to endure four more years of Republican mediocrity in stead of progress and meaningful change under an inspired Obama administration.

    That is the truth of it!!!!

    August 28, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  35. Jake in Portland, OR

    The Clinton's have not saved Obama. They've saved themselves. Up until the last couple days, their legacy has been diminishing due to their own comments and actions... due to their own desire to make history of their own. If Obama loses this election, the blame will be shared by all of us, not just the individual at the top of the ticket. I am a proud supporter of Obama, but, above all, a proud Democrat. Frankly, I would have been happy with either Obama or Clinton, or Biden for that matter, at the top of the ticket. They are each strong individuals and strong leaders, and they all have the credentials to successfully lead this country out of the mess it's been left in these last eight years.

    I wish some of my fellow Democrats would stop whining and wake up... it's time to make a change in this country. Obama is now our only chance for real change in the next 4 years. And to those who believe he has yet to give any specifics, you should get off your couch or your chair and get out there to meet him. I've seen him twice now and each time he set out not just his ideas and goals, but his plans on how we can actually reach those goals and make this nation a better place for all of us.

    August 28, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  36. Mike

    Supporters of both Obama and Clinton need to stop their mutual attacks on one another. That fight is over, and it's time to move a head. Continuing this discussion serves only to exaggerate the heartfelt but misguided emotions of a small contingent of our party, and plays right into the hands of the GOP (who, I'm sure, have more than a few plants in these boards to stir up trouble).

    One nation. One party. One choice for president. Let's put this thing to bed in November.

    August 28, 2008 at 1:08 am |
  37. Yolanda

    I absolutely love Senator Clinton's speech. I believe all Hillary supports that are leaning to voting for John McCain listen to her speech again. Ask yourself, are you voting for the woman or what the woman stands for? Also, what I like about Obama, he does not claim he can do it all. In fact, he clearly says that it's WE that will do this together, not just him. Hillary supporters, please don't throw away our future by voting for John McCain.

    August 28, 2008 at 1:07 am |
  38. Laurie, Elk Grove, California

    I have to say that the Clintons really stepped up the past two nights to support Obama. I have always respected both of them so much and am glad that they have kept my admiration.

    I am so tired of those Clinton people who insist that they are going to vote for McCain rather than Obama. The two candidates couldn't be more different. I personally couldn't stand four more years of the Republican reign. McCain would just be four more years of the same.

    McCain doesn't give a darn for women's rights and will do nothing but appoint conservative supreme court appointees. That would be a disaster to us all.

    I say wait until tomorrow night and let Obama make his case. I think that everyone will be pleasantly surprised. I think he will definitely lay out his agenda. Also I am very happy with Joe Biden. He will be a big asset to Obama. Obama will surround himself with excellent advisors and will listen to advice which I doubt that McCain will do.

    August 28, 2008 at 1:03 am |
  39. Michelle

    It saddens me to see the bitterness of some of my fellow women in this blog. I am a firm Hillary supporter, but I am obviously going to vote for Obama over McCain. It would be a slap in the face to Hillary to elect a man that will work to undo everything she has worked so hard for. Please think about the big picture here...think about the Supreme Court and how Row V. Wade will be overturned if McCain is elected. Think about our troops over seas. Are we going to keep them in harms way because we feel slighted? Are we really going to elect the wrong man out of bitterness? Sometimes things are bigger than us. Would I prefer to be voting for Hillary...of course. But with the nation being at such a pivotal point, I can't vote with my anger.

    Obama now...Hillary in 2016

    August 28, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  40. Jeff from Florida

    I am mystified. Obama is a junior US Senator who has yet to complete his first term in office. He has negligable business experience and no military experience. What qualifications does he posess to assure the health of the world's largest economy, act as Commander in Chief of the military forces of the United States of America, and lead the free world against the forces of tyranny and chaos?

    August 28, 2008 at 12:53 am |
  41. Larry Long

    The disgruntled Clinton supporters need to get a life. To say they will vote for McCain instead of Obama because Hillary did not get the nomination is very shallow. These people are not true democrats but racist in disquise. They would rather simply vote for John McCain than to vote for a biracial candidate, even if he is the right choice to put this great country back on the right track., How many Republicans do you think will will vote for Barrack Obama if John McCain does not choose Mick Romney as his running mate. The answer is zero.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  42. steve from Canada

    Indeed they are orchestrateing an impeccable campaign through convention Carl. This evening i listed to the critiques offered by the GOP surrogates on Larry King Live... As I listened, i got the feeling that MCain and his cronies think that everything is just hunkey dorey with the american economy. That kind of delusional thinking is what will help the GOP to lose this election, regardless of what Obama and Biden do or don't do.... I think that McCain's surrogates need to be reminded that you can fool SOME of the people SOME of the time..

    August 28, 2008 at 12:50 am |
  43. William A

    If the Clintons are such caniving, ruthless people why were so many at the Convention last night and again tonight giving them a rousing standing ovation? Hillary and Bill couldn't begin their speechs till the cheers subsided! Are all those thousands of people totally clueless? I dont' think so. I do think those who can't see what is so obvious to the rest of us are suffering from Bushwashing and Roveing lies.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  44. Jay

    As a Independent I have overall been very impressed with this convention. I think Bill Clinton hit the ball out of the park tonight for Obama and has convinced me that I need to give Obama a serious second look as my choice for President. It is now up to Obama to turely convince me he is the guy to vote for.

    Looking to next week's RNC assuming it doesn't get delayed due to the hurricane I can't help but wonder who they are going to have speak that will really help McCain. Bush Sr and Bush Jr followed by Chaney???? I can't help but wonder if next week will help Obama more then hurt him?

    August 28, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  45. shirley

    If some of the individuals making comments would search their hearts they would find a small amount of hatred for the man, is it because he is black?

    Why shouldn't they clean it up, they messed it up.
    Hillary lost!! when has the winner of the democratic party ever had to do what they demanded Obama do?

    He won fair, history has been made and that was a lot for some egos to accept.
    So shut up, stop winning and get a life

    August 28, 2008 at 12:30 am |
  46. Chris

    To those that are skeptical about how well this convention has gone, or question where Obama stands, must not have been paying any kind of attention to any of the speeches.

    They not only have successfully shown that McCain has poor judgment... when it comes to Iraq, his environmental policies, economic policies, and vision for the younger generations, but showed that Barack is exactly what this country needs.

    Change means changing ourselves. Changing our perspectives. Changing the economy. Changing the world's perspective. Paying attention to the middle class that is struggling under the Republican regime. This convention expressed all over Obama's means and ideas on how to successfully change this country for the better.

    The republican's suffocated this country with their ego centric approach to politics. They care little for the people of this country and showed this every step of the way. Their unnatural need to cut taxes for the rich, give more to oil companies that have seen record profits is beyond me.

    Obama is our President. He cares about people. He has the judgment to lead us out of the mess we are in.

    Obama '08!

    August 28, 2008 at 12:29 am |
  47. Jeff in Los Angeles

    Cindy from Ga, first again I see. You say you want Obama to give specifics on where stands on the issues. He lays everything out on his website, just like John McCain does. The difference is, and you don't seem to get it, someone can have the best laid plans in the world, but if they don't have the respect or trust of the American people, there is no way to get that done. I don't trust John McCain. He tells us from one side of his mouth he is a maverick, that he beats to his own drum. Well, how do you explain that he has voted with Bush over 90% of the time during a FAILED 8 years, and that he voted against Clinton over 90% of the time in the 90's during a SUCCESSFUL 8 years. I don't trust John McCain to make my life better, to lift up the American people over the next 4 years, so I respectfully disagree with you.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:25 am |
  48. Andy


    Great article! It has been an amazing trick bringing the party together, espicially after Hillary's speach last night and the response of her die hard fans. Ulitmately what this convention has been about is erasing the fears that many americans might still have about Obama as a leader and a person that is like us. I have NOTHING in common with Mcain, and to hear his view about the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, makes me realize he is compleletly out of touch. Obama needs to lay out specifics, but I think that voters would have to be insane that voted with bush 90% of the time. As SIR Charles Barkley so simply stated, if your rich and well of, it doesnt matter who is president, or you want more of the same policies. If your like me and most americans (struggling to make ends meet as costs skyrocket, no or not enough health care, and friends and families in a country they have no business being in) your probally thinking the same thing I'm thinking.... How much worst can Barrack Obama do? Throw up on a foreign leader? Led us to the brink of WW3? Ruin the economy? Oh..wait... Bush has already done all these things. Its time for some sort of change.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:22 am |
  49. Everett

    "JObama 08" – Change we can believe in.....what a scary joke! We all saw what 8 years of necon extremism & inexperience did for the country, and now people want to vote for left-wing extremism & inexperience? Aren't there any better choices than this? I will not vote for "JObama" style socialism – No thanks!

    The Democrat's attack on McCain as being a Bush clone are factual baseless. If you actual bother to research his voting record, McCain has differed from Bush on number of different issues. I'll take my chances with McCain – at least I know where he stands on things, and he'll only be a one term President anyway. No experience Barack & his Washington puppet master Joe Biden are suppose to be these great agents of change? The thought of such a radical left-wing socialist government in control for possibly 8yrs is scary to say the least – we might as well just kiss the Constitution good-bye and prepare for a socialist ran police-state w/ over 65% of our paychecks going towards federal taxes. This & the new "green economy" , which Al Gore & other prominent members of Democratic Party have a huge financial stake in, is suppose to save our country's economy? Sounds like pie in the sky nonsense to me.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  50. dina o'Sullivan

    It doesn't matter whether you like Obama or not, the fact is George Bush and McCain and the Republicans mustnot win this election. This country cannot take another four years of the dishonesty of the Republican mentality. Even though McCain may be an honorable man(?), he backed George Bush and the miserable war in Iraq where so many youngmen and women died for an undetermined reason based on lies.

    It will be a glorious moment for America when a Black candidate is elected as President.It will move America far ahead and far away from the underlying racism in this country. It will prove to the world that Americans are able to look past ethnicity into a man's heart and determination to make this country a better place for everyone.

    It has to be Obama or we are doomed as a country that can lead the world again. It has to be Obama or we will continue to dived the people into groups that cannot work towards a humanity that believesin the inherent right of all individuals as equal. It has to be Obama because he represents what we need to be in the sight of others around the world.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:18 am |
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