Political Director, The Huffington Post
Editor's note: CNN contributor Hilary Rosen is the political director and Washington editor at large of HuffingtonPost.com, which describes itself as an Internet newspaper and focuses on politics from a liberal point of view. A longtime Democratic adviser, Rosen is a former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. This column by Rosen, a former Clinton supporter, is one of a series of commentary pieces on CNN.com from Democrats and Republicans attending party conventions.
Is there a score higher than an A+? I have heard about a hundred speeches by Sen. Hillary Clinton. Tuesday night's speech in Denver was a clarion call filled with power and grace.
Hillary's job at the Democratic National Convention was a big one. She had to make a strong and compelling case to any of her recalcitrant supporters for the election of Sen. Barack Obama.
She had to express her deep appreciation for all those who supported her in this campaign but not too much appreciation so that people would think she was trying to keep them to herself.
And finally she had to describe the stakes in this election and the choices we face, particularly for American families. But she had do it in a way that was not threatening to Obama but rather would be seen as amplifying his message.
And she had to do it all in 23 minutes (including applause). For weeks, people will make comments about what she should have or shouldn't have said.
But Tuesday night she was strong and compassionate, comforting and combative, deeply intelligent and extremely charming. She did everything she needed to achieve for a united party and a dignified conclusion to her campaign for her supporters. I think she gave the speech of her life.
Clinton's journey broke barriers on several levels. Yet it also gave us some real insights about the road ahead. We cannot try to replicate how men got ahead in politics, but must be open and heartfelt about the special qualities that we as women bring to public office.
Yes, it is true, she not so silently admitted, that in the beginning she was trying to avoid running as a "woman." She thought she needed to prove she was commander-in-chief material. But instead in the last and more successful months of her campaign, her message evolved.
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