August 27th, 2008
11:43 AM ET

Hillary: mission accomplished

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/27/art.hillary.dnc.jpg caption="New York Senator and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton acknowledges the audience as she takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention,Tuesday."]

Editor’s note: Below is a transcript of CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen's response to Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention last night. What was your take?

COOPER: I want to bring in David Gergen, who worked in the Clinton administration, as well as worked in several Republican presidential administrations. David Gergen, had you ever seen Hillary Clinton deliver a speech like this?

GERGEN: No, and I must say, Anderson, I'm sure their cynics will find a lot wrong with that speech tonight but I thought she was a class act. In fact, I think it can well be said that nothing has so become her campaign as well as she ended it here tonight.

Her argument as Ed Rendell said, that if you were in this, you were in this all along for more than me. You're in this for the cause, so let's join. And then she did have some humor, that Twin Cities joke, about the Republicans going to the Twin Cities and that's a good place for them because it's hard to distinguish between McCain and Bush. That was well done. It was a nice line.

I thought overall, what you saw here tonight, the reason why I thought this was perhaps her finest hour in politics, it was so unselfish. It was not about her, it was about trying to help the cause and helping Barack Obama and in turn helping the country that she cares about.

So often the Clintons are accused, I think unfairly, of being selfish. But I think this was such a generous act. It was so clear she didn't hold anything back in her endorsement and her calls for unity.

It was an authentic call and I think it was a terrific speech. I think that's why Barack and Michelle Obama and Joe Biden should be so pleased tonight, because she did it. We talked earlier tonight about how impossible it was going to be to weave together the themes of women's rights, unity and the economy. And she did all of that, and masterfully and came out I think for the first time, the Democrats can leave this hall really charged up with a real sense of mission for November.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Russ

    Never before have I seen the Clintons work so seemlessly, so effortlessly as a team. Never. Hillary's speech was about healing the wounds of the primary–an appeal to Democrats to come together. She omitted the "ready-on-day-one" point, any many thought deliberately. Not so. Bill Clinton appeared the next night with a speech directed to all Americans (though he frequently exclaimed "fellow Democrats" during the speech). Here, Bill deliberately, powerfully, and repeatedly pointed out that Obama WAS ready on day one to lead. And he drew a sharp comparison between the Democrats and Republicans–a clear message to all Americans since the audience needed no reminders of these differences. All in all, a very sold performance by the Clintons. As Gergen put it, a real class act.

    August 28, 2008 at 2:35 am |
  2. mary

    To William A,

    Great Sentiment and well said!!!! There are at least 18 Million Hillary Supporters feel and know what you described. If the democrats loose this election – all blame falls solely on the shoulders of the Barack Obama and the DNC itself. They failed to ignite people's true hope of change by having both an African America and a Woman on the same ticket. (By purposely avoiding the choice of selecting Hillary Clinton as his VP- Barack Obama has sealed his doom. if he can't get over himself and his ego by crossing his own party's line to come together with Hillary on 1 united ticket, then why should America that he will ever do anything for the greater good – that Hillary Clinton so eloquently spoke about last night in her speech – if things don't suit Barack Obama's own personal agenda for power.

    Hillary fought for and continues to truely fight for Children's rights, Woman's rights, and Universal Healthcare for decades now, and that dedcation to fight for those who have less is what many find so admirable about her. She is a fighter and a champion of the America People who want a brighter future and it's unfortunate that she was not given the chance to shine as the president or VP by her own party.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  3. sg, Toronto

    Vegas-"EXACTLY: or the president… which is why so many don’t want Obama"

    So you are a McCain supporter?....otherwise, what you wrote gives McCain's campaign exactly what they're looking for–a continuing rift in the infrastructure of the Democratic Party . I believe it then becomes "checkmate" and the board gets cleared and another game begins with the same party in power. If that's your intention ...good job! Well done! You only have deal with it for another four years.

    My last thread comment and a suggestion: reread what Annie Kate and Enrique. I believe they said it best

    August 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  4. Laurie

    Hillary presented a wonderful inspiring and extremely touching speech. I watched it twice. I cried both time during her speech regarding the sufferage movement and Harriet Tubman.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  5. Enrique from Miami

    To Lisa,

    I'm just telling it like it is from a strategic point of view. Her only chance to win the White House is 2016 with a united party. If Obama loses, she will lose in 2012 with a divided party. She, unlike you, understands this very clearly that is why she gave the speech that she gave and that is why she took him over the finish line today. In 2016 she will be 68 (4 years younger than McCain) and more than able to win the White House. Get over it! (she has)

    August 27, 2008 at 7:22 pm |
  6. Zia

    I see the same repub talking heads here, again!! GO SUPPORT MCCAIN INSTEAD OF CRASHING THE PARTY!!!! SHAME ON YOU – You are doing this in the name of feminism????!!???

    HERE IS MY PROMISE – The way the repubs are muddling in Dems convenion, I will make it a point to support Ron Paul and will make sure all Dems like me tunes to his "Parrallel" convention. Repubs don't realize that there is always reaction to any acion that they take.

    August 27, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  7. GAIL Centre,Al;

    Last night Hillary knocked the ball out of the park, now it's up to Obama. There is nothing anyone can say to make me change my mind about Obama. The dems have missed their chance for the whitehouse, Obama can't beat MCcain, but if anybody really knows MCcain is not 4 more years of Bush. MCcain will reach across to the other party, Bush would not. MCcain is the one to get us through this crisis, not a community organizer. 0bama doesn't have the expericence or judgement to lead, he will be a disaster.

    August 27, 2008 at 6:53 pm |
  8. herb

    I take my hat off to Sen Clinton. She did a bang up- job well done. I can say she has restored my faith in her . Sen. Clinton has a place in Obama administration if she desire-WELL DONE SEN. CLINTON

    August 27, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  9. Vegas

    sg, Toronto:
    "I just don’t understand how being an excellent orator parlays into being a great VP"

    EXACTLY: or the president... which is why so many don't want Obama

    August 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  10. William A

    Hillary's speech was a class act bar none. Anyone that want to take pot shots at Hillary's speech be my guest but don't expect me to give them one minute of my time. She did all she could possibly do and I think it's past time that Americans gave this woman who has done more for her Nation and Americans than most Politcians over the last fifteen years or a bit of gratitude! What have all of you done to make America a better place? Walk a mile in her shoes before you condemn her. Hillary has always been and will always be a true Humanitarian. She cares more about each of you than you care about your Nation as a whole. And that, my friends, is most painfully obvious given your comments. Thankfully for you America has a Hillary to keep the George's and the John's on a straight line!

    August 27, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  11. sg, Toronto

    As a Canadian, watching this process is fascinating (mainly because the results only impact me on a small scale.)

    I agree, Hillary Clinton did an excellent speech. She is an excellent orator. I just don't understand how being an excellent orator parlays into being a great VP.

    Did anyone hear the number of times she mention Obama's name and how many times she used the word "I." Every other statement was about what "I believe" or what "I did" when "I" was campaigning. This speech did two things: 1) It gave her followers permission to side with Obama-similiarly to what Ted Kennedy's backing of Obama did and; 2) It allowed for a door to be left open if she decides to run for President in the future–an excellent speech for sound bites

    So, I hope that Mr. Gergen you're wrong and this is not the best speech of her campaign. If you really were being unbiased, you would have said that the Senator from Montana was the speaker who truly was altruistic, whereas, Senator Clinton was being an ultraist.

    August 27, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  12. Lisa

    In response to "Enrique from Miami"


    You seem to be one of those Star Struck Obama followers who can't get past his Smooooth, speeches and wants to believe he's Everything to Everybody....Get over it, he's NOT. He's another politcian. That's IT!
    All he's missing is to meet with Chris Angel and learn that illusion of "Walking on Water", All you followers would be thinking for sure he's the "ONE"!!

    Give Hillary a break....You "Cool-Aid" , "Pied-Piper" followers. You can stand the truth...Hillary is More qualified than that Empy Suit that gives speaks well.


    August 27, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  13. AJ

    I think Hillary gave about as good a speech as Hillary could. Hillary to me represents the old school baby boomer working women, and that generation has kind of lost its leader in the party now to me. Its good she got to speak so we can remember the sacrifices of that generation. At the same time, it is time to move forward and that's what I feel she is trying to do now.

    Denver, CO

    August 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  14. Midwest

    Of course Hillary is going to promote her party,duh, who do you think she is? Flip-flop McCain?? She has a head on her shoulders. I regret she did not make vice-president, but it does not change my mind voting for Obama! I think Biden was a brilliant choice.

    August 27, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  15. Midwest

    No way, no how.......NO McCAIN!!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  16. Enrique from Miami

    To all Clinton Supporters,

    If you want to see Clinton elected in the future vote for Obama, is the only way to unite the party. If Obama loses enough of a percentage of Obama voters will blame Clinton to doom her candidacy in the future. Not uniting is political suicide for the next 8 years at least.

    August 27, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  17. Aaron

    She did her job she even promoted her self for the future but the speech wasn't that great and was not enough to give obama the lead he needs this will be a McCain victory come nov.

    August 27, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  18. Dennis

    The congress and the house have been controlled by the democrats for the past two years, what have they done to improve our lot?

    August 27, 2008 at 3:04 pm |

    i think that Sen Clinton should have been the pick for VP. She is real life rocky.

    August 27, 2008 at 2:53 pm |

    @ Cindy people like you only sit around and look for the negative point in everything. I support Barack Obama but due to the condition of this country I will support who ever win the office of President . We as American need to show the world that we will stand by the President whoever he is. One man cannot due this alone.

    August 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  21. Sandy

    I was shocked to discover another woman was thinking and speaking my thoughts regarding for the first time to not vote in a presidential election. I am fed up with the male population in this country not recognizing and respecting women – and Obama has done that to Hillary. Hillary should have been the nominee with Obama the VP on this ticket.

    As a white, well educated female, I have always voted – however, I am really considering not casting a vote. The DNC should at least own up to its shame. I view Obama as being greedy regarding this matter.

    Furthermore, I cannot obtain from the Obama camp if Obama will stop taxing middle class America on their Savings Account – this is an important issue for me and many of my family members and friends. Middle class America has really slipped backwards with 8 years of Bush control.

    August 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  22. mSmith

    To all the women in this country who did not support her,


    I think every woman in this country need to think back at what this woman has accomplished.

    Maybe it's true what they say, women should stay home where they belong!!!

    What a waste!

    Hillary 2012

    August 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  23. JC- Los Angeles

    As an undecided Independent, I found Hillay's speech to be that of a born leader who looked presidential and who came across as a panacea for the ailing Democratic convention.

    Hillary was able to articulate her points without selling out her belief that she was the best choice for president; if nothing else, she gave a tepid endorsement of Barack Obama.

    Hillary was able to gracefully and humorously position herself as a stateswoman that needs to be taken seriously and respected.

    I'm starting to believe that the DNC and a great number of Americans are concerned that the wrong candidate is represeneting the Democratic party.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  24. Annie Kate

    Hillary did a good job reminding us that this election isn't about the candidates – its about what needs to be done; how to get the country back on track, how to make it possible for everyone to have good healthcare and a fair chance at the American Dream. I think she conveyed the hope of this election better than anyone has been able to so far – she personalized it to basic issues – education, wages, health care, jobs – things we can all relate to. And she showed us the very stark choice we have in the November election.

    I still wish she was the candidate or at least on the ticket but Obama has the same vision and its the vision that is what is important.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  25. JT

    She accomplished her mission and plus more.

    It is very clear that the DNC made a big mistake by selecting Obama.

    She also made Michelle Obama looks like a rookie.

    Hillary is a class act.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  26. GF, Los Angeles

    That's just it – this is all just a speech just like every other politician. Arnold Schwarzenegger had great speeches for fixing California's budget when he ran for Governor in 2003 yet now we're billions short and our budget still isn't balanced so now teachers and many government workers face layoffs. It's the fault of both the Dems and Reps for this imbalance. The Dems want to raise taxes and the Reps want to cut back spending. Neither side will work together. Each has their own agenda which is why I'm more than likely sitting back on this year's election. I have no desire to vote for either party.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  27. Marsha Vertan

    Love her, hate her, but last night, anyone with a pulse has to agree that the woman can represent!!! New Yorkers have a reason to smile, and for the first time since my departure, I am having some serious Big Apple envy. There was definitely something in the air. That something which occurs when all the key components necessary for success align in perfect unison, it's almost magical. The energy of the crowd, the self confidence of the speaker who possessed such perfect comedic timing and impeccable delivery. By far, an extraordinary example of gracious defeat and surprising humility from a source no one ever expected capable of being a team player.

    She may not have succeeded in swaying all of her supporters toward the nominee, but may have at least deterred the ones that were ready to defect. And who can overlook the almost comedic expression of pride on Bill's face, as if laughing at an inside joke between the two of them. See, that's the thing that we may have never understood about them, an unconventional bond, which at times tested, has endured and prospered in its own way.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  28. Cindy

    Hillary did do a good speech. We all know that she only did it to appease her party so she could stay in good standing. That way she can run in 2012. Did you think that she wouldn't? She is after all the ultimate player.


    August 27, 2008 at 11:59 am |