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August 27th, 2008
06:47 PM ET

The ball is in Obama’s court

Faye Wattleton
AC360° Contributor
President, Center for the Advancement of Women

What if, throughout her campaign for the party’s nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton had made speeches like the one she gave last night at the Democratic National Convention? It’s possible that she’d be the candidate accepting the party’s nomination tomorrow at Invesco Field. What type of presidency would she have led, had she become the first woman president of the United States? We’ll have to leave that question unanswered, at least for now.

The expectations that were placed on Sen. Clinton to mend the great divide that emerged from the Democratic primaries were both unprecedented and unrealistic. Yet, she delivered beyond our imagination last night. She repeatedly endorsed Sen. Barack Obama. She covered all of the points the party could have wished for. She asked the delegates –and all Democrats watching at home– to re-assess the values and motivations that brought them to Denver and will now determine their chances for putting a Democrat in the White House.

In the same way she rose gracefully from the Lewinsky affair and from a defeated campaign to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, Sen. Clinton emerged last night as a polished diamond. She surfaced as an unalloyed leader out of the adversities and the unaddressed sexism endured during her campaign and, for that matter, during her entire political career. Her journey is emblematic of the way American women overcome the challenges posed by a society where full-equality is yet to be attained.

Sen. Clinton raised the bar to the “what if, and every decision the Obama campaign makes from now on will be measured against it. Regardless of whether she united the party last night, Sen. Obama will have to show voters how their lives will be better if they vote, in unity, for him. How he chooses to translate the rhetoric of change into the policy of change will be essential as he aims at locking the support of independents and die-hard Clinton supporters, especially the women in the 25 percent who now plan to support Sen. John McCain.

The ball is in Sen. Obama’s court.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dave

    It is interesting to see the democrats attack the GOP. And yet, has the democratic congress done anything lately?

    I don't think so!

    August 28, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  2. 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 9:10 am |
  3. twiggy

    did barak obama actually do anything to you? did he make a case against women? i would think not, he is married to a very beautiful and intelligent woman. so you must be part of the clinton supporters she spoke to when she asked ;did you vote for me or the veterans or the middle class family struggleing to make ends meet. you voted for hilliary ,not the people she represent not the american people whose lives she wants to make better. you and the 25% who are voting for mccain are caught up on a person not the issues. you don't have substance your all fluff. children threaten and have temper tantrums not adults, what are you teaching your children?
    i was upset with hilliary and bill i did not believe they were acting in the best interest of the party, i thought the roll call was a way of them gaining more momentum to showcase themselves, but i was wrong the roll call was wonderful it was poetic it was a gesture of unity as a matter of fact it should be done each election cycle. and i have moved on .please move on your acting like women scorned not the professionals you should be. obama/biden clinton/clinton 2008
    a united party

    August 28, 2008 at 8:22 am |
  4. Pat W

    I am a disappointed Hillary supporter who last night decided I will vote for Obama in Nov. My freind who watched the days events with me has also decided to vote for Obama. That's 2 of the 25% that are now solidly in the Obama column because the Clintons asked us to. I just hope that he will deserve it. Beware of all your bad mouthing of the Clintons. It could backfire into the Obama Administration. The achievement for his supporters won't be fulfilled just because he wins the election. He has to be a good president. That could be difficult if he continues to alinated millions of people and doesn't deliver on his promises. It would not help to have the entire rebublican party against him as well as 18 million others who know someone else that may have done better watching his every move. Want some slack, lay off the Clintons. You beat her now leave them alone.

    August 28, 2008 at 6:58 am |
  5. jrq La Habra, Ca.

    Hillary Clinton asking us to re-assess our values? Oh, come on! How
    can anyone forget Bill and Monica? Hillary and the rumors of her bulling White House staff? Hillary and her many back stabbing friends. I'll stop here since the list of sham knows no boundaries
    for the Clintons!

    August 28, 2008 at 5:48 am |
  6. William A

    I don't know how anyone could feel anything but respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton. She's been a staunch supporter of Human Rights her whole life and has made many American lives brighter, happier.and more rewarding. Bill is also a humanitarian who has given much of himself to help the less fortunate. Yet, they receive more criticism than gratitude. Not from me. I applaud them for their many years of service to their Nation and it's people. Many considered to be Great Americans have done a great deal less for others but were richly rewarded. I hope Barack Obama will also change these injustices and people who give of themselves like the Clintons will be appreciated instead of victimized for their good works.

    August 28, 2008 at 1:09 am |
  7. Jeff in Los Angeles

    JC in Los Angeles. You really need to get over it. Hillary is not going to be your nominee.

    You made one particular comment that sounds awfully familiar:

    "Obama is like so many leaders today in corporate America that are hand selected and pushed all the way up line until they reach the summit and then run the company into the ground."

    You are right on this statement, but the name you mention is all wrong. This is exactly what George W Bush did, NOT Obama. Bush went from failed business man to Governor of a do nothing state. Bush was the chosen one of his party, and handed the election from the Supreme Court. HE'S run this country into the ground.

    Obama on the other hand has worked hard from a child to now. He is a Law School graduate, he has helped many folks in Chicago who were out of work. He spent years in the Illinois state legislature, helped to pass laws that made life better for people in Illinois. He then became a US Senator, and has passed bi-partisan legislation. He Then ran a masterful campaign and is just months away from being elected President of the United States. How can you say someone who ran such a good campaign as he did is not ready to run the country, when we gave someone with no successful experience 8 years to run this country into the ground.

    By the way, up until a month ago or so, I was a supporter and voter for Hillary Clinton. I've gotten over it, can you?

    August 28, 2008 at 12:34 am |
  8. Gigi

    In this major political race for the commander in chief to run our country and the future of Americans in all walks of life, my vote is on Obama and Biden.

    I have heard so many mixed views and negative comments about Obama not being "THE ONE" to tun this country.

    I would like to know if one who is running for the president of the US has to be made from a special mold?

    It is said that Obama is not strong enough, he is not experienced. Was Bush experienced to be the president, was his father, was Ronald Regan? How about Clinton? How about, John Adams for that matter? How about Hillary? Is there a special school one has to attend to be qualified and exoerienced enough to become the "cut above" candidate for president'?

    Obama is in the political arena ,but he did not attend Presidents School, nor did the ones mentioned above. I BELIEVE he is ready to run this country. Just how much experience does a candidate need to show the non-believers that he is READY TO RUN THIS COUNTRY AND MAKE A CHANGE?

    Obama and Biden are the deciples of change for ALL people, not just the rich.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:27 am |
  9. Sharen W, Illinois

    I have never become politically active before this election. I have been a supporter of Barack Obama and I am one of the 2million supporters for his campaign. I think it is time for the news media to start letting the American voters make our own decisions.
    I'm not sure where you get your "polls" but all you have to do is look at the crowds, the enthusiasm, and the new generation of voters and Obama/Biden will win by a landslide.
    Obama may not have the "experience" but Biden does. They are going to be a winning team.!!!!

    August 28, 2008 at 12:21 am |
  10. deb in az

    yes the ball is in his court now.......i think with the event that he is having tomorrow at the stadium is going to turn a lot of people off though.......people already think he is arrogant and now they are going to know it for a fact....he will not get my vote in november......his accomplishments are? gosh i cant think of a thing.......

    August 27, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  11. Bob

    I can not vote for Obama. I well not vote for president this year!! I am a ClintonDemocrat forever!!! (California)

    August 27, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  12. Vicki in Missouri

    I think Bill Clinton really shed a lot of light on the issues tonight. It was like getting a peek at what really goes on in Washington. Kudo's to you Bill!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  13. carrieinSterling, Va

    I agree. I think it's ridiculous the standard that Hillary has been held to. Obama and his supporters and many pundits seemed to have transfered to Hillary the responsibility of "selling" Obama to her supporters. That's Obama's job. Hillary has been gracious and Obama has been arogant. In my view a candidate that needs his VP to make him a credible commander-in-chief-and his opponent to convince her supporters that Obama shares her values and agenda is weak. My mother and daughter both wanted to vote for Hillary-and because of them -I came to respect her. We are all voting for McCain.There is no doubt he is qualified to be president.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  14. mary

    Hillary Clinton was electrifying last night. She proved that she is presidential in thinking and in inspiring others to think beyond themselves to work harder for a better tomorrow. And she is even cleverer with her razor sharp wit. (Which I believe is why some men find her an uncomfortable choice).

    But none-the-less, I am tired of people making it Hillary's responsibiity to unite the party. I watched with interest as the one Hillary Supporter stated in clear and concise points after Hillart's Speech why she was now so sad for America and the Democratic Party she used to believe in, so much so that she may sit this election out. Hillary speech just made it more evident that (a) she should have won the Democartic Primaries and (b) short of being the democartic nominee for presidnet – when Barack Obama was given the best and brightest VP pick on a platter with Hillary willing to forgive his negative attacks on her to work with him as a VP – he skipped choosing the best candidate for the party, and if Obama now cannot put aside his own ego for the potential greater good of the country and his democratic party, what does that say about his selfishness in making judgement calls as a potential president.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  15. Annie Kate

    I can't help but think that if Hillary had made speeches like the one she made last night during the primary campaign that she would be the nominee today. I hope that one day in the future she will be the nominee and win the Presidency. But I have no doubt that until then, if ever, Hillary will continue to be a very hard working legislator whose goal is to make life better for everyone in the US – she may do the country more service in this manner than anyone could ever do as President.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 27, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    I really wish at some point the Hilliary Clinton supporters would just let go. Senator Clinton lost – the election was not taken from her. Maybe we need to start a 10 Step Program for Hilliary Supporters: (1) the first step to getting past is accepting the reaility of it. I really hope that you all can do that for your own sake. Senator Clinton is going to be fine, no matter who wins, but will you?

    August 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  17. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I'm baffled by why the 25% would rather vote for McCain then Obama. The only differences between Obama and Hillary was the gender and race. They pretty much have the same views on the war, healthcare, economy and even illegal "immigration" (I chose Hillary because she wasn't as lax with the illegals as Obama wants to be). Are these 25% cutting off their noses to spite their face because Hillary didn't get the nomination?

    August 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  18. Glen Martin

    Today, We have turned a page in the book of life. We have over come for now, but we still have a way to go.
    I know this, I live in Canada now but I grew up in Mississippi, I'm 55yrs now I know what it like to ask why of my own mother, why I could not hold the hand of the one person I loved and was my only light in my young life of 10yrs old, why did my friend have to go threw the back door and I threw the frount, I Lefe my famly In 1970 and never came back just because no one ever told me why, why,

    Thank God for Sen. Obama
    And please help Us to Know Why...

    August 27, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  19. stacy

    I can not stop crying, my tears are of joy. I though that I would never see this day. I have study america history, with all that was done to Afro-american I never tought I would see this day. I wish my dear Morther was here to see this. I now feel that I have a voice to be herad. This has made me more aware that it is my duty to go back to college andd finish. I now know that it is hope and with hope their is a dream.

    August 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  20. Dennis

    @.JC-Los Angeles. The Peter Principle?

    August 27, 2008 at 7:33 pm |
  21. Barbara

    This accomplishment of the people of the United States of America, has allowed us to as a country; actually sign our own names to the Declaration of Independence.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    These words are true, and (I approve this message).

    August 27, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  22. laila

    Hilary is more qualified why JC? because you say so, well the majority said no. they said it with a resounding no, and that is that. I just hope that McCain doesn't win he has gotten a free ride from the media and I am looking forward to Obama/Biden giving him something to fight. I am hoping that every lie that he spouts he will be called out on. I am sure Hilary will be a powerful politician like a Ted Kenedy...Maybe one day her daughter will realize her dreams. No I don't hate Hillary but I support Barack and the 2 are not mutually exclusive. The majority of Hilary supporters support Obama, and as for the rest...who cares. There are enough independents so we can tune you all out. You can blog till blue in the face but no one trusts your judgment or commitment to this country, because you know that we cant take anymore hits to this countries economy...

    August 27, 2008 at 7:17 pm |
  23. JC-Los Angeles

    Even if Hillary Clinton gave impassioned speeches throughout her campaign, like she did last night, the DNC still would have pressed for and selected Obama to be their candidate.

    Obama is like so many leaders today in corporate America that are hand selected and pushed all the way up line until they reach the summit and then run the company into the ground.

    Hillary is more like the qualified employees in corporate America who are way more qualified, skilled and experienced than the selected and connected few but who have to continually fend for themselves.

    Judging from the countless leaders, executives and politicians that have all contributed to running our country into the ground, Hillary might be thankful she, unlike Obama, won't be added to that long laundry list of failures.

    August 27, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  24. Mary

    I consider myself a conservative independent. I have been watching all of this fairly close. Senator Clinton's speech was awesome and I thought the same thing you did. Why didn't she do this sooner? I think that all the speakers have to step up. Senator Biden is sitting in a seat that quite a few of the bloggers think Senator Clinton should have, for that matter so is Senator Obama. I hope that they can unite their party and more importantly, I hope that they can deliver on these promises that they have made. Looking forward to watching tonight, you guys are doing a great job covering this event. Have a great night.

    August 27, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  25. Heather

    I agree with you. She has done all that she can. I won't be voting for McCain or Obama ,but I will say Obama is going to have to fight to win those votes. When he sends Hillary around the country to talk on his behalf,the very people she is talking to will hear her speeches not his and will be reminded why there are many who identify with her and not him.Hillary was right it's more than just speeches where is the substance.It's now his turn to have the ball.

    August 27, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  26. Cindy

    Hillary definitely raised the bar and made it very tough for Obama. Now he has to do a better job than her in his speech and in the weeks to come or people will start second guessing him and their choice. He has a long row to hoe!

    She stepped up to the plate and hit a homer now he needs to hit a grand slam or he won't hear the end of it.

    Cindy...Ga.

    August 27, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  27. Ted

    I hope we come to a point in this country where we can actually hold accountable those people that run and are elected to office to the promises they make. I think this flip flopping of parties each election is actually a way to dupe Americans out of the good life.

    August 27, 2008 at 6:54 pm |

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