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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Beginning to Close the Deal

Well, it’s hard to imagine much more Hillary Clinton could have done last night to explicitly and implicitly ask her supporters to actively support Barack Obama. Sure, maybe she coulld have gone after John McCain at more length, but she had to do a lot of complicated things in this speech–most importantly, thanking her fans and telling them to vote for McCain or sit out the election would be a betrayal of their own efforts and values.
Aside from HRC’s speech, the most notable thing that happened last night was the slow but steady introduction of some red meat for the ravening Democratic delegates in the convention’s rhetorical diet–most obviously in the speeches of Brian Schweitzer, Ted Strickland and–to a lesser extent–Mark Warner.
But my favorite speech of the night, because she had rehearsed with us in the Red Room, was that of Lilly Ledbetter, the Alabaman whose lawsuit against the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has become the contemporary symbol of the fight for gender pay equity. If you heard Lilly, you heard not only one of the purest Southern Appalachina accents around, but a strong personal story about the stubborness of sexism, and the need for leadership–executive, legislative and judicial–to overcome it. In a way, Lilly Ledbetter’s endorsement of Barack Obama should have been as compelling to women mourning Hillary Clinton’s loss as HRC’s own endorsement.
Check out Matt Yglesias’ reaction to Lilly’s speech, and be sure to read his quote from National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg deriding that same speech. And if you found Lilly’s speech powerfukl rather than ridiculous, you might not want to consider voting for Jonah’s candidate, John McCain. (UPCATEGORY: Democratic Strategist

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