I didn’t expect Hillary Clinton to concede and/or endorse tonight, but I certainly didn’t expect her to use her speech as a big “fuck you” to Barack Obama. It’s customary to use the final big speech of a campaign to thank supporters and reflect on the campaign’s themes and accomplishments, but tonight’s speech went beyond that. The ways Clinton used her speech tonight to further divide the Democratic party makes it seem as if my last post was written with the help of a time machine. I wrote about Clinton using rhetoric to give voters the impression that “Barack Obamaâ€™s victory is somehow illegitimate”, now take a look at her speech :
Who will be ready to take back the White House and take charge as Commander-in-Chief and lead our country to better tomorrows? People in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the territories, all had a chance to make your voices heard and on Election Day after Election Day, you came out in record numbers to cast your ballots. Nearly eighteen million of you cast your votes for our campaign, carrying the popular vote with more votes than any primary candidate in history. Even when the pundits and the naysayers proclaimed week after week that this race was over, you kept on voting.
You are the nurse on the second shift, the worker on the line, the waitress on her feet, the small business owner, the farmer, the teacher, the miner, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran, the student, the hard working men and women who don’t always make the headlines but have always written Americaâ€™s story. You have voted because you wanted to take back the White House, and because of you, we won together the swing states necessary to get to 270 electoral votes.
In all of the states you voted because you wanted a leader who will stand up for the deepest values of our party. A party that believes everyone should have a fair shot at the American Dream. A party that cherishes every child, values every family, and counts every single vote.
On the very night when Barack Obama sealed the nomination, she couldn’t even be humble enough to acknowledge the fact. Instead, she used her speech to once again insist that she won the popular vote, insist that she’s the stronger candidate against McCain, and make a thinly-veiled jab about Florida and Michigan.
Even worse is that her insistence that she wouldn’t concede was just another plug for her website :
Now the question is, where do we go from here, and given how far we’ve come and where we need to go as a party, it’s a question I don’t take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight. But this has always been your campaign, so to the 18 million people who voted for me and to our many other supporters out there of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you’ll go to my website at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can.
As Kos notes, rather than be magnanimous tonight, she chose to stir up her supporters even more and end the night with a fundraising appeal. Even as she’s laying off staff and becoming more obvious about her desire for the VP slot, she’s trying to squeeze every last dollar she can out of her supporters to pay off her campaign debts (to herself). And she has the gall to follow up the plug for her website with this :
In the coming days, Iâ€™ll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way.
Yeah, and I’m sure the reminders about her “18 million” supporters aren’t implicit threats to take her voters and go home. If she truly cared about her party, rather than just HER campaign and HER supporters, she wouldn’t have picked tonight to pour salt the Democratic party’s open wounds and exploit her supporters passions (and disdain for Obama) to try to weasel her way into the VP slot and re-fill her bank account.
Embarrassing. Pathetic. Classless. Disgraceful.