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2008-08-27

Clinton Calls on Supporters to Unite Behind Obama

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Sen. Hillary Clinton, addressing the Democratic National Convention.

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Senator Hillary Clinton captured the limelight for the last time in the 2008 presidential campaign with her speech before the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. Standing before thousands of delegates, nearly half of them her backers, Clinton endorsed Obama for the party’s nomination. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Hillary Clinton captured the limelight for the last time in the 2008 presidential campaign with her speech before the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night. It was day two of the convention, the eve of the delegate roll call, in which Barack Obama is expected to be nominated for president.

Clinton received a standing ovation and thunderous applause as she took to the stage. The convention hall was so packed for her appearance that officials sealed the entrances. Standing before thousands of delegates, nearly half of them her backers, Clinton endorsed Obama for the party’s nomination.

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: I’m here tonight as a proud mother, as a proud Democrat, as a proud senator from New York, a proud American and a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

    My friends, it is time to take back the country we love. And whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose.

    I haven’t spent the past thirty-five years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal healthcare, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women’s rights here at home and around the world to see another Republican in the White House squander our promise of a country that really fulfills the hopes of our people. And you haven’t worked so hard over the last eighteen months or endured the last eight years to suffer through more failed leadership.

    No way, no how, no McCain.

    Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president.

    Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend. He has served our country with honor and courage. But we don’t need four more years of the last eight years. More economic stagnation and less affordable healthcare?

    AUDIENCE: No!

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: More high gas prices and less alternative energy?

    AUDIENCE: No!

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: More jobs getting shipped overseas and fewer jobs created here at home?

    AUDIENCE: No!

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: More skyrocketing debt and home foreclosures and mounting bills that are crushing middle-class families?

    AUDIENCE: No!

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: More war and less diplomacy?

    AUDIENCE: No!

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: More of a government where the privileged few come first and everyone else comes last?

    AUDIENCE: No!

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: Well, John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it’s OK when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work.

    Now, with an agenda like that, it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.

AMY GOODMAN: Hillary Rodham Clinton, addressing the convention in Denver. After her speech, Barack Obama phoned her and her husband Bill Clinton to say he was grateful for their support.

While Clinton’s remarks included an endorsement of Obama, she did not say whether she would her name placed in nomination or seek a formal roll call of the states at the convention tomorrow night. Under a reported deal between the two camps, some states will be allowed to cast votes before somebody, possibly Clinton herself, cuts short the tally and asks the convention to nominate Obama by unanimous consent.

Clinton’s speech marked an end to her campaign against Obama that was waged across fifty-six primaries and caucuses. For many months, the Democrats were split in two over who to nominate. And on Tuesday night, Clinton still had vocal supporters among the pro-Obama crowd in the Pepsi Center.
Democracy Now! went inside the convention to hear from some of the delegates in their own words.

    CLINTON SUPPORTERS: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 1: We just love Hillary, because she’s one of us. She’s fought hard and long, and it’s a hard battle for any woman to get where she’s gotten.

    SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: What do you think about Barack Obama?

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 2: I have to hear his speech.

    UNIDENTIFIED: You’re undecided?

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 2: Yeah. I mean, no, I won’t say I’m undecided. When it comes down to voting in November, I will vote Democrat. I will not vote Republican. But I want to hear what Hillary has to say.

    SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Do you think she was treated fairly in the campaign?

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 2: No, I do not.

    SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Why not?

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 2: The media treated her wrong.

    SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Do you think she would have made a better candidate than Obama?

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 3: I’m very prejudiced. I say yes.

    SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Why?

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 3: Because she’s a woman, and we’re women, and we just believe in Hillary.

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 4: We thought it was women’s time. And, you know, we just — you know, it was hard to get over it, but we’re putting it behind us, because we want our party to be in the White House this January. So it’s — you know, we’ve got to go forward.

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 2: Women have always been shoved to the back seat, and I think that we’re still shoved to the back seat.

    OBAMA SUPPORTER: From day one, we’ve had fun with Barack Obama. We came out very early, very strong, and we were very proud to be out there so early.

    SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And what do you say to some of the Clinton supporters here at the convention who feel she may have been slighted somewhat?

    OBAMA SUPPORTER 1: Welcome home. We’re on our way to a great victory, and we’re glad you’re on board.

    CLINTON SUPPORTER 5: I think and I believe Hillary was the best choice between the two. She’s got the experience. She’s got the dedication. You know, she was out there in 1993 trying to get universal health coverage. I don’t think Barack Obama was even around then.

    We’re going to have a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of anger, and it’s going to take awhile for it to, you know, subside. And here we go. They wouldn’t even allow us to put anything in here. You know, we had to sneak these things in here.

    She’s a woman. She’s a woman. And, you know, women aren’t supposed to be uppity, and they’re not supposed to have opinions. And they’re not supposed to be able to take these leadership roles, you know? It’s because she was a woman. And if that’s not discrimination, I don’t know what is.

    OBAMA SUPPORTER 2: He won. He didn’t steal it. There was no background activity. There was no conspiracy. He won. So, this is what happens in democracy. Majority wins. And generally, those who say that they believe in democracy support that, whether it’s their particular wish at that time or not.

AMY GOODMAN: Some of the delegates speaking from inside the Democratic convention to Democracy Now! producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous.

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