Her recitation of the “touching” people she has met has always struck me as tedious and a bit trivial, but I loved the way she wrapped that into the challenge to her supporters,
“I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?”
That was one of the moments that she really appealed to me. Another was when she said what Democrats have done and can do. I tensed when she said, “We did it once before with President Clinton and the Democrats,” but she won me over with, “and we will do it again with President Obama and the Democrats.” That’s actually kind of standard convention rhetoric, but she sold it and made it ring.
She gave a lot of policy reasons why all Democrats should vote for Obama, including and especially her supporters, and she made a convincing argument that she supported those policies. She did a superb job of attacking both George Bush and John McCain, and providing reasons why Democrats should vote against McCain.
What she failed to do was talk about the positive qualities of Barack Obama. After spending the primary talking about how unready he is and how much he lacks experience, she made no effort to reverse her stand in this speech. She described no positives about his character at all, and rebutted none of McCain’s current attacks on his character. She did not talk about Obama’s judgement, or his leadership, or his wisdom, or his patriotism, or his steadfast calmness under fire. She talked only about the policy positions that he and she had in common.
So, does she think he is ready to lead this country? Well, in the primary she did not think so, and since that time she is apparently unwilling to say.
And don’t think that the McCain campaign missed that, either. It was less than an hour after her speech that a spokesman was issuing a press release noting that she had at no time stated or implied that Obama was qualified and had sufficient experience to be President.