The ‘tell” in Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech

I thought Hillary Clinton’s speech was the best of her campaign. authentic; she wrote much of it herself, and it sounded the raison d’etre for her campaign: this has been an historic moment for women. Regrettably, and in hindsight a big mistake, this rallying cry never really came to the fore as more than a subtext during the campaign.  

The speech burnished her credentials as the progressive leader she was earlier in her career, and left no real space for her supporters not to shift to Obama. I saw no space here for McCain.  Simply none.

Although it took more than 6 minutes 50 seconds to mention Obama’s name, her support appeared genuine, (although her face tightened up the first few times she spoke his name). I believe she will work hard for Obama, if not “her heart out.”   

But, here is the “tell” of the speech for me.  Towards the end of the speech, when thanking her staff, volunteers and supporters, Clinton said,

“Being human we are imperfect. that’s why we need each other. to catch each other when we falter. to encourage each other when we lose heart.. none of us can go it alone… the changes we are working for are only changes we can get if we work together…”

See Hillary Clinton Concession

These lines don’t ring true.  Coming on the heels of the swiftly written post mortems, it is clear that that Hillary and staff did not act as if they needed each other.  They operated as discrete individuals (Penn, Wolfson, McCauliffe), not a team. They didn’t catch each other when they faltered; rather they stabbed the other in the back, repeatedly, creating lots of drama and some good tv,  but little teamwork.  Problem is Hillary thought she could go it alone; and Mark Penn thought he could go it alone, and so forth… and so they faltered, in message, organization, strategy and tactics.

By alternative, I also just watched the video of Barack Obama addressing his campaign workers in Chicago.  While Clinton’s message to her staff and supporters rang hollow, this is where Obama’s message soared. He said,

“You worked hard. You lifted each other up. You covered for each other. You made up for each other’s mistakes. You didn’t blame each other when things went wrong. There was just a good mood, a good heart, to this campaign. That’s what I’m most proud of. Even if we had lost I would be proud of what we’ve built because nobody thought that we could build it. Everybody thought that at some point this thing was gonna be a flash in the pan. Collectively, you, most of you are I’m not even sure of drinking age… You’ve created the best political organization in America and probably the best political organization that we’ve seen in the last 30 or 40 years. That’s a pretty big deal…

While Hillary’s claims of organization and teamwork functioned in her speech as rhetoric, Obama’s low key remarks are the mark of his no drama authenticity; his street organizer’s creed etched into the mechanics of his presidential campaign.  Thanks to Al Giordano from “The Field” whose great post on this Obama chat, provides the basis for this comparison. See Organizer in Chief

As terrific as Hillary’s closing campaign speech was, in the end, it becomes clear that her rhetoric could not be matched by the realities of her campaign.  On the other hand, Obama’s rhetoric to his supporters and staff was not only spot on, but it transparently coincided with the realities of his campaign operation. Such transparency is the stuff of real leadership (inspiration + mechanics).  In sum, these two speeches show how and why the democrats made the right choice.





5 responses to “The ‘tell” in Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech

  1. Pingback: Hillary Clinton Updates » Blog Archive » The ‘tell” in Hillary Clinton’s Concession Says Much

  2. Pingback: The ‘tell” in Hillary Clinton’s Concession Says Much

  3. I voted Hilary Clinton, and only support Hilary Clinton, No matter what Hilary Does suspend her campaign concede her campaign. No matter what Hilary does she could even support Obama and campaign for Obama I will never Vote for Barack Obama, I do think Amercia is ready for a black president, just not Barack Obama,,, The way The Democratic party handle this election with the Corporate Media propaganding this whole election, Turned this election upside down,, Obama could of ran over someone,, like Haley Berry, No one would care and still vote,, Obama..
    There several million Voter right now like my self, will not ever vote for Barack Obama, Many like my self will be Voting for McCain, my reason is simple,, the Obama voter came on CNN & MSNBC and said if obama does not win the primary, Obama supporter will vote for McCain, Democratic party did not do anything to the obama camp to stop ,, why is obama party splittin the party in half, Now pelosi and many other are blamming Hilary and kept on with the propaganda Corporate Media, Obama Said on the new so many time,, does not Matter, if your Democrat or Republican,, you want the right person for the right Job,, He is so right,,when He said that we wanted Hilary,, Well Congrats to Obama his supporter got him to the primary,,,but He will never win the election,, for Prisident, I will not stop with my blogging,, who is the best man for the job between Barack & McCain,, will vote for McCain he will be way better than Barack Obama, I can put up for McCain for 4 years and Hilary Can run again, Pelosi and the rest of the democrat party,, days are number at this point, For pushing Hilary out and ruining her Career, Even now During Clinton Exit speech,, Democratic party Told Hilary if she does not back there little puppet Barack Obama they will ruin her career,, In my opinion They all ready Ruined Hilary Clintons Career, Right Now I am goint listen to one thing Barack Obama said, and that is, like I said, it does not matter if your Democrat or republican who is the right person for the job,,,, Hillary supporter need to stick together, Vote for McCain or just not vote for we need the right person,,, Hilary is up on stage right now saying what pelosi and the democratic party are telling her what to do,, or Economy is down and the way the propaganda Media is,, we are turning into a 3rd world country,, by rigging the election thru the media, Hilary Supporter who really want Hilary to be president Need to vote for McCain or just not Vote for Barack Obama, let McCain win,, there nothing more he can do as president, Congress will not let him it Congress who controls everything,, not the president, Pelosi and the a lot of the democratic party ruined Hilary Career, If all Hilary Voter, stick together, than We can restore Hilary Career and make her President, in 4 years. if you vote for Obama we have to wait maybe 8 years or 4 years and republican will be office, if Obama wins the presidency he will only be 4 year term,,, I say give all your supporter not to the democratic party, but to Hilary Clinton.. democratic party needs all of them need to leave office and get fresh people in there, who can unite the party not keep it separated and force unity, to who they want not who the voter want,, Hilary would of won this election, DNC screwed her with floriday and Michigan if those vote were counted at the beginning she would of won this race along time ago..and for the sexest Media, Like CNN & MSNBC… will continue to not report the new but Make it up as they see fit, All Hilary supporter need to unit together.. and stick together,, Margaret Thatcher was prime Minister 30 years ago,, but American Men and New Bias, is keeping woman down for personal gain, Like Keith Oberman, & Chris Mathews Who are the biggest Sexest on this MSNBC stations,

  4. Pingback: » The ‘tell” in Hillary Clinton’s Concession Says Much

  5. nice try to send out the lame message that internal squabbling was why Hillary did not win. Obviously you lack the eyes, ears, brains, and honesty to acknowledge how she was done in.

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