Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It is ironic that, two months after her concession, Hillary Clinton just delivered her best speech in this election cycle.

Everyone knows political speech is more about style than substance. In that regard, Hillary gave a brilliant performance tonight. She’s gracious and inspiring. She’s fiery and combative. She even coined a catchy zinger: no way, no how, no McCain.

Some pundits argue that she should have acknowledged her defeat and retracted her criticism against Obama. I think she had every right to address her supporters, to use the opportunity to promote party unity and optimism. The primary was a dead heat and OVER, for Christ’s sake.

“I want you to ask yourselves: were you in this campaign just for me?” She knocked one out of the park, with dignity and poignancy.

I share Hillary’s politics, admire her ambition, but her campaign style often came across as pretentious and pandering. It’s amazing to see how much more relaxed and energetic she is when stumping for Obama than when competing against him.

Seeing those teary men and women (OK, mostly women) on the convention floor, one cannot stop wondering what is in her that resonates with this audience. It may be something superficial, but it surely is a formidable political asset. Obama cannot afford to ignore her before and after November. I think she will play a prominent role in the Obama administration.

After a historic and divided primary, the presidential campaign has been quite timid past two months (the biggest controversies are, sadly, Paris Hilton’s parody and McCain’s real estate “senior moment”.) The Obama camp seems a bit disoriented and is looking for a breakthrough. I hope this week's acceptance speech can seal the deal. After all, it is Democrat’s election to lose.

Personally, I wish the Dem could play the race card more, and play it right. I, for one, am not ashamed to say that I will vote (if I could) for Obama because he's inspirational, because he’s intelligent, and because he's black. It will truly be a new chapter in US politics. I don’t think Americans have fully grasped the symbolism of a black president yet.

But this is America, where racism, no matter how we deny it, still exists. In politics, race is a taboo disguised as political correctness, because it's too risky a subject to deal with openly. That’s exactly why we need a President Obama on January 20, 2009.


  1. I had never listened to her speeches, but I thought that was an excellent speech. In the beginning, I wasn't sure where she was going with her meetings with different people, but at the end, I like how she tied all up with the question, "I want you to ask yourselves: were you in this campaign just for me?" Or those people. I thought that was brilliant. I do hope the Clinton supporters understand that part. If they are unwilling to go to the polls, Obama might not have a chance. I'm quite surprised at the stubbornness of some Clinton supporters... c'mon, she lost the nomination, so just get it over with.

    About racism, sometimes, I think maybe it's not so much about people are racists. They are, just never had the opportunities to interact with another race other than their own. That I think creates fear. After all, most Americans are NOT living on the coastlines. (You know what I mean?!)

  2. I always think parsimoniously that if Democracy gives power to majority, then power will tie to birth rate; together they support Darwinism! :)

  3. yun: I learned a new term last week: PUMA (Party Unity My Axx), a group of die-hard Clinton supporters who vow to vote Republican. But I don’t think those irrational Democrats are in significant number. They won’t impact the general election.

    Racism has many faces (ignorance, intolerance, discrimination, bigotry). I agree extreme hatred (white supremacy) is rare these days, but the country is still in the shadow of its racist past. More than two hundred years after Emancipation Proclamation, black Americans are still being disenfranchised socially and economically. An Obama presidency will have a chance to revive the interrupted dream of Dr. King. This hope for equality and opportunity is, more than anything else, the most important message of this election.

    paul :
    Democracy (in its purest form) does resemble Darwinism. However, I don’t think birth rate is a determining factor, at least not in a mature democracy.

    Reproductive success is the driving force behind evolution, but it’s not the driving force behind getting elected. First of all, voters do not act as a single species. Secondly, unlike gene mutation, change in political belief is more fluid and drastic, and is not tied to reproduction. Being born into a group certainly has influence in a person’s voting preference, but it hardly guarantees he or she will maintain the same voting pattern forever.

    Nevertheless, I think the kind of Darwinist democracy you described is actually happening in some quasi-democratic countries in Africa and South America. Very interesting insight indeed!