Hillary wows Democrats with barnstorming convention speech

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For a woman who lost a nomination widely assumed to be in the bag and was then passed over for the Vice Presidential spot, Hillary Clinton looked genuinely pleased to be at the Democratic National Convention yesterday.

In one of the performances of her life, she boosted Obama, poured scorn on Bush and McCain, and gave her party a tantalising reminder of her star power.

There were some who felt, after watching her lift the convention hall to the point of near-hysteria, that they might have backed the wrong pony.

Certainly Mrs Clinton appeared to have at least one eye on 2012, should Obama lose in November.

“To my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you,” she said.

“You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.

“And you haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.”

She then set our her vision for America.

“To create a health care system that is universal, high quality, and affordable so that parents no longer have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead end jobs simply to keep their insurance.

“To create a world class education system and make college affordable again.

“To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality — from civil rights to labour rights, from women’s rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionisation to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families.

“To help every child live up to his or her God-given potential.”

But she made it clear where her loyalties lie.

“Tonight we need to remember what a Presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you — the American people, your lives, and your children’s futures.”

It was an honest attempt to bring her supporters in behind Senator Obama, but it may not convince all of them.

She pointedly failed to highlight his suitability for the role, concentrating instead on trashing the Republicans.

All eyes now turn to President Bill Clinton’s speech later today. His support for the candidate has been lukewarm throughout the campaign.

In July, referring to a conversation that he had with the presumptive Democratic Party nominee a few weeks back, Clinton said of his plan to campaign for Obama,

“He’s got a lot of things to do between now and the convention, of which this is simply one, so I’ll do whatever I’m asked to do, whenever I can do it.”

VIce Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden will also address the convention in Denver this evening.