We endured hours of Fox News this morning, Turd Blossom and all, waiting for the speech.

Republican nominee John McCain, the press and the pundits spent hours speaking about the outgoing Democratic candidate in glowing terms usually reserved for the recently deceased.

Then we read that a five limousine convoy had left the New York Senator’s residence in Chappaqua, and was making the 50km journey to the Baruch sports college in downtown Manhattan. This was it. Finally, it was over.

We held our breath for twelve minutes as history’s first female US presidential candidate, in royal blue pantsuit, thanked night shift workers, black people, white women (was that a tear?), babies, Bill (despite everything), Chelsea (surprised everyone) and the young boy who sold his bike and video games to donate to her campaign (never gonna get that money back kid).   

We followed Wonkette’s live blogging analysis:

9:36 — CROWD BACKGROUND EXAMINATION: Left to right: Gay photographer, Walt from Lost, a black gal with turtles on her shirt, Tony Soprano, fair-skinned Puritan pilgrim (from England), YO MAMA.

Then she said this:

 

And we beat our heads into our keyboards as Simply the Best by Tina Turner played out to hugs all round from Hillary Clinton.

What is going on here?

Ben Smith from Politico offered a peek into the alternative universe of the Clintons yesterday. There’s “been a strange disconnect between Hillaryland and the rest of the political universe,” he wrote. Since January 3, Hillary Clinton has been “one defeat away from pulling out of the race.” Since then, she and her staff have “defined victory down”. To survive each race was a win in itself, despite the mathematical reality.

And always, within Clinton’s camp, the “political reality competed with the psychological fact” of Clinton’s strong run, in “which she’s been met by cheering crowds and shepherded by faithful staff long after the press stopped taking her bid seriously.” It was these scenes that drove the Senator on, that kept her from bowing out of the race weeks and months after the media started baying for her blood.

She can’t quite bring herself to say it: I’m done.

And yet, hours before Hillary gave her momentous “yet to make a decision” speech, Obama’s victory speech was posted by The Drudge Report, then The Huffington Post :

 

As predicted, Obama went on to crown himself as the Democratic Presidental Nominee in front a screaming St Paul Minnesota crowd. Meanwhile, through the looking glass, Hillary refused to acknowledge reality in front of her own screaming crowd.

But that’s not quite right. Behind the scenes, say the experts, Hillary is shoring up her bargaining power.

AP is reporting that Hillary is open to filling the vice-presidential slot on an Obama-led ticket. According to The Huffington Post, her admission came during a call with supporters in New York’s congressional delegation.

But her speech offered the biggest clues. As The NY Times ‘ Caucus liveblogged:

9:47 p.m. | Clinton Combative?: “A lot of people are asking, ‘What does Hillary want?’” she asked. No clue about whether that includes the vice presidency. Here’s her answer: “I want what I have always fought for – to end the war, turn the economy around, health care for every American…”

And then this, a direct message to Mr. Obama: “I want the 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected.”

As Wonkette put it, in between drinks,

9:53 — Well, she’s done. It seems pretty obvious that she’s using her leverage to force Obama to let her take over health care reform. Go for it, killer.

Peter Fray

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