By the time Hillary came out on stage in New York – about 9.30pm eastern seaboard time – the tension was close to frikkin unbearable across the nation. With only two half-deserted misbegotten states to … I’m sorry, proud frontier great plains Best of America thang to report, and with CNN now forecasting on the basis of exit polls, that Obama now had the delegates necessary for the 2,118 majority (the revised number following the reseating of 50% of Michigan and Florida), she would concede, wouldn’t she … wouldn’t she?

For the first 10 minutes of her speech it seemed like hell no, she wouldn’t. Congratulating Obama early on the whole campaign and noting that “I am proud to call him my friend” – presumably because it indicates an admirable ability to speak through gritted teeth – she quickly got out of that ditch and talked about “standing up for the best values of her party making sure that every voice is heard and that every vote counts”.

Uh oh.

“I think of each of your votes as a prayer …”


“I am so proud we stayed the course together …”

OK maybe she is conceding. Maybe the first bit was just a last canter around the track. Now shes talking in the past tense.

Huge noise, stomping at intervals.

“Everyone came together – red state, blue state, purple, people of every age, colour …”

Purple people?

“I am committed to uniting the party …”

Fantastic. She is conceding.

“None of you is invisible to me … I see you wherever you are …”

She is now claiming superpowers, X ray vision.

“I have been fighting for you my whole adult life …”

“Like the soldier who gave his spending money to the campaign, the 11-year-old boy in Kentucky who sold his bike …”

That poor kid again. He must be getting such sh-t down on the blue grassy knoll.

Chants of “DENVER DENVER” – ie go all the way to the convention …

“Where do we go from here?

That’s it – you don’t ask that question unless you’re looking for a future direction

“I will be making no decisions tonight …”

WHAT? WHAT? Obama’s got 2127 delegates according to CNN. He’ll get another 30 super-ds after tonight. It’s over.

“I want to hear from you. Write to me on the website and tell me what you think we should do.”

My god it’s Nancy Drew. The first choose-your-own-adventure campaign in history

“We’ll think about what’s best for the party in the days to come.”

She goes off to the tune of Simply the Best by Tina Turner – a la what? She took a few hard knocks too? Obama as Ike? We all suffer at the hands of skinny abusive black men?

In St Paul Minnesota, minutes later, Obama – there where the Republicans will meet – in order to stick it to them …

“Thank you to my grandmother.”

The cool Hawaiian one, not the racist … or was she the racist one?

“She put everything she had into me … this is the end of one historic journey.”

Bye bye Hillary

“I will be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States.”

Would you get that through your thick, goddam, sorority, preppie skull …

“Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign.”

Big ups for not slipping up on “has made” making it “is”.

“I congratulate her …”

Booing mixed amid the cheers – none of that in Hillary’s speech.

Obama giving a summary of Hillary’s life – eulogy for the living, gold watch speech.

“I am a better candidate for having had to compete against Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

I couldn’t think of a better strop for my gleaming razor …

“We aren’t the reason you came out …

“We owe our children a better future … let us unite …”

Going the big picture. Then he wheeled round and stuck it to McCain, Hillary vanishing into the dust.

“I honour … we all honour John McCain … but nothing he will say here is about change.”

Change. There’s a theme we haven’t heard much of.

“Tough, direct diplomacy which means we don’t cower from every petty dictator.”

“Change is about renewing our schools and returning to science and innovation …”

Much more content in this speech, basically turning the Democrat agenda on John McCain rather than fighting it out with Hillary, the lineaments of his presidential campaign be set.

“College be a birthright for every American … that’s why I’m running for President of the United States …”

“I look forward to the debate with the other side …”

That is a real debate, not a trench war with the Clintons … Then we go into boilerplate about the politics of fear, from 1776 through Civil War to World War 2, civil rights, glass ceilings etc, etc.

But still it soars, Hillary really can never top this. Must really hurt to know that.

“This is our moment this is our time …”

“We will be able to look back and say that this was the moment … we ended a war we slowed the rise of the oceans …”

Slowed the rise of the oceans? Oh! Global warming.

” … restored our place as the ‘last best hope of man’ …” 

Goes out on Springsteen’s 9/11 song The Rising – so at least that wimpy noncommittal number has at last found a meaning …

So a damn powerful speech – another one – even the CNN gang slightly moved by it – imagine what it would have been like if Hillary had conceded, and endorsed him, the pure surge of power.

So we go on. There is no relief. The days, weeks roll on, waiting for Hillary – either to concede in some afterthought or to fight on in a mad destructive frenzy.

We go on. We go on.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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