I watched the convention last night - mainly to hear Hillary. Halfway through her lackluster effort and typically self-congratulatory rhetoric about glass ceilings and her connection to a litany of historic steps forward for human rights and the liberation of women, I left the room to check my e-mail and attend to a project I was interested in.
Later, when I returned to the tv, I was pleased to hear Keith Olbermann on MSNBC praising her speech. However, Michael Beschloss was on PBS arguing that the speech fell short, so I decided to read the speech and see how it ended. My take on the speech as a document is that she seems to have made a good argument against McCain but failed to say anything nice about Barack Obama.
Add to that the problems with her delivery and the combined effect is disappointing. This, after all, is a woman who was only narrowly defeated in the nominating process -- I have to believe she could have done better. Hell, Michelle Obama was better.
I think Hillary had an opportunity last night to impress everyone - to make some of us wonder if we had chosen the wrong person to head the ticket. Instead we saw a bland and uninspiring video, followed by a weak and ridiculously brief introduction by Chelsea, followed by a prolonged but unimpressive standing ovation and the lackluster but dutiful speech.
In many ways her speech was like her campaign - not quite good enough. In view of the ads McCain has crafted from Hillary's negative primary campaign tactics, the speech last night was a whisper in the wind.
Tonight we will hear from the other Clinton. I wish I could be excited about that.