Senator Hillary Clinton put aside
differences with her Democratic primary rival and nominee-in-waiting
Senator Barack Obama last night as she called on her following –
“the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits” – to back the
Illinois Senator in his bid to become the first African-American
Clinton was the headline speaker at the
Democratic National Convention at Denver's Pepsi Center, where
supporters – bitter from a primary loss and a VP pass – continued
to rally to her side.
But Clinton passed on the wrangle,
opting instead to praise the man she once criticized.
“I am a proud supporter of Barack
Obama,” Clinton told some 4,500 delegates. “Whether you voted
for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single
party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us
can sit on the sidelines.”
And she pleaded with those supporters to
back Obama. “You haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months,
or endured the last eight years, to suffer though more failed
leadership. No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my
candidate. And he must be our president.”
Her stirring speech – longer than
most – included a call for equality. “I ran for president to
renew the promise of America. ... To rebuild the middle class ... To
promote a clean energy economy ... To create a health care system
that is universal, high quality, and affordable ... To create a world
class education system ... To fight for an America defined by deep
and meaningful equality – from civil rights to labor rights, from
women's rights to gay rights ... Most of all, I ran to stand up for
all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long
Clinton evoked the memory of former
Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, calling her “an inspiration to me
and to us all.” Tubbs Jones, the first African-American Congresswoman
elected from Ohio and a longtime gay ally, died last week in a
Cleveland, OH hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
Also speaking at the podium on Tuesday
was Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian
Congresswoman to be elected to the House.
Baldwin's speech stayed on-topic with
the Democratic issue of universal health care. She did not mention
her sexual orientation or discuss gay issues.
“Barack Obama recognizes that good
health care is as necessary to a productive society as a good
education,” Baldwin told the gathering. “Barack Obama
understands that investing in people restores the American dream. ...
I'm voting for the change we need to bring health care to all. I'm
voting for Barack Obama!”
The Democratic National Convention ends