In her speech at the Democratic Convention last night, Hillary Clinton sought to unite the party behind her onetime rival and end accusations that she is not doing enough to help Barack Obama’s bid for the White House.
Clinton declared her support firmly and enthusiastically for Obama, telling the crowd, “I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American and a proud supporter of Barack Obama.”
“Whether you voted for me or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose,” she said. “We are on the same team, and none of us can sit in the sidelines.”
Her speech followed a short video tribute, narrated by her daughter Chelsea, that received thunderous applause.
“Today, my mom’s dreams are not about her life but about the lives of all Americans,” Chelsea Clinton said.
Clinton received a five-minute standing ovation when she walked on stage, with delegates waving blue-and-white Hillary signs and blue “Unity” sticks.
Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, watched from the audience as his wife spoke in support of the man the two of them spent months trying to defeat.
Clinton’s remarks followed days of speculation and hand-wringing by party officials who are dealing with tensions caused by more than a thousand delegates who remain angry that Clinton did not get the nomination and who were further outraged that Barack Obama did not choose her as his running mate.
On Wednesday, Clinton will get a role call vote, said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., but Clinton herself will cut it off at the New York delegation and call for awarding Obama the nomination by acclamation.
“I will vote for Hillary,” said Brad Taylor, 51, a Washington state delegate. Now that Clinton’s speech is over, party officials are hoping her holdout supporters will line up behind Obama.
Clinton’s former campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, told The Examiner that Clinton is being wrongly accused of not helping Obama.
He called Clinton’s convention remarks, “The speech of her life,” and said Clinton “has done more than any ever has in her position” to help a former rival candidate.