As I was going into the Pepsi Center in Denver for the Democratic National Convention last night, I ran into Bob Johnson, the founder of BET Networks and one of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s biggest supporters.
(We could talk about how contradictory it is that Clinton, a woman who considers herself an ardent feminist, is taking campaign contributions from Johnson, a man who made his millions encouraging the degredation of African American women through music videos, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
When I asked him what he thought she was going to say, Johnson said that Clinton would take one for the Democratic team and tell her supporters to throw their weight behind Sen. Barack Obama for president.
“I think that what she’s going to say is that this county is in need of new leadership,” he said. “It needs leadership that cares about the issues that she campaigned on and that her 18 million supporters are concerned about. She’s going to make the case that Barack Obama has that kind of leadership and ask her supporters to support him without question.”
For the most part, Clinton did just that when she ended the night at the DNC. She gave a rousing speech that caused the sign-waving crowd to stand up and cheer….
…..and thus saved her ass within the Democratic Party.
The “Tina” half of the “Ike and Tina Turner of Politics” delivered such lines as “No way, no how, no McCain.” and “I’m a proud supporter of Barack Obama” and did them with a straight face. She namechecked Harriet Tubman and even sounded like she meant it when she told her supporters that if they supported her issues, they had to vote for Obama.
But, when Hillary went on one of those “as a matter of fact, it is about me” tears that talked about all of the reasons why she ran for president, I saw a look from Michelle Obama that only a person who was raised by a black woman would recognize.
It was the “Don’t make me have to come down there and beat your ass” look. Having gotten that look many a time in my life from my mom as a kid (and sometimes even as an adult), I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if the next time that Michelle was shown, she would have been minus her earrings….and Hillary would have had to get another pantsuit.
While I would like to believe that Hillary Clinton is going to go gentle into that good night now that she’s been given a prime-time speaking slot and acknowledgement in the DNC’s roll call, she’s gonna have to do a lot more to convince a lot of folks…and believe me, the streets, as they say, will be watching.
But don’t take my word for it, see the speech for yourself if you missed it: