Clinton takes second chair for unity


Originally published at Aug. 26, 2008.

Josh Grossma and Adam Lopez-Falk are both 19. This is the first time either will be able to vote in a presidential election.

And in November, they’ll both vote for Sen. Barack Obama. This is where the similarity ends. Grossma is short and solid with dirty blond hair. Lopez-Falk is tall and portly with long, brown hair.

Grossma, a guest in Denver, has been an Obama supporter from the beginning. Lopez-Falk will vote as a delegate for Sen. Hillary Clinton as often he can until it’s pointless — which it might very well be right now.

Both were inspired by their favorite candidate. Grossma, of Boston, said Obama is the first candidate who has stood for change.

“Obama truly has energized the youth,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lopez-Falk, of Arizona, grew up believing in experience and that is why he has, and will, support Hillary until the end.

“I remember growing up and how great the first Clinton administration was,” he said.

And Clinton, who addressed a standing room only, reminded the crowd of that particular administration herself. But in her speech tonight — as opposed to every other stump speech — there was a different ending: this one with Obama in the White House.

“… When Barack Obama is in the White House, he’ll revitalize our ecomony; defend the working people of America; and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this,” she said. ”

“As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.”

Clinton, whose job has shifted in months from presidential candidate to possible vice-presidential candidate and — finally — to party unifier, did what she had to do and did the thing she promised: to stand behind the person who won the magic number of delegates to become the Democratic nominee for President of The United States.

“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 on the sideline.”

Clinton’s main talking points towed party lines: McCain isn’t the man, Obama is. And as a unified party, they will reclaim the White House.

“No way. No how. No McCain,” the New York senator said.

Clinton did, however, take the time to thank all of her supporters and believers, while urging them to vote for the person they might have one time opposed.

But her humor might have been more convincing than her support of Obama.

“To my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you,” she said.

No matter — Clinton’s message of unity and support continued. Reminding the world why she ran for office — to create a world class education system; to fight for an America defined by equality; to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington; and to restore America’s standing in the world — are all the same reasons why she is now an Obama supporter.

“We need a president who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class,” she said to thunderous applause.

But one of the loudest applause came when Clinton said, “John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. … And in 2008, he still thinks it’s OK when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work.”

A point made all the more poignant as Clinton’s speech came on the anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Grossma and Lopez-Falk agree on one other thing, however — Voting is a duty. And there is no doubt both will be working very hard between now and November to convince any wayward supporters to vote for Obama.

“The worst thing that can happen are Hillary supporters voting for McCain in November,” Grossma said.


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