The Democratic primary season finally ended this evening, but we haven’t yet seen the end.
Hillary Clinton spoke from a gathering in New York City and Barack Obama spoke from the very St. Paul, Minn., stage where the Republicans will hold their convention late this summer.
Hillary did not concede the nomination, as AP had reported she would. She did, in fact, not sound like she was stating anything more than a willingness to talk with Obama in the next few days. She continued to speak as though the race is not yet over, and she’s not about to hand over her share of the electorate without getting something in exchange. And she sounded pretty good doing it, too.
Obama, in victory, was conciliatory toward Hillary, praising her for her tough campaign and service over many years. Then he launched immediately into a direct attack on John McCain, leaving no doubt that the battle has been joined and he’s a force to be reckoned with. If there’s such a thing as fire in the eyes, he had it as he addressed McCain’s talking points.
McCain also spoke this evening, before Hillary and Obama. His awkward delivery, with the beauty queen smiles and rough transitions from one teleprompter to another distracted from a reasonably good speech. It’s a shame the networks cut away from him to announce Obama’s victory.
TV’s talking heads praised Obama’s stagecraft tonight, but there were still some noticeable rough spots. The mandatory mosh pit of adoring fans has become tiresome, especially when camera shots show that the majority of the crowd is not as animated. Also distracting was the constant microphone adjustment from focus on the crowd to focus on Obama. The result sounded like someone turning canned applause on and off.
Attention now turns to the so-called “veepstakes.” Will Obama ask Hillary to be his running mate? If not, who will he choose? Who will McCain choose? As eager as the voters and media are to know the answers, there’s no reason to expect immediate decisions. Everyone deserves a few days’ rest and reflection before taking the next step.
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