KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: The defeated’s role, to stand before the convention now dominated by the winner and sell that winner like the defeated was the first person who ever suggested the winner should be president.
To bury all thought of party division. To refocus the hard feelings of primaries towards the other party. To win the election for the other party. In fact, to say of him, he wants nothing to divide us into separate nations, not our color, not our race, not our religion, not our politics.
Hillary Clinton, tonight. No, the defeated who said that and did that and sold that was John McCain eight years ago for George Bush. And it is with irony untold that to help Barack Obama defeat John McCain 70 days hence, Hillary Clinton, tonight, must emulate John McCain 2000.
From Denver, Colorado, with Andrea Mitchell, Ann Curry, senior White House correspondent David Gregory, and Savannah Guthrie reporting from the convention floor, NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw, political director Chuck Todd, chief Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell and the panel: Pat Buchanan, Rachel Maddow, Eugene Robinson, and Mike Barnicle.
“The Insider,” former Congressman Harold Ford, Joe Scarborough, Howard Fineman, and Richard Wolffe of Newsweek at the campaign “Listening Post,” and special youth issues correspondent Luke Russert.
Among our guests, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congressman Rahm Emanuel, and former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers. And the scheduled speeches of governors Napolitano and Rendell, and Senator Casey. The keynote address from Mark Warner. And the featured attraction upon which so much rests, the remarks of the junior senator from New York.
This is MSNBC’s coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Good evening. Welcome to MSNBC’s coverage of day two and night two of the Democratic Convention 2008. Live from Denver, Colorado, alongside Chris Matthews, I’m Keith Olbermann. Here we are.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well, it is soap opera night. It’s one of those, I expect her name should be Brad. You know, what do you think Brad will say? What will Alice say tonight? What will Hillary say tonight about Barack Obama that appeals to the friends of Hillary Clinton? It’s very interesting.
OLBERMANN: The only thing we know so far, and this is just breaking through the Obama camp, that Senator Clinton tried to reach Michelle Obama by phone last night, did not manage to do so, but they connected today after Hillary addressed the Emily’s List people.
And the point of Senator Clinton’s call and contact to Michelle Obama was to congratulate her on a great speech. So we had the first olive branch went out yesterday from Michelle Obama during the speech, citing Senator Clinton as an exemplar for women and an exemplar for voters.
And now, we have the return from Senator Clinton and then of course the big one tonight. And what are we expecting?
MATTHEWS: Well, the eagle’s claws, is that the opposite of the olive branch? I hear, we’ll get further reporting on that tonight that apparently the Clinton speech tonight by Senator Clinton, the former president’s—speech by former President Clinton tomorrow night, have not been vetted by the Barack people. That is a point of contention. There is supposed to be harmony here. But it’s hard to harmonize if you don’t know the other parts. And you have to wonder why there hasn’t been a sharing. Well, you don’t have to wonder, do we?
OLBERMANN: It might be an a cappella performance rather than harmonizing. Inside the Pepsi Center, our chief White House correspondent David Gregory will be throughout the evening, obviously he is still with us here since he just finished “RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE.”
But he is here with hints, details on the Clintonian speech of epic proportions tonight—David.
DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well, Keith, you just mentioned it. And Chris’s reporting is indeed accurate. As of two hours ago, I was told by people close to the Clintons that they were still drafting the speech, furiously drafting the speech to get all the chords right.
Hillary Clinton very much involved in that speech. And as of a couple hours ago, the writing was still going on. I also spoke to somebody close to the Obamas who seemed reassured, was expected a very positive speech tonight. My reporting indicates to me that this is the time when Hillary Clinton makes the case for Barack Obama’s candidacy, that she sends a message to her supporters that she appreciates them, but it’s time to get on board with Obama.
She will raise the level of attacks against John McCain, who has been using her words against Obama in advertisements. But I’m told she’ll be diplomatic. Here’s what’s most important according to people close to her. She will use this speech to vouch for Obama as a man of values, as a candidate that voters can connect to.
This is not just about reaching her core supporters that are in the hall, other women who wanted her to be on the ticket as running mate. It is to say to those voters who have eluded Barack Obama in states like West Virginia or Pennsylvania that Barack Obama is OK.
Can she deliver those voters to him starting tonight? That’s a big question. It has been a real difficulty for Barack Obama, but she will begin down that way tonight. Top Obama advisers say, as people close to the Clintons say, Senator Clinton is there. She’s doing the work with Obama, she’s in good with both Michelle Obama and Barack Obama.
There has been further conversations between former President Clinton and Barack Obama, but there’s still some uneasiness among top Obama advisors and the former president. That full public embrace has yet to happen. They are expecting it tomorrow night. We’ll see.
OLBERMANN: That point, David, we have reporting now from The Washington Post that Governor Rendell, who was one of Senator Clinton’s foremost advisers and staunchest supporter, sometimes to the point of absurdity during the primary season, compared Obama to Adlai Stevenson today, who, of course, lost twice to Eisenhower in the ‘50s and said he’s not exactly the easiest guy in the world to identify with.
So there is still—I mean, as much as we, in the media, are being accused of hyping this to death, the people who were on the Clinton side of this thing are still contributing to this.
GREGORY: Well, I think there’s no question about it. And Ed Rendell has been one who has consistently been doing that and has remained a stalwart supporter to the last. That’s why her speech tonight matters so much.
Only Hillary Clinton—principally, and then of course the former president can quiet this talk, can send the message to their supporters that it’s time to have unity in the party. The big threshold here is whether this convention and whether tonight is about the Clintons, about their legacy, about whether there is buyer’s remorse among their supporters and those who didn’t support them about Barack Obama, or whether it’s about Obama and about locking up support behind him.
I don’t think they can coalesce all about tonight. And I think it is illustrative of this difficulty that Obama advisers expect a good speech, but they are not really vetting this speech. The speech is still being written in—late into the afternoon. There are still a lot of loose threads here. And that’s why we wait so eagerly for tonight’s address.
MATTHEWS: You know, David, it seems to me the most salient aspect of the great Adlai Stevenson’s political career is that he ran for president twice, was nominated by his party twice, and lost rather grandly. Is that the message that we’re getting from Ed Rendell, that Barack is a loser?
GREGORY: I think you know it as well as anybody, Chris. And I think that’s clearly the message. There’s no reason to believe that the Clintons, who do not believe or have not believed that Barack Obama was in a position to win in the fall have changed that view.
But if they are beginning tonight, with Hillary Clinton’s speech, to set the table for another presidential run in 2012, the one thing they know they have to do is be right with the Democratic Party and the Democratic base.
They can’t appear to be anything other than completely behind Barack Obama. That’s the test tonight. It’s difficult because this will be the most harsh speech that we hear at this convention. And indeed the bar is very high.
OLBERMANN: David, there’s one more development. There’s now a quote from Howard Dean that contradicts—and perhaps he knows more than we do, it’s implied that—by this that he perhaps has some foreknowledge of the speech, if not a full vetting.
He declared that “the convention is determined to make Obama the nominee without an issue, there is not a unity problem, if anyone doubts that, wait until you see Hillary Clinton’s speech.” Would Governor Dean perhaps have seen this, even if the Obama campaign had not?
GREGORY: Well, I think it’s clear from people that I’ve talked to that top party people would certainly get a heads up on the major themes. But as I was saying earlier, even as of a couple of hours ago, the sections on what she was going to say about Senator McCain were still being written. So nobody had direct knowledge about how that was going.
There was such attention to detail, hitting all the right chords. One thing we can determine from that is that certainly Hillary Clinton, who is heavily involved in that, wants to get this right and certainly wants to do right by Barack Obama, at least in terms of the speech.
OLBERMANN: We will see. And they are giving her plenty of time to do it, 25 minutes’ worth. David Gregory, many thanks.
MATTHEWS: We’re joined right now by our own Joe Scarborough. I think he’s over in the Pepsi Center.
Joe, the host of “MORNING JOE,” what’s it feel like over there? We’re talking about the possible last-minute glitches here. The pattern we’ve seen of the Clintons for years of not writing speeches until the very, very last moment. But in this case, when they are trying to harmonize with their new political partners, I guess it’s hard to harmonize when you’re making up the tune.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “MORNING JOE”: Well, actually, Chris, there are developments that I can report. Mika Brzezinski and I just talked to David Axelrod about 10 minutes ago. He said they have seen the speech. That over the past 12 to 24 hours the Clintons have become more cooperative with the Obama campaign.
They are very excited about the direction that this is going. They heard criticism throughout the day that they were ceding too much time to the Clintons, that the Clintons could undermine this convention for them.
David Axelrod said that is not the case. When Mika and I asked him why in the world they were ceding Tuesday and Wednesday night to the Clintons, he said, just wait until you hear her speech, whereupon we asked, have you seen the speech? He said, yes, we have been developing this speech and now we have seen it, we’ve worked with her.
We asked if—to your other point about how Clintons write speeches at the last second, have you seen Bill Clinton’s speech yet? And to that David Axelrod laughed, and he said, no, of course, that speech is still being written, but we expect when the time comes, we’ll see that speech also.
David Axelrod very, very pleased. He has seen the speech. The Obama campaign has seen the speech. And it said, again, over the past 12 to 24 hours they have been excited about the cooperation that the Clintons have given them. And they are very confident.
And in David Axelrod’s own words, that it will take tonight and tomorrow night to bring this convention together and bring all the Clinton supporters on board Team Obama. But he’s confident that after these two speeches are delivered, that will happen. Like Howard Dean, David Axelrod is very excited about the speech Hillary Clinton will deliver tonight—Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, you know, Joe, is that your sense, spending the day over there, that there’s peace and harmony in the land?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, there’s no doubt that our job as reporters obviously is to go out and find a stories, find the Loretta Sanchezes out there that are still the hold outs, the people that are saying no, I am not going to be supporting Obama.
But they obviously heard that Sunday, they heard it Monday. And I think they understood once and for all that it was time to get together with the Clintons, to work aggressively to make this work.
You know, Howard Fineman reported in Newsweek and on “HARDBALL” that in fact Barack Obama did not call Bill Clinton. It took a month to really get them together to have a good, long talk about the convention speech. But the message has been received.
I’m not exactly sure what got the Clintons and the Obama campaign together over the past 12 to 24 hours. But again, David Axelrod says it has happened. And let me tell you something, we talked to him about some of these polls that we talked about last night. The latest Gallup daily tracking poll now shows John McCain picking up 2 additional points. We asked him about that.
David was supremely confidant. He laughed and he called those polls something that I cannot repeat on the air. But I will tell you this, he has the same opinion of the Gallup daily tracking polls as our own NBC News political director Chuck Todd. David says they are garbage.
Their own internal polls show that this race is going to be close, but everything they have been looking at over the past two months have given them confidence that Barack Obama will ultimately win this election in the fall, are still holding. Despite the variations in these national polls, what they see in their internals—in their internal polling, when you go into the cross tabs, still makes them very confident that they are going to do well, and that the Clintons are going to bring this convention together. And then Thursday night, he hits it out of the park at Invesco park—Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you, Joe Scarborough, out on the floor of the Pepsi Center.
OLBERMANN: All right. Let’s check in with NBC News political director Chuck Todd for more on this and Senator Clinton’s goals tonight.
And, Chuck, we know Senator Clinton addressed the Emily’s List people today. It was very strong about John McCain. One of things she said was—in emphatic terms, was “he doesn’t believe that women deserve the right to choose,” which is obviously a key idea to hit people over the head with in terms of the women supporters, particularly for Senator Clinton, who might still be thinking of John McCain as a viable option.
Is it possible that there might be a two-for-one deal here tonight? Could the gist of Hillary Clinton’s support for Barack Obama be less pro-Obama and more a shame on you, John McCain, kind of speech?
CHUCK TODD, NBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I think it’s possible. Look, we know what her goals are. What’s interesting about this speech, and you know, the beauty of Clintonland is that there are always people talking.
It’s my understanding, as many as six people have contributed a lot of time to this speech and as many as another half dozen have given contributions and advice to Clinton on this speech. So this is one of those ultimate team efforts which sometimes means that the speech can go all over the place and not have sort of one theme to it.
But I do think you’re going to hear a couple things tonight. One is obviously the convincing case for Obama. One is hitting McCain, and I do think abortion and some other women’s rights issues, since Hillary Clinton now does see herself as the leading woman in the Democratic Party, she will have justification and the credentials to make the—sort of the feminist case, if you will, against John McCain.
But the other thing we should be listening for is what is the Ted Kennedy-Al Gore plan B that she’s going to start laying out there? You know, Ted Kennedy in ‘80 used his defeat and made his decision to move and become that legislative lion. Al Gore, after he realized the presidency was no longer a viable option, he went and grabbed an issue.
Will we hear her talk a lot about health care? It would be surprising if she didn’t talk a lot about it. And it that what she’s going to make, sort of an Al Gore-esque goal about saying, you know, I’m going to take health care and fight for it, and make that her staple issue.
One other thing, by the way, earlier today, I was talking with New York Times’ Pat Healy on our air. And this ought to make Obama people a little nervous, our friend Mark Penn, the chief strategist and the guy who penned all those memos, is helping President Clinton with his remarks tomorrow night.
I think that David Axelrod now probably is going to be getting a little more anxious about seeing a copy of that speech.
OLBERMANN: Oh, here we go. Let’s stick on tonight’s for a second. One more thing, Chuck, I mean, people have questioned what Senator Clinton’s motives might be going into this speech.
Is it just possible that the overriding emotion now is not about setting herself up in case Obama doesn’t get elected, nor protecting herself in the event that Obama doesn’t get elected, nor setting her own path for what happens if he does get elected, is it possible, and I know this—in this cynical year, it seems almost silly to ask this question, but is it just not possible that she could genuinely believe that the nation can’t sustain itself with another four years of Republican rule and that that’s the motivation going into tonight’s speech for her?
TODD: One of her longest and closest advisers, somebody who was very close with Hillary Clinton all the way into the ‘92 campaign, one of the very few people who was with her both in ‘92 and in 2000 and in 2008, told me that she really does believe you can’t have another Republican elected, that that is ultimately why she’s coming around, in this person’s mind, so easily to Obama.
You know, we here in the media and some Obama folks say, hey, it’s taking her too long, she’s not coming around soon enough. The fact is, and this is something that Hillary Clinton likes to bring up. She got on board a lot sooner than most defeated primary candidates.
It took—you know, there’s that the famous story or myth, depending on whose side of the story you believe, of Jimmy Carter chasing Ted Kennedy around, trying to get his handshake in and get them so they could raise their hands up in the air at the Democratic Convention, where it still wasn’t clear whether Ted had really endorsed Jimmy Carter.
Or Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford having those awkward moments at the ‘76 convention, and it took a while. So in many ways Hillary Clinton is saying that—she says, hey, I got on board a lot sooner than a lot of other folks who went not quite as far as she had in this primary process.
So I do think that there’s something to your thought there, Keith, which is, you know what, she doesn’t want another four years of a Republican presidency.
OLBERMANN: Too late would be sometime in the afternoon, November 4th. Before that is not too late. Chuck Todd, inside the convention center. Thank you, Chuck.
When we return, much more on what Senator Clinton may do in her speech tonight. Is she going to go all out for Barack Obama, is, perhaps even more interestingly, she going to all out against John McCain in those kind of “shame on you” terms?
We’ll hear from Norah O’Donnell and our panel, plus Lisa Caputo, Hillary Clinton’s former press secretary from her days as first lady.
And inside the convention center right now, the eight women senators of the Democratic Party in sequence addressing the convention. Let’s listen for a moment on the way out here to the Arkansas senator, Blanche Lambert Lincoln.
SEN. BLANCHE LAMBERT LINCOLN (D), ARKANSAS: … country can always receive the essential care that they need. We must fulfill America’s promise to our troops so that their sacrifice will be rewarded with quality health care for them and their families. Every American deserves the peace of mind that a quality health plan brings. This November, we can’t afford more of the same.
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D), WASHINGTON: … raising their children instead of boosting oil companies’ profits. Who can we trust to deliver this plan? President Barack Obama. This November, we can’t afford more of the same.
OLBERMANN: Senator Cantwell of Washington, one of the women senators, the “great eight,” addressing the Democratic National Convention late this afternoon here in Denver time. And we rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention. Night number two, live from Denver.
MATTHEWS: Let’s introduce our panel right now. Of course, as last night, led by MSNBC’s chief Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell, and featuring Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post, Mike Barnicle, and Pat Buchanan—Norah.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: All right. Chris and Keith, thank you so much.
You know, this Democratic Convention is not just a celebration for the Democrats, this is a contest for the White House. So one of the things I want to touch on with you guys is whether last night, James Carville essentially said it was a wasted night last night in terms of capturing swing voters, do you agree, Pat?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let me say that the roll out of Joe Biden was a failure in terms of the Gallup tracking poll, they’ve lost 2 points, they got nothing out of it.
Last night, the jury is out. It was a wonderful night in terms of the tribute to Ted Kennedy. Every American, I think, I don’t care, without regard to party, was moved by that. And she did a wonderful job of softening and broadening and deepening the image of herself as Barack Obama’s wife, and removing some of these negatives.
We don’t know how much. But Carville is dead on in terms of taking down the Republican Party and John McCain, making the case why they have got to be thrown out and all America depends on it. And Barack Obama has got to be in there. It was a wasted night.
O’DONNELL: The Republicans, Mike, are going to use from day one through day four to hammer Barack Obama.
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, I’m sure they will. But, you know, I very rarely disagree with James Carville, but I do disagree with him on this issue for a couple of reasons.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BARNICLE: First of all, I don’t think on the emotion of last night, Ted Kennedy appearing and Michelle Obama appearing for specific reasons to introduce themselves to the country, you can’t interrupt that sort of emotional flow with, by the way, John McCain is a bad guy.
O’DONNELL: Well, why not position a senator, like Claire McCaskill up there for five minutes and let her throw some red meat out to the crowd?
BARNICLE: Well, let me ask you this or let me state what I’m about…
O’DONNELL: No, no. I’m leading the panel.
BARNICLE: Purely accident, because you don’t have a specific expertise in my probably largely minority view here of what happened last night. Something happened last night that I think down the road will be more important than Ted Kennedy’s speech, more important than Mrs. Obama’s speech, perhaps even more important than Barack Obama’s speech, and that’s when one little girl said “hi, daddy.”
And it humanized him, like that. Boom!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
O’DONNELL: While I tease you, I actually agree with you, because you first have to capture someone’s heart before you can capture their minds. And last night they may have captured a lot of people’s hearts emotionally.
The emotion is there and they bring people back ready to listen to Hillary. She will have to hit it out of the park tonight. If she does that, and we get every indication from her advisers that this is going to be spot-on in terms of substance and tone tonight, back Barack Obama and also hammer John McCain, but then what the heck are some of her supporters doing today, like Governor Ed Rendell offering this backhanded compliment, comparing him to Adlai Stevenson?
EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, right. I guess I would try to find, you know, different antecedents, somebody else to talk about other than Adlai Stevenson.
BARNICLE: He couldn’t remember Mike Dukakis’s name.
ROBINSON: Well, right, exactly. I mean, look, you know, Ed Rendell is a big Hillary Clinton supporter. Ed Rendell has also said he will be as enthusiastic a Barack Obama supporter in Pennsylvania as he was a Hillary Clinton supporter.
And you know, he really knows how to do this stuff. So I actually look for the party to come out of this in pretty good shape.
O’DONNELL: This was in an interview with The Washington Post. And Ed Rendell says: “Despite all of Obama’s gift, he’s not exactly the easiest guy in the world to identify with.” What does that mean?
BUCHANAN: Let me say this, look, Ed—every political convention is a political propaganda show. What you have got in Ed Rendell is the real thing. You know what he said, people are as nervous as all get-out. And they are.
And there is a touch of Adlai Stevenson, of the effete intellectual, take six minutes to answer a question, in Barack Obama. It is not good. That’s why he lost the Rick Warren debate. I mean, he has got—you know, let me think this out, it’s above my pay grade when life begins…
ROBINSON: Oh horror of horrors, he thinks about questions before answering them. How could he do such a thing?
BARNICLE: But Rendell also, because of who he is, former mayor of Philadelphia, a street guy, also said, at the end of the day, the only color that’s important to voters is green, the color of money, jobs, employment. And he’s right on that.
BUCHANAN: But Mike is a big Adlai Stevenson guy. I think he worked with him back in those days.
O’DONNELL: Is there anything that Hillary Clinton could do tonight that could turn this convention—be the turning point and get rid of this story line? Or are we still going to have to wait until tomorrow night because Bill Clinton is speaking and we then—they still have not seen Bill Clinton’s speech?
BUCHANAN: Here’s what she shouldn’t do—first what she should do out there is show total allegiance to this party and loyalty and fealty to its nominee, he won. Tell her voters, go out there. But what she should not do is go carving John McCain. Because she’s looking not only at her future in terms of in the Democratic Party…
O’DONNELL: All right. Pat…
BUCHANAN: … but she has got a cross-party appeal..
O’DONNELL: … I’ve got to go…
ROBINSON: Oh, I kind of disagree.
O’DONNELL: … hand it over now to Chris right now.
Chris, I’m going to hand it to you.
MATTHEWS: Norah, thank you. Norah and the gang.
Let’s go right now to Governor Ed Rendell, the aforementioned governor of Pennsylvania, the man who compared Barack Obama and will (ph) again (ph) to Adlai Stevenson, the twice-defeated nominee of the Democratic Party.
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you! Save some of that energy the next 10 weeks, right?
It was eight years ago that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney came to Philadelphia to accept their party’s nomination. On stage at that convention, we heard lots of talk about energy. The Republican platform even called for expanding the renewable energy tax credit.
But once elected, they broke their energy promises to the American people and let big oil determine and even write our national energy policy. The results of the Republican energy plans are plain.
Back then, the price of gas was about $1.50 a gallon. Today, the price of gas is $4 a gallon. Back then, it cost about $900 to heat your home through the winter. This winter, it’s more likely to cost over $2,500.
Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil just announced the largest quarterly profit in the history of the world. That’s not just an outrage, that’s obscene.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
RENDELL: This happened because for the last eight years the Bush-Cheney team stonewalled the taxing of oil company profits and prevented efforts to promote alternative energy production.
And guess who voted with the Bush administration 90 percent of the time? John McCain.
Now, as another Republican convention approaches, we’re hearing more of the same. We’re hearing talk about alternative energy, energy independence and wind power. But if you look past the speeches of John McCain, here’s what you see. Many of John McCain’s top advisors worked as lobbyists for the oil and gas companies. I guess that explains why he wants to give another $4 billion tax break to oil companies.
And if you look past his speeches to his record, one thing is absolutely clear. John McCain has never believed in renewable energy and won’t make it part of America’s future. For all of his talk, here’s the truth and the American people need to hear the truth. John McCain voted against establishing a national energy standard. He voted against tax incentives for renewable energy companies. And for all of the big talk about drilling, he refused to endorse a bipartisan effort to expand domestic oil production because that bipartisan proposal would have ended tax breaks for big oil.
It’s clear, the only thing green in John McCain’s energy plans are the billions of dollars he’s promising in more tax cuts to oil companies. And the only thing that he’ll recycle is the same failed George Bush approach to energy policy.
Well, we can’t afford more of the same. We need a strategy that puts America on the path to end the age of oil once and for all. Now the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania knows a little about energy leadership. Back in 1886 -- back in 1886, there was a Pennsylvania town that helped lead America into a new energy future when it created the first successful electrical streetcar system. It earned that town a nickname. It was called the electrical city. But the real name of that town is Scranton, Pennsylvania.
And today, a son of Scranton, Joe Biden, and a friend of Pennsylvania, Barack Obama, offer to change America needs to create a future, free of foreign oil. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to producing enough home grown fuel to replace every single drop of oil we import from the Middle East and Venezuela in just 10 years. An Obama administration will invest $4 million to keep America in the car making business. And it will give you a tax cut so you can buy a fuel efficient car or truck. And it will commit to getting 1 million, 150 mile-per-gallon cars on the road within six years and it will make sure that those cars are built right here in America.
It will require that within four years, at least 10 percent of our nation’s electricity comes from alternative energy. And by 2025, we’ll hit 25 percent. An Obama administration will move immediately to make the renewable energy tax cuts permanent, once and for all. And 9t will double the amount of energy that come renewable sources over the next four years. It will invest $150 billion over the next decade to grow our energy supplies and put 5 million Americans to work, building coal farms and solar farms, clean coal gasification and geothermal plants. The kind of jobs that can’t be outsourced to India or China.
An Obama administration will bring everyone to the table, business, government and the American people to reduce our demand for electricity by 15 percent by the end of next decade. That’s the kind of change we need. Now, there’s one person who understands what this can mean and he’s a Pennsylvanian by the name of Troy Galloway. Troy is a 44-year-old steel worker who has worked for the same company for 15 years, and then was laid off. But today, he’s working in Pennsylvania for one of the largest clean energy companies in the world and he’s earning as much as he earned at the steel mill. Troy’s new employer has put more than 1,000 Pennsylvanians to work in green collar jobs that pay well and have a great future. Why? Because Pennsylvania, in 2004, set a standard which will require utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from clean and renewable resources.
That’s the kind of change we need. The Obama administration is going to bring energy independence to America and make it a reality. That’s what the future could look like with Barack Obama as president.
Now, if we can do it in Pennsylvania, we can do it in Ohio. We can do it in Florida. We can do it in Texas. We can do it in New York. We can do it in California. We can do it in every state in the union. We can and with Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the White House, we will!
MATTHEWS: That’s of course Governor Ed Rendell, he’s quite a character. He’s had a lot of comments about a lot of people the last couple of days. He does have a strong reputation for fighting for energy independence, especially against the Arab countries over there. You have to wonder, politically, why the Democrats at this convention don’t mention the name Dick Cheney. He’s the least popular American in maybe 100 years. And he’s been holding those secret meetings with the oil companies for years now. And the only gain we’ve gotten out of that is more secrecy because we were never told or he at least he never was, apparently, Keith, if I might bring you in here – he knew the situation in the oil industry because he was meeting with these guys all the time. Didn’t they ever tell, hey the price of oil might begin to spike, at the pump.
OLBERMANN: And you know, as one of the great fictional politicians used to say, you might very well think so, I could not possibly comment.
You’ll notice in that speech, Governor Rendell managed to use the revised Obama campaign phrase. So whatever that talk was of Adlai Stevenson before, he got in the new phrase, the key four words, “the change we need” as opposed to “change we can believe in,” the first adaptation of that in the primary season.
All right, tonight’s other big headliner of course, Senator Clinton. When we return, Lisa Caputo, the former press secretary to the senator when she was first lady joins us. You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the 2008 Democratic Convention at the ten week mark to the election. Stay with us.
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you with MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic Convention, the second night already under way. And tonight at around 10:30 Eastern, the big speech, Senator Hillary Clinton. Our Ann Curry is on the floor at the podium now inside the Pepsi Center with Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania who spoke just moments ago. Ann?
ANN CURRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks a lot, Keith. Governor, may I ask you, what does Hillary Clinton have to do tonight to satisfy Barack Obama and the Democratic Party that she’s done enough.
RENDELL: Well, it doesn’t end with tonight. But it starts with tonight. She has to give a great speech, which is clear mandate to her supporters that the time for looking back, the time for saying what if, is over.
CURRY: Is it the words or passion?
RENDELL: Both. The words and the passion are important. The words are clear. Get out and work as hard for Barack Obama as you would for me because you care about issues like national health insurance. There’s no excuse for not working hard for Barack Obama.
CURRY: You once said to the unhappy Hillary supports, be for Barack Obama with as much fervor, as much and passion as you were for Hillary. You know, since you made that comment, there are still angry Hillary supporters who say they may not vote in November. And Barack Obama cannot win without those supporters. So what do you say to them tonight?
RENDELL: Well first of all, listen to Hillary. If you cared about Hillary Clinton, if you followed her for 20 years, if you believe in her, believe in her tonight when she tells you what’s important to do.
CURRY: What gives you the confidence she’s going to do this? Have you spoke to the Hillary camp? Have the Barack and Hillary camps spoken in recent days out?
RENDELL: She essentially did it on Saturday afternoon in Washington, a couple months ago. But not many people…
CURRY: It didn’t fix it.
RENDELL: … Not many people heard it. Tonight, 40, 50 million Americans are going to hear it. Virtually every Hillary supporter is going to hear it. And she’s going to do it loud and clear. But she’s not going to stop there. She spoke to me two weeks ago and I want to come into Pennsylvania to campaign in areas that we did well so I can help Barack.
CURRY: You’re saying she’s going to actively, passionately campaign for Barack Obama to woo her supporters. What gives you that confidence? You still do this yourself.
RENDELL: She told me she wants to come back to Pennsylvania. Go to the areas where we got 74 percent of the vote against Senator Obama and explain why it’s crucial that he wins.
CURRY: So no bitterness remains? Or are you saying too much has made of it?
RENDELL: I don’t know about the president, I haven’t spoken to the president in awhile. But Hillary is on board. She’s ready to go to go to work. Look, there are people out there who don’t have health insurance who have cancer and they can’t get it. They can’t wait for five years or eight years or nine years. We need to get them health insurance next year. That means Barack Obama and Hillary understands that.
CURRY: All right Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell, thank you so much for speaking with us. I’m sure we will speak to you again throughout this week. Thank you so much. Now back to you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right, Ann Curry inside the Convention Center. One note to add to that, David Axelrod of the Obama campaign if you didn’t hear it earlier says tonight he has seen this speech and it is a winner for both parties involved. Chris?
MATTHEWS: OK, let’s bring in Lisa Caputo. She served as Hillary Clinton’s press secretary for a long time as first lady. Lisa, have you had a peek at the script?
LISA CAPUTO, FORMER PRESS SCRETARY FOR HILLARY CLINTON: Yes, I have Chris. In fact, I just left the speech boiler room on my way over here. So I have seen the speech and Senator Clinton is making final touches on the speech. This speech is going to hit all the right notes, Chris. She’s going to talk about uniting the party. She’s going to be very statesman like. She’s going to lay out a strong case for Senator Obama. She’s also going to thank her supporters, but she’s going to go even further to say you can’t stay on the sidelines. You’ve got to work actively for Barack Obama. And she’s going to have a big call to action in this speech. And you’re also going to see her take on Senator John McCain.
MATTHEWS: Can you give us a sense of the way in which she describes her failure to win the nomination? Is there any sense that there was unfairness in the process? Any sense that she didn’t get a fair deal?
CAPUTO: Not at all. Not at all. In fact, I saw her and former President Clinton and they are both 100 percent in the right mind set. And in this speech tonight, I think you are going to see, she’s going to do absolutely what’s expected of her and she’s going to go further, I think and make a very strong case and really get her supporters with a call to action.
OLBERMANN: Lisa, she hits Senator McCain today in front of the Emily’s List people. She said he doesn’t believe that women deserve the right to choose. Is that likely to be the focus of her attack on Senator McCain?
CAPUTO: I think you are going to see her attack Senator McCain on the economy, quite specifically, Keith. It’s no secret that he has not been somebody who sees this economy as one that’s in trouble. Really isn’t paying much attention to the housing crisis, the escalating gas prices. So you’re going to see her hit him on the economy.
OLBERMANN: And the tone of this. She got her anger out about the subject of John McCain. Are we going to see that in addition to the content that has already been described by several quarters as being exactly what’s required tonight. Is that tone going to be a sense of that angry Hillary Clinton that has been seen sometimes to a great effect?
CAPUTO: I think you’re going to see a tone that’s statesman like, that’s one of an advocate for Senator Obama. She will acknowledge that she and Senator McCain are colleagues and friends, but they disagree quite deeply and that America can’t afford another year of a continuation of the Bush policy, which is exactly what, in her view, Senator McCain would do as president.
MATTHEWS: Lisa, what is the current Clinton plan to regain the White House for the family? If Barack Obama wins this general election, he will no doubt be renominated by the Democratic Party in four years. How can the Clintons get back the White House, if Barack does win?
CAPUTO: Oh, Chris, how can you ask that question, for god’s sake? The current Clinton plan is to campaign actively for Barack Obama. I mean, let’s remember, Hillary Clinton has been campaigning for two months for Barack Obama. She dropped out of this race in June. Let’s put a little history context on here, Chris. Let’s recall that in history, most of the contenders in the primaries don’t endorse the nominee to the convention. Hillary Clinton endorsed Barack Obama in June and I might add, don’t forget Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown never endorsed the eventual nominee. So you’re going to see Hillary Clinton continue to do what she’s doing.
MATTHEWS: So there’s no more Clinton plan for restoration of a Clinton presidency? There’s no more plan for that? I’m serious, why are you laughing? Everybody thinks there is.
CAPUTO: I guess that’s to fill a 24 hour news cycle, which is completely fabricated. The only Clinton plan is to get Barack Obama elected.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you very much, Lisa Caputo, it’s great to have you.
OLBERMANN: And you heard the news in that. You can’t stay on the sidelines, Senator Clinton will say to her supporters tonight. You have to support Senator Obama actively.
Up next, NBC’s Luke Russert will be with us to talk about whether Senator Clinton’s younger Clinton supporters are having as much trouble letting go as their older counterparts have or had. Plus, Tom Brokaw and his beginning thoughts on this big night. You’re watching MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention, live from Denver, Colorado.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention.
OLBERMANN: This week, we will be taking a look at the issues important to the younger voters, joined once again by Luke Russert who’s inside the Pepsi Center covering this exact topic. Luke, good evening.
LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Give us the picture here. The idea is that perhaps the flexibility of youth is to be found in whether or not the younger Clinton supporters went more easily over to the Obama camp. What does your information suggest about that?
RUSSERT: The people that I have talked to, you are correct. The younger Hillary supporters have a much easier time supporting Senator Obama. You have to remember the millennial generation grew up with women being doctors, being lawyers, being senators, being governors. So it wasn’t that weird to see a woman run for president. While it was groundbreaking, it was kind of OK, it happened. It did. And I think because the youth have seen that, grew up with that, they’re more easily able to support someone like Senator Obama. They don’t feel that Senator Clinton was disenfranchised by her loss in the primary.
OLBERMANN: It is such a question of generational perspective. What else applies to this, relating to the idea of seeing, in a youth context, seeing an African-American candidate for president? Is there any novelty to that among the younger voters?
RUSSERT: There’s some. But if you talk to kids, they grew up with African-Americans being on an equal playing field. You have to remember, the millennials, we’re not fighting this cultural field of the 1960s. It’s a not weird to seen African-American next to you at work. It’s not weird to see a woman be your boss. It’s not weird to be part of a work force or part of a group that is multi-ethnic. You have to understand, of those voters, young voters, 35 percent are Latino and African-American. It’s very big block. So will Barack Obama being the first black nominee, is an anomaly to the world? Yes, but to young voters, they can stomach it a lot easier than most older voters can.
OLBERMANN: Passage of time for good cause. Luke Russert covering youth voters’ affairs inside the Pepsi Center. Thank you, Luke.
RUSSERT: Take care.
OLBERMANN: And once again, we turn to NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw to wrap up sort of our preview of the preview. So we’re hearing all the right things, I gather from the Clinton camp, little bits and pieces coming out on this, what this speech is going to be. It could turn out to be the best thing Barack Obama has heard since at least since last night.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Actually Keith, I think both Senator Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton not only have their political futures at stake but their personal futures as well. They want to be held in continuing high regard, not only in the Democratic Party and in this country but around the world.
And to be, in a phrase, sore losers, or not to be enthusiastic about the nomination of Barack Obama would take them down many more pegs than I think that they would be comfortable with. They have nothing to lose by being enthusiastic for him. They have a great deal to lose if their support for him is perceived as being tepid or lukewarm or conditional in some way.
So my expectations is tonight that these political pros, Hillary Clinton tonight and Bill Clinton tomorrow night will light up the hall on behalf of Barack Obama because they want to reclaim that place in that universe they get their most oxygen, the political arena.
BROKAW: And Tom, we heard Lisa Caputo reference this. We suggested it here as a kind of a theorem, a working theory, that maybe the easiest means to do that is to be as hard as possible on John McCain. Is that your best bet looking again?
BROKAW: I think that’s a tricky piece for her. I think if she wants to be a leader in the United States Senate and to be statesman like as well, but at the same time to be an active member of the Obama team, she has to go after John McCain tonight. It’s the manner in which she does it. Remember that Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, one of the most skilled politicians of the country, in the eyes of a lot of people, when she was speaking for Mike Dukakis in Atlanta at the Democratic Convention, some people felt that she was too condescending to George Bush 41st with that line about having been born at third base and thought he hit a triple, poor George, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
So tonight, I think the country is looking for sharp commentary from Hillary Clinton about John McCain and why Barack Obama should be the nominee. But at the same time, there’s a longing in this country for elevated political debate that goes beyond this hall. These delegates obviously want real red meat but I think out there in the television audience, and especially among those people still trying to decide where they want to park their vote, they’ll want to see an enlightened criticism.
OLBERMANN: We’ll see how red the meat is. Tom Brokaw, thanks, we’ll talk to you again.
Later tonight, the two key headliners, the keynote speaker Mark Warner of Virginia and at 10:30 Eastern, Hillary Clinton. Chris Matthews and I return from Denver after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA’S WIFE: I come here as a wife, who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, CO-HOST: Welcome back to MSNBC’s coverage of day two of the Democratic National Convention out here in Denver.
Hillary Clinton had hoped to deliver this gathering during the nomination party. She hoped this would be her nomination party, you know, as they get further away, they’re harder to read. But tonight, she’s speaking on behalf of Barack Obama. NBC News is reporting the Obama campaign has seen tonight’s speech and then they’re very happy with it. That’s what we’re reporting. We’ll see.
You know, it seems to me, I’m here with Keith Olbermann, it seems to me that what’s difficult about reporting this convention at midpoint, basically, as we approach midpoint, is that every time you get a message that there’s peace and harmony abroad between the two camps, you get another message, another peace, where there’s Ed Rendell saying, “Oh, yes, he’s going to be the nominee but he reminds me of the guy who lost twice, Adlai Stevenson.”
It’s almost like Northern Ireland, yes, there’s a power-sharing agreement that’s been signed but right below the surface is a seething historic tension between the two camps and it will not be resolved this week. I’ll tell you, I saw it again today in Pennsylvania, talking to some of the women delegates from Pennsylvania, they’re very angry about the way this thing has came down, they don’t like what’s happened, they don’t like the nomination, what’s happened.
It’s real. It may not be within Hillary’s control or Eddie Rendell’s control, the governor’s control, but there is anger. This peace treaty has not been fully accepted.
KEITH OLBERMANN, CO-HOST: It hasn’t, and I think they’re going to pretend as best they can that it has. And I say this for that one reason I suggested before. She—and Lisa Caputo echoed this. Senator Clinton is looking at this situation and wants her supporters to see it the same way—the other option besides supportive, enthusiastic, supportively racing for Obama in these next 10 weeks.
The other option is John McCain. John McCain is not only antithetical to most of the needs and desires of those who supported Senator Clinton, but other women like Senator Clinton. It becomes an elemental choice of black or white, A or B, Barack Obama or the guy who once made a terrible joke about the attractiveness of the teenage Chelsea Clinton. It’s a no-brainer as passionately and—as deeply seeded as the support for Senator Clinton was.
And, you know, I was not supportive of Senator Clinton’s tactics in the last half of that campaign, I take this at its word. I think her motivation to get a Democrat elected, it could be the first Democrat who comes down this street where all that matters. That’s what I think she’s going to do tonight.
MATTHEWS: Well, I think, that question of still have changed (ph).
OLBERMANN: Yes, it’s always that – I’m not saying it’s not going to be an empty proposition for a while.
MATTHEWS: No, I don’t think there’s an answer to it yet and tonight, will get a supposed answer. I really do believe that if you’re right, if your supposition is correct, then this is all what’s it’s all about here this week, will this marriage make it? Will Hillary Clinton give a heartfelt? And you’ll be able to tell.
I think at the end of tonight, we don’t have to be theater critics to know whether this is true or not. I was thinking of a phrase to John McCain, the man on the other side of this fight, likes to use, “to serve a cause greater than yourself.”
Will the Clintons come through this week with the public perception among Democrats and independents, never with Republicans, that they’re willing to serve a cause greater than themselves, in other words, a Democratic Party in this case that does not have them at the top?
MATTHEWS: Will they serve that cause? And that’s a question which they can answer. It’s in their hands tonight and tomorrow night.
OLBERMANN: And “Washington Post” Poll in April suggested that the support for Hillary Clinton was 55 percent unfavorable rate, it’s now 52 percent favorable because of the way she has conducted herself since April. And he, President Clinton was at 47 percent favorability in April, he’s up to 55 percent. Back to where he was before Super Tuesday. They cannot only regain most of their status –
MATTHEWS: What has he done in these weeks, what has Bill Clinton done to regain his favorable estimate by the public?
OLBERMANN: He hasn’t done anything terribly damaging to anybody. They can redeem and, I think, they can go further in the public’s eyes by being magnanimous and leadership-like tonight.
MATTHEWS: I agree.
OLBERMANN: And tomorrow night.
MATTHEWS: It is important.
OLBERMANN: It is an opportunity rarely seen in American political history. Your choice is be petulant and lose everything.
OLBERMANN: Be just what you normally are and be dedicated to your cause and what you actually believe in, and you will be carried out on golden thrones.
MATTHEWS: What you’re saying is that among the events which will occur between now and Election Day in November will be the event of the way in which the Clintons present themselves. That could be as important event as what happens in Afghanistan or in Georgia or anywhere else. It is an event we have not yet witnessed.
That’s all I’m saying, we haven’t witnessed this yet. And we will possibly witness a portion of this theater tonight.
OLBERMANN: 10:31 Eastern, 8:31 mountain time, I’m expecting we’ll see part of it.
MATTHEWS: It’s worth watching.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory joins us now from the convention floor inside the Pepsi Center on this and the larger topics of the Democrats as a whole and what is need tonight that might not have been provided last night—David.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Keith, I’ve been trying to gauge Democratic anxiety as this convention opens here in Denver. And it’s worth remembering that the Democratic faithful are onboard, they’re in the convention hall. They will be fired up to hear Hillary Clinton tonight and Barack Obama on Thursday.
But we’re in Colorado, a state with more culturally-conservative Democrats with independent voters that Barack Obama is relying on. This is a tight contest. It’s a dead heat as Barack Obama comes into this convention with John McCain.
The first night was about shoring up support among Democrats and independents who may have questions about who Obama really is.
Tonight, the question is—party unity. Can Hillary Clinton being brought into the fold effectively enough so that she can tell her supporters—not in the convention hall tonight—but her supporters in states like West Virginia, in Pennsylvania, the working-class voters, the culturally-conservative voters in the Democratic Party that Barack Obama is OK, that he’s worth supporting?
That’s what the level of anxiety is about and that’s why Hillary Clinton is so important tonight. Somebody close to Senator Clinton said that’s one area where she hopes to be able to coming through for Obama tonight, to vouch for him as a values candidate that her supporters can identify with.
We get to the third really important piece of this convention, which is the choice. The contrast between the vision of Barack Obama, where he takes the party, where he takes the country as president versus what John McCain offers. Some consternation, some feelings of ambivalence within the party, are they hitting McCain hard enough? We’ll hear from Mark Warner who will begin to get into that choice. That becomes a major to-do item tonight here at the convention—Keith.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory, we’ll check back with you inside the Pepsi Center shortly. Thank you—Chris.
MATTHEWS: Now, let’s go to Savannah Guthrie with the Clinton delegate and Maryland delegation on the floor of the Pepsi Center—Savannah.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris. I’m here with Mary Boergers who is a diehard Hillary Clinton supporter. And I know you’ve been very worried about how this roll call vote is going to go tomorrow. Why is it so important for you to vote for Hillary?
MARY BOERGERS, MARYLAND DELEGATE: Well, it’s the tradition of the Democratic Party at the convention those candidates that ran for president have their name put in nomination and the pledged delegates vote for the candidate that they were elected to vote for.
GUTHRIE: You said you would be angry if you don’t have the chance to vote for Hillary?
BOERGERS: Absolutely, because I think it’s insulting to her. I think it’s insulting to her 18 million voters. It would be insulting to us who are pledged. You know, when I ran as a Hillary Clinton delegate, I said that I would come to Denver and vote for Hillary. And I think that’s my commitment to the voters, is to make sure that I, in fact, do that in Denver.
GUTHRIE: How do you feel the Obama campaign has treated Hillary voters this week? Is the party unified?
BOERGERS: Well, you know, what’s unity? It’s, you know, kind of in the eye of the beholder. I think we’re more unified than a lot of the media is portraying. On the other hand, I think there’s some serious issues and one of my bottom lines is to make sure that Hillary and her delegates are treated respectfully, that we have a voice in the party, that we’re not just kind of squished and shunted aside, and told to, you know, get over it.
GUTHRIE: So, what are you going to do if that’s—as it has been reported, there’s a roll call vote that stops at some point and people are not able to vote for Hillary? What’s your next action after that?
BOERGERS: You know, I don’t know. I’m really kind of taking this a day at a time. I’m a loyal Democrat. I’ve been a Democrat all my life; I’ve been a Democratic elected official. But if my party doesn’t act in a way that I can support, then I’ve got to kind of re-evaluate where I fit. It’s kind of like if the party leaves me, then I have to go some place else.
GUTHRIE: Would you vote for John McCain?
BOERGERS: I don’t know. I would find it difficult. I disagree with him on a lot of issues. I admire him in some ways. I think he’s a man of courage and strength and he speaks his mind. But I am a Democrat first, and the reason I worked so hard for Hillary was to make sure that the Democrats won back the White House.
GUTHRIE: OK. Mary Boergers, thank you so much for being with us.
One of many Hillary Clinton delegates who are here on the floor tonight, very much looking forward to casting their vote for Hillary Clinton. They say, out of respect for her, and they’re very much looking forward to her speech tonight.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you very much, Savannah Guthrie.
Let’s check in now with NBC News political director, Chuck Todd.
Chuck, it’s very hard to carve this and to give a good report on how goes this reconciliation between the Obama forces and the defeated Hillary Clinton forces.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, about the best way that we can, at least, try to figure out who the audience is that the Obama campaign needs Hillary Clinton to connect to. We were able to carve up our last NBC/”Wall Street Journal” Poll and identify Hillary Clinton voters who are not yet supporting Obama. It’s about one in 10 folks.
And I want to go through exactly who these people are, what are they most likely and this will tell you who Hillary Clinton has to reach tonight. They’re more likely to be women. Sixty percent of this group are women. They’re more likely to be in this age group: 35 to 49. That’s actually the Barack Obama generation, those are post-baby boomers.
They’re more likely to be Catholic. They’re more likely to earn less than $50,000. And they’re liberal to moderate on ideology.
They’re very similar to that woman, it looks like, I don’t know exactly where she lives, but very similar to that woman, as far as ideology is concerned. She said that she’s, you know, doesn’t agree with John McCain on all these issues. So, when you look at it, that’s the profile of this voter, according to our poll.
They’re not any crossover Republicans that are still sitting there. These Hillary, not Obama folks, one in 10, again, in our survey, are women under the age of 50, who make less $50,000 and they live in sort of small town exurb America. Places, frankly, that Barack Obama didn’t campaign.
Let me point out something else about these folks. According to our last survey, they had a more positive feeling towards John McCain. Forty-three percent had a positive feeling towards McCain, 23 percent, a negative feeling towards McCain.
Now, look at this same group of voters and their feelings towards Barack Obama. Twenty-four percent had a positive view of Obama, 50 percent had a negative.
Again, Savannah found the profile of this voter. Listen to how that woman thought about John McCain. She said he seems to be someone who speaks his mind.
I think part of this, Chris and Keith, is the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton, when they were campaigning in the primaries, they went to small towns, they were going to rural America, talking to these voters and sending two message, one, Obama wasn’t ready; two, John McCain was.
And I think they reinforced this, Obama has yet to go back and say, “Hey, wait a minute; let me make my case against John McCain to this group of voters.” I think with Hillary Clinton, it starts tonight. This is the audience, this is who Obama needs her to speak to and reach and touch tonight.
MATTHEWS: Well, that makes the very point that Ed Rendell made about 20 minutes ago, that Hillary Clinton had committed that she would go out to those very places where she provided not just a parking space for people to vote for a Democrat who ultimately intend to vote Republican, but she urged those people to drive into those spaces.
MATTHEWS: She said, vote against Barack Obama for these following reason, he’s not your guy, McCain is. Is the assumption now out there that she has an equal ability to reverse that guidance and to say to the people that she urged to vote for her or McCain, really, in the primary, in the sense of seeing McCain as a reasonable alternative, to now say, “I have to foreclose that McCain alternative, it wasn’t a reasonable choice, you have to go with McCain”? Can she do that?
Does Rendell think she can do it? Do the people like Axelrod and Plouffe think she can do it?
TODD: Well, look, that’s what she needs to do tonight in her speech. But that’s only a start. I think if you really want to go there, I think that’s why you picked Joe Biden. But I think you got to send Hillary Clinton. You might want to send Bill Clinton and you definitely want to send Joe Biden to these areas.
Again, these are places Barack Obama didn’t go. He started—when he was running, you know, they talked about going to some of these areas, they talked about going, they went to rural Iowa during the caucuses. They tried to go to rural New Hampshire during the primary. They did well in rural Nevada in the caucuses. But it’s not the same thing.
As these primaries went on, they went for votes and they ran up the score in college town, they ran up the score with intellectuals, and they ran up the scores with African-American. They’ve got to go back to these areas, rural, “small-town America,” in order to get them back.
OLBERMANN: Chuck, Lisa Caputo was with us before and suggested that the main hit in this speech by Senator Clinton on Senator McCain will be economic. Is that the best way to get those, “cut off their nose to spite their face” voters who would think of going otherwise, to stay in the Democratic fold? Is that the easiest route to do it?
TODD: Well, it is. I mean, if you look at how they broke down in this poll, Keith, these are folks that are making less than $50,000. And guess what? In “small-town America,” you’re making less than $50,000, you’re commuting a long way, your energy costs have gone up, the jobs aren’t as close to you as you thought they would be.
So, you put all that together, and you realize, these folks are hurting economically more, frankly, than urban America. Urban America has been holding up pretty well in this tough economy. It’s been exurb and “small-town America” that’s been hit much harder.
And that’s – look, that was the Bill Clinton sweet spot in the ‘90s. Hillary Clinton, I always thought that she benefited more so from Bill and his success in these areas. I never thought that she connected to them really as well really as sort of she had reflected glory of how well Bill Clinton touched these folks in the ‘90s.
OLBERMANN: And we begin to see the outlines of what the means of attack might be. Chuck Todd inside the convention center with two hours and 15 minutes or so to go before the Hillary Clinton speech. Thank you, Chuck.
TODD: You got it, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Still ahead tonight, we’ll return to the convention floor, the keynote address from the former governor of Virginia, now a senatorial candidate, Mark Warner and, of course, our live coverage of Chelsea and Hillary Clinton as they take the stage later on the evening.
You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic convention at Denver, Colorado.
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you from Denver on the second night of the Democratic convention, a night on which Hillary Clinton will speak on behalf, and apparently adamantly so, of her former rival for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama.
Andrea Mitchell is inside the convention hall.
Andrea, good evening.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Keith.
I’m here with David Bonior, who, of course, was the campaign manager for John Edwards.
How difficult is it for you on a night like tonight, you don’t have John Edwards in the campaign and you had this terrible disappointment in him and you’ve been outspoken about that. And now, tonight, Hillary Clinton giving her speech and tomorrow night, Barack Obama.
DAVID BONIOR, JOHN EDWARDS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I’m just terribly proud of the campaign that we ran. We had so many young people that fought for the issues that drove for this campaign for Obama and Clinton as well—poverty, universal healthcare, good energy proposal, and ending this outrageous war. And because we were so far ahead of that, I’m just take great pride in that and the fact that Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, both really came around to those messages that we, I think, were in the forefront.
MITCHELL: What did you say to John Edwards? Have you spoken to him since he confessed what he had done?
BONIOR: No, I haven’t. I’m still very upset with him. And, you know, you can’t take an army of people into a campaign under false pretenses. People gave everything they have, they gave their reputations, they give their resources, they gave their idealism for the things that they cared and believed about. And to have that happened was just very, not only disappointing, but it was tragic for everyone involved.
And so, well, we’re going to move on. We got a great candidate now and we’re up about it. And he’s got the same values that we fought for, and so, we’re very confident for the fall.
MITCHELL: You know, what are the Edwards delegates going to do tonight? Are they getting together to be a group?
BONIOR: Well, have a beer or two. But, actually, Edwards’ delegates are 100 percent behind Barack Obama. So, I just talked to some them in Iowa and New Hampshire today and they’re very excited about the campaign and have been in Obama’s camp and are very vigorous in their pursuit of getting this done in the next eight weeks.
MITCHELL: Now, I’d just talked earlier to former Governor Blanchard from your delegation here in Michigan. And he said they still don’t know how this roll call is going to go. What directions are you getting from the Obama campaign, especially for the former Hillary supporters like Governor Blanchard about what to do tomorrow night—tomorrow afternoon?
BONIOR: Well, you know, it seems to me that the best course is just to stay unified. I mean, I had my own whip within my delegation here from Michigan and we found that the majority of the Clinton delegates are—vast majority are going to vote for Obama. So, I don’t see any sense of having this unless people feel that it’s absolutely necessary.
But, I think, Senator Clinton tonight will speak to that issue and her support for Senator Obama. And I think it will be strong and it will be firm and I think that will send a message that we need to move forward.
MITCHELL: Thanks very much, David Bonior.
BONIOR: Thanks, Andrea. Nice to be with you.
MITCHELL: Back to you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell, thank you. David Bonior, thank you.
And we’re discussing that roll call vote and lack of clarity as to what’s going to happen and what particularly the Clinton delegates, the supporters are supposed to do.
“Newsweek’s” Howard Fineman is in our campaign listening post with more on that exact point right now—Howard.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Hi, Keith. My understanding is there will be a roll call tomorrow. It won’t go on forever. At some point, after various states yield to other states, a motion will be made to make it unanimous by acclimation and that will happen.
The Obama people are very much hoping that tonight Hillary would, and Hillary’s people would make it clear they didn’t even want a roll call vote to take place at all, even if it’s not going to be in primetime, even if it’s pro forma. The Obama people would have preferred nothing. But there were too many Clinton supporters who insisted on being able to make their mark on history by casting a vote.
OLBERMANN: Is it going to be orchestrated to the degree that we heard earlier in the week, that it might wind up with Senator Clinton herself speaking for the New York delegation and saying, “OK, here’s where we stop it, let’s make it unanimous by acclimation”?
FINEMAN: I think that’s quite possible, not yet determined, but quite possible. Again, the key thing is she’s not going to say that tonight. Tonight in the speech, she’s going to say, I understand, and words to this effect: I want you to support Barack Obama, as strongly, in the same way you supported me.
She’s not going to do the Obama campaign a favor and use up most of her time attacking John McCain. She’s going to talk about her own campaign, the significance for women in America, about her goals for the country in terms of healthcare and so on—but she’s not going to cut it off completely, procedurally tonight. That’s why there will be, at least, the beginning of a roll call tomorrow.
OLBERMANN: And then the call will be—you can’t stay on the sidelines, as we heard now, your reporting suggests, Lisa Caputo said the same thing, Ed Rendell said the same thing. So, I think, we know where we’re going to that when Hillary Clinton speaks in a little over two hours.
FINEMAN: That’s right.
OLBERMANN: Howard Fineman at the listening post—thank you, Howard.
FINEMAN: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right. Chris Matthews is downstairs now, with one of our analysts, Michelle Bernard—Chris.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Keith.
Michelle Bernard, so speak for women—it is a complicated time.
MICHELLE BERNARD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It is a very complicated time, especially today coming on the 80th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote here in the United States. I’ve been out and about just sort of talking to people today, and it’s interesting because there are so many women who are most definitely pro-Obama, and are not really interested in a lot of antics that we’re hearing about.
But there is definitely a select group of people who are not just angry at Senator Obama, but at the process. I spoke with someone earlier today who told me that they feel that the entire process was set up, that the way the electoral process went during the Democratic primary was social engineering, that the DNC wanted Obama, Obama was their man and they were going to structure the rules in a way that this was a fate (INAUDIBLE).
And for those people this is serious business. Someone told me just a little while ago, this afternoon, that’s a member of a group that’s called “Just Say No Deal,” told me that they are here because they truly believe that there is a path to victory for Senator Clinton between now and Thursday.
MATTHEWS: So, they believe that she can win the nomination?
BERNARD: They believe that she can win the nomination, they’ve got a Web site posted that shows how many Obama delegates have changed their support for Senator Clinton since July. The number that they have posted for the month of July is 15 delegates and they are hoping that there will be sweeping change between now and Thursday.
They’re hosting Hillary watch parties this evening. I asked, “If this a protest?” They said it’s not a protest but people are watching, that these rallies that they want the American public to know that from their perspective, the process is broken and some people have called this analogous to what happened in 2000 between George Bush and Al Gore.
MATTHEWS: All right. The problem is, well, it’s an open argument, I guess, for those people. But what about the argument that the Clintons felt that they had the whole process figured, wired, if you will, that Senator Clinton would win the whole nominating fight by February 5th, that they understood the machinery of the Democratic Party because they were the leaders, along with Terry McAuliffe, and much of the formation of the process?
BERNARD: Well, I think that that’s the interesting point because when you talk to some of the people who have really feel very disgruntled and are actually want to have the rules to change for the next election process, people admit that if things have turned out the way they wanted to, everybody would be happy with it.
There are people that say that we live in a nation of one rule—you know, “one man, one vote.” They don’t like the process at all, they don’t like superdelegates; they don’t like delegates. They feel that Senator Clinton won more congressional districts than Senator Obama and for that reason she should be the Democratic nominee and that’s what they want to see happen in the future.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you very much.
BERNARD: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Thank you. We’ll bring you back to Keith Olbermann.
OLBERMANN: Thank you. First, they invoke to Terry McAuliffe, and we go back now to the Pepsi Center and our correspondent, Savannah Guthrie on the floor of the convention center with the former Clinton campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe—Savannah.
GUTHRIE: Well, Keith, I can’t imagine a bigger celebrity on this floor than Terry McAuliffe. He should be, he just walked through and was mobbed by Hillary supporters.
Terry, what are these Hillary delegates telling you?
TERRY MCAULIFFE, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: They can’t wait to hear Hillary tonight. They know she’s going to give a speech of her life. They’re excited about it. They’re ready for it. The anticipation and what she’s going to say is “Thank you for coming out helping me shatter that glass 18 million times, but more importantly, let’s get out and support Barack Obama. If you believe in everything I fought for, healthcare, education, you have got to get out, and you got to help make sure Barack is the next president of the United States.”
And she might take a few shots at President Bush and then maybe John McCain just to lay out why this election is so important.
GUTHRIE: You know as well as I do, there are a lot of Hillary Clinton delegates on this floor that still have hard feelings, that are worried that they won’t be able to cast their vote, that the roll call will somehow be cut short. What can Hillary Clinton do? I mean, is this to some degree out of her control at this point?
MCAULIFFE: It’s not. If she had to forgive her speech tonight and let her give her speech tonight, and then the president goes tomorrow night—President Clinton speaks tomorrow night and then Barack Obama Thursday. Those three things, the roll call is done, so we’ve check that box, Friday morning we are unified, we are pumped up, and we are taking it to John McCain.
GUTHRIE: Let’s walk, because I want to see if we can recapture some of this mob scene we have.
MCAULIFFE: I owe them. I’ve got to finish Fox. We’ll come back.
GUTHRIE: What can you do? Keith, back to you. We have Terry McAuliffe. He’s a celebrity on this floor, a lot of demand.
OLBERMANN: Sorry about that, Savannah. I would walk with you rather than up to the podium. Savannah Guthrie, many thanks.
Coming up, more with Norah O’Donnell and our panel. We’ll also be joined by Tom Brokaw and Congressman Rahm Emanuel. Our coverage of the Democratic Convention continues on Hillary Clinton night right after this.
OLBERMANN: We’re joining you now from Denver with MSNBC’s coverage of day two of the Democratic National Convention. NBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw is with us. And with him is a special guest inside the Pepsi Center. Tom.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much, Keith. I’m here with Rahm Emanuel, a well-known Congressman from Illinois, obviously, who has a very active role in the Obama campaign, has from the very beginning, a principle advisor. He is a member of what I call tonight the Illinois Mafia. We have you here. Senator Hillary Clinton will be speaking from Illinois, originally.
REP. RAHM EMANUEL (D), ILLINOIS: The five families.
BROKAW: That’s exactly. What do you want her to say tonight?
EMANUEL: I want her to say what I think is in her heart and what she believes in, which is that this is a real big election with big stakes, and she supports Barack Obama because of the responsibility we all have as Democrats, with a different set of policies from what we’ve seen for the last eight years. And I believe she will give that speech.
BROKAW: Does she have to go after John McCain to become a surrogate for you, to become kind of the attack dog?
EMANUEL: No. First of all, she’s a friend with him. I don’t think that will be authentic. I do think she will draw a contrast, as we all have tonight. One of the differences between our change versus theirs, stay the course. I think John McCain has decided—he made a choice to saddle up to Bush and say, we want to continue this course. And she’ll remind people why that’s the wrong course for America, because it’s also what he inherited, was something she was a part of, which is a stronger, more forceful, more respected country than the one that’s now being left behind after eight years.
BROKAW: Congressman, in our NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll last week, Senator Obama won on all the economic issues. Then it came to commander in chief. John McCain won pretty substantially. Who’s the riskier choice? Obama, more than 50 percent said he’s the riskier choice. How does he close that gap with one speech or can he?
EMANUEL: That’s a threshold. There’s two things. One is I think you have to look at this period of time to the debate as a unit, because they’re going to get basically that exposure. More importantly, also in your poll, economics was the number one issue people were voting on. Not only that he was leading on it, but it was the number one issue that would determine people’s vote.
Two, I think what’s important for us to convey here is not that people get a sense of Barack, but they get a sense that Barack has a sense of them. There’s a famous story about when Roosevelt’s coffin was going on a train, and man was crying. A gentleman asked him, did you know Franklin Roosevelt? He said no, but Franklin Roosevelt knew me. If we get that across that Barack knows you, knows the struggles you’re under, the challenges you’re facing for your family economically, and that we have a plan to deal with it, we will have succeeded.
BROKAW: One of the things that has been striking to me, in looking at your campaign, is that your supporters, who are here on the floor and across the country tonight, are so taken with him, are so in love with him as a candidate, that they have a hard time dealing with the other realities that exist beyond that circle around Barack Obama.
EMANUEL: You do want, in an election, a passion for your candidate. There is, as you saw in the poll you cited—there was an intensity for Barack that is missing for John McCain. In a close election, I’ll take intensity versus cold to neutral for the other side. I think that’s important.
I also think you will see our voters, as we organize other people and do it in the way we’re doing from the Internet, et cetera, that will be important to bringing in the type of independents and Republicans who have joined Barack’s candidacy and Democratic candidacy. The key to our success in 2006 was independents and Republicans joined Democrats. Barack’s candidacy today, as you saw in the primary, continued that trend.
BROKAW: You remember the penultimate scene in “Saving Private Ryan,” Tom Hanks is dying, and Matt Damon says to him, “what do I do with my life?” He looks at him and says, earn it. I think a lot of older people out there, older traditional Democrats are saying to Barack Obama, at this stage yet, earn it, show me.
EMANUEL: Tom, we’re all products of our experience. In ‘92, which is the election I worked for President Clinton, voters never wanted him to look like he was just going to get this thing handed. He had to scrabble his way. There was a lot we had to scrabble through. That’s true also here. You can’t just come on the scene and all of a sudden, you get to be president of the United States. This process, the long primary actually worked to Barack’s advantage, both as a candidate and for the campaign. And B, this process that he has to everyday roll up those sleeve, show people why he wants it.
The good news is, and I know Barack, know him as a person, this is a very competitive person. That’s exactly the setup we want.
BROKAW: Two things: when he talks Thursday night and the rest of this campaign, will he try to be more bipartisan in terms of reaching across partly lines, A? And B, will he be more candid with the American people than a lot of candidates would be at this stage? We’re in serious economic difficulty in this country. Everyone will talk about jobs in the economy. There’s a financial crisis of epic proportions going on.
EMANUEL: This is the worst economic condition and financial condition the country’s experienced since the Great Depression.
BROKAW: We won’t get out of it easily.
EMANUEL: Right. B, those solutions will require bipartisanship. And Barack will do that and he will be honest. I don’t think you’ll see something different from what we had in the campaign. He will talk about our differences because his is one that focuses on the middle class. That’s just not true—the reason we’re not in this position, as I said, you can’t have a strong economy if the middle class is weak.
BROKAW: Rahm Emanuel, thanks very much. I know we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from you in the weeks ahead. Tell me where we want to go next. Keith?
OLBERMANN: Thank you, Tom. Tom Brokaw at the convention center with Congressman Emanuel. Thank you, too.
We heard earlier that the chairman of the Democratic party, Howard Dean had said about tonight’s speech from Senator Clinton wait until you see it. Perhaps we will have an elaboration on that point as the chairman sits down with David Gregory of our staff inside the Pepsi Center. David?
DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC ANCHOR: Keith, you set me up perfectly. Thanks very much. I’m here with Governor Dean, chairman of the Democratic party. Keith mentioned that you have been saying today, wait until you see this speech tonight. What will Hillary Clinton say that will be helpful to Obama.
HOWARD DEAN, CHAIRMAN OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY: First, let me make it clear, I haven’t seen this speech in advance. Let me also make it clear, I’ve known Hillary Clinton a long time. This woman is a stateswoman. She’s going to do the right thing for the country. What the right thing for the country is is to stand up and make sure that we elect a Democrat. We cannot have four more years of George Bush. John McCain is four more years of George Bush. Hillary Clinton doesn’t want that for the sake of the American people and she’s going to make that clear tonight.
GREGORY: A fair point, but you know what critics have been saying and questioning; is tonight’s speech about the Clintons or is it about Obama?
DEAN: That’s all gossip stuff. I know you have to fill the airways, but the fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton has worked really hard for the last five weeks to get people on board and together. If you look at the Democratic party platform, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton worked together on that platform. It reflects both their views. It’s the best platform I’ve seen in many, many years.
I think you’ll see a strong speech, which supports Barack Obama and which makes it clear that in order to save this country, we have to elect Barack Obama president of the United States.
GREGORY: I’m told by people who have been familiar with the speech that she is going to go out of her way to kind of vouch for Obama in front of those supporters who are not just here in the hall, but maybe those swing voters, more culturally conservative Democrats, her real supporters in places like West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Can she deliver them beginning tonight?
DEAN: She can help a lot. Nobody can deliver anything. I think that Rahm was right, you have to earn Americans’ votes. Hillary’s stamp of approval matters a lot. This is a very courageous woman who ran a hell of a campaign, got 17 or 18 million Americans (INAUDIBLE) had the presidency in her sights—in American history, set the stage for either herself or others in the future. I think she—what she says matters a lot. I think she will vouch for Barack Obama and get these folks to at least look at Barack Obama and give him a chance.
GREGORY: You’ve been hearing a lot of advice in the Democratic party about what the convention has to accomplish. One of the points that comes up again and again is that unlike four years ago, this Democratic convention has to be about creating some real hard contrasts with John McCain. Does Hillary Clinton lead the charge on that?
DEAN: I don’t know if that’s up to Hillary Clinton. Let me just be clear about this. Again, That’s all punditocracy. Honestly, without being insulting to my wonderful host, people on television don’t win races. People in Washington, DC don’t win races. We did --
GREGORY: It’s rather facile to say it’s just those of us asking the questions, when you know there’s anxiety among the party faithful.
DEAN: Honestly, I think there’s mostly Republican spin, to be frank about it. Let’s be blunt. Last night, Michelle Obama showed she could be first lady of the United States. That’s a big step because it said something about Barack and it says something to the American people about what Barack had to do to get where he is, and what Michelle Obama had to do to get where she was. What her parents had to do is the classic American story.
So of course they are going to be contrast with McCain. Frankly, every speech today has been about four more years of George Bush and McCain’s 95 percent record of voting for George Bush. But we also have to show who we are. And Barack Obama and Joe Biden have to make their case to the American people. The Republicans have nothing to say but how terrible the Democrats are. They have no program. Their president is a disaster. Frankly, McCain is a disaster. What we have to show is who we are in a positive light.
Barack has often said we have to show why we should pull America together and how to pull America together. We have to end the ugly old Republican confrontational politics. I think he’s right, not that we’re not going to say some things about McCain that are pretty tough. And I think you’ll hear some of those. But the main message of this convention is not that the Republicans are bad. The American people already know that. The main message is Barack Obama and Joe Biden are capable of leading America into better times.
GREGORY: Chairman, Governor, Doctor Dean, thanks very much.
DEAN: I appreciate it.
GREGORY: Back out to you guys.
OLBERMANN: Thank you, David Gregory. And thank you to all three of the Deans. Let’s summarize briefly what we think we know from reporting about the Hillary Clinton’s speech tonight. The headlines, McCain to be a disaster for the economy, which is obviously to appeal to that demographic, that economic demographic that so supported her. The second point, if you believed in me, believe me now, you cannot stay on the sidelines; you must support Barack Obama; you must campaign for him. And the over-arching point, as we understand it, the country cannot endure four more years of Republican rule. That’s that.
You’re watching MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic convention. Senator Clinton later. We’ll be right back from Denver.
MATTHEWS: We’re back from Denver on night two of the Democratic convention. We’re about 45 minutes away from the big speech tonight from Mark Warner. That’s the keynote. That’s formally the major speech tonight. Of course, everyone is looking forward to the speech from the defeated candidate for this nomination, Hillary Clinton, who lost narrowly in the delegate fight. And we may see tomorrow some hints of what that delegate fight is all about, with some portion of the roll call being taken tomorrow.
Let’s check in with Norah O’Donnell and our panel.
NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Chris and Keith, thank you so much. Certainly, what Hillary Clinton says tonight will affect how those delegates feel tomorrow, as they do that. We’re also placing bets amongst ourselves too about just whether Hillary Clinton’s speech is going to move votes. Pat, what are you looking for?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she’s going to go all out for Barack Obama. She will try to—she will tell her folks, we have to get behind him, the nation needs him. I think she will be seen as 100 percent loyal.
O’DONNELL: You’re going to be psychoanalyzing this?
BUCHANAN: In this sense before hand, I don’t think she will go gut John McCain deliberately, because that is not in her interests. Look, if she goes out and helps Barack Obama, she gets well with Barack’s folks. But if Barack loses in November, her hopes and dreams are not dead. Suddenly, they may be alive again.
EUGENE ROBINSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: It’s hard to understand the distinction in that difference or the difference in that distinction, I don’t know. So she goes all out for Obama. Ergo, she goes all out for Obama. How do you say in my heart of hearts, I don’t want him to win. I don’t understand that.
BUCHANAN: Here it is. Richard Nixon campaigned harder for Barry Goldwater than Goldwater did. But he did not break down in tears when Goldwater lost. He started getting ready.
ROBINSON: That’s his reaction, that’s not what he does.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: If Hillary Clinton’s future is in the Democratic party and she is seen as being an electoral standard bearer for the party, she will be the presidential candidate next time around or whatever, the best way she can do that is by helping Barack Obama get elected. And the best way she can do that is by gutting John McCain.
BUCHANAN: No, not get elected. No, if she is going to be the standard bearer of the party, it is not the best thing that Barack Obama get elected.
MADDOW: Do you think that she doesn’t actually want Obama to win?
BUCHANAN: What do you think Bill Clinton thinks? Does he want Obama to win?
MADDOW: I think he does. I think he does.
BUCHANAN: Dream on.
O’DONNELL: And that is the crucible.
O’DONNELL: Whether she signals she really wants Barack Obama.
BUCHANAN: She will be-all out. There will be no signals. I’m saying, she will go 100 percent out. You will not be able to see an inch or a sliver of paper between her and Barack. But I think down the road, she’s not dead if Barack Obama loses, is she?
ROBINSON: Pat, you’ve gotten metaphysical on us here. I don’t get it. If she doesn’t leave a sliver, as I think she will not, and if she goes all out for Obama, then what does it matter what she thinks in her heart of hearts.
BUCHANAN: If you desperately want him, you have to do what Rachel says, go out there and gut and skewer McCain. I don’t think she will do it. That’s my prediction.
MADDOW: One point to make about feminism and dignity and the way Hillary Clinton has been treated in this election. Right now, Hillary Clinton is being used, in a way that is against her will, for a political end that she does not want by the McCain campaign. They’re using her in their ads against Barack Obama. She’s getting used. They’re walking all over her. They are using her. If she’s going to stand up and be a champion for women or for anything else, she has to stand up against that.
BUCHANAN: How sincere is that comment when last night you called Hillary supporters post-rational?
MADDOW: It is post rational—
BUCHANAN: You called them psychotic in effect. You called them post-rational.
MADDOW: What I was saying is if you believed Hillary Clinton was the better choice and you are sad that Barack Obama has won it. Now that Barack Obama has won it, you are going to instead support John McCain, that is irrational, because if you supported Hillary Clinton on the basis of the positions that she took, her policies and what she stood for, John McCain is the antithesis of those things. To support John McCain is post-rational.
BUCHANAN: No, if there is rationality, it may be this: Obama has no core. He believes in nothing. Hillary was the greatest thing going. If she’s going to have a shot at it, and Barack Obama goes down, he deserves it for dissing Hillary.
ROBINSON: If you believe Hillary Clinton was not treated well by the Obama campaign and you believe—therefore, you’re not enthusiastic about Obama, what in the world do you think about the way she’s being treated, as Rachel said, by the McCain campaign? She is being used by that campaign. Her words are distorted.
BUCHANAN: They’re not distorted. She is being treated as the woman that really understands the world. That’s why she prefers John McCain.
O’DONNELL: She said yesterday, I’m Hillary Clinton and I don’t approve this message about those particular ads. She’s not happy about that.
BUCHANAN: You think she’s dying over those ads? Come on! Join the real world, folks. She is chuckling her head off. Bill is laughing at those.
O’DONNELL: Chuck Todd has broken down our NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll, just who those former Hillary Clinton supporters who don’t yet back Barack Obama are, 60 percent of them women, 35 to 49 age group, Catholic, and women who make 50,000 dollars a year. What can she say tonight to convince those women who don’t yet trust, who don’t yet like Barack Obama?
MADDOW: It’s hard to believe she can be any more emphatic than she’s been in the past, in terms of saying, I support Barack Obama and I believe that people who support me should support him, too. What she has to do to move those people is to tell them why, what the stakes are, what the differences between these two candidates. I interviewed Eleanor Smeal from the Feminist Majority Foundation about this tonight, and said what about people who are so hung up on the fact Hillary Clinton didn’t win that they can’t support Barack Obama. Eleanor Smeal, from the Feminist Majority Foundation, said, “well, of course, there is some of that. But it is rapidly becoming a minority. It will be even very much smaller after tonight.”
I think there is a sense that the diehard Clinton supporter movement is moving to Obama.
BUCHANAN: I don’t doubt she will move women and her supporters tonight to Barack Obama. She will say all the right things. What I’m saying is if she were desperate to get Barack Obama elected, she will go after and gut John McCain. I don’t think she’s going to do it.
O’DONNELL: That’s enough for now. We send it back to you guys, Chris and Keith.
OLBERMANN: Norah, let me add one point here. She lives in this world. We’re blowing off a little steam here. The train is leaving the station. She lives in this world and so does Bill Clinton. I think they as individuals, as Americans, do not believe the nation can survive four more years of Republican rule.
Get on board. Get on board. The train is leaving the station from Denver. Next stop, the Democratic National Convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I have come here tonight, to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future and elect Barack Obama president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH OLBERMANN, CO-HOST: The nomination, once the proverbial train leaves Denver, will belong to Senator Obama but the night here on day two at the Democratic National Convention for 2008 will belong to the woman many delegates still very much want to be the nominee, Senator Hillary Clinton.
Tonight’s theme is renewing America’s promise. Senator Clinton’s theme when she steps to the podium a little bit more than an hour from now after an introduction from her own daughter, Chelsea, renewing her party’s promise of another shot at the White House, even if it isn’t her.
Mrs. Clinton’s former secretary, Lisa Caputo, telling MSNBC tonight here, that the Senator will tell delegates now is not the time to sit on the sidelines; it’s the time to get behind Barack Obama.
Earlier tonight, one of Senator Clinton’s strongest supporters, the governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, is doing his part for Democratic Party unity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ED RENDELL, (D) PENNSYLVANIA: And today, a son of Scranton, Joe Biden and friend of Pennsylvania, Barack Obama, offer the change America needs to create a future, free of foreign oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And that would be the cue for the other big theme emerging from tonight’s speeches, after last night’s soft and even gentle opening, it appears the attacks on Senator McCain and a third Bush administration have begun in earnest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RAHM EMANUEL, (D) ILLINOIS: A strong economy depends on a strong middle class, but George Bush has put the middle class in a hole. And John McCain has a plan to keep digging that hole with George Bush’s shovel.
REP. STENY HOYER, (D) MAJORITY LEADER: Ladies and gentlemen, you can’t expect change from a senator who voted with George Bush 95 percent of the time this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And good evening again, from Denver, Colorado and the Democratic National Convention, alongside Chris Matthews, I’m Keith Olbermann.
How are we doing tonight, still not sold?
CHRIS MATTHEWS, CO-HOST: Well, I think we have to hope for the best in terms of this election being a choice between two united parties, and—which is always the best kind of election, where you have a clear choice, not between a party in disrepair and a party united but both parties united. The Republican Party has gotten more and more united as the days have gone on since John McCain won the nomination fight. The Democratic Party is still a work in progress.
I think that your—well, Sherlock Holmes style of deductive thinking here makes the case that it’s in Senator Clinton’s interest to be either seen or to be truly endorsing a united ticket, otherwise she would be blamed for the failure of that unity. It’s, of course, a sound argument. It leaves out (ph) human nature, but it wouldn’t be a surprise.
I think that we have to read it. I think there’s—it’s a hard case that’s being made against Hillary Clinton by her critics, that is, that she should get in line, from the time that she was first lady, perhaps, of Arkansas, she’s been a partner with her husband in building the Clinton dynasty, that Clinton legacy. And it preceded right through this past fall. It was only in Iowa, when it came apart. And has continued to come apart to the point where Barack Obama won a victory.
But it’s something to behold, had we sat here a year ago, in fact, I look back at the numbers, Senator Clinton was 20 points ahead of Barack Obama just last October.
The Republicans thought they’re going to run against her. They were already in the process of demonizing her. They thought it would be easy, demonize Hillary Clinton and you win the general election, no matter who the nominee of the Republican Party is, long before they figured it was John McCain, they had a party theme—destroy Hillary Clinton. Turns out she’s not the nominee and they’re left without a theme, which is unfortunate for them.
OLBERMANN: Well, and on top of which, irony upon irony, instead of the commercials designed to destroy Hillary Clinton, they are using Hillary Clinton in commercials designed to destroy the Democratic nominee.
MATTHEWS: Those are crocodile tears. And you’ve wonder whether the objective person either rational or post-rational would be able to appreciate the fact that that’s clear politics. There’s nothing wrong with it. But Republicans have no heart in Hillary Clinton’s claim to the White House. They have no, they have villanized her for years, their commercials, their attitudes are—you go to a Republican hang-out, it’s all anti-Hillary, that’s their point of view.
So, now, they hold her up as some victim of some sort of foul play, of unfair politics, is a joke. But the funny thing about it is, they’re enjoying it. FOX News for example seems to enjoy it. It’s no accident that they hired Howard Wolfson. They used him in some sort of, oh, what, little toy soldier waiting on the shelf.
OLBERMANN: Tokyo Rose was the thought that came to my mind.
MATTHEWS: It’s something, a clear, it’s opera bouffe, to put it lightly, that they care about the cause of the Clintons. They will be right back at the ramparts quickly enough as the Clintons reemerge as leaders of the party. But yet it’s usual politics. They throw in Karl Rove; they got a nice duo over there to work it up.
But, you know, I think women do have a cause here, apart from the Clintons. I talked to a lot of them out here. Most of the delegates, you know are 50 to 50, according to rules, you talk to women, all the women my age, I’d always say women my age, because I am the age of a lot of these people, they’re very angry. I’ll wrap in a second. I’ll wrap in a second.
This is the issue of this campaign. The feelings of women my age and they are true feelings in the sense they are over—well, they were jumped ahead in line and that they didn’t get a fair break. And that’s something separate than Hillary Clinton’s ambitions that has to be dealt with tonight, the feelings of those people who felt they were screwed. And I think that’s going to be dealt with tonight, in addition to the unity of the Democratic Party.
OLBERMANN: And remember, the first time we ever brought that subject up it was positive for us by Rachel Maddow and Michelle Bernard so that we can give something of the providence of where that theory comes from, that is not two guys talking about how women feel like they were in someway passed over.
MATTHEWS: It’s a good idea it’s going to be shared.
OLBERMANN: Good idea. I’m not saying we stole it, I’m just saying that’s where it comes from.
OLBERMANN: All right. Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic leader of the House has been kind of enough to stand by with us inside the Pepsi Center and is listened to us go off at the mouth here on the subject of the Senator Clinton speech tonight. I gather you have –
MATTHEWS: So, you make that sound, Keith, I can do the same to you, OK? That’s what I thought, all right? And I said it.
HOYER: The good news is sitting by, not standing by.
OLBERMANN: Give us your sense of what we’re going to see tonight.
HOYER: I think you’re going to see Hillary Clinton do what everybody expects her to do. And I think she expects of herself, to make a very, very strong endorsement of Barack Obama. Why? Because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton basically agree, with some nuance differences only for the direction this country ought to be moving. And they both absolutely agree that John McCain will not take us there, that John McCain is not good for the country and the principles they support.
All this talk, I think, about we’re in a political season, we’re here at the convention, and this is the end of the contentious primary season effectively, we’ll choose a winner. I think from that point on, very frankly, the principles and policies are going to drive this campaign, not the personalities of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
I think there’s going to be a very, very strong unity in our party. There’s a very strong feeling that, in America, 82 percent of Americans think we’re going the wrong direction. And that’s going to unify our party because our party certainly agrees with that proposition and agrees with the American people.
OLBERMANN: Not to search for trouble perhaps, it’s not there, Mr. Majority Leader, but, of course, President Clinton is to speak tomorrow. Do you have a sense of his role in this and what you will hear from him tomorrow and what the delegates and the viewers will hear from him tomorrow?
HOYER: I think there’s going to be a unified message of the Clintons. I don’t think Mrs. Clinton or President Clinton are going to be singing from a different hymnal. They’re going to be singing the same song of that—if the 21st century is going to be successful, if they were the bridge to the 21st century, that we need Barack Obama as our next president, that we need party unity to accomplish that objective and I think they’re both going to be sincere in that effort.
I know that there’s speculation about people planning four years from now or eight years from now, but, really, that’s very tough to do. The election in November is very critical, all Democrats know it is. And very frankly, I agree with Chris, when says that there are many people for whom the Hillary Clinton campaign as the Barack Obama campaign was not just a candidate but a cause, something they deeply believed in.
It is very difficult for them to transfer their viewpoint. But they’re going to do so again, because of the overriding importance of the issues they care about and the stark differences between the Democratic Party and Republican Party, between Barack Obama and John McCain who economically and internationally, is supporting the Bush administration’s policies, which are failed.
MATTHEWS: Mr. Leader, if you were to script up a Barack Obama speech for the big football stadium speech Thursday night, how would you incorporate into that speech the aspirations of women since he is a male candidate and a woman candidate has not won the nomination? How does he carry that torch?
HOYER: I think, Chris, he’s going to do it in much the same way that Michelle Obama did last night—pointing out that Hillary Clinton’s campaign really give to her two daughters, to Barack’s two daughters, a different perspective, a glass ceiling broken by those 18 million slats in the ceiling, I think they’re going to say Hillary Clinton’s campaign as our campaign, meaning the Barack Obama campaign was historic and meets the promise of a better America and the equality of all our citizens.
So, I think the message that Barack is going to give is going to be much like Michelle gave last night.
OLBERMANN: Congressman Steny Hoyer, the majority leader from Maryland. Thank you kindly, sir.
HOYER: You bet. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is inside the convention hall right now with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, who was long on the short list—Andrea.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks so much, Chris.
Governor Kaine, how’s it feel to be here tonight? You know, tomorrow night is going to be Joe Biden’s big night. You came that close to being nominated.
GOV. TIM KAINE, (D) VIRGINIA: Well, Andrea, it still doesn’t seem real. I mean, it’s hard to believe that my name was mentioned that way but Joe is a very good pick. And we’re going to be really excited here front and center with the Virginia delegation tomorrow night on our feet yelling for him. I think, they’re going to be a great ticket. I think, Joe brings a lot of heart and a lot of experience and they’re going to put together a real good team.
MITCHELL: You were one of the earliest Obama supporters from a key state, the latest polls show it’s dead even in Virginia.
MITCHELL: Everyone knows you had great chemistry. What do you think made him decide and what did he tell you or what did he say?
KAINE: Well, you know, I don’t really talk about my conversations with the campaign about that. Again, it was just flattering to be mentioned. But, you know, you got to weigh all these factors and try to figure things out for the state of the election, state of the world, I think it’s the right team.
We got to change our economic direction and both Joe and Barack have good strong plans about how to do that, focusing on middle-class success rather than how the top 10 folks are doing. And we need to change the direction of national security, to be smarter about our choices, and I think Joe Biden is a great add in that way.
MITCHELL: How invasive was the vetting? What happened? You sat down with Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy and they asked you terrible questions.
KAINE: No, maybe what I’ll just say is they asked you everything. They asked you everything and they asked you your, you know, high school girlfriend’s middle name, and you tell them and they come back and they say, she says she was never your girlfriend. I mean, it’s amazing.
MITCHELL: How humiliating is that, Governor?
KAINE: Yes. It’s tough. It’s tough. But you know, you got to have a good humor about it. And I always thought my best value to the campaign was, frankly, helping in Virginia because, as you know, Andrea, we haven’t gone Democratic since 1964. We’re in a dead heat now which is hard to believe but it’s a tribute to how good Barack Obama’s message is, how much he’s resonating with Virginians and we want to get it over the hump.
MITCHELL: And what do you want Hillary Clinton to do tonight, do you want to hear more red meat against, you know, John McCain or the Republicans?
KAINE: Let me tell you, I think Hillary Clinton is going to knock it out of the park. And I think there’s not going to be any doubt when she is done that she is full square behind Barack. She knows the stakes are high and wants the nation to change the direction with Barack and think she’s going to do a great job.
MITCHELL: Governor, I know you said, you have a sense of humor. Everyone in your delegation is wearing these (INAUDIBLE) button? What the heck is that button all about?
KAINE: You know, during the V.P. vetting, one of my weaknesses, it was a significant one, I have an uncontrollable left eyebrow that just acts independently. And so, you know, you can either do the Botox or embrace it, and I thought, why not embrace it. So, my staff printed up these without my knowledge, they started handing them out and I saw them and I thought (audio gap) laugh at ourselves. Better to laugh at others, and if they laugh at you, you know, you should them crush. But, any way, you know, let’s have a sense of humor about all of this.
MITCHELL: And there’s probably enough Botox already on this convention floor.
MITCHELL: Thank you so very much. (INAUDIBLE).
KAINE: Andrea, great to be with you. Thanks.
MITCHELL: Back to you, Keith and Chris.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Andrea Mitchell.
Coming up: We’re going to go back to the convention floor to listen to Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr. He opposes abortion rights like his father did back in 1992, when he was, the former Casey, the late Casey was barred from speaking at the Democratic convention in an iconic moment.
Keith and I will be back with – well, with more from Denver after this. You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage at the Democratic National Convention.
OLBERMANN: You know that phrase you heard growing up west of the Rockies? That’s the mascot of the Colorado Rockies (INAUDIBLE). We rejoin you from his home, Denver, Colorado.
We’re awaiting several big speeches tonight. First in just a few moments, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., an opponent of abortion and keynote address by Mark Warner, and at about 10:30 Eastern, the big one, it’s Hillary Clinton addressing what has become Barack Obama’s convention—Chris.
MATTHEWS: It’s going to be a big night. I hope you all stick with us to watch Hillary Clinton. I really do think this is probably the most important half hour of the summer, Hillary Clinton, what she says about the man who bested her narrowly for the Democratic nomination.
This is all about putting the pieces together. They got to do it tonight, certainly starting tonight.
Moments ago, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie caught up with Director Spike Lee—a little cultural infusion on the convention floor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I’m joined now by Spike Lee, who we found on the floor of the Democratic convention. First of all, it’s such a key –
SPIKE LEE, DIRECTOR: I’m one (ph) of Indiana delegates.
GUTHRIE: And Florida is a powerful delegation.
LEE: You get more love in Florida and Indiana. That’s all right.
GUTHRIE: And suddenly, you have been such a keen observer of race relations in this country –
GUTHRIE: What does it mean for you to be standing here with the first African-American nominee of this party?
LEE: Well, look, I’m not a delegate for anything like that. I’m here to witness history. So, I want to bear witness to history. I think, this is a great moment, not just American history but world history. So, I’m glad to be here.
GUTHRIE: Did you ever think you’d see this day in your lifetime?
LEE: Never, never.
GUTHRIE: What does it mean to you?
LEE: It means this is a whole new world. I think that, I’ve been saying this before, you can divide history in “BB,” before Barack, “AB,” after Barack.
GUTHRIE: What do you think—I know you care a lot about the Democratic Party, I’ve seen you at other conventions—what do you think about the division that exist between the Obama folks and Hillary folks, does it worry you?
LEE: It will be all worked out before this thing is done, before this thing concludes here. Thursday night, I think that the Democratic Party will be unified, to go toe-to-toe with John McCain and the Republican Party.
GUTHRIE: Are you going to see Barack speak on Thursday?
LEE: I’ll be right there in, where the Denver Broncos play football, 77,000 people. It’s going to be crazy.
GUTHRIE: What do you hope to hear from Hillary Clinton tonight?
LEE: Oh, I hope, I know—I believe that Hillary is going to do the right thing. You know, she’s going to get her moment in history. She deserves that. And tell everybody else, if you believe in me, you’ll vote for Barack because their views are more aligned than the views of John McCain and the Republican Party.
GUTHRIE: As someone who has turned a critical eye on how race is dealt with in this country, is there anything about Barack Obama being nominated, the head of his party, that changes your mind or gives you more hope, to use the word that Barack Obama uses a lot?
LEE: I think that—look, I’m only five generations removed from slavery. People talk about 40 years of slavery, it ended 1865. My grandmother, her mother was born a slave, so, it just knowing that history, where we are today, it really shows that America is the greatest country in the world.
GUTHRIE: And before I let you go, I have to let the viewers see this t-shirt.
GUTHRIE: Tell me about it.
LEE: This is Barack Obama taking John McCain to the hole and dunking it over his head.
GUTHRIE: Something tells me you could sell those t-shirts on this floor, trying to make a buck of it (ph).
LEE: I bought this in the store here in Denver. I had to walk five miles to get it, but it was worth it. And I bought like two dozen and sent them back FedEx to New York. So, they’re going to be rocking these tomorrow in Brooklyn.
GUTHRIE: I think you just started a trend. Spike Lee, thank you so much for your time.
LEE: All right.
GUTHRIE: Thank you.
GUTHRIE: And now back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Savannah Guthrie with Spike Lee.
You may hear the train again, I’m just warning you. In the interim, let’s check in with David Gregory now on the convention floor and more on that meeting of minds between the two first ladies of the Democratic party, I guess would be the right description, David.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Right, Keith. Some of my reporting tonight, I talked to somebody very close to the Obamas who described the scene today at the Emily’s List gathering here in Denver. Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton had a chance to talk privately.
We heard some other reporting that Hillary Clinton tried to reach out to Michelle, wasn’t able to do that last night, but they did have a chance to be together and kind of huddle privately. I’m told that Hillary Clinton was very gracious and very complimentary about Michelle Obama’s speech here last night, very warmly received Michelle Obama turned and wished Hillary Clinton the best of luck tonight and thanked her for the support that she’s giving her husband and her at this stage.
It’s a sign, this advisor told me, that at the highest level, things are really OK between Hillary Clinton and the Obamas, whether there’s a lot more frustration, maybe, and some nerves that are still rattled with some of the staff level and among some of the hardcore supporters—Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right, David. Was this perceived as the return of olive branch for Michelle Obama’s mention in such glowing terms of Senator Clinton last night?
GREGORY: Well, I think that was certainly warmly received. I talked to somebody close to Senator Clinton who said that that was considered quite a nice shout-out, as this person said, to Senator Clinton, and again, it’s a sign that in their direct interactions, it’s positive, that the relationship is good enough and now it’s translating all of that to the big speech tonight.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory, with additional reporting on the Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton conversation. Thank you, David.
MATTHEWS: We’re watching on the floor right now, the beginning of short remarks by Senator Robert Casey, the new senator from Pennsylvania. Sixteen years ago, this young guy’s father, the governor of Pennsylvania and his namesake was refused the right to speak on the floor of the Democratic convention in New York because he took a pro-life or anti-abortion rights position. His son we’re watching right now is elected in 2006, on the same position, also anti-abortion rights.
And the Democratic Party, what it’s trying to do here is build a coalition, largely of pro-choice people, but with some, a few, pro-lifers, in order to win 60 seats in the U.S. Senate. You’re watching here the construction of a very political campaign to win control of this government. He is an example of that. The organization worked by Chuck Schumer.
So, we’re going to go to the speech right now.
SEN. ROBERT CASEY, JR., (D) PENNSYLVANIA: In a time of danger around the world and economic trouble here at home, I know that Barack Obama will lead us, heal us, and help us rebuild the country we love. I know this because I know Barack Obama. I’ve seen how he inspires people, including my four daughters, to believe that the failures of the past will soon give way to the change we need.
I’ve seen his leadership up close, in the Senate, bridging partisan divides and finding common ground. I’ve seen him carry those same skills off the floor of the Senate and into the cities and towns all across Pennsylvania. I traveled with Barack by bus and train across our state. From Pittsburgh to Paoli, from Johnstown to Downingtown, he was equally at home, talking football with Jerome Bettis and Frank O’Harris, as he was talking jobs with the folks on the shop floor of the Erie Vault Company or talking sports at the bar at Sharkeys (ph) in Latrobe.
Everywhere Barack went, people who may have been asking who this guy was ended up seeing what I saw—a husband, father of two daughters, a man of deep faith. Everywhere we went, the people of Pennsylvania gave him the highest praise they give anyone. He is one of us. In Pennsylvania—Pennsylvania couldn’t be prouder of our native son, Joe Biden from Scranton.
CASEY: No one knows us better than Joe. And after eight years of a president who let the oil companies and Washington lobbyists call the shots, I say it’s time we had a president and a vice president who really know us.
And tonight, we’re joined by another great champion of working people, someone whom I worked on early childhood education, someone who conducted her campaign with rare grace, under real pressure, a senator who has worked to bring our party and our country together—Hillary Rodham Clinton.
CASEY: When she endorsed Barack, Senator Clinton called upon all of us to, quote, “do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.” In traveling around Pennsylvania, looking around this room tonight, I have no doubt that’s exactly what we’re going to do. So, let us work together, with a leader who, as Lincoln said, “Appeals to the better angels of our nature.”
Now, Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of abortion, but the fact that I’m speaking here tonight is testament to Barack’s ability to show respect for the views of people who may disagree with him. I know –
CASEY: I know Barack Obama. I believe that as president, he’ll pursue the common good-bye seeking common ground, rather than trying to divide us because we are strongest when we are together. And there has never been a time, a more important time to devote ourselves to common purpose.
The people of Pennsylvania can’t afford four more years of Bush-Cheney economics. And you know what? With John McCain, that’s exactly what we’d get. Now, John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush over 90 percent of the time. That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick.
CASEY: The Bush-McCain Republicans inherited the strongest economy in history and drove it into a ditch. They cut taxes on the wealthiest of us and passed the pain to the least of us. They ran up the debt, gave huge subsidies to big oil companies, and now they’re asking for four more years. How about four more months?
CASEY: We can’t afford—we can’t afford four more years of deficit and debt and drift and desperation. Not four more years—four more months. We can’t afford –
CASEY: Only four.
We can’t afford another president who will veto children’s health insurance for 10 million children or who will keep senior citizens from seeing the doctor they trust—not four more years, four more months.
CROWD (chanting): Four more months. Four more months. Four more months.
CASEY: Only four. A long time ago — a long time ago, my father, Gov. Casey, used to say this. He said, “The ultimate question for those in public office is this. A very simple question. What did you do when you had the power?” Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use that power to help the folks on the shop floor of the Erie Bolt Company, the guys at Sharkeys and millions of Americans just like them, struggling but ready to fight back. We know they will, because as Pennsylvanians know, Joe Biden is one of us, and Barack Obama is one of us, too. Thank you very much.
MATTHEWS: You know, Bob Casey gave quite a spellbinder there to the extent that he gave the delegates what they wanted. They wanted an anthem. They wanted a chorus, four more months. They picked up on it, maybe stepped on it, but they had it there for a while. I think we’ll hear that again throughout the night. Four more months — it’s very rich in sarcasm. It, of course, reminds us of, I believe, Richard Nixon in 1972.
OLBERMANN: Also, the line about McCain, “He’s not a maverick, he’s a sidekick.” That’s a pretty good one, too, dryly delivered, a good line.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think that’s what perhaps our network has been looking forward as well as the delegates, some sense of the cheerfulness in disregard of politics, which is the joy you get in putting down your opponent, which is a big part of politics. The Germans call it “schadenfreude,” joy to others tragedy.
Keith, I am amazed why they don’t have more fun with the man who calls himself “Dick Chinny(ph).” Why more reference — why don’t they talk about these villains as they see them? Why don’t they talk about Bush who they see as a villain? It seems like they’re —
OLBERMANN: I don’t know. It works for me.
MATTHEWS: They’re pulling their punches and I’m waiting. Somebody said it last night. Last night was a mellow night about love and family and Teddy getting on. And maybe it ought to start so it begins to smell like a convention. Or am I pushing them?
OLBERMANN: Well, it’s interesting because the keynote that’s coming up in just a few moments, from Mark Warner is not expected to be that kind of barn-burner speech at all because he has built such a reputation as a radical moderate, or radical centrist is the actual phrase. And that seems like something of an oxymoron. But we’ll see how he handles that. But where is this joie de vivre of going after your opponent and getting that right shot.
MATTHEWS: What gets you up in the morning on Election Day with that excitement? What gives you the joy of staying until midnight to watch the concession speech? What makes you care? It’s usually because something’s being done to hurt you. Something that either you’re denied what you believe you deserved or someone else getting something that was yours or a clown rules your country. That can also bother you.
MATTHEWS: On occasion. Not that that’s the case now, of course.
OLBERMANN: Clown rules your — I can use that. I can work with that.
MATTHEWS: I think that — you know, they used to say where I grew up is that the greatest voting registrar of African-Americans was not Martin Luther King, it was Frank Rizzo. It was someone they saw as their enemy, Gold Connor. Sometimes, the enemy is your best friend in politics because he gives you something to live for.
OLBERMANN: It is too profound for me to offer anything on other than that.
MATTHEWS: Come on, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) country. It’s where you live.
OLBERMANN: All right. Up next, former Clinton White House press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, who actually may have personal experience with what Chris is referring to. Plus, Norah O’Donnell on our panel as we await the keynote address of former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and the headliner, from Hillary Clinton. MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention continues from Denver right after this.
OLBERMANN: I went to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) museum on Sunday. I got hit by a foul ball. People here are getting t-shirts from the Rockies’ mascots. We rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention live from Denver. The big story coming up about an hour hence, a little more perhaps, Hillary Clinton’s speech. We’re just moments away from the keynote address from former Virginia governor Mark Warner.
MATTHEWS: NBC’s David Gregory has some details now what to expect from the Warner in the keynote. David.
DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, it’s interesting, you just mentioned this, Gov. Warner of Virginia, running for the Senate now, new Democrat. He is going to try to reinforce that post-partisan message of the Obama campaign. I’m familiar with the remarks. He is expected to say, “We need leaders who see our common ground as sacred ground.” It gives you a sense of the tone and the flavor of this speech. Not a lot of red meat in here, not an exhaustive treatment of John McCain but it is the beginning of an essential task here, the contrast.
He’ll talk about how this election is about the past versus the future. And that’s a big subtext here, and that is that Barack Obama, the argument goes, is the guy who gets it. He gets where the economy is going globally and nationally, that he understands what the future is.
John McCain has waited to wasting more time in the past eight years of George W. Bush. That’s the message here. Some complaints that it won’t be hard-hitting enough, but again, this is the bipartisan message that this convention is about drilling home. Chris.
MATTHEWS: David, Mark Warner is a very successful business entrepreneur. He’s not a regular guy, if you will, sort of a Joe — he’s not a — what’s the guy’s name? Joe Biden. He’s not a Joe Biden kind of guy. Is he able to give that sort of kitchen table presentation that Biden’s much better at it seems?
GREGORY: Well, I don’t know that it’s going to be as homespun as we might get from Joe Biden. He’s going to talk about his success as a businessman, in his cell phone business, telecommunications where he made a fortune. But part of what he will conclude from that is that great ideas don’t have an R or D next to them. Again, this is a bipartisan message and it is less partisan than perhaps some of the Democrats want. But it’s about casting Obama as the future. You know, I spoke to a Democratic strategist today who said you remember back to the ‘96 campaign, how Bill Clinton so effectively talked about the bridge to the 21st century. By the time he was done, they were confident that voters weren’t going to think Bob Dole was going to take you across that bridge.
Well, that’s what they want to do with Barack Obama. They want the contrast to be, is Barack Obama about the future or is John McCain about the future? If they can effectively say that John McCain is out of touch, he doesn’t know where the economy is going and Barack Obama does, then they’ve won something important. And I think they’re going to see Warner as an important messenger for that idea tonight.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, David Gregory. Again, let’s go to — an hour from now, we expect Hillary Clinton to address the convention for the barn burner of tonight and of course, the great dramatic moment. For more on that, what she needs to say, let’s bring in former Clinton White House press secretary, well-known and much — well, much appreciated Dee Dee Myers.
We’re waiting for Dee Dee Myers. We have a moment here. I thought that was very interesting. Let’s go to Mark Warner. Let’s hear the big picture of the future of the Democratic Party and what it promises from Mark Warner, the former governor, a senate candidate in Virginia.
MARK WARNER (D), FORMER GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA AND A SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you. Are you ready? Hello, Virginia!
CROWD (chanting): Warner! Warner! Warner!
WARNER: My fellow Democrats, my fellow Democrats. My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, the most important contest of our generation has begun. Not the campaign for the presidency. Not the campaign for Congress. But the race for the future.
And I believe, from the bottom of my heart, with the right vision, and the right leadership, and the energy and creativity of the American people, there is no nation that we can’t out-hustle and out-compete and no American need be left out or left behind.
Yes, the race for the future is on and it won’t be won if only some Americans are in the running. And it won’t be won with yesterday’s ideas and yesterday’s divisions. And it won’t be won with a president who’s stuck in the past.
We need a president who understands the world today, the future we seek, and the change we need. We need Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
Now, I have — I have a unique perspective on this race for the future. Like many of you, I’m the first in my family to graduate from college. It was made possible by supportive parents, great public schools. And since my folks didn’t have the resources, thank goodness for the student loan program.
After I graduated law school, you know, it didn’t take me long to realize that America really wouldn’t miss me as a lawyer. So I started a business, my first company failed in six weeks. My next one was much more successful. It failed in six months. And then a buddy of mine told me about this brand-new idea, this thing called car telephones, cell phones.
I always remember friends of mine telling me, “Warner, you’re crazy. Go get a real job. Nobody’s ever going to want a phone in their car.” But I saw a different future. And with luck and a lot of hard work, I got in on the ground floor of the cell phone industry.
There’s only one country in the world where I could have received that education, where I could have been given not just one chance or two, but three, and where I could have succeeded. That’s this country, the United States of America.
At our best — at our best, it’s not your lineage or last name that matters, it’s not where you come from that counts, it’s where you want to go. In America, everyone should get a fair shot. Barack Obama understands this because he’s lived it. And Barack Obama is running to restore that fair shot for every American.
But when we look around, we see that for far too many Americans, that fair shot is becoming more of a long shot. How many kids have the grades to go to college but not the money? How many families always thought their home would be their safest investment? How many of our soldiers come back from their second or third tour of duty, wondering if the education and health care benefits they were promised would actually be there?
Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that basically says, “Let’s go borrow money from China so we can buy oil from countries that don’t like us?” How many people look at these things and wonder, what’s the future hold for them, their children, their family, their country? How many in George Bush and John McCain’s America? Far too many.
Let’s be fair. Some of these changes were inevitable, but all of them were more severe, more immediate and more threatening because of the misguided policies and outdated thinking of this administration.
You know, folks always ask me, what’s my biggest criticism of President Bush? Now, I’m sure you’ve got your own. But here’s mine. It’s not just the policy differences, it’s the fact that this president never tapped into our greatest resource, the character and resolve of the American people.
He never really asked us to step up. Think about it. If after September 11th, there had been a call from the president to get ourselves off foreign oil so we would no longer be funding the very terrorists who had just attacked us, every American would have said, “How can I do my part?”
This administration — this administration failed to believe in what we can achieve as a nation when all of us work together. John McCain promises more of the same, a plan that would explode the deficit and leave that to our kids. No real strategy to invest in our crumbling infrastructure. And he would continue spending $10 billion a month in Iraq.
I don’t know about you, but that’s just not right. That’s four more years that we just can’t afford.
Barack Obama — Barack Obama — Barack Obama has a different vision and a different plan. Right now, at this critical moment in our history, we have one shot to get it right. And the status quo just won’t cut it. Now, let me tell you. If you think you’ve seen dramatic changes in the world and technology in the last 10 years, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
The race is on. And if you watch the Olympics, then you know China’s going for the gold. You know, America has never been afraid of the future. And we shouldn’t start now.
If we choose the right path — if we choose the right path, every one of these challenges is also an opportunity. Look at energy. If we actually got ourselves off foreign oil, we can start to make our country safer. We’ll start to solve global warming. And with the right policies, within 24 months, we’ll be building 100 mile per gallon, plug-in hybrid vehicles right here with American technology and American workers.
Look at health care. If we bring down costs and actually cover everyone, not only will America be healthier, we will be more competitive in the global economy. Just think about this; in four months — in just four months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science.
And we can again lead the world in life-saving and life-changing cures. Think about education, if we recruit a new army of teachers and actually give our schools the resources to meet our highest standards, not only will every child in America be given that fair shot, but the American economy will be given a shot in the arm. And whether they want to be an engineer or an electrician, every kid will be trained for the jobs of the 21st century.
Look at America’s standing in the world. If we rebuild our military and rebuild our alliances, we can rally the world to defeat terrorism and restore America’s leadership.
Now, which candidate — which candidate understands these opportunities? And which candidate — which candidate knows that we don’t have another four years to waste? Barack Obama. Barack Obama also knows this as well — we need leaders who see our common ground as sacred ground. We need leaders who will appeal to us, not as Republicans or Democrats, but first and foremost as Americans.
You know I spent 20 years in business. And if you ran a company whose only strategy was to tear down the competition, it wouldn’t last very long. So why is this wisdom so hard to find in Washington? I know we’re at the Democratic convention, but if an idea works, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s got a “D” or “R” next to it. Because this election — this election is not about, liberal versus conservative, it’s not about left versus right. It’s about the future versus the past.
In this election, at this moment — at this moment in our history, we know what the problems are. We know at this critical juncture, we only have one shot to get it right. And we know that these new times demand new thinking. We believe in success. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to get ahead. And with that success comes a responsibility to make sure that others can follow.
I think we’re blessed to be Americans. But with that blessing — with that blessing comes an obligation to our neighbors and to our common good. So you give every child the tools they need to succeed. That means quality schools, access to health care, safe neighborhoods, not just because it’s the right thing to do — of course it is, but because if those kids do better, we all do better.
And it doesn’t really matter, you can be soft-hearted or hard-headed, both are going to lead you to the same place. We are all in this together. That’s what this party believes, that’s what this nation believes, that’s what Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe.
And we can do it. We can do it, sure we can. When I became governor — when I became governor, this is what Virginia faced. A massive budget shortfall, an economy that wasn’t moving, gridlock in the capital. Now, does that sound familiar? So what did we do? Working together, a Democratic governor with a two-to-one Republican legislature and whole lot of good folks who didn’t see themselves as Democrats or Republicans, but as Virginians. We closed the budget gap and Virginia was named the best managed state in the nation.
We made record investments — we made record investments in education and job training. We got 98 percent of all of our eligible kids enrolled in our children’s health care program. We delivered broadband to the most remote areas of our states. Because in this global economy, if you can send a job to Bangalore, India, you sure as heck can send one to Danville, Virginia, and Flint, Michigan, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Peoria, Illinois.
Because in the global economy, you shouldn’t have to leave your hometown to find a world-class job. Let me tell you — let me tell you about a place called Lebanon — Lebanon, Virginia. Lebanon is in the coal fields of Southwest Virginia. You know what? That whole town, the population of the whole town could fit right here on the convention floor. Lebanon is like a lot of small towns in America. It has seen the industries that sustained it, downsized, outsourced or shut down.
Now, some folks look at towns like Lebanon and say, “Tough luck in the global economy. You’ve lost.” But we believe that we couldn’t and shouldn’t give up on our small towns and expect the rest of our state to prosper. And that’s what brought me toward the end of my term to the high school gym in Lebanon to announce that we are going to bring over 300 high-tech jobs, jobs that pay twice the county average.
One student told the reporter from “The Washington Post,” that before this he always thought that he would have to move away to raise his family and find a good job. Now I just heard from this young man, Michael Kaiser(ph). Today, he’s a junior at Virginia Tech. His older brother — his older brother just moved back home to Lebanon because there was an information technology job open for him that was just too good to pass up. That’s a story worth rewriting all across America.
With the right leadership, we can once again achieve a standard of living that is improved and not diminished in each generation. We can once again make American a beacon for science and technology and discovery.
Ladies and gentlemen, we know how to do it. The American people are ready. And Barack Obama and Joe Biden will get it done.
Now, as governor of Virginia — as governor of Virginia it was humbling to occupy a position that was once held by Thomas Jefferson, almost as daunting as delivering the keynote address four years after Barack Obama or speaking before Hillary Clinton. Towards the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson, the founder of our party, wrote one of his frequent letters to his old rival John Adams. He complained about the aches of getting old. But what was on his mind was what would life be like for the next generation of Americans.
As Jefferson was ready to go to sleep, he closed this letter by writing, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Jefferson got it right at the dawn of the 19th century and it is our challenge to get it right at the dawn of the 21st. This race is all about the future and that’s why we must elect Barack Obama as our next president.
Because the race for the future — the race for the future will be won when old partisanship gives way to new ideas, when we put solutions over stalemates, and when hope replaces fear. tonight, looking out at all of you and with a deep faith in the character and resolve of the American people, I am more confident than ever that we will win that race and make that future ours.
Thank you, God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: This is MSNBC’s continuing coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Alongside Chris Matthews, I’m Keith Olbermann. In about a half-hour or a little bit more, we will hear the big speech of the convention so far politically speaking, obviously in terms of the dynamics of the nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak and anticipation is she will give a speech that will please both Barack Obama’s supporters and her own. And encourage the latter to join the former.
We just saw, as you know, the keynote address of this entire convention from the former governor of Virginia, Mark Warner now the Democratic senatorial candidate in that most critical of states.
It was advertised, Chris, as something perhaps not sharp-pointed enough. And yet I think that was a, although there was constant references to bipartisanship, I thought there were very many pointed moments in there. And that Warner gave a pretty good—a pretty good barn burner.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC CO-HOST: Yeah, an Obama speech. It was about the future obviously and it also about asking things of people, and the Kennedy sense of ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country?
I thought the best line was people often ask me what is your biggest criticism of Bush. And I’m sure all of you have your own. Here’s mine. It’s not just the policy stuff. It’s the fact that this president never tapped into this country’s greatest resource, the character and resolve of the American people. He never asked us to do anything. And I think that is one thing during the course of the weeks after 9/11. We were told to shop. That is a problem. A lot of people don’t feel that is an inspiring call to arms instead of chipping in or rationing or doing something. So I think that is part of the Democratic Party that sort of idealistic streak, which is to ask people to give. I thought that was powerful.
Here is something to make your point earlier. “The New York Times” has an early version of the speech tonight. Patrick Healy is the main author. Mrs. Clinton is almost certain to run for president in 2012 if Mr. Obama fails this time. Several Clinton advisors said Tuesday—that’s the attribution—any such plan could possibly founder if the Clintons’ negative feelings show through this year. So the great conundrum for the Clintons is although they would like plan b to be available to them if it doesn’t work for the Democrats this year, they can’t show any appetite for it.
OLBERMANN: Exactly. You cannot make that future happen. If it happens, despite your best efforts, you might be able to take personal advantage of it. If you make it happen that future will not include you. She will be and he will be, that is, President Clinton, they will be, if not the only scapegoats, they would be scapegoats for Democratic defeat. I think that contributes to the sense that she will do more than the right thing if she can. Whether it is purely from a responsible citizens’ point of view or a responsible democratic citizen’s point of view about not getting another Republican in the White House or whether it is purely from self-interest, or combination, some incredible mixture, add mixture of the two things, whatever you like. There are many, many reasons for her to come out swinging for Barack Obama and to do everything she can to make sure he is elected because things as we know are impossible to see towards the future. We just know this. Nothing that we saw in—to this date in 2008 was predictable as long ago as 2006. Nothing.
MATTHEWS: That said—that is all valid—what could happen down the road if there is a situation in year 2012 where the country really does want change from a Republican—from 12 years for example, Republican rule, were they to win this time. Then you would have such a call for change politically.
MATHEWS: That who ever was the nominee would probably win, as you saw in 1992.
OLBERMANN: Except that we said exactly that about 2008, after the 2004 election. All our predictions run against reality.
MATTHEWS: Ronald Reagan didn’t really kick in and help Gerry Ford get elected, yet he came back and won easily by 10 points. And Ted Kennedy did not exactly grab the hand of Jimmy Carter and raise it high in 1980 in New York at the Democratic convention. Yet by 1994, he could have easily been the nominee had he chose to be that.
So despite the rational and perhaps post-rational thinking that goes into your thinking there is a deductive logic to the fact that Hillary not only has the opportunity to look like she is helping Barack Obama tonight but she may well have her heart in it. Those are both options. By the way, I’m not sure if we can define the difference end of tonight.
OLBERMANN: Nor is it necessarily important that we do. The other bottom line to this as, I said before, she and President Clinton live in this country too. They have to have a four-year experience under whoever the next president is at minimum. One would think that at some point that is the ultimate self-interest, who do they want to see, which party do they want to see in the White House in January?
Let’s give a chance to—you mentioned, post rational thinking. Let’s go to the panel that christened the phrase, Norah O’Donnell and the panel downstairs—Nora?
NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. The team is back of course.
In talking about plan B, we talked about it. Do the Clintons want plan B, Pat, you think that is part of the fine line that Hillary Clinton walks to night in the speech?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah. I believe that she will be perceived and she will go all out to bring her voters over to Barack Obama. She will say so. She will do everything. But again as I said before, if you are—desperately wanted Barack Obama elected, you would say it is a golden opportunity.
And I have really got—somebody has got to cut up John McCain because our previous speaker certainly did not do that, Gene.
GENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, he didn’t.
O’DONNELL: Mark Warner said American voters have one shot to get it right.
O’DONNELL: Did he use the shot to night to gut John McCain—like Pat Buchanan said?
BUCHANAN: Who, Mark Warner?
O’DONNELL: Yes, Mark Warner?
ROBINSON: It’s was interesting.
BUCHANAN: It was not Jennings Bryan we saw tonight. It is not Mario Cuomo. It’s not Teddy Kennedy. With due respect, it was a nice little speech. But it is more about Mark Warner for the senate more than it was for Barack Obama for the presidency and getting rid of McCain and Bush and Cheney.
ROBINSON: I think it was about one other thing too. It was odd that it was a speech to the Democratic convention. It sounded like a speech that was really aimed at Republicans and Independents to try to bring them into the fold by saying “it’s not necessarily all about party, it is about being right, the future.”
O’DONNELL: Mark Warner said “because this election isn’t about liberal versus conservative, not about left versus right, it’s the future versus the past.” We all kind of looked at each other when he said that phrase. Governing may not be about liberal versus conservative, but is this election about liberal versus conservative, Rachael?
MADDOW: I feel like Mark Warner is a politician that visited us from the future. In the future there is no Democratic party. Because that’s the way he talked about the stakes in the election as if—it’s all about who has a good idea. Criticizing President Bush as a guy who is in the past is literally, technically, axiomatically true. He is the president. We need a new one. Tie moves forward, not back. It is not a substance critique of the president at all. He did not take one, not one nick out of the Republican Party or president Bush.
ROBINSON: It was a nonpartisan, partisan speech. It was not aimed at Democrats it seemed to me.
BUCHANAN: Where is the—where is the—you know, the fire, the spleen, the heart you expect from a Democratic party that believes Bush is a total disaster. They have got a keynote speaker up there. He is going to tell the country why we got to get rid of the guys, not why—some technocratic speech written by a computer.
ROBINSON: I am waiting for some one to take the podium and say the word torture. I am waiting for someone to take the podium and say the word Iraq. I’m waiting for someone to take the podium and talk domestic surveillance and to talk about all the reasons why Democrats want to get rid of George Bush.
O’DONNELL: Come to Ron Paul’s convention. You will hear all that there. They will go after him.
MADDOW: The domestic surveillance would be awkward. But I do think Hillary Clinton now—the bar is even higher for her in terms of—after Mark Warner’s speech the bar is higher for her in terms of making this a night at the convention that does make it something to make it more likely Obama is elected.
BUCHANAN: Look, she again—Warner is looking out for Warner. Hillary Clinton is going to do what is in her best interest and that is to bring her people around and be seen as 100 percent pro-Obama. Her best interests are not to hurt herself by being an attack dog.
O’DONNELL: This whole election, and what Barack Obama needs to win is to win over swing voters and he’s also got to solidify the Democratic base. There are still a large number of Hillary Clinton supporters not yet behind him. He is only polling 80 percent among the Democratic Party. John Kerry had 89 percent. If Barack Obama can get that he will go up four points in the national polls, according to our political director. Where is that tonight in what we have heard or last night, that persuades those Democrats who are not yet behind him to say “I want Barack Obama.”
MADDOW: If you stand up and say, we are all things to all people. We are nothing really specific, but we’re really all about moving past all the specifics of the fighting now, you are going to offend no one but earn no votes. You have to define who you are and then you are...
BUCHANAN: Exactly. And who you are, and who and what you are against.
BUCHANAN: We’ve had enough of this. We are going against this, against him. Chris is right—where is Cheney for heavens sakes. Cheney is at 18 percent or something. It’s a free shot. Go after Cheney. Go after Bush.
MADDOW: ... 80 percent of the country thinks the country is on the wrong track.
MADDOW: You would think the Democratic Party, asking to change the party to change the White House would be running on that. Instead, it’s like, you know what, in the future there won’t be parties and we will all get along and people will be smart and we won’t fight. You know what? You know what? Nice idea. Fairy tale. Not American politics.
ROBINSON: The question is...
O’DONNELL: Mark Warner said tonight, it really doesn’t matter if it has an R or a D next to it, talking about whether an idea works or not—Rachel?
MADDOW: That works for governing but not for elections.
BUCHANAN: That works for the state of Virginia.
BUCHANAN: That works for a one-term governor in the state of Virginia. You’re in there one term, get there, work with people, transportation through. It is not about America in the year 2008, which is a deeply divided country. This party is supposed to represent one half of it and be against the other. I don’t think their keynoter did it.
ROBINSON: So here’s the question. Does post-partisan equal post-rational?
O’DONNELL: On that note, Chris and Keith, we have a very philosophical panel here tonight.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Norah.
My theory is that Mark Warner gave a speech to help him get elected to the senate from Virginia. That was the main point of that speech. All politics is local.
We are waiting for Hillary Clinton. For more on what she needs to say tonight, let’s bring in former Clinton White House press secretary, Dee Dee Myers.
Dee Dee, you must have gone to bed last night—as you put your head on the pillow, what does Hillary have to say tomorrow to prove to the country she would have been the greatest nominee of all time had she won and she is the greatest, best sportsman the party has today in terms of accepting the results?
DEE DEE MYERS, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think what—and Chris, I couldn’t hear the last part of your question. But I think what Hillary Clinton has to do tonight is exactly as you said. She has got to give a great speech that brings her supporters into the fold and shows the country and the world that she is absolutely 100 percent behind Barack Obama.
I think—you guys talked all the reasons she might want to do that. I think the most important one, as Keith said, she doesn’t want to live in a country under four years of John McCain as president. No matter what her future holds, no matter what her aspirations are, they will be better served by a Republican—by a Democratic president. And I think she is going to talk about that. She is going to talk I think about why it is critical to—to elect Barack Obama and what the stakes are. I don’t think it is going to be a hot speech against John McCain. That is not her mission. I don’t think Mark Warner did it either. Although I was a little more talkative about his speech because he did one things Democrats haven’t done very well, every step of the election, which is to talk to rural voters about why their interests are more aligned with the Democrats than Republicans. There is a reason why Warner won Virginia, a red state, governor, was a very popular governor t!
here, will easily win his senate race. And that’s because he know how to talk to marginal voters, people who should be Democrats but aren’t always comfortable voting for the Democratic Party. It was bringing home the future but making it safe.
MATTHEWS: Do you think negative politics, or positive politics, is the most powerful in winning elections?
MYERS: Do I think that? Look, I think that—I think...
MATTHEWS: Which is the most powerful?
MYERS: Well, I think hope is really powerful. I think hope and—campaigns are about hope and the future. If you can galvanize those two things, you have a shot.
But I do think this convention and this party and the Obama campaign have to define the choice. I think that hasn’t happened yet in this convention. We’re in the middle of the second night. We better get to it. There is a lot of dissatisfaction in the land. Voters need to be reminded about it. I don’t think that’s Hillary Clinton’s mission tonight, although I’m sure she’ll have some choice words for president bush and the Republican leadership. But that is not her mission tonight.
OLBERMANN: Dee Dee, whose mission is it? When does it happen? When does someone get mad at John McCain, for stealing Hillary Clinton’s ad and putting his name at the end of it, which is, among other things, the least creative thing we’ve seen in this campaign? When do Democrats get angry and take advantage of the free TV time. Now I’m sounding exactly like Pat Buchanan, but there it is?
MYERS: Right. Well, the next big opportunity I think will be Joe Biden’s speech tomorrow. He showed some real fire on the stump Saturday when Barack Obama named him as his running mate. One of the first things that was said was, boy, he did in one speech what people have not been willing to do, which is really take on president Bush and Bush administration and eight years of failed leadership. That will be one place we will see it. We are not going to hear it in the red meat from Barack Obama on Thursday night, I don’t think. I think Joe Biden has a very, very heavy load tomorrow night when he addresses this convention.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the challenge facing senator Clinton—and also former president Clinton—obviously they want to keep alive the chance to be president again, their family, for Senator Clinton to become president at some point. At the same time they have to make it clear they are loyal to the nominee this time. How do they do both?
MYERS: I think that the only thing they can do and the only thing they want to do—certainly Hillary Clinton because she is coming up tonight—is make sure she makes the strongest possible case for Barack Obama. I think that’s what is in her heart.
Look this was a bitter, you know, defeat for her and for many of her supporters it was—it was an historic election and that makes getting over it that much more difficult. But I think she really believes that no matter what path she chooses going forward, how she chooses to sort of make the next chapter of her life, it is infinitely better if Barack Obama wins. She cares about the future of the country. Yeah, it might mean her presidential aspirations are either denied or delayed. But she cares about health care. She cares about the voters she appealed to. She has—a job in the senate. She has a constituency not just in the country but around the world. She has plenty to do. She will put her heart and soul into the campaign. I really believe that.
MATTHEWS: OK. You ought to know. Thank you very much, Dee Dee Myers.
OLBERMANN: Zero hour on the second day of the convention, fast approaching. Senator Clinton set to take the stage shortly after her historic bid for the Democratic nomination. The video tribute, introduction by her daughter Chelsea, once the victim of a terrible joke by Senator McCain, the speech itself, all the news and all the analysis. You are watching MSNBC live coverage of the Democratic national convention, 2008.
OLBERMANN: We are now just minutes away from, if not from the biggest event of this convention, probably the most pivotal, the most pivotal, in fact, in the entire summer of American politics. Hillary Clinton will address the Democratic convention here in Denver.
If you are wondering about the other guy, Senator Obama will be watching from a convention watching party of about a dozen, 15 people, with the Aaron Thompson family. As we see, President Clinton in place for the speech. Senator Obama will be at Billings, Montana, and the Aaron Thompson family, he’ll be watching from there. No great reporting I don’t think on anybody’s part. Obama’s campaign was good enough to tell us.
MATTHEWS: Great, as we await Senator Clinton and her address, we are joined by NBC’s David Gregory, who is joined by the senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, thank you very much.
Senator Schumer, this is a big night for Hillary Clinton. She wanted the stage Thursday night, not tonight. You have seen her today. What does she think she has to do tonight?
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D), NEW YORK: Well, she knows she has to convince these delegates, and even more important than these delegates, the voters throughout America why it is so important to do everything we can to elect Barack Obama. She believes that. If you didn’t x-ray into her, you would have the doubts and disappointments, but Hillary knows that issues, that turning America around is important. And she has to get everyone enthusiastically on board for Barack. You watch. She is going to give a tour de force speech.
GREGORY: At the highest levels people close to her, people close to Obama saying, yes, she is there on board and she is campaigning. Former President Bill Clinton not quite there yet. How come?
SCHUMER: He will be there. I think with him there may be greater disappointment than with Hillary in a certain sense. Fairly or not, he blames himself. But he will be there as well. The Clintons always end up being where they should be and have to be. You watch.
GREOGRY: Blames himself for her loss?
SCHUMER: Well, he blames—he just wishes so hard that she had won. Maybe, even more than she does herself. And so he is I think somewhat more than she is, strange as that might seem.
GREGORY: Let me ask you the hardball political question—is tonight about setting up her run in 2012?
SCHUMER: No. What people don’t give Hillary Clinton enough credit for is how much she cares about the issues from the days she was in high school. She feels a passion with winning this election.
GREGORY: The reality is that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, hard-fought against Barack Obama, provided a template to John McCain. He is running ads using her words against Barack Obama. How does she, in a speech beginning tonight, walk back that criticism?
SCHUMER: I think she is going to repudiate the ad. It is always bad policy to use an opponent’s words. That opponent will turn them around. We never do that in the Senate Campaign Committee. I think McCain made a big mistake. Watch how she begins to turn it around tonight.
GREGORY: Do you hear it on floor, complaints that there is not enough fire in the belly of this Democratic convention, not enough attacks going on against John McCain and George W. Bush. Does she change that tonight?
SCHUMER: A little bit. No. The most important thing we can do at this convention, second, is to unify. First, to show America, the America who doesn’t pay attention to politics 24/7, who Barack Obama is, how much he cares about the middle-class, how he will do something to help him. Michelle’s speech, Hillary’s speech, Biden’s speech, will start doing that.
GREGORY: The template for 2006, Independent voters unhappy with the war and unhappy with George Bush, here, Barack Obama has to close the sale with independent voters, swing voters, culturally conservative democrats. Has he done that yet? And if not, what does he have yet to do?
SCHUMER: He hasn’t done it yet because we are just at the beginning. The voters start paying attention now. They didn’t pay attention to the primaries where the differences between Hillary and Barack were small. They’re starting to pay attention now. There is no one better at making these arguments and closing the deal than Barack. Watch how well he does. He is going to win this election by a lot.
GREGORY: A lot of excitement for you on the floor?
SCHUMER: Yes, there’s a load of excitement. Like all of us in the New York delegation, we feel it in our heart for Hillary, but with a passion, we want to win and we are strongly behind Barack.
GREGORY: New Yorkers are all right here.
SCHUMER: Here we are.
GREOGRY: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Guys, back to you.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, David.
Let’s go right now—we’re watching, by the way—there’s Bill Clinton, the former president, looking on as Senator Clinton prepares to take the stage in front of him. It’s quite interesting how he sits there. I am always fascinated by that fellow.
Andrea Mitchell is out on the convention floor right now with Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This is memory land because I was on the convention floor in 1992 with the senators, the governor, and he was not permitted to speak. For a lot of reasons he felt dissed.
He was against abortion rights and you share that. But you spoke from the podium tonight.
SEN. BOB CASEY, (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I think tonight was emblematic of the way that Barack Obama has reached out to people who disagree. We agree on most things but we disagree on that issue. And bringing people together, we’re going to need that in a president. We have someone running as a Democrat who I think can not only bring Democrats together but also Republicans and Independents.
MITCHELL: How do you bring Obama and Hilton and the Hillary Clinton Democrats together in Pennsylvania? She won Pennsylvania, despite all your hard campaigning. Even today, the Governor Rendell, your governor, said that Barack Obama is like Adlai Stevenson, that maybe he can give a good speech but not be a tough campaigner.
CASEY: I think we are along the way to bringing out party together in Pennsylvania. Governor Rendell has worked hard. We have worked hard.
But principally, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have to work hard to bring the party together. That’s part of what we are doing this week.
But I also think we have got to talk more about his personal story, his life story. Michelle Obama, last night, when she spoke of him driving from the hospital with her in the back seat and the new baby, that was an incredibly emotional story for people like me that have daughters. We have got to hear as much about the man as much as the candidate. I think we can bring people together. It’s not going to happen in one day or one speech. But I think we can do it.
MITCHELL: What does Hillary have to do? Does she have to go after McCain? No one else here seems to be.
CASEY: She should continue to do what she has been doing. I think she’s been a remarkable advocate already for Senator Obama and for victory in November. This is a bigger stage. I think she will do a great job. I think she has been very clear and resolute and unambiguous in supporting Senator Obama. We are looking forward to campaigning with her and with Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.
MITCHELL: Has the convention given too much time to Hillary and Bill Clinton? Bill Clinton tomorrow night, Hillary tonight. We don’t know what Bill Clinton’s speech is going to be like?
CASEY: I don’t think so. I think they’re striking the right balance. She ran a fabulous campaign, an historic campaign, 18 million votes. And I think we’re striking that balance. President Clinton is a former president. I think it is important for that. We are doing a good job of balancing it. But it is a long tough road to November.
One thing that people are very clear about in our party is we can’t stay on this path. We have got to, got to bring about some change. We can’t have more of the same. I hope that John McCain knows, at some point, he has got to declare his independence from George Bush.
MITCHELL: What does Barack Obama have to do to win over the blue-collar, the largely ethnic white communities in Pennsylvania that he lost in the primaries?
CASEY: He has to continue to tell his story. It’s a great American story. It’s a story of triumphing over tremendous obstacles, a husband, father, a man of deep faith. Also, at the same time, we have to make sure that people understand the difference. Senator McCain voted to—to not support children’s health insurance. He commended the president’s veto of children’s health insurance, privatizing Social Security. When people in Pennsylvania hear that, I think they’re going to know that the basic difference between more of the same and change. I think we’ll do that.
MITCHELL: OK, Bob Casey from Pennsylvania, a state without which Barack Obama cannot win. It is critical for the Democrats.
CASEY: Thank you, Andrea.
MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
Back to you, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Ok. Back now. That was Robert Casey with Andrea Mitchell.
We’re just getting ready for Hillary Clinton. And like a baseball game on the Rockies’ home turf it’s starting to rain.
OLBERMANN: They had the presence of mind to hold the convention indoors even if we didn’t have the presence of mind to hold this indoors.
MATTHEWS: We’ll hear the pounding on the roof as we continue our coverage.
OLBERMANN: Couple things in there. Did you notice the shot of president Clinton seated next to—not next to, a couple spots away from—two people, camera right of there? Somebody is holding a Unity sign. How about that for—for imagery, symbolism tonight?
They’re listening to the Governor Schweitzer from Montana talk. The traffic after that will be the Hillary Clinton video, then the introduction by their daughter. There is the governor. Then comes the video. Then comes Chelsea Clinton’s introduction. And then comes Senator Clinton’s speech.
Interesting in all that we have heard in the last couple minutes. Chuck Schumer said something about the appropriation of the 3:00 a.m. ad by John McCain. He said—I think he gave away a little something here—that Hillary Clinton is going to disavow, disown—the word in fact was repudiate—that ad, and somehow turn it back on John McCain, if not in this speech necessarily, but at some point in the next 70 days.
MATTHEWS: Were you surprised when he said we Democrats, speaking for the Democratic Campaign Committee, don’t do that. They don’t engage in using earlier ads by—by, well, intramural opponents in a general election situation? I was surprised that that was a practice. That seems terribly close to good government.
OLBERMANN: But the first thing you and I would do.
David Gregory is on the floor as we await the big event. Bill Richardson, of course, President Clinton now holding the unity sign.
MATTHEWS: There he is.
OLBERMANN: Bill Clinton holding the unity sign, and he put it down. Let’s go to David Gregory and Bill Richardson—David.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much, Keith. I was just telling Governor Richardson—and we’re waiting for the video, the tribute to Hillary Clinton. If that happens we’ll go to it rather quickly.
We have been talking about Bill Clinton up watching—preparing to watch his wife speak, holding a unity sign. You have been in the crossfire of this supposed unity and met the anger of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton when you endorsed Barack Obama. Do you think they are there yet in their heart and in their minds to support him?
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do. I saw it firsthand in New Mexico two weeks ago when I personally did with my supporters a fundraiser—two fundraisers for Hillary Clinton’s debt. And I heard her speak, I heard her speak at a rally. She was sincere. She is for Obama. She urged her supporters with intensity to be for Obama.
Now President Clinton, I think it takes him a little slower. He hasn’t talked to me. He is still mad at me. But that’s fine.
GREGORY: Bill still won’t talk to you?
RICHARDSON: Well, I haven’t heard from him. I haven’t called him either. But it takes him a little longer.
GREGORY: Why though? I mean, we keep hearing this, what is so difficult for him? Is this about him? Is this about his legacy and that it wasn’t validated with her winning?
RICHARDSON: Oh no. No, look, he and I were really good friends. And he was disappointed. I just felt it was in the interest of the country. I saw something special in Obama. I was very positive about the Clintons. But you know, in politics you sometimes go different directions.
GREGORY: So what do you tell Barack Obama about how he has got to get right with Bill Clinton?
RICHARDSON: Well, I think he has already—Obama has reached out to President Clinton, inviting him to dinner. They’re going to do that. Campaign—ask him to campaign in a lot of states where Clinton is strong. I think you are going to see President Clinton on the trail a lot. I really do.
And, you know, Senator Clinton has done several events, political events for Senator Obama. New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, you know so she is in there. She is a team player.
GREGORY: Talk about what she has to do tonight and whether she can begin to help Obama in a way that is measurable in terms of her supporters.
RICHARDSON: Well, while I think she is there supporting Obama, there are still some of her supporters that want reassurance. They want her to say it in the middle of this convention with intensity, with a strong delivery, with conviction. I think she is going to do that. This place right now is ready to burst with tremendous emotion. And I think you are going to see Hillary do this and the reconciliation will have been completed and we go on to victory.
GREGORY: Talk about this part of the country, the Rocky Mountain West, your home state, New Mexico, we know how competitive these states are going to be, but they are still very competitive. This is also John McCain country too, with independent voters. What does Obama need to do?
RICHARDSON: He needs to concentrate on Hispanic voters in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada. He has got to emphasize environmentalism, clean air. He has got to also talk about the individualism of the West. He has got to spend a lot of time here.
I think Hispanic voters are moving his way. But they want to see him. So it means a lot of retailing in those three states. And I worry that—you know, every presidential campaign, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, obviously enormously important, but, you know, in the Rocky Mountain West, we’ve got Governor Schweitzer, a Democrat, governor of Montana right now speaking.
We have got five Democratic governors in a West that is changing that is going Democrat because of Republican policies on the environment, because of immigration trends, people moving here, the need for open space, the West. I think it is the new battleground for the Democrats. And we have to take advantage of that.
GREGORY: All right. We’ll talk to you more after Hillary Clinton speaks. You’ll stick with us, Governor Richardson. Thank you very much.
Gentlemen, back to you.
OLBERMANN: Thank you, David Gregory. All right. We are getting a quick look at—see if I can pick out everybody in that shot, that is Michelle Obama ducking back into frame there as Governor Schweitzer of Montana finishes up. The vice presidential candidate, Joe Biden, former President Carter in the middle. Part of the audience—the audience in—and there is Craig Robinson, as we lose the shot. The brother, of course, of Michelle Obama.
The crowd is such at the Pepsi Center that the fire marshals have closed the doors, it’s capacity. And that is not surprising. It has nothing to do with the fact it is raining. There is, as we have been remarking, waiting for this video to go ahead, of the tribute to Hillary Clinton, that there is nobody more interesting to watch not doing anything, but listening or watching, than Bill Clinton.
I have had the opportunity to go to the Clinton Global Initiative twice to watch him listen to the speakers and he—there are times when he has zoned out. But nine-tenths of the time he—it seems to be so rapt in his attention to the speaker at all times.
Let’s let him—let’s listen to Governor Schweitzer talk for a while.
GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), MONTANA: … as the next president of the United States.
SCHWEITZER: That’s it, baby! Let’s go win this election. Thank you! God bless you! God bless America!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: So Governor Schweitzer getting quite a hand from the Democratic Convention as the last moment before this much-awaited moment of tonight and this entire convention which will culminate with Hillary Clinton’s address on behalf of Barack Obama, be preceded by the introduction, that man’s daughter, and now the videotape.
CHELSEA CLINTON, DAUGHTER OF HILLARY CLINTON: … riding a train with her 3-year-old sister, their own teenage parents, too young to care for them.
In high school, my grandmother lived with and worked as a mother’s helper for another family. But that didn’t stop her from imaging the daughter she might one day have or from teaching that daughter that she could be anything she wanted to be.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wrote to NASA and said, well, how do you become an astronaut? They did write back and said, well, we are not taking any women. Now I couldn’t have qualified anyway, there is no doubt about that. But isn’t it great that we have seen women astronauts, women captains in shuttle missions and everything else?
What is it we want to do to secure the future for our young people?
DOROTHY RODHAM, MOTHER OF HILLARY CLINTON: She was able to play with the boys and yet sort of earn their respect.
BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HUSBAND OF HILLARY CLINTON: People who worked with her feel, I think, a lot of respect and affection for her. And she unleashes people’s energy.
CLINTON: We all do better when everybody has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary is for families.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She stands up for everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is so important for little girls to have someone to look up to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She cares about Americans, first of all, and then she cares about the middle class.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton is inspirational.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is calm, she is cool, she is collected, it’s almost like she is saying, bring it on, I can handle it.
CLINTON: If we work together, if we fight together, we will make history together!
CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
CLINTON: Do I really laugh like that?
AMY POEHLER, ACTOR/WRITER: Oh, well...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has a great guffaw of a laugh.
CLINTON: I can’t sing or carry a tune at all.
RODHAM: She doesn’t sing well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don’t want her to sing, ever.
TINA FEY, ACTOR/WRITER: We have our first serious female presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has been the leader on health care for children, for veterans, she has been the leader on education.
JOHN GLENN, FMR. ASTRONAUT, FMR. OHIO SENATOR: We respect her. We trust her.
WESLEY CLARK, FMR. NATO SUPREME ALLIED CMDR.: Hillary Clinton is one tough cookie.
CLINTON: In this country you can be anything you want to be. And that’s what my mother told me.
C. CLINTON: Today my mother and my grandmother seem a long way from that little girl on a train so many years ago. With each generation, we all go farther, grow stronger, reach higher, and hopefully never forget whose shoulders we are standing on. Today, my mom’s dreams are not about her own life but about the lives of all Americans.
CLINTON: Because for me this is truly about what kind of future we are going to give to all of you. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: We weren’t able to shatter that highest glass ceiling this time. Thanks to you, it has got about 18 million cracks in it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: For everyone across America who has ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, to the moms and dads who lifted their little girls and little boys on their shoulders and whispered in their ears, see, you can be anything you want to be.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: To the young people, to the best friends, to everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, who worked hard and never gives up, this one is for you.
C. CLINTON: OK, so she didn’t become an astronaut. But she did reach for the stars, something she will always continue to do. And my grandmother and I are very proud that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be known here and around the world as the woman who dared to reach up and fight for the fundamental ideal that every child has the right to develop his or own God-given potential. And that because of her, those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling gave way, and what opened up was a whole new world of possibilities for all of us.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
C. CLINTON: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Ladies and gentlemen, I am very proud to introduce my hero and my mother, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
H. CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all.
Thank you. Thank you all very, very much.
Thank you. Thank you all very much. I...
I am so honored to be here tonight.
You know, I’m—I’m here tonight as a proud mother, as a proud Democrat...
... as a proud senator from New York...
... a proud American...
... and a proud supporter of Barack Obama.
My friends, it is time to take back the country we love. And whether you voted for me or you 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 afford to sit on the sidelines. This is a fight for the future, and it’s a fight we must win together.
I haven’t spent the past 35 years in the trenches, advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women’s rights here at home and around the world...
... to see another Republican in the White House squander our promise of a country that really fulfills the hopes of our people. And you haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months or endured the last eight years to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way, no how, no McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president.
Tonight, I ask you to remember what a presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you, the American people, and your lives, and your children’s futures.
For me, it’s been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me that, every day, America’s greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people, your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.
You taught me so much, and you made me laugh, and, yes, you even made me cry.
You allowed me to become part of your lives, and you became part of mine.
I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism. She didn’t have any health insurance, and she discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head, painted with my name on it, and asked me to fight for health care for her and her children.
I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps T-shirt who waited months for medical care. And he said to me, “Take care of my buddies. A lot of them are still over there. And then will you please take care of me?”
And I will always remember the young boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage, that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn’t know what his family was going to do.
I will always be grateful to everyone from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the territories...
... who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush administration. To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits...
... from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you, because you never gave in and you never gave up. And together we made history.
And along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight, one of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Chair Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart...
... that America and the South should be Democratic from top to bottom.
And Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother, a courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.
Our heart goes out to Stephanie’s son, Mervyn, Jr., and Bill’s wife, Rebecca, who traveled here to Denver to join this family of Democrats.
You know, Bill Gwatney and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones knew that, after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home and our standing has eroded around the world.
We have a lot of work ahead of us: jobs lost; houses gone; falling wages; rising prices; the Supreme Court in a right-wing headlock; and our government in partisan gridlock; the biggest deficit in our nation’s history; money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis; Putin and Georgia; Iran and Iraq.
I ran for president to renew the promise of America, to rebuild the middle class and sustain the American dream, to provide opportunity to those who are willing to work hard for it and have that work rewarded, so they could save for college, a home, and retirement, afford gas and groceries, and have a little left over each month.
To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green-collar jobs, to create a health care system that is universal, high-quality, and affordable, so that every single parent knows their children will be taken care of.
We want to create a world-class education system and make college affordable again, to fight for an America that is defined by deep and meaningful equality, from civil rights to labor rights, from women’s rights to gay rights... (APPLAUSE)
... from ending discrimination to promoting unionization, to providing help for the most important job there is, caring for our families, and to help every child live up to his or her God-given potential, to make America once again a nation of immigrants and of laws, to restore fiscal sanity to Washington, and make our government an institution of the public good, not of private plunder.
H. CLINTON: To restore America’s standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home with honor, care for our veterans, and give them the services they have earned.
We will work for an America again that will join with our allies in confronting our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.
Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years. Those are the reasons I ran for president, and those are the reasons I support Barack Obama for president.
I want you—I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me, or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him?
Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids?
Were you in it for that young boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?
Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges, leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.
Now, this will not be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don’t fight to put a Democrat back into the White House.
We need to elect Barack Obama, because we need a president who understands that America can’t compete in the global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas.
We need a president who understands we can’t solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in the new technologies that will build a green economy.
We need a president who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.
Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down.
And he knows that government must be about “we the people,” not “we the favored few.”
And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he’ll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our times.
Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, we did it before with President Clinton and the Democrats.
And if we do our part, we’ll do it again with President Obama and the Democrats.
Just think of what America will be as we transform our energy economy, create those millions of jobs, build a strong base for economic growth and shared prosperity, get middle-class families the tax relief they deserve.
And I cannot wait to watch Barack Obama sign into law a health care plan that covers every single American.
And we know that President Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly, bring our troops home, and begin to repair our alliances around the world.
And Barack will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama.
Anyone who saw Michelle’s speech last night knows she will be a great first lady for America.
(APPLAUSE) And Americans are fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama’s side...
... a strong leader, a good man who understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He’s pragmatic, he’s tough, and he’s wise.
And Joe, of course, will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.
They will be a great team for our country.
Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend. He has served our country with honor and courage. But we don’t need four more years of the last eight years...
H. CLINTON: ... more economic stagnation and less affordable health care...
H. CLINTON: ... more high gas prices and less alternative energy...
H. CLINTON: ... more jobs getting shipped overseas and fewer jobs created here at home...
H. CLINTON: ... more skyrocketing debt, and home foreclosures, and mounting bills that are crushing middle-class families...
H. CLINTON: ... more war and less diplomacy...
H. CLINTON: ... more of a government where the privileged few come first and everyone else comes last.
H. CLINTON: Well, John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it’s OK when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work. (AUDIENCE BOOS)
Now, with an agenda like that, it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.
You know, America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to every challenge in every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good. And I know what that can mean for every man, woman, and child in America.
I’m a United States senator because, in 1848, a group of courageous women, and a few brave men, gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights...
... to participate in the first convention on women’s rights in our history. And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter, and a few sons and grandsons along the way.
These women and men looked into their daughters’ eyes and imagined a fairer and freer world and found the strength to fight, to rally, to picket, to endure ridicule and harassment, and brave violence and jail.
And after so many decades, 88 years ago on this very day, the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, became enshrined in our Constitution.
My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter got to vote for her mother for president. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her lives to bring slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice: “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”
And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.
I have seen it. I have seen it in our teachers and our firefighters, our police officers, our nurses, our small-business owners, and our union workers. I’ve seen it in the men and women of our military.
In America, you always keep going. We’re Americans. We’re not big on quitting.
And, remember, before we can keep going, we’ve got to get going by electing Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
We don’t have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance.
I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come Election Day. Think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your lives and on the life of our nation.
We’ve got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope.
That is our duty, to build that bright future, to teach our children that, in America, there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great, no ceiling too high for all who work hard, who keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and each other.
That is our mission, Democrats. Let’s elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country.
Thank you. God bless you, and Godspeed.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Grand slam. Grand slam, out of the ballpark, across the street.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: Across the buildings across the street.
OLBERMANN: Five, six, maybe seven campaign slogans in that speech, starting out from the initial get-go, a sock to the jaw of disunity, a speech that started about Barack Obama, a proud American, a proud Democrat, a proud senator, and a proud supporter of Barack Obama, then a lot about her, some about George Bush, twisting it all back to get her supporters to recognize that their goals are now best served by Barack Obama, then Michelle, then Biden, then several key, probably the strongest hits against John McCain we have heard at this convention, and finally tying it all back together.
I don’t know how it could have been better. I don’t know how it could have been better, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well I thought it was—it was hard to describe because it was so new and resilient.
In fact, it wasn’t sentimental. It wasn’t misty-eyed. It was eyes-wide-open exuberance. It was—it had a lift to it. And what it was saying was, this is the compact. I thought that was the best word I could come up with, that this is a compact of those who supported the other candidate and those who support her. And they have a compact now to win.
OLBERMANN: The usual Hillary approach of listing those things and those people she met who were in trouble and she tried to help, going along in that traditional manner we saw throughout the primaries, and now with a twist at the end: Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should, too.
It’s literally what we have been talking about. How do you convert her campaign into their campaign? I don’t know how she could have done it better.
At the end of the speech, it is one of those speeches, I would think, for Democrats, at least, that you now charge through the doorway, and, after you are through it, you check to see whether or not it was open. You go through the wall, if necessary, what she just told you to do.
MATTHEWS: And I think she—she challenged people as to their motives...
OLBERMANN: Mm-hmm. Yes.
MATTHEWS: ... and said, if this is personal with you, get off the train. This is about a compact that we share.
And I thought that that—a way of doing it, it didn’t have the—the insistence of a campaign speech. That’s what I liked. It was presidential. It was a statement of: This is the compact. I’m laying it before you. This is the values we share, the goals we share. We can only achieve it on this train moving together.
And I thought there was something about it that I really liked. I guess there was—there was no sense of defeat in it. It was only a sense, not of triumph, but of purpose and we’re going somewhere together.
MATTHEWS: There was the—like, the train over here, a chugging train.
OLBERMANN: The next station, the next stop on this process.
MATTHEWS: We’re moving towards something. It had that—that locomotion, if you will, towards something.
It was—it was obviously her heart. And there was also some great speechwriting in there, great stuff.
And I thought the John McCain stuff—I want to start with the basics here, because I used to do this for a living. Democrat is a very important word, capital D. This is a—a big party now. A lot of people are registered Democrat now.
If she can get the Democratic Party to unite, all the registered Democrats and self-identified Democrats, she is on the way—I mean, he is on the way. I almost made a mistake there.
MATTHEWS: They’re both on the way.
Democrat, Democrat, John McCain, friend of mine, wrong.
MATTHEWS: Don’t do it. Republican in the White House another four years, don’t squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.
And my finest—well, not my finest—what I thought was the finest was the reason that she put it all together and coupled it, when she said, with a bit of irony, as I recall, well, let me put it this way, and when Barack Obama is in the White House, it will revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.
That is the coupling.
MATTHEWS: That is the marriage bond. Having done it, we will do it again—powerful as hell.
OLBERMANN: So, you also tie, not just Senator Clinton to Senator Obama, but President Clinton to Senator Obama’s candidacy for the presidency.
And the Twin Cities line...
MATTHEWS: ... was the gift of a great speechwriter—maybe the senator herself—but this great line; “With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days, they’re awfully hard to tell apart.”
OLBERMANN: “Hard to tell apart.”
MATTHEWS: That will make the front page of “The Times.”
OLBERMANN: As will “No way, no how, no McCain” and...
OLBERMANN: ... “We don’t need four more years of the last eight years.”
Let’s bring in Rachel Maddow. You may have heard she’s the host of the new 9:00 p.m. Eastern hour here on MSNBC.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: I did deliberately wait until after the applause.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: All right, listen, my friend. Listen, there is only—if—if—if one of us asked Hillary Clinton supporters to support Barack Obama, I don’t know that it would work. I don’t know that any of that had worked by any stretch of the imagination throughout this campaign.
She did it herself.
OLBERMANN: I want you to ask yourselves, were you in this campaign just for me?
If you supported Hillary Clinton and heard this speech, and you go out and vote for John McCain, you just offended Hillary Clinton.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: Yes. Yes.
This was the night when she moved from saying, “I support Barack Obama, I would like you to support Barack Obama.” Tonight, she started to say why. And that is what is going to move people who are movable.
And if there are people who are not movable, at the insistence of Hillary Clinton, the person who they say they’re following, they’re sort of outside the bounds of the debate at this point, and they can’t really be preached to or persuaded.
Anybody who is persuadable who is a supporter of Hillary Clinton is going to be persuaded by the speech. I mean, there was an element tonight of, you know, let’s give an inspirational speech about the Democratic Party and the Clintons’ role in it. And it is her right to be able to do that.
Had she ended at that point, I think the speech would not have been a success. But to pivot into that final third, to describing John McCain, to describing John McCain, not only as the continuation of George W. Bush, but everything that he has done that is—is anathema to anybody that would have ever supported Hillary Clinton for any reason, and she just sealed it. She just nailed it.
OLBERMANN: “Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.”
Rachel, I don’t know about you, but I would have been proud to say something like that. And I am proud of her for saying that right now.
And when she—when she closed with the words of Harriet Tubman, you know: “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want to taste a freedom, keep going. Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going”—with that refrain, everybody here, you could hear them up—I’m sure you could hear them up there on the second floor, Keith. Everybody here was with here. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
MADDOW: It’s what we are as Americans, it’s what we are as Democrats, is what she was saying.
MATTHEWS: And, Rachel and Keith, here is the call to arms. And Keith pointed this out in real time.
“But, remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going...”
MADDOW: Right. Right.
MATTHEWS: “... by electing Barack Obama president.” That is the dictation of the speech. That is the call to arms.
MADDOW: Sure. And—yes. And the—and the definition of Barack Obama as the person whose fight is being borne by—by—by Hillary Clinton and her supporters. It is his fight. It is her fight. They are one fight and the same. The enemy is clear in this election. And it is the Republicans. It is John McCain. But they’re unified together in pursuing the same goals.
That was—it was sealed, absolutely sealed.
OLBERMANN: And everything in this speech tied back to the Obama campaign and the necessity, from the Democratic point of view, obviously, of making sure that McCain does not win, and Obama does, the essential ingredient stated essentially by Hillary Clinton.
Stay with us, Rachel.
Andrea Mitchell is inside the convention hall for a better sense for us for the reaction in real time in person—Andrea.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I’m here with a woman, a 79-year-old woman. She says I can tell her age, Angie Gialloreto is from Pittsburgh, from Erie County, Pennsylvania.
And I was sitting with her and she was...
ANGIE GIALLORETO, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Allegheny...
MITCHELL: Allegheny County. Excuse me.
We were sitting together during Hillary Clinton’s speech. And she was crying. And she let me ask her a couple of questions about her story.
What—why are you so sad? Why not take her message to support Barack Obama?
GIALLORETO: Oh, I am taking the message, wholeheartedly. I am supporting Obama and Joe Biden. I am a true Democrat. I am a party leader. And I believe in what Governor Rendell says. It’s a new beginning. And I believe in that.
MITCHELL: But why are you so sad?
GIALLORETO: Because I feel that Hillary was something, an inspiration for women. And, as a woman, I felt that that was an inspiration for me.
MITCHELL: What did it mean to you, as a woman, to have her running?
GIALLORETO: Faith, future, and an inspiration for women that they don’t have the opportunity that I have had to get involved.
MITCHELL: And you think that women will come along with her?
GIALLORETO: Absolutely. We believe. And I have faith in them.
MITCHELL: I have got to tell you, Keith and Chris, you know, you hear a lot of the—the big-money people, a lot of the fancy people. But, here on the floor tonight, this message was delivered, and it was received.
And these are the people that I met all along the road, 19 months traveling with Hillary Clinton. And they are Democrats first. And I think that there is a change here tonight on this floor. There is really a lot more unity than people may have believed.
GIALLORETO: Definitely. Definitely. We are going out in give it what Hillary believed in. And I am going to do it.
MITCHELL: And what I am also hearing, Keith, is that the roll call may be abbreviated, with Clinton hers coming down to the New York delegation to personally release her delegates, and make it by acclimation—Keith.
OLBERMANN: Wonderful. She—she—if she had to earn it, she earned it tonight.
Andrea Mitchell, inside the convention hall, thank you. Stay with us.
David Gregory is also on the convention floor inside the Pepsi Center with somebody else who kind of bridges these two campaigns, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico—David.
DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE”: Thanks, Keith.
Well, Governor, you campaigned against her. You worked for her husband. You turned against them by endorsing Obama. What did you think?
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: She couldn’t have been clearer. She firmly in support of Obama. She did it with emotion, with strength.
It is a huge signal that will unify the party, Obama and Clinton together. And she threw in some great lines about John McCain, I think the line about that they’re going to the Twin Cities because McCain and Bush are so much alike. She hit a huge home run, 500-foot home run. But the best news is that Democrats are unified. It was an unmistakable signal.
GREGORY: The message that was sent about not sitting on the sidelines, really saying to her supporters: “I get it. I appreciate it, but the stakes are too high for you to hold on to any bitterness on my account. Don’t do it on my account.”
RICHARDSON: That’s right. I mean, she said that it’s wrong to sit on the sideline, supporters. Get out there and help, because we’re talking about the future of this country and that Obama is her candidate, and that Obama can bring the country together.
It was a huge signal. I think all this talk about Hillary not being involved and supportive has just been diminished by this terrific pro-Obama performance.
GREGORY: This was a tremendous reaction. You were sitting here. You see tears on the floor, sustained applause. You could get that on television.
How many Democratic voters who are still anxious about their nominee, Barack Obama, are experiencing buyer’s remorse tonight?
RICHARDSON: Well, I think that being this huge signal tonight to the core of the Democratic Party, these are the activists that spread the word around. And there are a lot of people watching. Everyone that is so interested in this election gets a huge signal, too.
I think this convention is getting a lot of watchers, a lot of people through the Internet, through blogs, through networks. You know, it’s a huge signal. It’s—basically says, Democrats, the time to come together is now. Obama and Clinton are together.
GREGORY: What does this speech say about how she will be used on the road? I mean, certainly, as a surrogate who is going to go after John McCain and George Bush, she did it. She did it with a sharp knife, but with a smile as well. There was some joy, as a political practitioner, in the delivery of those attacks tonight.
RICHARDSON: Well, I saw her 10 days ago in Espanola, New Mexico, campaigning for Barack Obama in the Hispanic northern part of the state, where she was very strong, where she won big.
She was just as intense there and positive. She is a team player. And I believe you are going to see her on the road a lot. She has been in Nevada, New Mexico, Florida. I think President Clinton, you are going to see him out there, too. You watch.
And—and I can sense very much that this was not just a signal to her supporters, but maybe a signal to her husband, too, that the time has come to go all out for Barack Obama.
GREGORY: All right, Governor Richardson, thanks for hanging around with us.
RICHARDSON: Thanks, David. Thank you.
GREGORY: Appreciate it very much.
RICHARDSON: Nice to be with you.
GREGORY: Keith, back up to you.
OLBERMANN: Hey, David, tell the governor I know exactly what he means when he used the home run analogy. I remember that he was a pitcher.
OK. Thank you, David.
Thank you, Governor Richardson.
OLBERMANN: The postscript—the postscript to this, from our NBC News producer on the field inside Pepsi Center, per the spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton: She will be here through Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday night at Invesco Field—the postscript to that remarkable speech.
When we return, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw and their thoughts, having heard that speech from Senator Clinton tonight.
Later on, former Clinton campaign chair Terry McAuliffe.
You are watching MSNBC’s live coverage of what we can now probably describe as the united Democratic Convention.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. CLINTON: No way, no how, no McCain.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
H. CLINTON: Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Only a bit of a great, exuberant speech. That’s—that’s Hillary Clinton, of course, just moments ago from Denver, where she called upon the Democrats all across the country, including the recalcitrant Hillary people, to get behind Barack Obama, a resounding speech.
OLBERMANN: Let’s turn now to NBC’s Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw.
We have got a lot to talk about here after that thing.
Tom, it was—it was—we had—we had a couple good nights of speaking last night, or a couple of good examples of great speechifying. We just had a third one.
TOM BROKAW, NBC SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
You know, political conventions are really carefully orchestrated by the managers. And the tempo is now building.
And I think, in hearing Hillary Clinton doing tonight what she really needed to do, not just for Hillary Clinton, but, obviously, for Barack Obama, and the strong message to her supporters, it’s a preamble to what we will hear from Bill Clinton tomorrow night.
Now, I know we will spend the next 24 hours speculating about what he is going to say and how he’s going to say it. The fact is, after this kind of reception for his wife tonight, with him cheering and tearing up and looking on, and even mouthing the words “I love you,” it is hard to imagine that Bill Clinton won’t go to the podium tomorrow night, as competitive as he is, and, if not equal it, probably try to top it, in terms of his own enthusiasm for Barack Obama.
OLBERMANN: Of course, Brian, that begs that exact point, that what—what Senator Clinton said in this speech was, to all of her supporters, now I charge you to go and support this man, Senator Obama.
One of her supporters is President Clinton. This follows as the night the day. He has to give up the same kind of speech tomorrow, does he not?
BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS”: That’s right, Keith.
And you went—when you read that portion, reread the portion of the speech, as soon as she was finished, you went right to the heart of the matters, asking her supporters, if you were in this for me, going to that issue the Democrats—as recently as tonight’s broadcast, we had a Democrat interviewed here in Denver saying he may sit it out. Some have said publicly they will go for John McCain, instead of Barack Obama.
She needed to go to the heart of that. She did tonight. They’re working very hard on the roll call. As of right now, they want to get that finished. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than the wisdom of the delegates on the floor.
Listen to the woman Andrea Mitchell spoke to, saying, in effect, this is how it begins. Tomorrow night, Bill Clinton, that’s how it continues. And, if this party can produce one or both of them at Invesco Field, speech by Barack Obama, after a (AUDIO GAP) run this show (AUDIO GAP) you saw (AUDIO GAP)
OLBERMANN: Well, technology is a wonderful thing.
MATTHEWS: I wonder if that’s the helicopter going overhead.
I—I think—we will get back to Brian.
OLBERMANN: It’s the train. Maybe it’s the train. The train did it.
MATTHEWS: We will get back to Brian and Tom.
I thought the big contradiction, the big difference here between the speech tonight—it is exuberant, and it’s carrying us forward, and it’s locomotion—was the difference between—Brian...
(TRAIN WHISTLE SOUNDS)
MATTHEWS: Brian, that is our train here.
MATTHEWS: Right. I know you love trains.
MATTHEWS: Right. I know you know exactly the caliber of that engine.
Look, let me ask you—let—let—oh, we don’t have him?
You know, I thought what was great, everybody thought that Teddy’s speech back—Teddy Kennedy’s speech in 1980 was a wonderful speech about, “For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end.”
But this one wasn’t about what was lost.
MATTHEWS: This was about carrying the ball forward, with the spirit of Harriet Tubman. Keep it going. Keep running.
It—it was like she was passing the ball to the guy who was going to carry on, like the baton in a relay. It was a relay.
MATTHEWS: And that’s what was so positive about it.
OLBERMANN: Now we have to give this snippet of equal time. The statement is in from the McCain campaign. Let me read it in full and then make an observation. Tucker Bounds was the spokesman: “Senator Clinton ran her presidential campaign making clear,” he said, “that Barack Obama is not prepared to lead as commander-in-chief, nowhere tonight did she alter that assessment, nowhere tonight did she say that Barack Obama is ready to lead.
“Millions of Hillary Clinton supporters and millions Americans remain concerned about whether Barack Obama is ready to be president.”
He is technically and legally correct there, she didn’t say that. She did, however, suggest that nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance if Obama is not elected and McCain is.
So the question of this is nuance. And I don’t know if there are—I don’t know if there are millions of Clinton supporters still in doubt at this point, Chris.
MATTHEWS: No, I think she is trying to find the common anthem of criticism, which is inexperience, and she thought she could put the—or they thought, the spokesman who wrote this, could put the sword through the opening in the armor.
But Hillary Clinton did such a good job of arming Barack Obama tonight and putting him on the horse and sending him forward that I think it’s very hard to figure that that is going to get much play in any newspaper tomorrow, at least at the top of the fold.
OLBERMANN: Not enough, or in a serious matter in any event. We’ve established—reestablished communications to all the way—a mile…
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: Just letting a little steam off again. Please pick up your answer where we left off before they drown me out again.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR: Clearly a conductor who is a McCain fan or perhaps just an MSNBC fan. I was just going to talk about the management—the management of the pictures here.
You saw the Hillary signs go out. To be fair, not everybody took them. But also to be fair wasn’t many people in the section behind us who denied them. They weren’t allowed to stay out there as the primary image for long. They were replaced mostly by the unity signs which then became that sea of blue, the picture and cutaway shots over the shoulder of Senator Clinton as she addressed the crowd.
The floor whips, as they’re called, who hand out these sorts of things, were working very hard to cover the crowd, very quickly towards the middle of her speech. That’s all I was going to say. Back to the trains.
OLBERMANN: Tom, the—the response to that from her supporters, I don’t know that this can be emphasized enough, it is impossible to think that, you know, an ocean liner, I guess that is on my mind for some reason because of these loud ocean liner-like noises behind us in the last few minutes, but it’s impossible to turn one of those around on a dime.
Was there anything missing from this speech in terms of trying to get that done, in trying to say, as Chris has suggested, to continue to mix these metaphors, that you have to accept this baton being passed from the Clinton campaign to the Obama campaign?
TOM BROKAW, NBC SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the passing of the baton from the Clinton campaign to the Obama campaign and then mounting him on a horse, I am keeping track of these metaphors, keep in mind, and turning the ocean liner around all at the same time.
It’s a very complex assignment that she had here tonight. Now I think as a political speech that set out to do what her real assignment was, which was to acknowledge her supporters, to throw her support to Barack Obama, to reintroduce herself off to the American people as someone who is a leading Democrat who can be a graceful loser under very difficult circumstances, and put party and especially national interest, in her judgment, ahead of her own personal career.
I think she hit all of those points very well. And the speech had wit and grace and elegance. And it doesn’t mean that we are not going to hear the same thing next week in Minneapolis-St. Paul from the Republicans as well. But I think given what her assignment was here tonight, Hillary Clinton, who has lived out her life since 1992 in a tightly focused public fashion tonight did what she had to do.
OLBERMANN: Brian, last night you spoke with great insight I thought as to the—the structure of Michelle Obama’s speech. I thought there was a—a clear and well-created thread through this one of taking—starting off at Obama and selling him at the beginning and then taking all of this standard elements of the previous Hillary Clinton speeches and paying them off repeatedly with now that is another reason to support Obama.
This was a—in addition to this, impact politically, just as a document this was a terrific—and terrifically designed speech, was it not?
WILLIAMS: That’s right, Keith. She came right out, that recitation, the flat-out statement of support for Barack Obama, very early. By graph three or four we went back to what we’re all familiar with, the stump recitation of her own resume and the fight she has waged for so many years.
A lot of imbedded applause lines. Then the personal stories of Americans. The Harriet Tubman rejoinder towards the end. The crowd loved it. They responded at some points in the speech of the—they always do, they have their funny way of making up their own mind.
Responded at some points in the speech, I’m convinced, were not planned applause lines. That just were spontaneous moments. But you are right in the construction of the address. It was delivered at a slow pace, very personal.
But she—she kept going. Working through some of her applause lines, mostly for the larger television audience.
OLBERMANN: Let me—let me interrupt our analysis with a little news from contacts within the Obama campaign. As we have told you, Senator Obama watched this from a house party, with supporters in Billings, I believe it was, and after leaving it, we’re told that Obama called and talked for several minutes with Senator Clinton saying how grateful he was for her support, that she had given a terrific speech, and that all those he watched with in Billings were moved by the video and by the introduction by Chelsea Clinton.
And he was quoted as saying and said to her that he loved her line, “no way, no how, no McCain.” Senator Obama, we’re also told by the Obama campaign, spoke with President Clinton for several minutes, saying Senator Clinton could not have been better and made the case for change.
And he said he knew how proud Bill Clinton must have been watching in a similar way to the way he was proud of how Michelle Obama had spoken before. That would have been yesterday.
So I guess that begs this question, as we tie this off with—and there is the video of in fact at that house party in Montana. Senator Obama watching. He liked that—we know he liked that line, “no way, no how, no McCain.”
We also know that he responded with a—a lowly voiced yea at a certain point in this. Let me just check that out exactly. “’Proud supporter of Barack Obama,’ he smiled and softly shouted ‘yea!’ and he clapped when she said ‘no way, no how, no McCain.’”
Let me get back to that point, Tom. This was all about whether or not there would be enough in that speech to unify this party and kill, at least in the operative sense, any belief that there was a divide here that the Clintons were somehow planning to sabotage the Obama campaign. Was that accomplished tonight?
BROKAW: Well, I think—yes, I think in this hall it certainly was accomplished, Keith. But I know that the Obama campaign realizes it has miles to go to do that in the wider universe beyond this hall even in the—within the Democratic Party as well.
We won’t know for another 24 hours or so how in fact it did play out among those who have expressed some reservations about his absence of experience and whether he is qualified tonight or not to be commander-in-chief.
And there are Democrats who raise those questions as well. But as Brian and I both have been saying earlier, this is a carefully orchestrated stagecraft that we are witnessing here. And she has certainly set the stage now for the next phase of it, which will be tomorrow night, Joe Biden, and Bill Clinton, and then Thursday night, the climactic speech of the convention itself.
But it is very important to remember that these are exercises in orchestration and then rhetoric. And then in two weeks when these two conventions end, the country begins to focus on the very, very difficult issues that this country is facing.
The new president, whoever it is, whether it’s Barack Obama or Senator McCain, two wars in two different countries, wars without end at this point, a grave financial crisis, a global climate change crisis, an energy crisis that is going to be difficult to solve, an enormous budget deficit in this country, and the coming train called entitlements, who is going to pay for people like me as I am in my senior years, with Social Security and Medicare, and how many workers is it going to take to do all of that?
So they’re going to set the stage here and then the real test will be, at the end of that first week in September, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the race to the first Tuesday in November.
MATTHEWS: Brian, let me ask you about—this has been mentioned in a couple moments throughout this conversation. In the graciousness with which Hillary Clinton endorsed Barack Obama, she spoke of the importance of the progress of women.
And of course we all know the back story here at this convention is the frustration of many of her supporters older women, my age and older, perhaps, who felt that they almost had this chance for the first woman president—Democratic woman president.
Does Barack Obama himself now face the responsibility politically to come forward Thursday night at that big football stadium and pick up on the cause, that feminist cause, if you will, of opportunity and equality for women, that he has to verbalize it in the way that almost Hillary would have done to acknowledge what she said about him and his new compact with her tonight?
WILLIAMS: I don’t think there is any way, Chris, that he can avoid it. I think he must. Too many people came to the polls armed with hammers to break that glass ceiling. This candidacy meant too much to too many people, especially American women, to let that go with one speech before this convention.
It’s too important a subtext. And a question I posed to Tom, a question I posed to Chuck Todd tonight, Peggy Noonan, if not Hillary Clinton, then who? If not now, when? It has been a generation since Geraldine Ferraro.
We have seen the Democratic Party bench these last few days, we’ll see more of it tomorrow and the next day, especially where women are concerned, office holders from around this country.
But when you look at the percentage of the population, look at the year we’re having here, I think that will be the part of the Barack Obama speech that had better be very, very well-crafted for a mass audience.
OLBERMANN: Brian Williams of “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS.” And Tom Brokaw, our NBC special correspondent, great thanks to you both for your analysis.
One last bit of information…
BROKAW: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: … a little color if you will.
Thank you, gentlemen.
One small bit of color. On the way to that speech, Hillary Clinton walked through a crowd of Obama staffers and was given a standing ovation on the way out before she addressed the—the crowd tonight at the Democratic Convention. And the report is that after the speech she had to walk through that same group of Obama staffers and this time, the standing ovation was rowdier and even more raucous than the one on the way in. So if you want those symbols of unity, there you have them.
Meanwhile, up next, Harold Ford, who in the Clintons’ box tonight, will be with us. Plus Norah O’Donnell and the panel with their reaction to what we heard tonight from Senator Hillary Clinton.
Our coverage of the Democratic Convention continues on a dramatic Tuesday night after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am so honored to be here tonight.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: I’m here tonight as a proud mother, as a proud Democrat…
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: … as a proud senator from New York…
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: … a proud American, and a proud supporter of Barack Obama!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: This will not be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don’t fight to put a Democrat back into the White House.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention live from Denver. And we are joined now by our “Insider,” former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. who was near President Clinton during Senator Clinton’s remarkable speech.
I guess that’s probably the best vantage point you could have had, Harold, right?
HAROLD FORD, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL: Well, I think being in this arena tonight, you couldn’t help but feel not only the strength of her speech, the strength of her words, and you can almost sense the unity and a desire on the part of Democrats.
She gave a big, big speech tonight. She laid out, I thought, in clear and compelling terms why Barack Obama is better fit, ready, and frankly should be elected president.
She laid out for Democrats who supported her in clear, clear ways why her position on health care is similar to Barack, if not identical to Barack Obama’s. She talked about her mother and her daughter, and the plight of women in this country, and the history of women in politics, and their role in affecting and influencing and shaping the country.
I don’t believe there’s a Clinton supporter even in that room that I sat tonight—and it was crowded, there was a lot of love, a lot of warmth, and a lot of support for Barack Obama in that Clinton suite tonight, I don’t think there was any one in this arena tonight, a Democrat who was not proud of her, and more importantly, is not ready to go out and work for Barack Obama.
I think she did what she had to do tonight. And I think she was sincere in what she did tonight.
OLBERMANN: “I want you to ask yourselves, were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine?” That she mentioned earlier and others like him, that really had the quality, as I suggested, of getting the high school football team to run through the locker room door and nobody bothers to check to see if it is open or not. That was one of the great political exhortations that we’re likely to hear for some time, don’t you think?
FORD: There is no doubt about it. I mean, the “no how, no way, no McCain” is a line I think you will hear. It doesn’t quite have the power and the simplicity of “yes, we can.” But I could hear Democrats using that mantra, and repeating it over and over again.
And finally, Keith and Chris, she laid out frankly what is at stake. And any Democrat in this hall tonight, and I think a lot of independents and Republicans are just fed up and tired of the approach, the judgment, and frankly the results of the last eight years politically in Washington.
And she said to Democrats and said to the country, if you want change, there is a clear choice in this race, and his name is Barack Obama.
OLBERMANN: So, we started this night—in fact I guess this was still operative an hour ago, saying, when is there going to be some Democrat who states the case in no uncertain terms against John McCain?
She said merely that nothing less than the future of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance depending on who is elected. And we also have this other issue of the supposed divisiveness going into the last 10 weeks of the campaign.
Do you think that in one fell swoop Hillary Clinton managed to clear up both of those issues, if not 100 percent then, then pretty close?
FORD: Look, last night Mrs. Obama, Michelle, had a similar challenge. She had to rehabilitate some of her image and begin to make the case fervently and forcefully for Barack and the American story that the Obama family represents.
Mrs. Clinton had two challenges also. One, to in some ways rehabilitate herself and rehabilitate that brand. Not that it has been hurt, but it certainly had been affected over the last few weeks, in particular the last few days here in Denver.
And two, she had to make the case also for Senator Obama. I thought she did both well. Last night you asked me the question also, Keith, if Mrs. Obama’s—or Michelle’s speech would win it all for Barack, if it were big for Barack. This was a big speech tonight.
Tomorrow, Bill Clinton will give another big speech, and I agree with Tom Brokaw’s analysis that the Clintons are competitive. And Senator—President Clinton will want to not only match his wife, but he will want to go even further in making the case on behalf of Senator Obama on the foreign policy front, the economic policy front.
And let us not forget in 2000 when Bill Clinton spoke at the convention, he defined what a compassionate conservative was, when George Bush ran on that theme. He said, a compassionate conservative cares about education, but he doesn’t do much. A compassionate conservative cares about health care, but he doesn’t do much. A compassionate conservative cares about the environment, but he doesn’t do much.
I look forward to Bill Clinton laying out what McCain really means and explaining to Democrats and to Americans even more so than what his wife did tonight, what’s at stake and why John McCain is not fit to be president for the next four years.
That’s his challenge tomorrow. And there’s not a more effective communicator in politics in the last 25 years than Bill Clinton. I know Democrats are anxious to hear it, and I bet a lot of people across the country are interested in hearing what the president may have to say tomorrow.
OLBERMANN: And all Barack Obama has to do after all of that on Thursday is top them all, to some degree. Harold Ford, with the eyewitness to history moment tonight, thank you, sir.
FORD: Thanks for having me.
OLBERMANN: Let’s check back in now with Norah O’Donnell and our panel for their reaction to this epic night—Norah.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: And, Keith, thank you very much for that.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
O’DONNELL: Barack Obama did tonight call Hillary Clinton after her speech, called President Clinton after the speech and thanked her for the speech, said it was an outstanding speech, and he loved it. What else could have Barack Obama asked from Hillary Clinton? She hit it out of the park, Pat.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You can’t ask for anything more from Hillary Rodham Clinton. But I will say this, Hillary Rodham Clinton has asked her supporters, come support Barack Obama. She did everything she can.
But I don’t think she can deliver them all for this reason. Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn’t have supporters. She has a following. She’s like a Bobby Kennedy, like a Barry Goldwater. These women out there are in love with Hillary Clinton. They are a Hillary generation of women, and he can ask her then to come across…
O’DONNELL: Oh, Pat, the crowd back here is saying no, no.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And the key line of the speech really was when Hillary Clinton talked about all of the reasons she had run for president and all of the reasons her supporters had backed her for president, and she said, is it just—was it all just about me, or did you really care about these things? I think that’s the…
BUCHANAN: The arguments are exactly right. My question is a simple one. Is it transferable? Now, I don’t know that Bobby Kennedy’s people were transferable. I’m not sure hers are. I think they’re women…
BUCHANAN: Why didn’t they put this woman on the ticket? That’s the question that is going to be asked after tonight. And a real premium is put up there for Joe Biden tomorrow night because this woman captured the heart of that convention. She had them all with her. She did a wonderful job for Barack Obama.
She said, go with him. And then tomorrow night, Joe Biden is going to have to go make the case that I represent all of her folks. It is a very, very tough assignment.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: But when Joe Biden gets up there tomorrow, we are going to have this situation in which we’ve got the author of the Violence Against Women Act as the vice presidential nominee of the Democratic Party making the case against the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, who voted against the Violence Against Women Act?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: The Democratic Party is home to one of the greatest female political leaders in the world in Hillary Clinton. And she’s not at the top of the ticket. But tonight she said, I am of the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party is of me. And the Democratic Party stands for women.
Sixty percent of the Democratic Party’s voters are women. The platform this year is described as the most pro-woman, feminist platform any party has ever had in American history.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: If it’s women that we’re talking about here, it’s no contest.
BUCHANAN: If you’re talking ideology—excuse me, you’re talking ideology. It comes from the heart. Hillary’s following are people of the heart. They’re not just the head…
O’DONNELL: She told them that while…
BUCHANAN: I know she has told them, but you cannot transfer love. And that’s what they have for her. It is a non-transferable commodity.
MADDOW: But she can bring hers to the Democratic Party.
BUCHANAN: … sure she is.
MADDOW: She transferred it to the party.
O’DONNELL: They don’t have to love him, they just have to vote for him, Pat.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BUCHANAN: Well, you know, that’s right.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
ROBINSON: You know, listening to it and then reading back through it, I didn’t see a mention of Roe versus Wade. I didn’t see a mention of the Supreme Court as one of the perils from the point of view of electing John McCain.
BUCHANAN: You know why? He’s not a—Hillary Clinton has a coalition that reaches into the conservative wing of the Democratic Party...
ROBINSON: And we heard figures about Catholic women…
BUCHANAN: And she does not want to antagonize them. She—listen, this is—she is doing this for Hillary Clinton as well as Barack Obama, I am...
O’DONNELL: All right. We’re going to have more on Hillary Clinton…
ROBINSON: You mean, she’s not doing it for the good of the Democratic Party? Not to antagonize those voters…
O’DONNELL: … with the panel, we’ve got a lot more to say.
ROBINSON: It’s the bit (ph) of her, you think now?
O’DONNELL: We’re going to have more from our panel coming up.
And, Chris and Keith, I’m going to toss it back to you guys.
OLBERMANN: Norah, thank you. And Chris and I will have much more from Denver. Stay with us. We’ll be replaying the entirety of this Clinton speech later on in the evening.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: for all who work hard, who keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and each other.
That is our mission, Democrats. Let’s elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Here in Denver tonight, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Senator Hillary Clinton stepping to the podium, according to plan, but neither on the night nor with the speech that she had probably intended.
That honor and that address will go two nights hence to the nominee, Senator Obama, who has quite a task ahead of him to top what happened tonight—this night, Tuesday night, entirely Hillary Clinton’s.
After an introduction from her daughter, Chelsea, her admirers in the Pepsi Center and in the Democratic Party and in the country, passionate and plentiful, getting them behind Barack Obama, her job one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: We are on the same team. And none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Next on the agenda, thanking her supporters, those proverbial 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: ... from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Finally, having asked her delegates in the crowd and those who voted for her nationwide who might be watching on television tonight, “Were you in this campaign just for me?” Senator Clinton reminding her supporters that she does not want them voting for four more years of Republican leadership under John McCain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: Good evening again from Denver, Colorado, and the 2008 Democratic Convention.
I will be rejoined with Chris Matthews in just a moment.
In the interim, I’m Keith Olbermann.
And we will start this hour with our panel, Norah O’Donnell and company, to again continue our analysis of the speech and the state of the Democratic Party right now—Norah.
NORAH O’DONNELL, NBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: All right, Keith, thank you. And what a crowd here tonight, huh?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
O’DONNELL: You want a Democratic focus group, you have one right here.
EUGENE ROBINSON, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: (AUDIO GAP) our expanded panel, actually. It has grown.
O’DONNELL: Our expanded panel, according to Gene.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I just say about the crowd, you know, Pat, you were just remarking this is seeming like a Hillary crowd.
And I’m starting to feel like there isn’t a Hillary crowd and an Obama crowd anymore.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: I sort of feel like Democrats aren’t mad anymore.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: Am I right?
MADDOW: I mean, I know I’m sort of playing to the crowd here, but that’s what it seems like.
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
MADDOW: And let the record show that among the people yelling Obama right now are the people holding Hillary Clinton signs, let the record show.
PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Those rascals have come together.
O’DONNELL: That’s right.
O’DONNELL: Much of the convention crowd has come out here to the MSNBC set, as we continue our unconventional convention coverage.
O’DONNELL: But, Rachel, let’s talk about this speech.
What did Hillary Clinton do tonight that Barack Obama needed?
MADDOW: I think that Chris nailed it when he said, you know what, that this was the communion.
There was a moment when she said, you know what? I’m proud of my supporters. I thank my supporters. I know why you supported me. And, for all of those reasons, we together will now support Barack Obama.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: And then that was not the end of the speech. That was about, you know, 20 percent of the way into the speech. And then the whole rest of the speech was just nailing it. There’s nothing else that she can be asked to do at this point. There’s nothing else she can be asked to do.
ROBINSON: Well, nothing else at this convention.
MADDOW: I mean, with that speech.
ROBINSON: I mean, one question I had coming out of the speech, actually, is...
ROBINSON: ... OK, now the ball really is in Barack Obama’s court, not just to give a great speech on Thursday, which he probably will, but, also, how is he going to use Hillary Clinton? How is he going to use Bill Clinton going forward?
ROBINSON: The offer is clearly there to be an, potentially, obviously, to be of great use to the ticket. So, where’s he going to send them? What’s he going to do?
O’DONNELL: And I think maybe there was some warming in the relationship after tonight, because Barack Obama took the time, after that speech...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
O’DONNELL: ... to call up Hillary Clinton and the president and say how much he appreciated that. Will he now call on President Bill Clinton to come out and campaign for him? As Terry McAuliffe told us here tonight, the ball is in his court now for that.
BUCHANAN: I think that’s exactly right.
And I do agree, she has done everything she could be asked to do. It was full, a full embrace, total, all my people. There was no hesitation, no condition. And she did everything she could there.
O’DONNELL: What about plan B? Because, before we listened to her speech tonight...
O’DONNELL: ... we were talking about whether she really wanted Barack Obama to be president.
BUCHANAN: Well, here’s the thing.
Nobody knows what’s in someone’s heart. But I will say this. What she said about John McCain is good political rhetoric. Some of it was pretty funny, but there’s nothing she said that would prevent her, when she walks on the Senate floor, from of those two old buddies coming together and hugging.
O’DONNELL: There’s been a lot of complaining among Democrats, even a lot of former Clinton White House staffers, who said there’s not been enough red meat at this convention.
I thought Hillary Clinton was throwing it to the crowd tonight.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: I do think that—I mean, what I had said in advance of the speech was, watch for Hillary Clinton to not talk too much about her own accomplishments, particularly those that came at the expense of Barack Obama.
She did not. She talked a little bit about her own accomplishments in this campaign. But she didn’t go through every state that she won, like she could have and like she has done in some previous speeches.
But we also were looking to see, as Pat and I were talking before, both of us saying, she’s got to—got to go after McCain hard. And I think she gets away with having said the nice things about the Clinton legacy, said the nice things about her own accomplishments, because of how she pivoted to hit McCain in that last third, in a way that had this crowd going nuts and at the convention floor going nuts.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
ROBINSON: ... red meat than anything we have heard at this convention. It was really. I think it was more effective than anything we have heard at this convention.
I think meat gets a bit redder than this.
MADDOW: Meat does get redder.
ROBINSON: It does get redder.
ROBINSON: This was kind of, you know, medium-rare, at best.
BUCHANAN: And it gets a lot redder than this, I will tell you.
BUCHANAN: No, this was—this was lightly done, quite frankly. And the way she did it, it was done—to me, that Twin Cities line is very funny. I laughed at it. We all laughed at it. That’s not really gutting.
And she just made the case, he’s wrong here, he’s wrong here, he’s wrong there. I didn’t see the real red meat.
BUCHANAN: As I say, there’s nothing there that’s going to breach the relationship between John and Hillary.
ROBINSON: No, but the fact is, Pat, there is a friendship. There is a, you know, a senator-to-senator relationship there.
It would not, frankly, have been credible for her to come out and start talking about John McCain as if he were the devil incarnate.
BUCHANAN: What is Biden going to do? What is Biden going to do...
BUCHANAN: Nobody has done that.
BUCHANAN: What is Biden going to do?
ROBINSON: Well, that’s a good question. Biden also is a friend of John McCain.
I have a feeling Joe Biden will be more deep-throated in his criticism of John McCain...
BUCHANAN: He’s got to be, because nobody else will.
ROBINSON: ... and in his linkage of John McCain to George W. Bush, which Hillary Clinton, I thought, did well. I think Joe Biden could do—can do it better.
O’DONNELL: I think Joe Biden can go there on Iraq.
Hillary Clinton could not go there on Iraq because of the differences in the primary campaign. And even though Joe Biden voted for the war in Iraq, he’s going to go there on Wednesday night.
MADDOW: The thing that Joe Biden is able to do, he’s going to be able to say: “I have been in the Senate the entire time that John McCain is there. I consider him a friend. I consider him to have been a guy who has been an honorable political leader in this country in the past. He is no longer that. I have seen the old John McCain who so much of America admired as a politician and a potential presidential candidate or potential nominee, and I have seen that John McCain go away and be replaced by the guy who is running now, who is nothing like that. And I have seen him change.”
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: And Biden can speak to that because of his relationship with him.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
ROBINSON: He can come out and say, you know, I know John McCain. I know the John McCain who’s got a terrible temper and blows up even at his friends...
ROBINSON: ... and the John McCain who goes all the way back to the Keating Five. And who can make that sort of full-throated attack?
MADDOW: Well, Biden could. Biden could.
BUCHANAN: If Joe Biden doesn’t do better at that than Hillary Clinton did, what in heaven’s name is the argument for Joe Biden?
MADDOW: Well, Joe Biden would be a great president.
BUCHANAN: If he is not there to do the red meat work, he’s certainly not the inspirational leader she is. He didn’t get the 18 million votes. He didn’t win all the debates. What is he doing there if he’s not a better carver?
ROBINSON: I think we have given him a job description.
MADDOW: I believe that—I believe that Joe Biden will go after McCain harder than we have yet seen anybody go after McCain.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: I expect that the Democratic Convention tomorrow will be all about John McCain, frankly, leading up to Joe Biden.
But Biden brings two other things. Number one, he—I think Americans, by and large, believe that he would make a fine president. Number two, I think—and they—he could credibly be president.
Number two, he is the guy who says, you know what? Barack Obama’s got ideas about how to change the country.
MADDOW: I’m the guy who knows how to implement them in Washington, because I have been here since they set the cornerstone of the Capitol.
BUCHANAN: Right. And tomorrow night’s not going to be about Joe Biden. It’s going to be about Bubba tomorrow night.
BUCHANAN: It’s going to be about Bubba.
BUCHANAN: And that’s going to be the thing everybody’s watching, and we will.
MADDOW: It’s not.
BUCHANAN: We will cover every minute of it. Even if it’s not in prime time, we cover it live.
O’DONNELL: Well, it’s going to be
ROBINSON: No, we’re going to cover it live, and you know he’s going to talk about whatever he wants to talk about, isn’t he? Isn’t he?
BUCHANAN: He will wander off the reservation.
ROBINSON: Whatever he wants to talk about. It will probably be a good speech.
O’DONNELL: And, as mentioned by Tom Brokaw, Bill Clinton is a competitive man. He is going to probably try and top his own wife in tomorrow’s speech by delivering something that will really get the crowd going inside the Convention Center—and, Chris and Keith, back to you guys.
O’DONNELL: Far—Norah, thank you. Far for—for be it from me to disagree with Mr. Buchanan, but just one quote about whether or not McCain would ever actually embrace Hillary Clinton after she said this tonight: “But, remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president. We don’t have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.”
That did not sound like an endorsement of John McCain.
All right, let’s see how it played down here in the crowd.
Chris is down with the crowd here.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: OK. Let’s go.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: How did you like Hillary?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought Hillary’s speech was everything. I am a Hillary supporter. But I am a Democrat first. I contributed to Hillary.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I even contributed to retire her debt. I have met Hillary. I was at the inauguration for the Clintons.
This is the Democrats’ year. With all of the issues, if we can’t do it this year, we will never do it. She came to our school, John F. Kennedy Middle School, Bethpage, New York.
I met her. I had my saxophone, you know, lapel pin. She acknowledged it. I love her, but she is a Democrat first. This is our year. This is the issues.
MATTHEWS: How did you like the speech?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a great speech. She is a very good—you know, a very—a great woman. And I think she’s—she’s definitely someone who we need to look up to.
MATTHEWS: Let’s take a look at this. What do you got on your sign out there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The unity Obama sign. It’s time to put away Clinton. Like, she’s awesome. Her speech was amazing, but it’s time for Obama right now. Like, he needs to be the next president.
How many people—how many people agree with Pat Buchanan?
MATTHEWS: How many people—how many people like Rachel Maddow?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: OK. What did you like in the speech?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought the speech was very effective.
And I think that, if you’re a true Democrat, you’re going to come out and you’re going to vote for Obama, because that’s what it’s all about, the issues.
MATTHEWS: How did you like his speech?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I liked it really well. She’s great.
Let’s go. How do you—young lady, how did you like it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
MATTHEWS: Tell me about the speech. What was your reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it was absolutely wonderful. I think that Obama will be a great candidate for us. And he’s exactly what we need.
How about you?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: How about...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it was great. It was wonderful. It was great to be here and see all the enthusiasm.
And, go, Obama.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: What do you—I want to know. I want to know, what do you think of MSNBC?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love it!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: MSNBC is number one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Keith Olbermann was right when he said that was a home run, out of the park for Hillary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out of the park, grand slam.
MATTHEWS: Was it a 500-footer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a 700-footer, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bottom of the ninth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was getting it in the bottom of the ninth, grand slam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She couldn’t have done it any better, I mean, just articulate. It was seeing like the rope-a-deep. Like, remember...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She brings you in, and then knocked McCain and the Republicans...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly like she said. It was the rumble in Denver, rope-a-dope. McCain’s out for the count. There’s no way. He’s probably asleep right now. He’s not even watching this.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she quoted Harriet Tubman, I was sold. I appreciated what Hillary said. I didn’t believe in her before, but I appreciated what she said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Hillary. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Let’s go to this guy.
What do you think? What do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it’s wonderful. I’m so impressed with Hillary, fantastic speech. She had to tread her way so carefully, and hit so many different points. And she got them all in a polished and professional way. Did a great job.
MATTHEWS: What do you think, young man? Are you with Hillary or are you with Obama? Where do you stand now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: What do you think? You are with—who are you with? Who’s that? Who’s that? Is that Keith? Is that Keith?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. But I’m with...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... Obama.
MATTHEWS: We’re going back to Keith Olbermann upstairs, high above the people.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: Take it away, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Thank goodness they used a picture of me from a couple of years ago on that shot.
Chris, thank you.
Coming up: Former Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe will be with us.
You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic Convention from Denver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he’ll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our times.
Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, we did it before with President Clinton and the Democrats.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: And if we do our part, we’ll do it again with President Obama and the Democrats.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: Back in Denver.
Terry McAuliffe was the campaign chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. He joins us now from the floor of the convention center.
And I understand in advance we should tell everybody that, understandably, you’re losing your voice after—after a night like tonight.
Thanks for joining us.
And let me—let me start with an old baseball joke.
When the team is down by four runs and somebody says, well, they’re trying for a five-run homer—and, of course, such a thing is impossible—I thought Senator Clinton hit a five-run homer tonight. What did you think?
TERRY MCAULIFFE, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Yes. And I knew she would, Keith. I have been trying to tell people all day on television, she’s going to knock it out of the park. She made the case for Barack Obama. She made the case against John McCain. She made the case against George Bush. We have got to move forward.
Her video was spectacular. And her speech, that ball, as you know, Keith, is still flying.
OLBERMANN: Is it—is it premature to say that there are no longer Obama camps and Clinton camps, but only a Democratic camp, or was that achieved tonight?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MCAULIFFE: Keith, I actually—and I have been dealing with this. And I’m a little hoarse. I’m on my 110th television interview in two days.
MCAULIFFE: There never was two different camps. Hillary, from day one, has been out there supporting Senator Obama.
We have been together. They have manufactured some of these stories. But you know what? No candidate ever in the history of our party has done what Hillary Clinton has done, to come in second, to be out there for the first place. She went to Nevada, California, Florida.
She has raised millions of dollars. She gave a speech tonight here that no one has given before to support the nominee of the party. What more you could ask? And, tomorrow night, Bill Clinton’s going to do the same thing. Those balls are going to be flying—Barack Obama Thursday night. This party is unified. We’re taking it to John McCain.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Terry, about the use of the word Democrat. It resounds in the old way of a convention, where you’re proud of your party label, proud of your name, proud of your history.
I got the sense that the smart people behind this speech, besides—in addition to Senator Clinton, know, if you can unite the Democratic Party, people who see themselves as Democrats, you’re on the way to winning this thing.
MCAULIFFE: That’s right.
And that’s a good point. I mean, we need to make sure that Hillary’s 18 million voters—and more—it’s not just those 18 million—we have got to reach out much beyond that. Tonight went a long way to do that.
If we can keep the Democratic Party together—and that’s why I hate these stories about conflict. We have no conflict. We are together. Right now, the independents, they want to support us. We’re going to win seven seats in the Senate, 20-plus seats in the House. We’re going to win the White House.
But we’re going to do it, Chris, if we stay together as Democrats, people quit complaining. Let’s start firing on John McCain. He is Bush III. George Bush has ruined this country, worst president in our nation’s history. And we don’t need John McCain.
MATTHEWS: What did you make of Governor Rendell’s statement today that Barack Obama is kind of aloof; he’s an Adlai Stevenson figure; he can’t really connect? I mean, that’s where we’re getting these stories about conflict, by quoting people like Governor Rendell.
MCAULIFFE: I’m sorry. Who said that tonight, Chris? I didn’t know this.
MATTHEWS: Governor Rendell said that Barack Obama, it reminds him of Adlai Stevenson. He’s too aloof; he can’t connect to real people.
MCAULIFFE: Oh, I think Barack—listen....
MCAULIFFE: ... I was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. We ran against Barack Obama. He connected.
You know, we’re not the nominee tonight. So, I take nothing away from Senator Barack Obama. He and his campaign ran a great campaign. But you know what? We need 10 times that now in the general election.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the vulnerable points going down the road now to the election.
The national popular matchups are close. The electoral states of the Northeast are...
MATTHEWS: Pennsylvania looks pretty good this week. Ohio looks tough. Florida looks tough. Where do you have to really grow in strength in this country between now and November to win the 270 electoral votes?
MCAULIFFE: Virginia—and I thought Mark Warner did a great job tonight with his speech.
We pick up New Mexico, which we didn’t win last time, we pick up Colorado, where we are right now—Colorado is going to go blue here.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MCAULIFFE: And, Chris, we can pick up Nevada. We have got to make sure we don’t lose New Hampshire. We have got to make sure we don’t lose Michigan.
I’m a big believer, you win Ohio, you win the general election. We need to put our resources in Ohio. They’re hurting. They have lost jobs. I think what I would do, if I were Barack Obama, I would put Hillary Clinton, I would put her in that state for the next 72 days.
She was the champion of blue-collar. Let her get out there, get her message, and help bring those voters home.
MATTHEWS: Well, that makes perfect sense. Is he listening? I mean, is Barack—are you, Terry McAuliffe, having a role in the strategizing of the Barack Obama final game to win the presidency? Are you part of it?
MCAULIFFE: I have talked—I have talked to Senator Obama several times. And, now that we’re through this convention, I’m going to go full-time to help this campaign.
MATTHEWS: Because it seems to me, if they give you, or give you and Senator Clinton Ohio, they give Eddie Rendell Pennsylvania, and work with Biden, you could start holding off...
MCAULIFFE: You bet.
MATTHEWS: ... any Republican poaching of the usual blue states, and then you can put Barack...
MATTHEWS: ... out there on the road, getting Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico.
MCAULIFFE: That’s right.
MATTHEWS: That would seem like a smart strategy.
MCAULIFFE: As you know, Chris, Governor Ritter—sure.
Governor Ritter won this state by 56 percent. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in Virginia can deliver Virginia for us. I can put this Electoral College—and Ted Strickland, who is a spectacular governor, has a 64 percent approval rating in Ohio. Let him run Ohio, also. We’re going to win this thing.
MATTHEWS: OK. Get some steroids, Terry.
MCAULIFFE: I don’t need steroids.
OLBERMANN: And with that—with that conclusion, thank you, Terry McAuliffe.
OLBERMANN: All right, feel better. That will work, too.
MCAULIFFE: All right, Keith. Thank you.
Thank you, Chris.
All day long, we have been asking you...
MCAULIFFE: You have got a great crowd there, greatest crowd ever.
MATTHEWS: Thank you. I know that.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: No, there they are. Good work. Riled them up.
MATTHEWS: All day long, we have been asking you to use your—your cell phones to answer today’s text message survey question.
The question was, is Hillary more interested in helping Obama, or, B, her own political future? Well...
OLBERMANN: Boy, this is out of date.
MATTHEWS: I think the results may be a little out of date. You know, I think we should only use the results since the speech was given.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, it says so far—can somebody—can you read that? Help me out here.
OLBERMANN: Twenty-six percent said helping Obama, and 74 percent her own political future.
MATTHEWS: I think that needs to be revised and extended.
OLBERMANN: Those numbers may have been switched.
OLBERMANN: I think that’s just a typographical error.
MATTHEWS: Were they transposed?
OLBERMANN: I believe they been transposed, yes.
MATTHEWS: An old Massachusetts trick.
MATTHEWS: ... Keith and I will be right back from Denver...
OLBERMANN: Wait. Let me get the phone. I have got to make some more text messages.
MATTHEWS: ... right after this.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice: “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to the show. Bernard out here in what we’re calling the pit or whatever. You know, I’ve been watching you for about several months now. And I think I’ve been watching a political evolution.
BERNARD: OK. Let me hear it.
MATTHEWS: I thought you were a somewhat right-of-center American in your political thinking. And then I’ve watched you follow the Obama campaign as it’s proceeded and I sense a change of heart toward Obama.
BERNARD: I am a right-of-center person, but I admittedly am a huge fan of Barack Obama, particularly as an African-American woman, I think that what Barack Obama could possibly do for our country, for black Americans in particular and all Americans, it is very, very important. It was the reason I loved Hillary Clinton’s line about Harriet Tubman tonight. If we thought about all If the historical figures she could have picked, particularly when she talked about Seneca Falls, I thought we were going to hear about the Grimke sisters Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but she picked Harriet Tubman who was the women that led so many slaves to the north and to freedom.
And if you think about the symbolism—and you know how I love symbolism—and she talked about Barack Obama, and here is man who is a son of Africa, he is a son of America, and she said, you know, she quoted Harriet Tubman and she said, if you want to taste freedom, just keep on going. And I thought that that was a symbol to African-Americans, it was a symbol to women, it was a symbol to the entire country, and to Barack Obama that change has finally come. Slavery was the original sin in this country. And I thought it was a fantastic gesture to talk about it in the way she did in her speech tonight. It was not lost upon me. It might have been lost upon a lot of people, but I think for black Americans in particular, you had to have seen it and you had to applaud it.
MATTHEWS: Well, you’re bringing it to home to me. And I was thinking, if you’re on the underground railroad and being chased by slave catchers or whatever back in the pre-Civil War (INAUDIBLE) era, and you hear dogs and you see torches in the forest, keep going, run on. Hillary Clinton, a white woman, how does that work to you? You see her as a sister in this?
BERNARD: I do. I do see her as a sister in this. I mean, I have a lot of disagreements with Hillary Clinton on policy issues, but I think what she did tonight was very important. We have talked about the historical significance of the sometimes fighting that took place between the suffragists and abolitionists. And I think last night Michelle Obama closed it. I thought tonight Hillary Clinton closed it and she was able to say that there is no more gender wars, we are men, we are women, we are equal, we are all Americans. And I thought she did a fantastic job of doing that.
MATTHEWS: You know, tonight I spent time with women about my age, white women, who are very frustrated. I can’t even reach the depths of their frustration about this campaign.
MATTHEWS: It’s not about anybody in particular or anybody is a particular villain, although they have problem with me, actually, some of them, and that doesn’t surprise me. It’s a very difficult time of change where women felt finally there was someone who had a real shot to be president...
MATTHEWS: And now we go back to two men running against each other with two, probably, two male running mates, again. How does that strike you? Here we go again with a quartet of guys.
BERNARD: Yeah. Personally, it is a difficult conundrum for me because I am a woman and I am an African-American. It’s history replaying itself all over again. Black men got the right to vote before women got the right to vote, before white women got the right to vote.
BERNARD: In 1870 you saw a lot of white women who were abolitionists at the time who were so angry about it that they completely dropped the cause of abolitionism.
MATTHEWS: Fifty years later women got it.
BERNARD: Exactly. When I was practicing law, I worked with women who graduated from Harvard law school and told horrible stories about being able to practice law only if they did the legal work of their husband’s businesses. Or they got jobs in law firms after graduating from top law schools and they could only be legal secretaries. That’s a very difficult—it’s a very bitter pill to swallow when you feel like our time has finally come.
But, like I said earlier in the week, Hillary Clinton did not lose this election because she was a woman. There were some problems with her campaign and the best candidate won in the Democratic process. That being said, I talked to people tonight who were still very angry about it. One gentleman I spoke with this evening, interesting a man, not a woman, but a member of one of the coalitions that wants Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee, said to me, this is no longer about Hillary Clinton, it’s no longer about Barack Obama, this is about the process, it is about the DNC.
And so I said to him, are you going to vote for John McCain? He said: I don’t know. I want John McCain to court me. And so I asked him, is there a possibility you may not vote? And the answer was a resounding yes, he might not vote not so much because he doesn’t believe in Obama, but he feels that the nation was robbed because of the process.
MATTHEWS: I said tonight, I sensed there was a compact being formed, basically under the signature of Hillary Clinton.
MATTHEWS: A compact that said, OK, the guy won, but this is a feminist campaign.
MATTHEWS: That this is a cause of women that will be carried forward successfully because I want it that way.
MATTHEWS: And Barack—can a male candidate, even an African-American, can he pick up on this effectively Thursday night at that big stadium and say: I carry the hopes of women who want full equality? Can he do that?
BERNARD: Absolutely. I mean, look at his wife and the fact that this man has two daughters. He loves his children just as much if he had two sons or a son and a daughter as I do, he would love them equally. He can absolutely carry that message forward.
MATTHEWS: Michelle Bernard, the process of evolution moving to the center. As always, thank you very much. Just kidding. Back to Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right, Chris, thank you. And thank you, Michelle.
Up next, we’ll hear from NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, anchor Brian Williams and some of the correspondents of NBC NEWS from inside the convention center. You’re watching MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic convention, live from Denver, Colorado.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: That is our duty to build that bright future, to teach our children that in America, there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great, no ceiling too high for all who work hard, who keep going, have faith in God and our country and each other, that is our mission, Democrats. Let’s elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: And remember, before we can keep going, we’ve got to get going by electing Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Hillary Clinton having tied off the rest of that remark by noting that nothing less than the future of the country depends on that vote. Greetings from Denver. Tomorrow night, it will be former president, Bill Clinton and the vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden, for day-three of the Democratic convention.
MATTHEWS: Right now let’s check back in with Nora O’Donnell and the illustrious, exuberant panel downstairs—Norah.
O’DONNELL: The dream team, yes. Chris and Keith, thank you so much. And the crowd is still strong out here.
...a turning point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, of course, you don’t know until the ship turns, but I think it was, actually. I think it was the necessary turning point, the necessary point at which this convention either becomes unified or not. And from all appearances, it does become unified. Unity is the new pride, not Clinton or Obama and, I think, she gave really a stirring call for the party to go forth and defeat the Republicans in the fall and enumerated the reasons why. And, but before you go, I got to give big-ups to the crowd, OK?
O’DONNELL: Rachel, did she—did she bury the story line that many people think the media has continued, that there is this disunity in the Democratic Party?
MADDOW: We will know tomorrow. And it seems to me that because Americans are so fascinated with the Clintons as characters, if there’s any possibility to talk about a Clinton storyline, if it doesn’t seem ridiculous to talk about a Clinton storyline and even sometimes when it does, the media will focus on whatever the Clinton storyline is.
But, you’ll remember that last night in the coverage, and last night in the discussion, it was Clinton, Clinton, Clinton all day, then Michelle Obama gave that speech, nobody talked about the Clintons again until today when it was an obvious hook with Senator Clinton’s speech. Now, tomorrow is Joe Biden, tomorrow is also Bill Clinton. If the entire day of coverage is about Bill Clinton, then we will know that the ship has not turned far enough. And it may be that the media is part of what needs to be turned.
But if it is about Joe Biden and it is about foreign policy and if it is about the military and veterans, which is what the Democrats want it to be about and culminating with Biden’s speech, then we’ll know that the unionification process is sealed and Clinton is being viewed as an elder statesman.
O’DONNELL: Part of the theme that the Democrats do what to focus tomorrow involves national security. Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations, Obama’s pick to be the vice president, will speak tonight. Pat, you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech tonight, you praised it for a lot of things. What can Joe Biden do tomorrow that Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to do tonight or didn’t do in tonight’s speech?
BUCHANAN: He can’t. I mean, here’s what he’s got to do—the only thing he can do better than Hillary—and what he got to do, he’s got to do the job on the Republican Party, the Republican administration and John McCain, that job has not been done at this convention.
Joe’s problem is this. He’s not written his speech is my guess. I’ve been in these conventions for 40 years. You write the speech, you deliver it to the guy, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that with a vice president. Will he be comfortable working from a prompter, saying all these things that aren’t the same Joe Biden in a debate? That’s his problem. The second problem is, Bill Clinton will write his own speech, it will be spontaneous, and it will not be programmed like Joe Biden.
O’DONNELL: OK. All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, will Bill Clinton do the job?
O’DONNELL: Pat Buchanan (INAUDIBLE) I’m going to send it right back up to Keith—Keith.
BUCHANAN: Bill Clinton will not do it. He will not gut John McCain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’ll see.
OLBERMANN: We leave the panel already in progress. Thank you, Nora.
Thank you, Norah.
All right, up next, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS anchor, Brian Williams and the correspondents stationed on the convention floor with their thoughts on what they were witness to, tonight. You’re watching MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic convention, live from Denver.
OLBERMANN: An electrifying night, to say the least, for the Democrats inside the Pepsi Center.
MATTHEWS: Here’s Brian Williams along with Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory on night-two, as it ends, of the Democratic convention.
WILLIAMS: Somewhere between New Hampshire and Nevada, as far as I can tell, we have Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd and David Gregory and we’re all very punchy because it’s the end of the day. Talking about the size of the salad David Gregory was consuming last night about this time.
Andrea, you had a fascinating interview tonight, a 78-year-old woman from...
WILLIAMS: Seventy-nine, Allegheny. Just start by correcting me, Andrea. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania?
MITCHELL: Job security.
She’s was confused about Hillary’s speech and she had been to seven conventions and she wanted to see a woman. And so when I first approached her, I said, you know, how are you feeling and why are you so upset? She said, I just wanted to see a woman. I really thought we could make it, and we lost. And so I said, what do you do now? She said, we fight for Obama, that’s what we have to do, we’re Democrats. And it struck me, we hear so much from the rich and powerful friends of Hillary and Bill and all the resentments, you know, they’re not paying off their debt, all that stuff, but there are a lot of people on this floor tonight, a lot of them women, older women, who are ready to make the switch because of a speech they heard tonight.
WILLIAMS: And Chuck, what do we know about Thursday? Invesco Field, because we have this way of raising expectations, now. So we’ve got Bill Clinton tomorrow night.
WILLIAMS: Will both Clintons...
TODD: And Joe Biden. We keep talking about Bill Clinton. The vice—nominee of the vice presidency is going to speak tomorrow too, and you know, the guy...
WILLIAMS: I’m not going to disagree...
TODD: It’s all of us. It’s all of us. We’ve been so fired up about Bill Clinton. Joe Biden knows how to give a pretty good speech, too, and he’s pretty competitive.
WILLIAMS: All right. So we’re going to raise expectations for both Clintons to be in the stands for the Obama speech is not going to happen.
TODD: One is going to be there, undecided. Hillary Clinton is going to be there, undecided on Bill Clinton. Look, it wouldn’t be surprising to have a former president get out of the way because he sometimes also doesn’t want to step on Hillary Clinton. I think we do forget that his presence can—I mean, it’s sort of why didn’t Bill Clinton speak tonight? If this was going to be Clinton night, and it was—it will be known as Hillary Clinton’s night, Bill Clinton, had he spoken tonight, he could have easily stepped on her. So, I think he sometimes takes a step back because of her, not because of anything else.
MITCHELL: And she’s considering a plan to come here during the roll call, leave the New York delegation on the floor, and then by acclimation throw the support—an abbreviated roll call, they’re still working it out, though.
GREGORY: But, you know, the thing I kept hearing today was that Bill Clinton’s still coming along, he’s not quite there yet, in terms of, you know, having his heart and his head into it, but she is there. I was talking to somebody who was close to Michelle Obama that she and Hillary Clinton had a good conversation today, a good chat, Hillary Clinton told her speech was great last night and she wished her luck for tonight. So at the highest levels, it’s at least good coordination.
MITCHELL: I think it’s coordination, but her closest friends just shake her heads and say she’s heartbroken, she’s devastated, she came that close, she thinks, and lost. But she is a trouper. She is a—she’s on board. She’s on board.
TODD: The importance of this speech tonight, she has set herself up. She is the other leader of the Democratic Party. The name always made her the leader of the Democratic Party before, she’s actually finally gave a speech and gave a reason that she’s now lived up to her own hype. That was the best speech she’s given all campaign. I mean, our embeds said, god, had she given that at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner which is, you know, gave us Barack Obama, she’d have been the nominee. That’s the first time she’d shown that kind of compassion.
GREGORY: And for all the talk about (INAUDIBLE) 2012, the best way she can do that is, “A,” support Barack Obama...
TODD: Or 2016, I mean, give her the benefit of the doubt.
MITCHELL: Or how about what Chuck Todd said last night, which was to set herself up to follow the legacy example of Teddy Kennedy and make history in the Senate, make a different kind of history.
WILLIAMS: I mean, think of the committee where, you know, he chose to set up a power raise, it wasn’t the sexiest in the Senate.
But, the point I was going to make, if you’re finished, was...
WILLIAMS: (INAUDIBLE) get upset that you’re not getting airtime. Go ahead. No, go ahead. Really, you’ve got all the attention. Let’s put all the cameras on David.
GREGORY: It was a great—it was a leafy greens in the salad last night. She sets herself up as the real—the expert about—for the party, understanding what the stakes are in throwing her support behind Barack Obama. She also sends a message that, look, I get it. And there are going to be people who look to her, if Barack Obama does not succeed, and say well, she’s a natural heir to that.
WILLIAMS: And the other side, if you’re Barack Obama and you succeed and you wake up every morning knowing you have this formidable force on the Hill, what does that mean?
TODD: Look, if he is president and he thinks about governing, we now know what life would have been like for John F. Kennedy potentially, had Lyndon Johnson stayed in the Senate and he had picked somebody else to be his running mate because she now can be—she can—she can make his legislation live or die. Bob—shoot, Bob Kerry, who didn’t come that close to beating Bill Clinton, when he, you know, he became the guy who became the chief, sort of, stamp of approval or disapproval on Bill Clinton legislation.
GREGORY: This is also (INAUDIBLE) to 2000, George W. Bush and President Bush then had the top people manage the account of John McCain because they knew he had a following, he was in the Senate, he could do damage. I remember early on campaign finance reform and other issues. Right he was the thorn in the side.
TODD: What’s one of the things that the McCain people like to put at us, sit there and say why do you say he’s just like Bush? They’ll say, David Gregory would open how many packages in those first four years that said: Republican John McCain today disagreed with President Bush on whatever.
TODD: It was a standard practice.
WILLIAMS: Does the discourse clean up, nine weeks after Saint Paul, between Saint Paul and Election Day, does the discourse cleanup do we—are we still, you know, the usual—is all this talk about a post-partisan age after the next president is elected?
MITCHELL: I think the problems are so big and the hunger in this country for a bipartisan approach is to these big issues of energy and jobs and inflation, I think the appetite is so large out there that they have to work together. They have to figure out a way, no matter who is elected. But, you know, there are a lot of rivalries here and a lot of bitterness seeds being sown and old friends standing up on stage today saying mean things about each other, and that’s going to be remembered.
WILLIAMS: Gentlemen, anything for the general election?
TODD: It’s going to be nastier. The more negative. I mean, there’s two little of the electorates left. The smaller the pie of undecided voters, the harsher the campaign.
GREGORY: Because in order for Barack Obama to get the vast middle, it’s about him creating enough of a comfort level about him. And so McCain has to undermine him, I think, more personally about his character, about his readiness, and that’s where the discourse, I think, still stays pretty rough.
WILLIAMS: And you’re pretty much ready to have a salad now, this is the hour when you settle down and get some food.
GREGORY: At this late hour, yeah.
WILLIAMS: That’s it from the—that’s it from the convention floor for tonight. Back up to you.
OLBERMANN: Brian Williams and the assembled cast. Thank you kindly. Chris and I will return tomorrow night, actually afternoon, this would be, at 5:00 Eastern. We’re going to start a little earlier with the coverage of the third night of the Democratic convention because the roll call will kick off the evening and our coverage. We’ll see how that plays out, which it doesn’t carry perhaps the weight it did earlier this evening as central to this equation, but it will still be an interesting dynamic.
MATTHEWS: What theater it will be.
OLBERMANN: It will be theater. Tonight we saw the last act, now, but the first act will be tomorrow. In any event, Bill Clinton speaks. Senator Joe Biden, the presumptive vice presidential nominee speaks as well. We’ll have it all for you here on MSNBC. As ever, we thank you for being with us. For Chris Matthews, I’m Keith Olbermann. Goodnight. Goodnight.