2008 Hillary Clinton in Seattle Last Night
posted by October 23 at 10:50 AMon
Here’s why people like me think Hillary Clinton is formidable and on her way to the Democratic nomination. It’s not that she’s a great speaker (her speech last night at Benaroya Hall was fine, but not close to notable … “innovation nation” uggghhh.)
But here’s what I took away from last night: She was the keynote speaker at the Democrats’ biggest event of the year.
Why is that? Why is it that even though Barack Obama and John Edwards are more popular and raising more money in Washington State than Clinton, Clinton scores the Maggie Awards dinner—a captive audience of the most influential Democrats from the fundraising, organizing, and messaging fronts in the state. Well played HRC. You are a tactical player.
Last night goes a long way toward wiping out all the groundwork and fundraising that the other candidates have done here. It certainly doesn’t erase Obama’s huge money lead, but it does put Clinton front and center, and I’m sure she tapped into a serious vein of local D money last night.
The point being: Clinton is savvy as hell. In one fell swoop, by lining herself up to be the keynote at the Democrats’ premier event, she’s back in the game in Washington State.
To wit, from Dave Ammons’ AP report on last night:
Clinton, making her first appearance as an announced candidate in the West’s second-largest state, was given star billing at the party’s annual fundraising gala, the largest party gathering scheduled before the February caucuses. State Chairman Dwight Pelz said the event, which drew more than 1,200 people and raised more than $150,000 for the party, was the single most successful Democratic Party fundraiser in state party history. State party events typically keep ticket prices relatively low.
Giving Clinton the coveted speaking slot did not constitute an endorsement by party elders, Pelz said in an interview. But Clinton backers said it at least gave that subliminal effect and will be a big lift to her.