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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton in Seattle Last Night

posted by on October 23 at 10:50 AM

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.

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So Hillary is shrewd. We all knew that. She's still a corporate ho.

Posted by M | October 23, 2007 11:08 AM

As if Washington State matters to any of the candidates. Our primary comes too late to be influential in determining who gets the Democrats' nod. And since no matter what our state will go Dem in the Presidential election, Washington really doesn't have much of a say regarding who our next President will be. We're a rubber stamp state, but of course they'll gladly take our money. It's a nice system we have...

Posted by Buddy | October 23, 2007 11:27 AM

aside from a few rhymey ughs, i thought it was a pretty damn good speech last night, but then i'm already sold. she's got the presence of someone ready to get shit done. i don't think there was an ounce of that speech last night that wasn't focused on the general election. kudos to the state dems for giving her the floor.

Posted by Kim | October 23, 2007 11:28 AM

Very good speech, very poised, in touch with the audience, mentioned women a lot - best lines on policy, not the schmooze stuff.

I was impressed, bought my Hilary T shirt. Anybody for the Rainbow Committee in the campaign?

She can win, and I WANT to win. There is no doubt she knows the ropes and will play hardball.

Polling now shows clearly the women of America are taking note of Hilary, R's and inddependents as well.

Has a ring which must make the right cringe, the First Woman President.

Good lines were "let's get back to the Constitution" and "put an end to cowboy diplomacy".

She could have added a clear statement on human rights and anti discrimination.

Posted by Oscar | October 23, 2007 11:51 AM

So the Stranger’s big push for Clinton starts. Josh’s post seems surreal in the sense that no one has questioned Clinton’s competency or political savvy.

Posted by nathanthunder | October 23, 2007 3:33 PM

Josh as a Jew I know you care about Israel. Hillary is the strongest pro-Israel candidate in America. With Hillary as President, more and more money will flow to Israel, we can finally invade Iran, and Israel can rise as a light to all nations.

I'm glad The Stranger is backing the strongest pro-Israel candidate.

Posted by Issur | October 23, 2007 10:24 PM

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