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Hillary Clinton: Winning Converts in N.Y.

To no one's surprise, New York Democrats on Wednesday officially nominated Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for a second term -- a race Clinton will have little trouble winning this November.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, talks with Trudy Mason, a New York State Democratic Committee member, after a breakfast speaking engagement at the Convention Center in Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday (AP)

For those -- like The Fix -- who search Clinton's every public pronouncement for clues about her plans for 2008, the senator's acceptance speech at the convention (and the lengthy video that preceded it) was an embarrassment of riches. (Watch the video on -- scroll down to see the link to it.)

Read the whole speech and watch the video in its entirety. But just in case you don't have the time or the inclination, here are the highlights:

First, the video. Produced by media consultant Mandy Grunwald, the video documents Clinton's first term in the Senate -- from her contentious debates with 2000 GOP consultant Rick Lazio to her handling of September 11th and its aftermath to her work to create job and economic growth in Upstate New York.

The video is heavy on testimonials from those whom Clinton has helped since coming to the Senate, many of whom acknowledge that they didn't vote for her in 2000.

In one vignette, Peter Gorman, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, details how Clinton fought for health care coverage for his men injured during their rescue efforts on 9/11. "We didn't endorse Senator Clinton, I just want to be up front with that," says Gorman in the video. "It didn't make a difference to her. Senator Clinton has been there for firefighters pre- and post-9/11."

Another testimonial is from breast cancer advocate Geri Barish, who explains that Clinton helped organize the first-ever hearings held on Long Island on the potential links between breast cancer and the environment. Later in the video, Barish reappears and says: "I did not vote for Senator Clinton before but I am now one of her biggest supporters."

The not-so-subtle message? Many people who were initially opposed to Clinton have been won over by her tenacity and accomplishments on their behalf. It's not much of a stretch to see how that message could be tailored to a White House run and how it may answer some within the Democratic Party who fret that Clinton is too divisive to win a general election.

The other major figure in the Grunwald video is Clinton's husband. The former president repeatedly praises his wife for her dedication to public service. "From the time Hillary was a child, she was imbued with the notion that in order for her life to have meaning she had to do something more than succeed in personal ways," Bill Clinton says. "She had to give something back."

During her speech, Hillary Clinton returned the favor -- calling her husband "an inspiration and a mentor, a friend and a partner." One of the central questions that Hillary Clinton will have to answer should she decide to run for president is what role her husband will play in that campaign. Democrats see the former president as simultaneously his wife's biggest potential asset and largest potential problem. Bill Clinton is widely seen as perhaps the finest political strategist in the Democratic Party, but the idea of him freelancing for his wife's campaign sends shivers down the spines of many party operatives.

Hillary Clinton dedicated the majority of her acceptance speech Wednesday to outlining her vision for the future of the country, always careful to link it back in New York but also with an acknowledgement that she has an eye on the larger national stage.

"I believe that our government has served us well over the course of American history because the role of government is to help empower individuals, families and communities, to realize the core American values of opportunity and freedom, of responsibility and service," Clinton said in a frank statement of core principle.

She quickly pivoted to a laundry list of policy proposals, asking her audience to "stand with me as I fight" for them. Among the issues she touched on were energy, the environment, health care, job creation, trade and national security. (For more on Clinton's policy footprint, make sure to read Post chief political reporter Dan Balz's terrific story from earlier this week.)

On Iraq, an issue on which she has drawn considerable criticism from liberals, Clinton was measured. "Stand with me as we put pressure on both the administration and the new Iraqi government to get behind a real plan for the Iraqis to assume a growing responsibility for their own security and safety so we can begin to bring our troops home," she said.

While that statement is not likely to appease her progressive critics, Clinton's closing remarks, which echoed rhetoric espoused by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential bid, just might.

"If we stand together as Democrats, if we stand unafraid to criticized but also to propose positive solutions, if we reach out and bring more people in who may not have always agreed with us but who fundamentally believe that we can do better, then I am confident with hard work we will take our country back," said Clinton. "I will be there fighting every step of the way."

It doesn't take much imagination to see that next "step" as a run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Make sure to check this space tomorrow morning for The Fix's latest look at the 2008 presidential field. Click here for the most-recent Friday presidential Line.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 1, 2006; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Senate  
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I'm a liberal Democrat, and I don't see how HRC could lose. As for Bill's scandels, that's old news. I think liberals and independents are tired of hearing about that from Republican operatives in the media. As for being divisive, most successful candidates for president are - so what. As for assuring a loss in an otherwise slam dunk win, how could she do worse than Gore, Kerry? She's a lot smarter, articulate, harder working than recent male candidates for president. So what if some women don't like HRC. Some men don't like any male candidate, yet we don't worry about male candidates having a gender issue with men.

Posted by: RobertinSeattle | July 22, 2006 6:23 PM | Report abuse

just to make a point- most economists are free traders because economic theory dictates that open borders and free trade lead to 1. free people, 2. true economic growth, and 3. greater social surplus- empirical evidence proves it, history proves it- I AM NOT A FAN OF OUTSOURCING, because i know it hurts families here- but i hate it when people say that outsourcing ruins the economy- it doesnt- its a political ploy used to play tricks on an all too economically-illiterate public.

Posted by: Economics | June 8, 2006 7:08 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who did not see it the first time through, go to

and get the transcript. if you thought "swift boat" was egregious, you will not be amused when the rnc pulls out pbs to make out ms. clinton as an unindicted felon.
the repubs may not even need a voice over...

Posted by: mark | June 8, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Lets see...

1988 - Bush
1992 - Clinton
1996 - Clinton
2000 - Bush the Lesser
2004 - Bush the Lesser
2008 - Clinton?

Is this a listing of US Presidents, or some archive record of a Medieval Kingdom's line of succession?

No thank you, I prefer Democracies and Republics, not dynastic succession. Consider me a very active Democrat who will vote for the Republican (unless it's Crown Prince Jeb) against her.

Posted by: Welcome to 1400AD | June 2, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Why is George Allen again named at the top of any front runner list? Besides being a closeted bigot what else does he bring? Don't know if being a toady for Bushco is an electable quality these days..unless your the King of Zouk...

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | June 2, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"[She] is already like a second vice president for President Bush."

THAT'S your selling point???!!?

Posted by: Venicemenace | June 2, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

sounds like you're all too willing to talk trash...

want to be on the receiving side leslie?

about that night in rockville.


Posted by: regarding husbands baggage... | June 2, 2006 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Slim Girl in Pearls--

Just so you know, I've spent most of my life in England and people there HATE Margaret Thatcher. Not the best comparison.

Posted by: Jake | June 2, 2006 2:18 AM | Report abuse

see a conflict of interest when the same men that have been leading the country in the background attempt to destroy the Clinton presidency...

and put geo w. bush in power as a way of having a leader in the Howdy Doody Captain Bob tradition....

(guess which one is Captain Bob, cheyney or bush)

let go and shut up.


Posted by: does anyone else | June 2, 2006 2:17 AM | Report abuse

in drag...

she's simply a hand puppet for PNAC,

she has all of the substance of house slave. yourself a favor, find another cause...

ask Powell how he feels about her, and the audacity of using geo. h. dickless bush as a reference please,

you make me blush...grow up liar.


Posted by: condi rice is uncle ben | June 2, 2006 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Time for full disclosure, Mandy Grunwald is married to Matt Cooper of Time magazine. You know him, the guy to was forced to hand over his notes about conversations with Karl Rove.

Mandy Grunwald is on grudge match to get Hillary into the White House and I bet she will use her powers to get her hubby the job as press secretary. Does anyone else see a conflict of interest when a Democrat like Mandy is working to push Hillary for president and she is married to a reporter who leans toward favoring Democrats? I don't like it, because Matt Cooper is very involved in political reporting and Chris Cillizza should have identified him as Mandy's husband.

Posted by: Sally Johanson/ Miami | June 2, 2006 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh yes, Hillary is only using her Senate seat as a stepping stone to the White House. Unless the anti-Hillary Democrats get organized, they will be ripped apart by the liberals, the anti-war activists, and, so just lay down and let Hillary steamroll over those boys.

As a woman, she might pick up a few votes on the gender issue, but on the other hand, thousands of women do not respect Hillary, see her standing in the dark shadown of her husband, and would never vote for her. The issue for Hillary is the national polls showing her is at 40% unfavorable in public opinion. If she can get the media to pick on her, then she gets to enjoy some pity, but is that any reason to vote for her as our next president?

Posted by: Tina | June 2, 2006 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The nominee should be Mark Warner. I truly think that he would be able to bring the Democratic party back to the party of FDR, Truman, and JFK.

Posted by: Jack | June 2, 2006 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Dear Cassini, there is a woman worthy of becoming president, and she is working with the European Union, Russia and China to deal with the world threat of Iran. She is an amazingly strong woman, works well with others, and is already like a second vice president for President Bush.

Instead of flying around for those chicken dinners and making videos, she is doing her job for our nation.

Condi will be on the 2008 Republican ticket, either as president or Vice President. She is America's Margaret Thatcher.

Hillary reminds too many men of their first wives, a real pain in the neck. While Condi is a fun gal, understands football on the level of a real sports guru and jokes around with the guys. Condi in 2008 brings worldwide admiration and respect, without having to drag around husband baggage.

Posted by: Slim Girl in Pearls | June 2, 2006 12:09 AM | Report abuse

SteelWheel is spot on: you don't know whether a member of group X can be elected until you try. Cf. Kennedy in 1960; heard anybody worrying about a candidate's Roman Catholicism lately? And supporters of Senator Feingold don't seem to be worried about his ethnicity.

Posted by: Kakuzan | June 1, 2006 11:04 PM | Report abuse

please, he's CIA alltheway:

the most dangerous part of the president is the part of him

that doesn't fear being held responsible for his actions....he has no moral compass...

he has no friggin clue.

because he's been protected his whole life from being taken to task for his actions...

help him to grow up, and dickless, and rummy too....

make it so.

if we weren't a bunch of gutless cowards,

our leaders and congress would be in jail.


I vote for taking their properties away and letting them fend for themselves,

just consider their jobs permanently outsourced....with no hope for a rehire...let them live on their reputations once we sell their properties...

letting them understand what it means to live like the rest of us by giving them that experience....

no way out, having to deal with laws that others voted into action...

let them reap what they would have you reap from their actions...theives liars and heartless people.

liquidate 'em...
..."thei r properties of course," for that is the most precious part of life to them.

Posted by:someone who would toast your buts given the opportunity...

yeah buddy.


Posted by: oh, and on OBL... | June 1, 2006 10:51 PM | Report abuse

some of you can't learn by actually having interactions...

you keep your worldview no matter what the world is telling you has changed...

what's that about?

Posted by: it's interesting that | June 1, 2006 10:36 PM | Report abuse

scream speech and I would like to see some peoples hair set on fire....

believe me, it would be a change of pace from having you all piss on 'em and telling them it's for their own good....

and why is Mexico's Fox asking for us to make _illegals_ legal....

because they make Mehico richer....which means money is going out, not coming in...

and your people that have jobs that are lower, lower middle, or middle blue have to compete with Jose' and his crew...

and you're lower class, just becomes a cancerous tumour that you deal with some day....right....

like 14th Century France.

Posted by: I would like to see some | June 1, 2006 10:31 PM | Report abuse

credibility could be elected president in

'08 like they

were in 2000 and in 2004,

because no one had the integrity to call the republican candidate

a cokehead, alcoholic, daddys' boy, draftdodger, poor student, barely literate, and a little lord fauntleroy...running on his daddies money and friends?

we really need to influence the American people to be able to see clearly...

not sucker punch them with bs, dontcha think?

oh sorry, you're political people that's right....

you don't want to actually have the friggin country work right...

you just want to have your party have money coming in....

please, kill yourselves now.....


Posted by: do you think anyone without | June 1, 2006 10:24 PM | Report abuse

right now,

I'm a lot more comfortable with honesty and someone that can make an uncomfortable situation comfortable than someone who can kiss butt...

McCain looks mighty ugly licking FallsWell lips for him...


Posted by: as far as Hilary goes... | June 1, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

could make a rice pudding president of the United States for all I care,

but I am concerned by politicians that tend to answer polls as_if they represented the people....

stop outsourcing.

stop _illegal_ immigration, arrest employers.

make your politicians liable for their actions by enforcing violations of the law against them....including hiring illegals, or storing hot money in their freezers...

who owns their offices in congress, I do...and I am okay if the FBI arrests any of them Republicans Democrats or aliens and searches their offices for contraband....

as a former DC worker, I know that more than 50% of people that work high tech in DC have to have clearances in order to work and most have Exstended Background Investigations (EBI's) w/poly....

no reason that the people that pass our laws shouldn't have to live by them....

you understand me>.


Posted by: you know what they | June 1, 2006 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe America is ready for a woman president. I'm not sure it's even ready for a decent man to be president. The winners lately seem to be those who have people behind them who can sling the most mud and get it to stick on the wall. Seriously, I think Hillary would be a really good president. I'm not sure that that is what the average voter wants, though. They want someone that can charm them and provide an illusion of security. The perfect daddy, so to speak....or the golden boy. And the big whigs with the money want someone who will protect their $. It's not just men who won't vote for Hillary. I'm amazed how many women I've heard say they have no respect for her because she stayed with Bill. It sure would be great if we could actually look at the job from the standpoint of who is most capable of doing it.

Posted by: Joan | June 1, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what other people say, I believe that Hillary Clinton will be the 44th President of the United States of America.

Posted by: joefer | June 1, 2006 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I think America is ready for a female president . . . but not Hillary Clinton. She is too much of a polarizing figure, and the more she zigzags on issues, the less appealing she is to any constituency!

Posted by: The Caped Composer | June 1, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Matt, I don't mean to bash Hillary. It's just that when it comes to the Clintons, the media just lose their minds. I don't know what it is. They will of course bash any Democrat who runs but with Hillary, it wil be sooo nasty.

I don't think she's that bad either, in any case. I struggle to understand her Iraq stance, but I know how fast the right would savage her if she said anything other than what she has. There's no real reason for her to elaborate what she would do about the situation there, because there are no good alternatives. Why open yourself to attack?

I would actually vote for her, if she were our candidate. I will campaign for whoever that is, because I am terribly terribly afraid of what will happen to this country if we continue on our present course.

Posted by: Drindl | June 1, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Ignore Zouk! He adds nothing positive to a reasoned discussion. Engaging him lowers the level of discourse.

Posted by: Duh! | June 1, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line: Hillary is in the process of becoming a great senator. And she might ultimately become a Dem party kingmaker. But she will never occupy the White House as President.

If she doesn't accept the reality that her candidacy in 2008 will never amount to anything other than a guaranteed loss for the Dems, she will embarrass herself and her party and deprive our nation of an otherwise sure bet in 2008 to end eight years of GOP failed policies.

Posted by: IMHO | June 1, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

To Cassini & king of zouk.

White Mid-Western & Southern men are a minority. If none of them vote for Hillary Clinton I don't believe it would have a measurable impact on her total electoral vote count. As for this country no being ready for a woman president, my question is how would you know when this country will be ready for one? I hear this all the time about Blacks and Women whenever they aspire to the office of the President. How can you possibly know what the country is ready for? Were we ready for a George Bush #2, a wayward fellow for the majority of his life and a failed businessman. This country still isn't ready for this kind of President but yet we got him.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | June 1, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Jeebus. I can't get over the anti-Hilary sentiment out there -- on the Democratic side, to boot. I can't help but think it speaks to a certain fear factor or perhaps even something a little darker. I'm a progressive. And if you watch Hilary's campaign -- from a true nonjudgmental standpoint -- you'll see she's a consumate campaigner who has a true plan to both capture the nomination and win. I think she's incredibly smart. And I think she could pull this off. Her ability to raise money, notwithstanding, she's run an incredibly smart campaign that has been fairly uniting and not divisive. Yeah, she's tacked to the right every now and then. Actually, it's more to the center. But she's a progressive at heart. And I think she'd bring in a lot of people to the political process. Really, let's stop all of the Hilary bashing. Though part of me says that a lot of it is part of her plan -- her Sista Souljah tactic. Remember, despite Bill's Souljah moment, he's loved, loved, loved by black folks -- me included in that number.

Posted by: Matt | June 1, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Question for everyone:

Do you realistically think a woman could be elected President of the U.S. in 2008,
regardless of party, republican or democrat?

Posted by: Cassini | June 1, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

It's just dumb to nominate a candidate who splits your party and unites the other side.

Sure she can raise money like it's nobody's business. But, what is she going to do with the cash after her candidacy unites the republicans, splits the democrats, and leaves progressives rocking back and forth in the corner muttering, "healthcare, healthcare, healthcare..."?

Posted by: microveldt | June 1, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - yeh I rememeber that. During the Lewinsky scandal Bill Clinton was trying to go about his duties as President and was launching missile strikes against Bin Laden. All the while republicans like DeLay and Fat Hastert and Frist were crowing about how he was trying to distract everyone from Monica by trying to kill Bin Laden. Now those same hypocritical republicans are crowing today that Bill Clinton ignored Bin Laden and terrorism when he was in the White House.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 1, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What people HAVE to member is this whole outsourcing nonsense began on the Clinton's watch. Sure Bush has pushed it beyond the breaking point to where it is single largest security breach we have. But two wrongs don't make a right and two bums don't make even half a decent leader. Now, we have the lunatics from both parties trying to foist off as many as 40 million people with green cards that will simply wreck this country. All of this in their "wedge" issues game, in some lunatic attempt to win the Latino vote. Well, the rest of us can vote, legally...and Hillary doesn't deserve to win back her Senate seat, much less the Presidency. I'm an Independent and I sure wont vote for her and I don't know of any Independents that are anything other than furious with the idiots in Washington. Go back to the thirds party discussion Chris! We need a way to be rid of the Republicans and the Democarts.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 1, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

When the NY Times prints "news" stories which include research into how often she sleeps with Bill, even your shill paper of record is against you. she is doomed, but I think her sense of entitlement will not allow her to back down. Aren't there any realistic contenders for this slot?

and Bill was handed OBL on a silver platter more then once and declined. Why blame things on "people" who didn't do them. It seems Bill and Hill have enough enemies in their own fold. they don't need me. and Bill has been doing a noble and excellent job hopping around raising money for different causes. keep up the good work Mr. Clinton.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 1, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"I advocated amnesty for 40 million illegals and gave your job away!"

Mike I don't know where you get your numbers but there are about 10-12 million illegal immigrants, not 40 million. 20 million is the most extreme estimate I have ever heard before, and that came from Lou Dobbs.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 1, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

It's great that Hillary has won over the firefighters (many of whom drunkenly jeered her in the days after 9/11) but for her to win over enough other people outside NY to become president would take about, oh, 50 years or so.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 1, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to see her run because I can't bear seeing this country sink into a drooling voyeyristic coma the way it did when Bill was president. The press couldn't stop slavering over Bill's pants and I'm sure with Hillary they'd be into her panty drawer every day. They've already started.

And 'people' like zouk would eat it up.

Maybe if the republicans and the press hadn't been so eager to crucify Bill he might have been able to kill Osama Bin Ladin, as he was trying to do.

I remember then how Tom DeLay and many other repubs were shreiking about how terrorism wasn't that important, we've got to talk about lying about sex.

Posted by: Drindl | June 1, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So Hillary Clinton is going to "appease" her Democratic detractors by "reach[ing] out and bring[ing] more people in who may not have always agreed with [her]"? Not likely. Whichever party you follow, these days there's only one way to win among the politically active set: You've got to believe that all of your opponents among the voters are certainly stupid and possibly evil, and that all of your opponents in government are certainly evil and probably stupid. Only dupes and traitors try to reach across the aisle.

Posted by: TJM | June 1, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk:

I agree, she carries too much baggage.
Bottom line is though I just dont think the U.S. is ready for a female President.
Now is not the time.

Posted by: Cassini | June 1, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Do you know how much money she's raised? gonna be hard to stop, short of some meltdown, scream speech. and yes, she will lose the general to anyone the Rs choose to run. wait until all those scandels start to hit the papers again, valid or not. who's Bill been snakin' lately? can't wait to find out. It will lead every broadcast. and going further left is not a winning strategy either.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 1, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I love Hillary Clinton and think of her as a very accomplished individual, however if she were the democratic nominee for President in 2008, she would lose in a landslide. Why, simply put, white males would not vote for her, especially those from southern-midwestern states.

I also think that conservatives are salivating at the thought of Sen. Clinton being the Democratic nominee in 2008.
talk about character assasination, etc.?
These people would have a field day savaging her.

yes a lot of people are calling and predicting Sen. Clinton as a presidential candidate however, if look more closely most of those people are right of center.

Posted by: Cassini | June 1, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

....and that message would be? Vote for me, I advocated amnesty for 40 million illegals and gave your job away! Maybe, she ought to consider another career, this one isn't going to work out.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 1, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

....and that message would be? Vote for me, I advocated amnesty for 40 million illegals and gave your job away! Maybe, she ought to consider another career, this one isn't goig to work out.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 1, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the biggest myth out there in the political world today is that Hillary Clinton will be our nominee in '08. I am increasingly encouraged by the daily growth i see of the anti-Hillary '08 movement within the party. I would much rather see the Democratic ticket be made up of some combination of the names Warner, Clark, Gore, Richardson or Feingold in '08.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 1, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton for president. It's like we're trying to lose. Seriously, no. I know she's married to Bill, and now that we've been without Bill for lo these many years we have a renewed appreciation for him and we'd love to see him, as Darrell Hammond said, hanging around the White House with the First Ladies from other countries, and yes, it would be fantastic to watch wingnuts frothing at the mouth at the very idea of another Clinton presidency, but no. Seriously. No. We will lose what should be a very winnable election for us if we run her.

Posted by: JenB | June 1, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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