WITH EVERYTHING RIDING ON ONE SPEECH
By Don C. Reed
On the fourth day of the Democratic Convention, July 28th, 2016, my wife Gloria and I sat on the couch, waiting for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s acceptance speech, to be nominated for the Presidency of the United States.
As long-term supporters, we did not need to be convinced. But the undecided voters had to come to our side, and the already-committed Dems had to be reminded to shirk no effort the last one hundred days of work before the election.
It was a speech with almost unimaginable consequences.
An entertainer, Hillary is not.
If she was handing you the lottery-winning check, she would feel compelled to remind you that there were important banking and taxation steps that must be taken. She would do that because it is honest, and the right thing to do, and she would not want you to be harmed.
But Trump? He lives and breathes show business. He would shout, “You’re rich!”, and pose with one of those oversized checks—and find a way to take credit for your lottery winnings—and suggest an investment in his latest con game.
Someone said there are “show horses and work horses”, and that makes sense to me. Trump is all show; Hillary is the person you hire to get the work done.
This had to be a great speech. How I wished she could borrow Obama’s oratory, just for tonight.
Before the speech, the camera focused on Bill Clinton. He had done everything he could do to help her with his own speech, now he could only sit and wait. He looked miserable, almost ill with worry.
Daughter Chelsea spoke, and there was so much love in her voice, no one could hear her and not be moved.
A little movie played, with the warm narration of Morgan Freeman.
And then, there could be no more delays: nothing for it, but to do it.
Hillary Clinton walked out onto that stage. In her white pants suit, she fairly glowed: radiating calm and confidence.
She spoke, and instantly I understood why Donald Trump had warned his followers to stay away, to not watch our convention this night.
Because she was absolutely Presidential.
With her in charge, there was nobody on earth we had to fear: no leader who could trick or overwhelm her.
She was where she belonged, ready to do that singular job for which she had been in training her entire life.
Others will report her words, her stances on the various issues. That speech will be studied forever.
But for Gloria and I, we knew where she stood; we just wanted to hear her say it, to make her points and ours, to detail how the fight would go.
Several times protesters in yellow shirts shouted, trying to interrupt, though they were instantly countered by “HIL-LA-RY! HIL-LA-RY!”
But what a difference in the way she handled the disruption, from her alleged rival.
At Trump rallies, he has literally threatened demonstrators with physical assault, “I’d like to punch him in the face!”
“Get him out of here, get him out of here,” he would shout, so terrified was he of the democratic process.
And at the culminating speech of the Trump convention? One lone Code Pink woman demonstrator tried to shout amidst the tumult of Trump’s frantic crowd. Trump’s guards moved in, and she was physically removed.
But Hillary? She thanked Bernie Sanders, showed him honor, told exactly how he could be a crucial component in her administration, working with her on how best to provide college education without the present crippling burden of debt.
She invited Bernie’s advocates in. She included them. Some would not accept, but all were invited.
And Hillary Rodham Clinton kept right on with her work, doing what she was made for, this incredible night, this new beginning, when at last—at long last—a woman approaches the White House.
And in the end, the great hall went silent. Her critics had spoken their piece. Now they set themselves down, and gave her courtesy. All was still, except for her voice, which rang out like the Liberty Bell.
And the world listened.
Don C. Reed is the author of “STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond”, available at Amazon.com.