Clinton?s speech helps students support Obama

By By Jed Layton, Staff Writer

By Jed Layton, Staff Writer

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attempted to end all questions of whether or not she really supports Barack Obama as the next president in her convention address Tuesday night, and tried to convince her followers to do the same.

Clinton spoke at the Pepsi Center in Denver on the need for unity to put Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the White House.

“Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose,” she said early in her speech. “We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.”

On the streets in Denver and in auditoriums scattered throughout the city, college students felt her speech achieved the desired effect.
Tom Nelson, a U student attending the convention, thought Clinton did her job.

“Within 30 seconds she said she was a Barack Obama supporter,” Nelson said. “I think any news outlet can skew it and analyze it, but I think she said what needs to be said tonight.”

Anita Sanchez, a senior College Democrat from Washington, said Clinton convinced her to vote for Obama.

“She supported Barack and so am I,” she said.
Freddy Juarez, a freshman from the University of Missouri, agreed. “Hillary stayed on task. She didn’t get too caught up in herself, or her run for politics, or her rivalry with Obama. She just told the voters to support Obama because she does too,” he said

Jamie Tunness, a sophomore from Colorado State University, felt Clinton was smart to not talk too much about her husband, former President Bill Clinton, or her failed bid for the presidency.

Clinton mentioned her run for the Democratic ticket a few times, but each time she followed with a quick reference for the need to support Obama and the issues both he and she sustained.

“I ran for president to renew the promise of America,” she said. “To rebuild the middle class and sustain the American Dream, to provide the opportunity to work hard and have the work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford the gas and groceries and still have a little left over each month.”

Al Flint, a sophomore at the University of Denver, watched Clinton’s speech in an auditorium a few blocks east of the Pepsi Center with other college-age students. He said the energy in the auditorium was a great indicator for whether or not people were going to support Obama.

“People shouted the loudest when Clinton talked about Obama,” he said. “Everyone is making a big issue out of the divided party, but I don’t think it is that big of a deal.”

A few, however, still weren’t convinced. Throughout the day Tuesday, Clinton supporters marched and rallied on the streets in downtown Denver carrying Hillary and McCain signs. Some said they would rather vote for John McCain, the Republican candidate for president, than for Obama.

As if she were responding to their protest, Clinton asked her supporters why they had supported her. “I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?” she said. “Or…were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?”

Des Afsar, a young Clinton supporter from Arizona, said she would not vote for McCain but still was not sure if she was going to vote at all.

“I am upset that Clinton is not going to be our candidate, or even the vice president,” she said. “I supported Clinton because she is a woman that could be president, and now we are going to have to wait eight more years before a woman will get that chance again.”

Clinton mentioned in her speech that it was the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote on Aug. 26, 1920.

“And after so many decades8212;88 years ago on this very day8212;the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution,” she said. “My mother was born before women could vote, but in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president.”

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Editor’s Note8212;Jed Layton is reporting from the Democratic National Convention in Denver through the Hinckley Institute of Politics and Shantou University Political Journalism Program.

Ma Jing

Sen. Hilary Clinton spoke at the Democratic Convention in Denver urging all democrats to support Barack Obama.