Hillary’s Speech

In a hotel watching TV. Hillary’s going on stage…

…admit it. You want her to tell her supporters to cut loose, mount a coup and force a vote tomorrow. A little real history at one of these freeze-dried conventions…

Update: You know she’s actually giving a stemwinder of a speech…

9 thoughts on “Hillary’s Speech”

  1. The “my mother / my daughter / Harriet Tubman” piece was probably the single best speech she’s ever given. The boilerplate all around it wasn’t very impressive, but that was the best I’ve ever seen the lady.

    They’ll miss her after tonight.

  2. They’ll miss her after tonight.

    They’re going to wish they’d missed her tonight, too.

    This kind of thing is no-win. If she sucked, it would look like she was too tepid for Obama. And the more she doesn’t suck, the worse it makes the Biden Blunder look.

    But if I could have mind-controlled Hillary for ten seconds, I would have said: “Take a good look, little girls. This is the glass ceiling we’ve been telling you about.”

  3. What’s a stemwinder? I’ve heard the term come up several times re: her speech, and I honestly don’t know what it means.

  4. “Stemwinder” is a piece of Americana — it originated as a term of praise in the 19th century, likening someone or something to the invention of a “stem” attached to a watch in order to wind it. Previously, you’d needed a key to wind your watch.

    So, in the 19th century, Americans would say of something particularly excellent that it was ‘a real stem-winder.’

    I’m not sure exactly when the phrase became limited to particularly rousing, powerful speeches, but I believe it was in the Progressive era, when such speeches would be delivered to small farmers and workers to gin up their emotions to get out and vote. It was an early version of the turnout concept: work people up into a frenzy about it, and they’ll go vote tomorrow. It tends to emotional rhetoric rather than intellectual rhetoric because the purpose is to fire the emotions. That’s not to say it’s wrong, just that the point isn’t to build a logical argument — the point is to take things you already think people believe, and build an emotional fire in them about those things.

    Probably the classic example in modern politics was Sen. Zell Miller’s speech to the Republican National Convention in 2004. That was a classic stemwinder.

  5. This might be folk etymology, but I always thought it related to the speech being one that “winds people up” (like a spring-powered escapement watch), rather than to the novelty and ingeniousness of the watch stem per se. As such, it’d not be a generic for niftyness, but more specific for “rousing” or “invigorating”.

  6. It wasn’t all emotional rhetoric. I admit zoning off during much of it – Scots-Irish genetic defense against dunderheaded economics preached by people who have never done anything resembling work.

    But I heard her admit that McCain was her friend – an exceedingly discordant note to sound in front of the Hitler-braying proggies. If she were just beating the drum she could have ignored that fact; I’ve seen plenty of others do it.

  7. Thanks, all for the language lesson.

    But I heard her admit that McCain was her friend – an exceedingly discordant note to sound in front of the Hitler-braying proggies.

    But to hear McCain tell it, pretty much everybody’s his friend.

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