DENVER—Just hours before she was scheduled to give her much-anticipated convention speech, Hillary Clinton urged more than 2,500 women—and a smattering of men—to support "Barack Obama and Joe Biden" come fall.
And it was nine minutes into her brief speech at the Emily's List gala in the downtown Denver Sheraton Hotel that Clinton made her only individual mention of Obama, who Thursday will accept the party's nomination before more than 70,000 at Invesco Field at Mile High.
The timing seemed particularly bittersweet for Clinton, coming on the 88th anniversary of the Constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote, and just a day before her once high-flying hopes to become the first female president in the nation's history this year would be permanently buried by a convention roll call.
Clinton was greeted with sustained applause and a sea of flashing cameras held aloft to capture the image of the woman who almost made it. In her familiar Midwest cadence, Clinton said that "Barack and Joe" will "stand with and fight for us." And she had kind words for Michelle Obama, complimenting her Monday night speech, and assuring the crowd that they could count on First Lady Obama's influence in the White House.
Presaging what was expected to be the take-no-prisoners theme of her prime time speech, Clinton said that expected Republican nominee John McCain "doesn't believe that women deserve equal pay for equal work" or the right to access legal abortion.
"I want to ask all of you who worked so hard for me, to work as hard for Barack Obama as you did for me," she said in her only individual reference to the expected nominee. "Let's go make it happen."
And with that, she was gone. You see, she said, she had a speech to work on.