Clinton to aim at McCain

Hillary Clinton's speech will bring the red meat on John McCain's economic policies.

Topics: 2008 Elections, Hillary Rodham Clinton, War Room, John McCain, R-Ariz.,

DENVER — Sticking to soft, friendly messages? So Monday night.

As Hillary Clinton headed over to the Pepsi Center Tuesday morning to rehearse her prime-time speech for tonight, her camp said she plans to help draw sharp contrasts between Barack Obama and John McCain on the economy, the theme of the evening. Clinton’s speech will thank her supporters and praise Obama (surely the part most cable news pundits will be looking for), but also pivot into telling the blue-collar voters who became her base in the primary why they shouldn’t trust McCain.

“McCain comes up,” a senior Clinton advisor told Salon, with a laugh, outside Denver’s Brown Palace hotel just before leaving for Clinton’s walk-through.

Sending Clinton out to attack McCain seems like one of the best possible uses for her speech. She proved during the primaries that she’s good at carrying an economic message, and she’s by far the best-equipped person on the speaking roster to persuade her supporters that Obama would be better on the issue than McCain. Besides, nothing unites a crowd of Democrats like a few sharp elbows aimed at the GOP.

Clinton will speak around 10:30 p.m. Eastern, right after former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner’s keynote speech. (Chances are that speech will be a little light on the red meat, as Obama’s was four years ago.)

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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