In the recent past, during her primary night speeches Hillary Clinton has made little effort to actually focus on the day's events, turning instead to a standard stump speech as rival Barack Obama took the glory. Tuesday night, though, Clinton had no need to go immediately back on the stump -- she had won the first of the night's big prizes, would be staying in the race and was ready to celebrate. The audience of supporters was ready to celebrate as well, cheering her loudly and wildly at every turn.
At the beginning of her speech, Clinton fell back on a well-worn theme: Clinton as underdog, beaten down by the naysayers. "For everyone here in Ohio and across America who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, and for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you," Clinton said.
And though many observers had been speculating over the past couple of weeks that Tuesday night might represent Clinton's last in the campaign, she made it clear that she will remain in the hunt for the Democratic presidential nomination. In fact, she argued that her victory in Ohio proved that she was the right choice as nominee, the electable choice. "You know, they call Ohio a bellwether state; it's a battleground state, it's a state that knows how to pick a president. And no candidate in recent history, Democrat or Republican, has won the White House without winning the Ohio primary," Clinton said, prompting a new if somehow familiar chant from her audience: "Yes, she will." Clinton continued on this theme, saying, "You all know that if we want a Democratic president, we need a Democratic nominee who can win the battleground states just like Ohio. And that is what we've done."
At the end of her speech, Clinton made another play on Obama's trademark "Yes, we can" slogan. "I have big dreams for America's future. The question is not whether we can fulfill those dreams; it's whether we will. And here's our answer: Yes, we will," Clinton said.
We will do what it takes, and we will, once again, make the kind of progress that America deserves. We're going to protect our country and preserve our Constitution. We're going to lead with our values.
We will reach out to those on the margins and in the shadows, because that's what we do in America. We break barriers; we open doors; we make sure every voice is heard. Together, we will turn promises into action, words into solutions, and hope into reality.It will take leadership and hard work, but we've never been short on either.
So I hope all of you will join, join with the Ohioans whose voices and votes have been heard today. Together we will seize this moment, lift this nation, and heal and lead this world.