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One world

Georgia delegates proud of Hillary Clinton’s call for unity

By Leigh E. Rich

DENVER—Four years ago, John Edwards talked about two Americas.

On Monday, the opening night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Michelle Obama depicted America as one nation.

Tuesday night, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who lost in her bid to be the Democrats’ contender for the White House in November, spoke of one world.

At least that’s what Georgia’s delegates took away from Clinton’s rousing speech calling for party unity behind Barak Obama, endorsed Wednesday night at the Democrats’ standard-bearer.

Delegates in the 1st and 12th Congressional Districts applauded Clinton for doing “what she needed to do for the party,” Savannah City Councilwoman Mary Osborne and state Rep. Lester Jackson III said the former first lady went beyond that.

“I was very excited,” Jackson said. “Hillary Clinton spoke about unity. She talked about the importance of voting in this election cycle. It’s not about her, it’s not about Obama. … But more than that, this election is about world peace.

“She talked about what a difference it would make, not only for Georgia, not only for this country, but for this world when we have a president who talks about issues, that people can once again respect America, and we once again are the true leaders of democracy and a symbol for justice and righteousness.”

Several of Georgia’s delegates underscored the next president’s role in repairing America’s image internationally.

Brian Peterson, of Valdosta, believes “how we’re viewed in the world” is the first change the next administration must make.

And former President Jimmy Carter told the Georgia and Alabama delegations Wednesday that “Barack Obama can do it in the first 10 minutes” after he takes office.

For Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, to do anything come January, a united homefront is crucial, party leaders have said. Clinton, many delegates said, gracefully fell on the sword.

Osborne credited Clinton’s efforts to bring an often divided Democratic Party together with a speech many have labeled “enthusiastic,” fantastic” and “emotional.”

“It couldn’t have been easy for her to do that. … I think she made it very clear to her delegates that she’s not for any division. She wants unity, and she gave a very strong and powerful speech,” Osborne said. “Women know how to do that.”

However, it wasn’t a completely positive experience for some.

Eben Barnett III, of Albany, still believes Clinton “would have been a good president” and that Obama might not experience the same “slam dunk” he predicts Clinton would have had.

Still, Barnett said, “I think she thumped the Republicans good.”

Clinton’s concession was even more emotional for Jessup resident Beverly Leaphart, who has been a longtime Clinton fan, attending both of former president Bill Clinton’s inaugurations.

“I was very sad,” Leaphart said. “I cried the entire speech. I felt like it was a chapter closing on my Clinton era.”

Regardless, both Leaphart and Barnett believe Hillary Clinton succeeded in her unifying role.

“I do think the party will unite and come together,” Leaphart said. “But last night, for me, was a very sad night, (as) I guess it would have been for any Obama person had he not been the nominee. But I thought it was an excellent speech, and I think by Thursday night we will come together.”

Hillary Clinton was “enthusiastically pushing Barak Obama,” said Ed Sprole Jr., a convention delegate from Statesboro. “I think the bad feelings and the heat of the campaign (are) over.”

Rich, L. E. (2008, August 28). Georgia delegates proud of Hillary Clinton’s call for unity. Savannah Morning News,

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