At the DNC Women’s Caucus meeting at the Colorado Convention
Center, superdelegate Donna Brazile whipped the crowd into a frenzy
with stirring remarks that invoked a host of iconic African-American women leaders in the Democratic party, and expressed respect for
Hillary Clinton, as well as pragmatic politics.
Throughout the primary season, Brazile, the CNN commentator who ran Al Gore’s popular-vote-winning presidential campaign, remained neutral. Many assumed a certain sympathy toward Obama, and Brazile was one of the first to publicly object to Bill Clinton’s remarks in South Carolina, when the former president compared Obama’s prospects in the state to those of Jesse Jackson in 1984 — remarks Brazile called "depressing."
At today’s gathering of Democratic women, Brazile — the first African-American to manage a major-party, general-election presidential campaign — made an announcement that began with a bit of a fake-out. "I am honored that I had the chance now to circulate a petition some 24 years ago to put Jesse Jackson’s name in
nomination," she said. "Last night, I signed my name to place Hillary Clinton’s name in nomination." The crowed roared in appreciation. "I did it in honor of the woman who was unbought and unbossed: Shirley Chisholm," Brazile continued. "I did that in honor of the first black woman to ever deliver the keynote speech at a Democratic National Convention: Barbara Jordan. " And then, calling the name of one of Hillary Clinton’s most stalwart supporters, the late Ohio congresswoman who broke barriers of race and gender, she added, "I did that in honor of Stephanie Tubbs Jones."
But always pragmatic, Brazile made a point that seemed to be directed at the early Obama supporters in the room, saying she signed the petition for Clinton’s nomination "because Barack Obama understands that a united Democratic party is a victorious Democratic party in 2008."