Bill Richardson gave his speech.
“The national media has kinda put the Iraq war aside,” he said at the New Hampshire State Democratic Party Dinner. (For the record, he’d like to have the troops home in a year.)
By the time he was wrapping up, railing about how the primary should be settled by the voters, not by the “national media,” hundreds of Obama supporters had begun gathering near the stage, chanting and yelling.
Then: an eruption. The majority of the hall that holds the party dinner–the hall, a dome actually, is enormous, by the way–jumped to their feet for Obama. Definitely a minority were sitting.
“In four days you can do what Iowa did last night,” he said, to roars.
The Clinton speech earlier in the program had been fairly standard stuff. (“Some people think you make change by demanding it, some people think you make change by hoping for it. I think you make change by working really hard.”) And it was received as such.
Obama essentially re-delivered his Iowa victory speech. But batting cleanup, with the support of the majority of the crowd, the effect was drastically different:
“People say, Obama, he may talk good, he may have good ideas, He may want to be sure that every young person in America can afford college…. He may have the right idea when he says we can’t just talk to our friends but talk to our enemies because that’s what strong presidents and strong countries do… but they will say, Obama hasn’t been in Washington long. He needs to be seasoned and stewed. We have to boil all the hope out of him. And you know–that argument didn’t work in Iowa. And it’s not going to work in New Hampshire. Because you know that the real gamble would be to have the same old game plan in Washington with the same players with the same result—that is a game we cannot afford, a risk we cannot take.
“I’ve been teased, even derided, for talking about hope so much. People will say ah, he’s talking about hope again. His head is in the clouds. He’s so idealistic. He’s a hopemonger. And it’s true…. The way folks talk about it now, they make it seem as if hope is a naïve thing. As if you’re just going to be passive and engage in wishful thinking and expect the world to change without you rolling up your sleeves and doing something about it. You know what New Hampshire? That’s not what hope means.”