"I've been trying to exercise a little bit, which I'm told does wonders for a person."
With that line, Sen. Hillary Clinton drew the first of several laughs from the largely female crowd in attendance at her joint appearance with a comparatively less energetic Barack Obama Thursday morning at the Hilton Towers in New York City. Hosted by Women for Obama and the DNC's Women's Leadership Forum, the event was another pit stop on the "unity" tour that kicked off in New Hampshire two weeks ago.
And, at least as a speaker, Sen. Hillary Clinton proved that she is currently in tip-top shape. After noting that Obama told her she looked "rested" at an event last night, the New York Democrat admitted to reaping the benefits of a non-campaign schedule, but also showed she is still willing to bring some partisan fire and enthusiasm whenever she is invited to join him on the trail this fall.
On issues ranging from education to abortion rights to global warming, Clinton pointed to Obama as the superior candidate for women. On climate change, Clinton took a moment to mock President Bush by accusing him of just discovering the issue months before leaving office. "Gosh, this is a problem, and I sure hope the next president does something about it," Clinton said while impersonating the president -- adding, in her own voice, "well so do I!"
But beyond the yucks and the fired-up phrasing, the former presidential candidate did also take a moment to talk about the still-raw wounds dating from the primary season.
"Now I've had countless conversations since the end of my campaign," she began. "And I know how difficult it is for people who have invested their time, energy and emotion -- just their entire being -- into any campaign or cause. ... When it is over, I know how difficult that is ... how challenging it is to turn on a dime. It is a process. It does take time for people to take a deep breath, to go forward. ... But anyone who voted for me has so much in common with those who voted for Barack. ... It is critical that we join forces. The Democratic Party is a family -- sometimes a dysfunctional family -- but it is a family. We care about what is going to happen to health care [and education], and in Afghanistan in Iraq. ... That work cannot be done if we do not have a Democratic president in the White House!"
As she wrapped up her remarks and began to introduce Obama, Clinton said, "this is the man -- this is the one -- we should be voting for. ... Do it for your children. Do it for your jobs. Do it for the education of future generations."
At which point, the crowd of women (and a few scattered men) took up the "Yes We Can" chant. With close to 2,000 people paying $250 per head to participate in the latest display of unity, that meant a cool half million dollars in one morning's work for the Obama campaign.
UPDATE: Some AP video from the event:
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