Speaking of what she didn’t say, did you notice that, in Hillary Clinton’s opening remarks, she pronounced herself a proud mother, a proud Democrat, a proud Senator from New York, a proud American and a proud supporter of Barack Obama. But no love for Bill, who stood there applauding, sucking his lip and looking generally verklempt. It kind of had the ring of Hilary Swank’s first Oscar acceptance speech, when she thanked everyone but her then-husband Chad Lowe, who was sitting right in front of her, sobbing into his prime rib.
Yes, she sort of made up for it later in the speech (although there she praised his political record, not his personal one). But still, the early omission—which was, undoubtedly, by design—still registered as a glaring one for two reasons. First, it was a tacit acknowledgment of the fact that her people knew she couldn’t have said “proud wife” and not expected a swell of snorts and rib-nudging from the audience and the media. And second, it stood out in light of Michelle Obama’s glowing tribute to her husband the night before.
Not that Hillary Clinton should have to say anything of the sort. He’s not running for anything. But it drives home what will always be one of her greatest political challenges: even when she says nothing about her husband, she always seems to be saying something.