You remember the exchange in the 2008 debate when then-Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) was running against then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.). Obama felt the need to put her down, and in a particularly disdainful way, he said, famously, "You're likable enough, Hillary." I've always thought that was small and petty of Obama and it was neither fair nor accurate. But Clinton's public perception has always been that she is not warm and is only a policy wonk.
I first met her in the fall of 1991 when her husband came to D.C.'s Jefferson Junior High School to tape a campaign commercial. She literally bounded up to me and introduced herself. She could not have been more informal or charming. Since then, every time I have seen her, she has been consistently friendly and open to conversation. (Maybe it's our shared Chicago upbringing.)
I bring this all up because the purpose of this speech was to let you into who the real Hillary Clinton is. I believe she made people see her in a different and better way. Beyond all the public policy prescriptions, she had to show her personal side. When she talked about her Methodist faith — "Do all the good you can" — she seemed to shine.
I thought she was at her very best when she quoted her mother: "No one gets through life alone." And also when she spoke about her experience with disabled children, and the time she wonderfully said, "When there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit," it touched me and I am sure many others.
She reached out to the Sanders people with praise, letting them know she heard their concerns. That was crucial.
By the way, we also found out her personal four battleground states: Colorado, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin (where Trump should manufacture his products, instead of abroad).
Clinton tried to tell her story of America and compared it to her opponent's. She revealed herself in a highly attractive way and you believed her when she proclaimed, "You have to keep working to make things better."
The speech appealed to the best in all of us. That's the way she believes she can win.
Plotkin is a political analyst, a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. This convention was the 12th Democratic convention he has attended.