Hillary Clinton did her duty last night. She threw her support behind Barack Obama and delivered the requisite sound bites. There was “No way. No how. No McCain.” And a favorite here in Minnesota, “It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days, they’re awfully hard to tell apart.”

What she didn’t do was say much about Obama’s platform, leadership abilities, or vision. In a 23-minute speech, Obama the candidate (versus Obama “the Democrat who is not me”) got about 3 minutes of time—and that's a generous tally. For a speech that’s drawn most of the convention’s limelight, that’s a big void. It was evident, as the New York Times reports, that Obama’s team had little input in its writing.

We could see more of the same tonight, when Bill takes the stage. We’ll definitely hear about Hillary. But given reports of Bill’s bruised ego and his lust for recognition of his accomplishments in office, we could get not only a primaries flashback, but a ’90s flashback, too. Here’s hoping he saves some room in his speech for the nominee.

Watch Hillary’s speech:

For more of Utne.com’s ongoing coverage of the Democratic National Convention, click here.

UPDATE (8/27/2008, 5:00 p.m.): My colleague Elizabeth Ryan points me to some choice analysis by Anne Taylor Fleming at the Washington Independent:

elizabeth ryan_2
8/27/2008 2:10:12 PM

I was also hoping she'd make some sort of statement repudiating the John McCain ads she's featured in.