Gore'sspeech did a nice job of making the case that Obama's experience is actually just what is needed in the country right now. It's a rare example in this campaign of a Democrat trying to turn a weakness into a strength -- mostly the speeches have, like they did in 2004, focused on Obama's strengths and McCain's weaknesses.
Maybe simply ignoring Obama and ripping McCain was the best approach. After all, her hardest core supporters probably aren't going to be convinced that Obama is awesome. And, as an anti-McCain speech, it was great. Plus on purely aesthetic grounds, it was the best speech I've ever seen her give.
It's pretty strong, and that's good for Democrats. But without a strong pro-Obama message it reinforces the sense that Obama is the lesser of two evils that dominates her speech. Sure, that's probably what she thinks, but it hardly seems like the best job she could have done to convince her strongest supporters.
Clinton asks her supporters: "Were you in this campaign just for me" or for "all the people in this country who feel invisible?" It's a good line, but it needs to be followed by a case for Barack Obama. "We need a Democrat" is a weak case, and I can't imagine it'll do anything but fuel the ambivalence of Clinton's strongest supporters. CNN keeps cutting to Michelle who, understandably, looks very unhappy. She mentions Obama occasionally, but it kinda seems like an afterthought.
Tellingly, Clinton is much more forceful and specific when she praises Michelle and Joe Biden.
Most of this speech could have been given a year ago. It has nods to Obama, but it's almost entirely about her. It's not an attack on McCain, it's not a case for electing Obama, it's just nostalgia and platitudes.