Hillary's All Smiles (with Her Eyes on the Prize for 2012); the Clinton Women United: Hillary and Her Daughter Chelsea at the Democratic Convention Yesterday

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Byline: PETER McKAY

SENATOR Hillary Clinton was appearing before the biggest TV audience of her career early today to give full-throated support at the Democratic National Convention in Denver to their presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama.

Or, to put it another way, it was her 'it should've have been me' moment.

And the real objective during what was dubbed 'Hillary Day' in Denver was to position herself for the 2012 election in the event that Obama is defeated by Republican Senator John McCain in November.

'Bitter? Hillary doesn't do bitter.

Let's say she's ambitious,' said a Democratic strategist last night.

'If Obama loses in November, Hillary can run in 2012, when President John McCain will be 76.'

Prior to her speech, Hillary disclosed that she would not demand the full roll-call of delegates from each state declaring whether they were for Clinton or Obama.

Instead she was likely to allow enough states, who are called in A-Z order, to declare to show how well she had done in the primaries, before stopping the process when it reached New York - for which she is a senator - and declaring the party must unite behind her rival.

That would put her success in the primaries - doing far better than any previous woman candidate - firmly on the record, and in the minds of Americans.

A poll suggests 95 per cent of Democrats want her to run again in 2012.

If Obama does win in November, Clinton hopes to become his Health Secretary.

She was given the job of reforming America's health system by husband Bill while he was president but her project failed when she was unable to get the support of Capitol Hill.

At a breakfast here on Monday she said, significantly perhaps, that she looked forward to the day she could watch President Obama sign a new health bill.

America's politics in this historic week have focused on three women - Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Cindy McCain - the multi-millionaire beer heiress wife of the Republican candidate who has sent her on a 'humanitarian' mission to war-torn Georgia.

Hillary has provided the intrigue, Michelle the 'aw shucks' schmaltz, and Cindy's Georgia mission the element.

Michelle Obama's emotional speech evoking the great American dream - parading her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, her mother and her brother, Craig - was considered a modest success.

It helped reduce (if not dispel) the idea that the 44-year-old is a tough cookie who'd become a pushy, interfering First Lady.

As expected, she concentrated on the personal histories of herself and Obama. How they met while working in a law firm - and how she at first resisted his numerous attempts to date her. …