Hillary Clinton, whose presidential candidacy in 2016 sent Joseph R. Biden Jr. to the sidelines, spent much of the 2020 primaries telling friends that her longtime ally and onetime rival was the only contender who could defeat President Trump, according to people close to both.
But she also saw Kamala Harris as a possible successor of sorts, a next-generation leader with the toughness to build on Mrs. Clinton’s legacy.
So Mrs. Clinton is, by all accounts, reassured by the Biden-Harris ticket. But her return to center stage at the convention on Wednesday night, four years after becoming the first woman to win the nomination of a major party, is bittersweet.
Had things turned out differently, Mrs. Clinton would be preparing her second acceptance speech. Instead, she has spent the last several days putting the finishing touches on a speech aimed at making a case for Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.