Hillary Clinton: 'Yes We Can!'
Added under Letters
In what is being widely acclaimed as a gracious and effective concession speech, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Sen. Obama, on Saturday. In the most telling words of her speech Sen. Clinton said, "You will always find me on the frontlines of democracy." The frontline for Hillary, has for sixteen months, been the fight for her own candidacy; now she is trying to explain to her supporters that the general election is the new frontline, and Obama the best hope for progress for the issues that she has fought for all these years.
Hillary Clinton is a good senator and a historic candidate. There are those things that she holds sole responsibility for. It was she who recalled sniper fire in Bosnia; it was she who seemed to diminish the accomplishments Martin Luther King; it was she who trusted George W. Bush on Iraq. These things played a role, but much of what has been so widely criticized about her campaign, in deed much of what led to its downfall, was not of her doing. Her advisers, particularly Mark Penn, gave her terrible advice. Her husband at times lots his temper at any challenge on the extent of his administrations accomplishments or more often stole the show when the focus should have been on the Clinton who was running for the highest office.
Perhaps it is not the best thing for women's equality that the first woman president also be the wife of the former Commander-n-Chief. Perhaps it is not wise to run as the inevitable incumbent nominee in a "change election" when the sitting president is the most unpopular in generations. Perhaps a big state strategy doesn't make a lot of sense when the democratic primary contest is won on delegates that are distributed proportionally. These are the flaws that have undone the campaign, but they are not Sen. Clinton's alone, and they are not reflections of a bad candidate, or a bad legislator.
Saturday's concession speech was that of a woman who knows that her political future is still promising. Describing the impact of her campaign on women around the nation she said that while she had not broken the highest of glass ceilings she had put eighteen million cracks in it, referring to her number of votes. As Barack Obama said in his victory speech this past Tuesday, when our nation finally secures healthcare for all of its citizens, Hillary Clinton's name will be on that project.
The coming opportunity to achieve universal healthcare along with so many other progressive initiatives has called Clinton to this moment. In pointing to the fact that democrats have only won three out of the last ten elections she urged her supporters to seize the moment and win back the White House for the Democratic Party. And in her concession speech she not only endorsed Obama but even implied that the whole Clinton family was standing with her. Back in January in South Carolina at a campaign event for his wife, Bill Clinton spoke with me about how he hoped he might get a chance to vote for Obama someday, now they both will get their chance.