Wednesday, June 04, 2008
It's over; It Begins
Barack Obama last night, in a rain of superdelegates that came in before the last two primaries had even been tallied, surpassed the requisite delegate count to win the Democratic nomination for president. No one can dispute that. The feelings of pride in this historic milestone reverberate through Democrats, through Americans and through the world.
But Hillary Clinton did not concede! In a rousing speech on the eve of yet another primary win, she praised and congratulated Obama, restated her dreams for this country and revisited all her electoral triumphs. Her win would have been gratifying. But her campaign itself was an electrifying, inspiring, mercurial, surprising and thrilling chapter in American life and its aftereffects will be substantial. She's not going away. She has cracked the highest and hardest glass ceiling of all. And the air is coming through, a strong, fresh wind of liberalism, inventiveness and determination.
The wagging heads are indignant about this, but I get it. She wants to let her supporters down easy. She wants to reiterate what her candidacy means to all of us and our children and grandchildren. And she wants to, like any brilliant politician, play the cards she is holding; the women's vote, the blue-collar vote, the rural vote, the major electoral and swing states.
Senator Clinton continues to dazzle those of us who've supported her, who wanted her for our president. I don't think she's going to politely fade from public view any time soon. In fact, I suspect, make that I know, the most exciting episodes of this presidential campaign are yet to come.
Somehow, I am still elated. Why shouldn't I be. Obama is every bit as historic a candidate, and if he is not every bit as qualified, he has every chance to become so.
Onward to the general election. What an amazing, proud, exhilarating time to be an American, to be home.
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.
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