Anyone who follows politics closely should watch and/or read Hillary Clinton’s valedictory address ending her campaign and endorsing Barack Obama. The naysayers who claimed she was just on an ego trip and did not have a large, devoted, and enthusiastic following, was not justified in continuing her campaign after losing North Carolina, and does not stand for anything are clearly wrong. By winning 48% of the popular vote to Obama’s 48.1%, by winning five of the last seven primaries, she certainly justified staying in the race until the very end.
She is one smart, tough lady. She is enormously hard working and diligent, with great energy. As Andrew Sullivan observed, “At any other moment, she would have won. But this is history and politics at the highest level. You cannot defeat such a moment if you are a Salieri. And she had to deal with two Mozarts” — more naturally talented pols (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) who overshadowed her.
Even so, she made a real contribution. “When we first started,” she recalled in her farewell speech, “people everywhere asked the same questions. Could a woman really serve as commander in chief? Well, I think we answered that one. Could an African-American really be our president? And Senator Obama has answered that one.”
She told her supporters: “You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories, unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the president of the United States.”
And she pledged to continue to work hard to shatter the continuing obstacles that women face. “Like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that respects and embraces the potential of every last one of us.”
My previous post, “Why Hillary Lost in 2008,” has received thousands of hits, thanks to a link from ABC News. I’ve updated the post to include a few paragraphs of post-primary analysis.
- ‘She Touched a Lot of People’: Hillary Supporters Lament Her Exit, Praise Her Impact (Washington Post)
- Gail Collins (NYT): What Hillary Won
- I Met Hillary Clinton in Wake Forest, NC
- Hillary’s Primary Losses, for Some Baby-boom Women, Are Personal
- Religious Leaders Throughout History Have Apparently Been Threatened By Strong Women
- Is Gender More of a Barrier Than Race?
- Sexists Against Hillary
- Early Assessment: Obama, Clinton, Advantage to Whom?
- Would Hillary Be A Better Senate Leader Than President?
- When I First Met Hillary Clinton