Of course, the Obama endorsement speech on Saturday, was hard for Hillary Clinton and hard for her supporters. It was difficult for me. The pundits questioned, would she be sincere or bitter, whiney or powerful, regretful or grateful? My main question was, would it be all about her or about America. Well, it was a sincere, very powerful statement of support for Obama and gratitude for her candidacy and her supporters. It is her dream, but it is her dream for America.
"I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction: that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I’ve had every opportunity and blessing in my own life – and I want the same for all Americans. Until that day comes, you will always find me on the front lines of democracy – fighting for the future."
"It is this belief, this optimism, that Senator Obama and I share, and that has inspired so many millions of our supporters to make their voices heard.
So today, I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes we can."
I don't know if Obama will choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate. (I'd still love to see those two demolish that glass ceiling.) Barack will decide. The media will drive itself and us nuts until he does.
I do know that Hillary Clinton has changed America forever. I know her 89 year old mother knows it and her daughter knows it. I'm glad to know from her speech, that she knows hers was no small accomplishment. She will continue her public service for Americans especially for health care. (We will have universal health care or Hill is gonna hurt somebody.)
I believe she will be front and center in reaching across the aisle, and use her savvy and experience to help the president bring Americans back into their government. I believe Hillary may become president in a few short years, hopefully to a better America that she will have helped develop.
Gary Hart expressed my feelings exactly.
The Perseverance of Idealism
June 1, 2008
I hope to live to see the first woman president. But I also hope she will be an idealist, not only a gender pioneer but a bold, brave, and innovative leader who is not part of a flawed Washington system. I want America to send a powerful signal to a watching world that we have now taken a giant step into the global culture by electing an African-American. But my hope and dream also is, and has been since the days of John and Robert Kennedy, that this president will call us to a nobler mission and a higher goal, that he will remind us always of our Constitutional principles and ideals, that he will place us back on our historic path to the establishment of a more perfect union and a principled republic.
Ever an idealist, I therefore place my hope in Barack Obama. It is time for the idealists, even the aging ones, to raise the flag again.
In such a tough contest, many feathers were ruffled. It is time to heal.
Emotional Day for Hillary Backers: My Report From the Speech
June 7, 2008
The line of her speech that made me tear up was this, delivered with downturned eyes by Hillary: "It would break my heart if, in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours. When you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on."
Personally, after so much bitterness, I look forward to the Democratic unity Hillary inaugurated today.
Thank you, Hillary.
"Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next President and I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort."
Gratitude for Hillary
Posted June 7, 2008
Hillary Clinton gave the speech of her life today and as she endorsed her primary opponent, she cemented her place in history. As importantly, she also shone a path for herself as a national leader for years to come.
She said: "The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States."
I was tough on Hillary earlier in the week. I shared the disappointment of her losing a hard fought and terribly close campaign. I thought we needed her to provide us with a bridge to move past the primary and into the General Election by acknowledging Obama's victory. Instead on election night, she announced would take her time. It doesn't matter now whether that was the right decision.
What is clear, is that she couldn't have given the speech she gave today on Tuesday night. Today, her voice was strong, her mind was certain and her back was straight. She wanted us to know she would be an unequivocal supporter for Obama. But she also wanted to say something else.
Yes, it is true she not so silently admitted, in the beginning she was trying to avoid running as a "woman." She thought she needed to prove she was Commander in Chief material instead. But in the last five months, she changed her message because she realized that people accepted her a a national leader, what they wanted was to connect with someone who understood their daily lives. She is filled with the stories of women along the campaign trail. They saw in her a woman who understands the complexities of life as a mother, a daughter, a wife and a worker all at the same time. The glue in other people's lives. Whether it was about health care, education or knowing a soldier in the war, women needed to tell her their stories. She would nod knowingly because she understood them. And she also understood that all too often a woman's dreams take a back seat to someone else's or they are filtered through a thin film of sexism that men don't see.
Hillary found a bold new public voice during this campaign. For those of us who have know her a long time, it was the Hillary we knew. The compassion, the humor and the grit.
She said: "But I am a woman and, 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. I ran as a daughter who benefited from opportunities my mother never dreamed of. I ran as a mother who worries about my daughter's future and a mother who wants to leave all children brighter tomorrows."
She didn't talk about being a wife. Yet as she spoke, I couldn't help but think that among the legacies of this campaign is the certain re-branding of the "Clinton" name. It is now Hillary Clinton who is the contemporary political leader. The one whose future in the Senate and place on the national stage is more important than ever. For instance, when Barack Obama's first presidential priority is universal healthcare, it will be because of Hillary that we will understand its possibilities. What was once dubbed derisively as "Hillarycare" will now carry that moniker as a brand of honor.
We have a lot of work to do in the next several months to win back the White House. But today was Hillary's day in the sun.
"So today I'm going to count my blessings and keep on going," she said. "I will do it with a heart filled with gratitude, with a deep and abiding love for our country, and with nothing but optimism and confidence for the days ahead."
Like so many today, my heart is filled with gratitude for Hillary Clinton.