Saturday, June 7, 2008

At Last!

Hillary Rodham Clinton closed out her astonishing presidential run and pledged her full support to Barack Obama, asking her supporters to unite behind rival Barack Obama at a speech in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. "I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," she told a cheering crowd. What do I say to this latest development in the saga of the Democrats campaign for the presidency? It’s about time! She should have conceded before now, but better late than never.

I hope her endorsement repairs some of the damage caused during the process.
I actually was beginning to think that this day would never come. The Senator stated as recently as Tuesday that she the strongest candidate was forthright and convincing as she gave Obama an unqualified endorsement and pivoted from her role as determined foe to absolute ally. This is an important step because although she was not able to secure the nomination, she made tremendous strides for politics in general and women in particular.

Senator Clinton went on to add that she was suspending her campaign and congratulated Senator Obama on the victory and praised him on the extraordinary race he ran in her 28-minute address. Senator Clinton placed herself solidly behind her Senate colleague from Illinois, a political sensation and the first black to secure a presidential nomination.

For Clinton and her supporters, it was a poignant moment, the end of an amazing run that began with an air of inevitability and certain victory. About 18 million people voted for her, making her bid for the presidency the closest a woman has come to capturing a nomination. She was quoted today as saying that "although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before," she said.

Her speech repeatedly returned to addressing what the milestone of a woman running for president has represented for women. Her support among women was a solid bloc of her voting coalition. She noted that she'd received the support of women who were 80 and 90 years old, born before women could even vote. She acknowledged the unprecedented success of Obama's candidacy, as well by saying.
"Children today will grow up taking for granted that an African-American or a woman can, yes, become the president of the United States," she said.

Obama secured the 2,118 delegates needed to clinch the nomination Tuesday after primaries in South Dakota and Montana. In deciding to suspend her campaign, Senator Clinton kept some options open. She will retain her delegates to the nominating convention this summer and she can continue to raise money. It also means she could reopen her campaign if circumstances change before the Denver convention, but gave no indication that was her intention.


Malcolm said...

I watched some of Hillary's speech on C-Span today. I am optimistic that most who supported Hillary will now back Obama. I figure that a majority of them don't feel like Harriet Christian.

pjazzypar said...

I am hoping you are right. Ms. Christian is an old, bitter, racist. I knew from the start whoever won I was going to be behind them 100%, be it Obama or Clinton. I really can't conceive of another four years of this mess we have now. Clinton is really not so bad, she was backed in a corner and out of desperation she exposed the claws and started scratching. We have to understand the planning and preparation that went into what I am positive she thought was a sure thing. Then out of nowhere, this virtually unknown and untested Senator from Illinois steals her aspirations.

X. Dell said...

It was perhaps one of the most well-crafted political speeches I ever heard. We'll have to see how many people she can bring back after this. The reaction during the speech was interesting, in that there were boos for Obama early on, but they began to diminish as time went by.

pjazzypar said...

X. Dell,

Clinton spoke very eloquently yesterday. I think that whoever is going to vote Obama will and those who aren't, oh well. I just hate for it to boil down to a black or white issues.

Lori said...

I think how you lose and how you handle loss in life says a lot about your character or lack thereof (smile).

Last night, I heard some "expert" say Hillary's downfall was allowing her handlers to manage her campaign as if she were a man.
Possibly. I do believe that in general, women can't behave the same way men can (like jack asses) and get away with it.

By the same token, African Americans are generally held to a different standard that other Americans. The best example in this race being that the burden is on Baraka to "win" over supporters like Harriet Christian. The burden is on him to get them to "identify" with him. But no one ever asks why? Why is the burden ALWAYS on us to make others feel comfortable?

A lone Black man walks into a room full of White folks, but the burden is on him to make them feel comfortable? LOL Yeah, he's got to get them to relate to him, rather than them owning any responsibility in trying to relate to him. The truth is, we don't ask those questions because we don't really want to address/confront those answers. And the beat goes on . . .

pjazzypar said...

Hey Lori,

You know the old adage, a man who strong and self-assured, is considered shrewed, while a woman with the same attributes is a (you know what). I think she made some huge mistakes along the way and hopefully she learned a valuable lesson. She lost a lot of cool points with me and other voters by the end of her campaign and it's regrettable.

We, as African Americans, our held to a different, and dare I say higher standard at times. I feel I can talk straight with you. Let's face it, we have to learn early on how to code switch (glide effortlessly between the two worlds) and negotiate two totally different worlds. Some of us are better at it than others, Obama is better than most. We are expected to know about our collective world as African American or "black folks" and the white world. Make know mistake to be successful we better be able to know about both.

White people's success or failure is not even remotely related to knowing how to negotiate our world or know about our experiences. If they make an effort to know us, I like to think it is because of genuinely interest or out of a sense of caring.

I attended the University of Missouri for one year in 2001 and it was one of the most uncomfortable years of my life. There were only three African Americans in my program including myself. We were all women and we gravitated toward one another. When we attended functions, etc. We always sit together. One African faculty member who was also a woman chastised us for not mingling more, suggesting we should separate. When the white students sat with their friends it wasn't a problem.

Girl you opened up some old stuff for me. Sorry about rambling on. Your points are well taken and you are so right, it is not how you handle yourself in times of comfort and convenience, but rather how you handle yourself in times of controversy. Dr. King said that and it is so true.

Lori said...

Oh, don't apologize. I very much appreciated the ramble (smile). I think it's also helpful to provide others with insights into what those of us who are college-educated, African Amercian and female go through. We all carry hurts and battle scars folks never see . . .

Funny you brought up the "sitting together issue" because I started to go there in my original comments (smile). Like folks can't or don't know how to come to your/our table (LOL).