Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hillary Clinton Concedes

Hillary Clinton:

The Democratic primary race is now over, finally. This time we can say it with confidence.

There were some worrying signs for party unity on Tuesday, the night Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination, when Hillary Clinton gave a defiant "non-concession" speech. However, she made up for this on Saturday with her gracious and passionate concession speech where she both praised Barack Obama, and called on her supporters to back him in the upcoming Presidential race.

During the primary race, there were definitely some serious missteps Hillary Clinton made, including her complacency at being the "inevitable nominee", her negative attacks on Obama when the race wasn’t going her way, and her twisted use of delegate math to try and deny Obama the nomination even when he was clearly in the lead. However, despite these negatives, one cannot underestimate the positives of her campaign, in particular the historical precedent she set by being the first woman candidate with a serious shot at the Whitehouse.

Hillary's campaign was an inspiration for many older women - many were born at a time before women could vote, and came of age at a time when women were barred from realizing their full potential. Hillary Clinton's campaign also sent a powerful message to younger women that they too could aspire to be President, and that there is no barrier they should let get in their way to realizing their goals.

Hillary Clinton, through her strength and perseverance, proved that a woman could be commander in chief of the most powerful country on the planet. This will be an important step in encouraging more women to get involved in public life.

Americans and Democrats thus have a lot to be proud of. The primary race broke important ground by fielding both the first African-American and the first woman candidate with a serious shot at victory. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will have a special place in history for their trailblazing candidacies.

I strongly believe that Obama will be a great President, and that Hillary Clinton will have a bright future in the Democratic Party.

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