I don’t know if you saw Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, but it was extraordinary. While the skeptics might say she was stumping for the vice presidency or simply doing the expected, the fact is that she is a pro and spoke with dignity and, in my judgment, was sincere and even more magnanimous that the occasion required. She recounted the Democratic values and the distinction between liberal and conservative politics today. More than I recall at any time during her campaign, she spoke of breaking the ‘glass ceiling’ and the significance of her candidacy for women in politics. Naturally, she did her best to rally her constituents to support Barack Obama.
As most readers know, I am supporting Barack Obama and haven’t been a big fan of Hillary, based mostly on insider assessments of her being too inflexible. I also think that if she were to be tapped for the vice president slot on the Democratic ticket it could be a problem for Obama, as the media would be as focused on Clinton’s views as his own. After the speech, I am persuaded that an Obama/Clinton administration could work and be effective if she is authentic in her support of his leadership.
For one thing, including her would absolutely squash any concerns about his lack of experience in how things get done in Washington politics. Secondly, it would appease any of her constituents who are nursing any resentment over his victory. Thirdly, and in the context of this blog, together they would represent two generations and speak volumes about how important it is for the idealism of youth and the wisdom of older persons be joined to create a future that works for everyone.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the unprecedented victory of Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. A small horse that no one thought could compete in world-class horse racing overcame all odds to break the world record and show everyone that anything is possible if there is enough heart, commitment and talent to take on the impossible.
Politics has always been likened to a horse race. In November, we have an opportunity to support someone who was a ‘long shot’ not too long ago. Whether we prefer Hillary or even John McCain, we can unite in support of a young leader who can bring us together in a common cause to unite America and revise our image and leadership on the world stage. Secretariat won the Belmont by more than 30 lengths, which would be the equivalent of Obama winning an indisputable and unprecedented majority, perhaps 65% or 70% of the electorate. At least we can hope for that sort of mandate…thanks to Hillary for the boost. And while it is a long way to November, I, along with a lot of others, am inspired with the possibilities.