It is one thing to concede and endorse a victorious opponent as Hillary Clinton did today, but she took the extra step of using her speech to make the case as to why her supporters should vote for Barack Obama.
“The way, the way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passions, our strengths and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States,” she said during her speech given at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.. She urged her supporters not to dwell on what might have been, “Please don’t go there. Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward. Life is too short, time is too precious and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been.”
At least six times she promised to work hard for Barack Obama, including promising, to “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.” Clinton went through the case for supporting Obama on an issue by issue basis from the economy to Iraq, and especially including healthcare. She literally moved her audience to get on board with Obama by using passion and logic.
She also cemented herself as the powerful female politician in the country, by stressing her campaign and women’s issues, “I was proud to be a woman but I was running because I thought I’d be the best president. But, but, 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 every last one of us.”
She came back to her true policy passion which is healthcare several times during her speech. To me, this provided more than few clues about how Clinton should be used on the campaign trail. She should be sent into places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to talk about blue collar issue and healthcare. I think she proved to everyone today that she will be a more than able surrogate for Obama.
I don’t think the Obama campaign could have written a better endorsement themselves. At the end of the campaign, Clinton showed herself to be first and foremost, a professional and a Democrat. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but today’s speech was a critical first step in bringing the Clinton supporters into the Obama camp. She delivered the best speech not only of her campaign, but of her entire career. She didn’t have to go this far with her endorsement, but by doing so she might have put herself into serious consideration for the VP slot today.