After her endorsement of him today, Barack Obama put out a glowing statement about Hillary Clinton. He mentioned her as a groundbreaker, “Obviously, I am thrilled and honored to have Senator Clinton’s support. But more than that, I honor her today for the valiant and historic campaign she has run. She shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere, who now know that there are no limits to their dreams.”
He said that running against Clinton made him a better candidate, “Our party and our country are stronger because of the work she has done throughout her life, and I’m a better candidate for having had the privilege of competing with her in this campaign. No one knows better than Senator Clinton how desperately America and the American people need change, and I know she will continue to be in the forefront of that battle this fall and for years to come.”
I am a firm believer that this long and grueling primary campaign against Clinton helped Obama and the Democratic Party. Obama was an inexperienced national campaigner and early on it showed. However, Clinton pushed him, and gave him valuable experience. As much as many Obama supporters complained about her campaign’s tactics, the Obama campaign is now prepared for McCain. Actually, Clinton is 20 times more the campaigner than McCain will ever be, so Obama faced a tougher challenge in the primary, then he will probably face in the general.
It was important for Obama not to be at Clinton’s speech today. She deserves her moment in the sun. There is nothing wrong with giving her a day of her own. There will be plenty of time for joint appearances during the fall.
The 2008 primary was such an historic election beyond race and gender because it matched up two candidates who were the only ones capable of beating the other. With no Obama in the race, Clinton is the nominee. With no Clinton, Obama wraps up the nomination early, and cruises. Clinton did the right thing today, and she deserves all of the praise she is getting from Obama.
You can read the full Obama statement right here