"Loyalty is not transferable"
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton demonstrated all of her many gifts and talents at the National Building Museum today. Indeed she demonstrated, more powerfully than ever, that regardless of how this primary season actually concludes in Denver and regardless of who wins the general election, that she will be the most powerful and enduring force for true progressivism in this country for all the years that she works toward that goal - all the years available to her, as she made clear.
People can read the speech for themselves so I see no reason to rehash it here. But hearing it live left the following firmly in my mind:
- Senator Clinton suspended her campaign; she did not withdraw or concede.
- She did endorse Senator Obama, and made the best case anybody has made yet (including Senator Obama) for why it is critical that the White House go to a Democrat. Her endorsement was wholehearted, gracious, and reasoned: not enough for most people there to share her willingness to support Senator Obama, but certainly clear as a bell on the point that she in no way intends to be a spoiler should Senator Obama become the nominee at the convention.
- Then, much more importantly, Senator Clinton made it clear that she will continue to fight unyieldingly for truly universal health care, for the chance for every single American to pursue his or her life, liberty, and happiness.
- Finally, Senator Clinton addressed the historic nature of her accomplishment as a serious contender for her Party's nomination. She acknowledged the scourge of sexism that we all saw evidenced this campaign, but she pointed out that her candidacy succeeded in putting 18 million cracks in the highest, toughest glass ceiling in the land.
I listened in a small group as President Clinton - who beamed with pride at Senator Clinton's speech - said that he doubted this would be her final national political campaign.
And I took the opportunity to thank some of the more major politicos at the event for their steadfast loyalty to Senator Clinton: something that has been so ridiculously rare during the course of this campaign.
My favorite comment from one such figure: "Loyalty is not transferable." Precisely.
Many folks have sent me pragmatic questions about a number of topics. Others have sent messages about new plans for organizing and moving forward. Over the next few days, I will address these questions and messages as I can. But for now I want to convey to you the overwhelming serenity that the speech and the reception left me feeling. There is a new and genuine progressivism afoot: Hillary Rodham Clinton has been the catalyst and she will continue to nurture it with all her considerable might.