LatinaLista — It looks like it’s finally the end of the road for Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency. Though conflicting reports
have been posted all day — will she concede or won’t she — it looks like she doesn’t personally have to concede because it’s being done for her.
Sen. Hillary Clinton
There was probably no stronger indication of that than the statement released this week from Sen. Ted Kennedy, recuperating from brain surgery, who said, “After completing treatment, I look forward to returning to the United States Senate and to doing everything I can to help elect Barack Obama as our next president.”
And now, it’s being reported that Clinton is ready to accept a VP position with Obama.
For the time being, it’s the end of a dream for a woman who most probably entertained the idea of being the nation’s first woman president since she was a kid, and while she didn’t reach that goal, she set admirable milestones that should be acknowledged.
From the time Clinton started her campaign, she was dogged by bad press and every anti-Clinton blogger and Washington insider who saw her election as the continuation of a “Clinton Dynasty.”
It always seemed that there were those who professed knowing all the intimate motivations of her past deeds and were quick to label her as insincere or egotistical. Yet, that wasn’t how the average person saw her, especially Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Nevada or California.
In fact, it was a year ago this month when I saw Clinton make her first “unofficial” appearance as a presidential candidate in Washington, DC at the Take Back America conference. She appeared, along with, some of the other major candidates.
The audience was filled with women, of all ages. When she came on stage, the screams of “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary” was deafening. I asked one young woman who was from Arizona and working as an intern for some non-profit in DC for the summer why she liked Hillary.
“Because she’s been at the White House before,” the young girl said. Then quickly added, “It would be so cool to have the first woman president.”
A white-haired woman sitting behind me with her pink vest covered with Hillary buttons and holding a sign for the candidate also chimed in to answer, “I would love to see a woman president in my lifetime.”
It was that kind of feeling among women in the early stages of Clinton’s campaign that propelled a self-confidence within the candidate that any kind of campaign was only a formality because the nomination was her’s — and it was for a short time.
For her supporters, a Hillary Clinton presidency epitomized change, gender change, in the White House but then people started noticing Barack Obama and change took on a new look.
Historians will have their work cut out for them in deciding how gender or race took a role in impacting this presidential run but one thing is certain — Clinton’s participation in this election was a benefit to everyone.
Whatever is said of her, nobody can dispute that because of her, people finally felt that their vote mattered and they were excited to cast a vote for either her or Obama.
I don’t see that same level of eager participation happening if it were between Edwards and Obama. After all, two men, yes of different skin color, but two men running against one another is not unlike every other presidential race in history — but a woman? That upped the ante.
Clinton may be loathe to concede and who can blame her. This is a person who has achieved almost every one of her major goals and to concede her biggest goal in life is not just hard, but heartbreaking.
After all the times she came from behind, the amount of personal money she invested and the hard realization that super delegates count more than popular votes, it’s crazy to think she should quietly return to Congress.
Tonight should be her night because she worked hard to reach the finish line.
For doing it, she should be applauded.
For finishing, she should be remembered.