08 June 2008

Almost more important that Hillary’s actual speech yesterday, is how the media covers it today in the Sunday papers. Sitting at home on my couch, the Boston Globe headline read “Clinton ends her bid, hails Obama” with the first sentence: “Without a hint of reservation in her voice or words, Hillary Clinton formally ended her presidential campaign yesterday and endorsed Barack Obama, a onetime rival she portrayed as a joint partner in a historic quest for the presidency.” Now, as an Obama supporter since about December, this was a great article to read, because it was a signal to the low information voters that the party is merging together behind our presumptive nominee. So I checked some other news sources to see how it was covered.

CNN says “Clinton endorses Obama, calls for party unity”

ABC news has an article with an interesting subtitle “Clinton Concedes Democratic Nomination; Obama Leads Party in Fall: Tears, Anger Fill Crowd as Clinton Calls for Democratic Unity”

NYTimes covers her speech by saying "Clinton Ends Campaign With Clear Call to Elect Obama" beginning with "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton brought her campaign for the White House to an end on Saturday with a rousing farewell to thousands of supporters here and an emotional and unequivocal call for her voters to get behind Senator Barack Obama, the man who defeated her for the Democratic nomination.

Washington Post conveys that "Clinton Urges Backers to Look to November" followed by "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the most successful female presidential candidate in U.S. history, officially ended her campaign yesterday with a forceful promise to help elect Sen. Barack Obama.

And for one last bit of coverage, the story in USA Today says "Clinton ends '08 campaign, endorses Obama" making a nod to her glass ceiling reference: "Hillary Rodham Clinton, her dreams of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party dashed, formally suspended her campaign Saturday and vowed to do all she could to elect rival Barack Obama.

As for my personal reactions to her speech, any boos or thumbs down reported aren't really audible in the youtube coverage. When she says "yes we can" at about 13:55 in the clip linked to above, I was very happy inside, since she her supporters tried to turn that against him by starting to chant "yes we will." I am glad to see that that particular bit of difference was buried. This is likely particularly important to me, since I was at the NH post election party, where the "yes we can" chant began.

Clinton's talk about how it will no longer be remarkable to have a woman do well politically is very valid. I certainly hope that if it isn't her that we have another very strong female candidate in the next Democratic primary race. I do believe that there is much unknowing sexism still in America, just as there is still racism. This election, I hope that useful dialogs occur to help move beyond those racial remnants, such that in a few years we can then take on any sexist trends that are hidden in our culture.

But Hillary nailed it when she said that looking back prevents us from looking forward. Her field director once told me that you have three things in a campaign: money, people, and time. You can always get more of the first two, but never more of the last, and therefore it is the most valuable. I sincerely appreciate her efforts to get her supporters behind Barack, and I think that Barack's campaign is very classy to have an opportunity to thank Senator Clinton, which you can do here. I just did it. I hope you do too.