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Hillary Clinton concedes
She exits the race for the White House with a speech at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Article added on June 7, 2008 at 19:05 Swiss time
  
The Democratic presidential nomination process ended on a sour note when Hillary Clinton did not concede the race after Barack Obama clinched the nomination by getting enough pledged delegates and superdelegates to be uncatchable.

Of course, theoretically, any superdelegate can switch his support at any time until the Democratic convention at the end of August. The reality however is that Barack Obama has clearly passed the bar of 2118 delegates. He is certain to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

It would have been logical for Hillary Clinton to come forward after the Montana and South Dakota primaries on June 3 and let her supporters know in her speech that Barack Obama was the Democratic presidential candidate. Instead of giving him her full support, she remained in a state of denial and did not make the expected concession speech.

It needed pressure from her Democratic African-American supporters in New York, who came forward and endorsed Barack Obama in her name, to acknowledge the reality that she had lost.



There was a lot of foul play going on. Not only did she not concede, she made it clear - not directly through her own voice, but indirectly - that she wanted to be on Barack Obama's ticket. Only after this additional lack of style produced a negative echo, she retreated and acknowledged that it was up to her party rival to pick his ticket partner.

Why has she not conceded immediately? Even if she should have the hope that disastrous news could still sink the aspirations of her party rival, she could have conceded the race. If ever a compromising tape showing an anti-American rant by Barack Obama himself should surface - which is very unlikely to happen, since he very probably never made such comments himself - she would be the logical second choice of the Democratic party anyway. Fairness and style have never been a strength of the Clintons.

Today, June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton stepped forward and did the inevitable: she conceded. However, today could already have been the day when both Clinton and Obama appear together to demonstrate their unity. The Democratic party has lost valuable time to reunite.

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Luckily, the Democratic convention only takes place at the end of August and there is still plenty of healing time. The worst has been avoided, an ongoing battle until the convention.

Hillary Clinton is a key figure within the Democratic party anyway, whether she will be on Barack Obama's ticket as the first female vice-president, as a member of her rival's cabinet, e.g. in charge of the health-care reform, or if she should remain a Democratic key voice in the senate.

Hillary Clinton's exit speech in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. is a first step to reunite the Democratic party. She has it in her hands to derail her rival's campaign. Only she can create the unity necessary to beat John McCain in November.

If Barack Obama should be the next president, he would of course try to serve two terms. Hillary Clinton would have no chance to become the first female president. Therefore, it may be tempting for her to give her rival just a lukewarm support. Enough in order not to be accused of foul play, but not enough for him to rally all her supporters. After November, she could step forward and say: “I always told you, Barack Obama has not what it takes to be president”. And she could claim the top spot in 2012.

There are too many ifs in this equation. Nobody knows how the world will look like in 2012. Such a strategy would just be another Clinton gamble. Hillary Clinton's presidential bid may have ended in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

But in her speech, she made clear that Barack Obama must be the next president. Democrats cannot have this chance slip again, she said. She endorsed Barack Obama and drew her full support behind him. She also repeated her former opponent's slogan: Yes we can!

And yet, in Washington, we may have seen the first female president of the United States of America: Chelsea Clinton. She seems to be a political talent. The future will tell - maybe already in a dozen of years.








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