Hillary Clinton concedes
She exits the race for the
White House with a speech at the National Building Museum in Washington,
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
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.