The former first lady ceded the nomination that was almost hers to Barack Obama in a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. This puts an end to the drama of the 2008 primary. In my view Hillary should be the Senate Majority Leader or Supreme Court Justice or whatever the heck she wants in her political future. She firmly stood up on her own ... outside of the shadow of her prior status as a supportive wife.
She was warmly embraced by delegates split between her and Barack Obama in the primary. Any who were still angry over her loss were drowned out in applause when she opened her speech by declaring herself "a proud supporter of Barack Obama."
She exhorted her backers to remember who was most important in this campaign.
"I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?" she said. She urged them instead to remember Marines who have served their country, single mothers, families barely getting by on minimum wage and other struggling Americans.
Only two more things need to happen. Bill Clinton needs to heed the message, tone and tenor of his wife's remarks tomorrow night when he speaks ... and Barack Obama needs to give the best speech of his life on Thursday night.
"I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.
My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.
Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.
This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win.
I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women's rights at home and around the world . . . to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.
And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way. No how. No McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President.
Tonight we need to remember what a Presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you -- the American people, your lives, and your children's futures.
For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me everyday that America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people -- your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles."
What did you think about Hillary's speech tonight?