A gratifying night

Dateline: Tue 03 Jun 2008

This Democratic primary season has arguably been one of the best experiences for Americans for many years. While it ended tonight as Barack Obama supporters have hoped, the process also galvanized -- as Hillary said tonight in her speech -- 18 million voters who support her.

And who knows how it will end for the two senators? The boys at MSNBC, Chris Matthews, Tim Russert and Keith Olberman, are weighing Hillary Clinton's speech tonight heavily. Russert notes that Clinton did not congratulate Obama on his win as the Democratic candidate for president, but on how well he ran. Others noted that the forum in which she spoke in New York had no TV monitors, no Blackberrys, no cell phones; the presumption was that perhaps the crowd did not even realize that Obama's numbers put him over the top: he is the nominee.

Hillary herself said she would make "no decision tonight" about her future. She addressed the question that many have poised: What does Hillary want? She rattled off the Democratic wish list: health care, an end to the war, for every child to live up to his or her God-given potential -- and the trump card -- the wishes of 18 million voters who supported her to be recognized. She wants those people, she said, not to be invisible.

Her speech was quite good: upbeat, inspirational and with a big-picture theme. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn't always quite on par, and I'm pretty sure I heard one of her people yell, "Don't vote for Obama!"

Don't listen to that. It's truly time to come together. All the long work volunteers on both sides did has not been in vain. There's a sense of something brand new astir, a sense of promise and possibility. Let's go with that for now, and see what the future holds.

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