I have been a Barack Obama supporter from day 1. I looked at the field and said: There are some good people here. I voted for John Edwards in 2004. I wished Joe Biden had run in 2004. I like Bill Richardsdon a lot. I admire Hillary Clinton, though I don't especially like her. Chris Dodd and the rest are all examples of the breadth of the party. All in all this was a good field, but in my mind Barack Obama offered us an opportunity to move forward into the 21st Century. In my mind, he was one who gets it.
Last night the dream became a reality. Barack Obama accumulated the requisite number of delegates to claim the mantle of the party's nomination. It was tight and hard fought. We knew from the beginning -- or at least not long after Super Tuesday -- that the Super Delegates would have to weigh in. The path they chose was -- in my mind the right one -- to recognize the winner of the most delegates as the rightful nominee. They simply gave their imprimatur to this (not as John McCain would have us believe, chosen by party elders and pundits). At last count, this morning the delegate count stands at 2162 to 1963. This is a historic day for America and the world.
Now, for Hillary Clinton. She fought hard and at times hit below the belt. She is a fighter, I will give her that. She must be accorded due respect. Her win in South Dakota warrants that respect. There are many reasons why she has been able to hold on -- much of which has little to do with Barack Obama. I do think she must be given due consideration as a possible VP nominee. In some ways she would be the perfect candidate, but there are serious issues that work against her as well (none more telling than her husband).
As for the VP slot. I thought out loud, perhaps a bit prematurely, last night about the need to draw her into the ticket. After seeing the big win in Montana that suggests that South Dakota may have been an anomaly, and the phrasing of her speech last night I have my doubts once again. I didn't expect her to concede, but more acknowledgment of the facts was warranted. She congratulated him, yes, but for a hard fought campaign. It was as if she was congratulating him on coming in second -- and yet it was her that was coming in second. There is another issue here. While Clinton supporters are actively pushing her inclusion on the ticket -- sometimes in unseemly ways -- there are many Obama supporters who would be horrified at such a prospect. Obama will have to weigh this carefully. Would he loose his own supporters in order to gain hers? My sense is that Obama will meet with Clinton, have some sort of understanding, and quickly move to settle this, either with her on the ticket or with someone else.
History is made!