05/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary, Go With Grace

Today Hillary Clinton is hosting a Celebrating Generations of Women fundraiser in Washington, DC. Her mother and her daughter will be with her. Clinton team leaders have an opportunity to attend and honor other women, whose stories will be included in the book commemorating the event. What better and classier occasion for Hillary Clinton to pass on the torch? For surely among a younger generation will come our first American woman president. In the best scenario, Senator Clinton would only begin the process of closure at the luncheon and so not overwhelm the honorary nature of the occasion. The following day, the Clintons have planned to campaign in Oregon--Ashland of all places. (A less likely source of votes for Clinton I can scarcely imagine.) It's going to take awhile to bring the campaign locomotive to a halt. But an event celebrating women would be a good time to start putting on the brake.

Not that Senator Clinton is going to take my advice, when she hasn't heeded the wise words of long-respected, well-known journalists. But she should. As many observers of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries have noted, Senator Clinton has been magnificent on the stump at the end of the road. But it is the end, and she has the opportunity to leave on a grace note.

Senator Clinton should take the first step to unite Democrats, and that move is going to require balletic grace, because the few remaining states (not to mention Puerto Rico) will want to raise their voices just as the other forty-five have done. Clinton's Indiana victory speech suggests that she is not ready to take the high road. To give her the benefit of the doubt, she probably hasn't the first idea at this moment how to step down. She's been racing too hard, too fast to find perspective quickly. Someone may have to grab her hand and help her down. In adversity, in campaign doldrums, Senator Obama stuck to a few things he knew to be true and prevailed. Prevailing will have a different outcome for her, but Hillary Clinton needs to find that compass, too.