Let the Clinton Supporters let Go of One Dream, as We Embrace Another
I supported Senator Hillary Clinton from day one. She is a friend, and I admire her experience, strength and her genuine concern for the nation's well-being. Supporting her was easy. First, I shared her dream (along with thousands of other women -- and men) to see a woman lead our nation. Hillary is the most potent symbol of that dream in modern times.
I also supported Senator Clinton because she survived Washington once. I figured she could do it again. There is no person who has been tested more harshly than Hillary Clinton. From her early days in the White House, tearing her apart became a blood sport for many. The kind of animosity she endured -- in part because she challenged the traditional role of first lady -- would have reduced a weaker person from granite to rubble. She more than survived -- she flourished and emerged as an able and talented Senator. They threw their largest rocks, and she was still standing, indeed, thriving.
I wanted my daughter, Anna, to see a woman become President. But the truth is, it was also the 12-year-old idealistic, driven girl in me that wanted to witness the culmination of a lifetime of striving. And so on the night of June 3rd, when it was clear beyond all doubt it was over, the tears came -- some for Hillary, a female warrior going down, some for Anna -- but to tell the truth, mostly for that scrappy 12-year-old who was going to take on the world.
On the campaign trail supporters of various candidates are often in close quarters. So I got to see quite a bit of Senator Obama during this primary season. As he emerged from the pack, I grew to respect and admire him. The sheer force of his conviction, calm and intelligence are infectious and inspiring.
As a parent, Senator Obama grew to as important a force in our household because my twins -- Anna and Jacob -- are biracial. For our family, it was just as important that our son and daughter see a strong, dynamic woman at the helm, as it is was that they see a gifted leader, black and white, take the central leadership role of our nation.
Hillary is passionate and a force for good in our time. That is precisely why she will rise from this moment to help forge a unified band of democrats to elect Senator Obama. She knows that for the sake of ending the war, restoring our relations among nations, the environment, and the health of the country, we must win the generation election. She knows that the Justices Barack Obama would appoint will stop the scales of justice from tipping over in our time.
There is no doubt that she will deliver deep, authentic support to Senator Obama. But for her supporters, it will not be instant pudding. It will take some days, not hours. But recognizing the loss of one dream held by so many of Clinton's supporters, Obama supporters can help welcome them to the other equally important goal: electing the first African American President. Senator Obama knows that allowing some room to heal following this acutely emotional contest does not diminish his candidacy, it strengthens it. We have to let go of the immediate fact that our daughters almost saw a woman elected President.
But we can be counted on to celebrate the other dream. Barack Obama will be tested in ways he never imagined, and we will have his back. We are just catching our breath.
It is certain that Senators Obama and Clinton know they do not stand in these historic roles solely because they have personally earned it. They stand on the shoulders of a long line of American heroes who have struggled and often died for this moment. Just as they have come together, we must all come together, not just for our American family, but for every man, woman and child on the planet.