There is something about politicians -- particularly Democrats, I think -- that makes them rise to their best when they're making concession speeches.
All the way back to Michael Dukakis, I remember thinking as I heard him concede, "Well if you'd been that person during the campaign, you might have won!" When Al Gore conceded to George Bush at the end of the 2000 debacle, he showed at last the deep passion that had been so obscured by his wooden delivery on the campaign trail. And Hillary Clinton finally broke through on Saturday; she showed at the last some humility and authenticity, the absence of which had made so many of us unable to support her in her campaign against Obama. She lost the election, but it looks like she won her soul back. And with that, I think she restarted her career.
There is a psychological principle that people hear you on the level that you're speaking from. If it's all in your head, then someone hear you with their head. But if it's coming from your heart, then someone will hear you with their heart. And that's not just metaphor; it's brain functioning. Throughout her campaign, with almost every word she uttered, Hillary Clinton spoke to us from that smart head of hers. And like everyone, she was fated to crash into a wall with that. No matter how smart we are, we don't break through to our greatness until our mind has been humbled. There is a higher intelligence than the intellect, and that is the ceiling Hillary was not able to break through. She depended on intellect, force of will, external alliances, and political strategizing -- while Obama subsumed all those things under what Mahatma Gandhi called soul force.
Until Saturday, that is. The loss of this campaign seems to have taken Hillary Clinton to her knees, and who among us cannot appreciate the pain of that. But it is everyone's destiny to finally get there, not as an end to anything but our own outsized egos, and the beginning of the process of finding our true selves.
I did not support Hillary Clinton in her race for the White House, but as she gave her speech on Saturday, I found myself spontaneously getting up from my seat, giving her a standing ovation in the middle of my hotel room and applauding her loudly as she spoke. What ended for her is small compared to what finally has begun for her. She has always been good -- and now, at last, I have a feeling that she might become great.
Finally, she spoke from her heart. And my heart heard.