Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Yes He Could, And He Did

It's not often that you get to witness a historical moment, especially a positive moment in time, and know that history has been made precisely as it occurs. Yet, last night was such a night.

As the NYTimes put it, Obama Clinches Nomination; First Black Candidate to Lead a Major Party Ticket:

The victory for Mr. Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, broke racial barriers and represented a remarkable rise for a man who just four years ago served in the Illinois Senate.

“Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” Mr. Obama told supporters at a rally in St. Paul. “Because of you, tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America.”
Also, in a fitting tribute: Obama to Accept Nomination on 45th Anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" Speech.

To put into perspective how far this country has come -- Will Bunch of Attytood describes some of the historical events that occurred since Barack Obama was born, People died so tonight could happen. See also, Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast, I am so proud of my party and my country right now. It reminds us just how amazing it really is.

The evening started off with John McCain explaining why he's not McSame, giving a god awful speech that Josh Marshall of TPM described as "old" (just like him), Frighteningly Sad:
But this whole speech is defensive in character (explaining why he's not running for Bush's third term), awkward and just feels old. The slogan seems to be: Am Not McSame!
Then of course was Hillary Clinton, striking a defiant tone, refusing to concede and didn't even directly mention Obama by name during her speech. On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin characterized it best, as Clinton's Refusal To Concede "Deranged Narcissism".

Looking at Hillary Clinton, I have to admit that I can see myself in her dogged tenacity, and lord knows that I too HATE to lose. However, I like to think that I'm reasonable enough to know when to give up with grace and dignity. On the other hand, although my strong advocacy and persistence may be part of my strength as a lawyer, I also greatly admire an opponent who is calm and unflappable, who can prevail through a quiet, reasoned approach, without resorting to histrionics. Having practiced law for over 25 years, I have seen every variation of advocacy there is (and engaged in a number of them myself). After Hillary's speech, I don't know if I could have spoken like Barack did about Hillary, praising her as he did. If it were me, it would have been difficult to speak those words about her. I would have been tempted to delete those references to Clinton. Yet he wisely spoke as he did and did so with apparent sincerity. As I said, it is truly a rare quality and Barack Obama has that ability. In my view, it is one of his best qualifications, since it will serve him well as President.

Shaun Mullen of Kiko's House provides a concise view of the race for the presidency, looking back and going forward, at An Historic Night For A Troubled Nation, noting:
In the end, the protean Barack Obama did what was best for the Democratic Party in not declaring that it was over until he had cinched the requisite number of delegates while the classless Hillary Clinton, smiling through gnashed teeth, refused to give the trailblazing nominee in waiting his due. Nevertheless, you can practically feel the tectonic plates of the political universal slide into alignment, and John McCain should be afraid. Very afraid.

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