June 4th, 2008
01:16 PM ET

I am not a bargaining chip. I am a Democrat.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.nomineenewspaper.jpg caption="Front pages of some major British newspapers showing stories about Barack Obama's success in the US Democratic presidential race."]

Hilary Rosen
Political Director, The Huffington Post

Senator Clinton's speech last night was a justifiably proud recitation of her accomplishments over the course of this campaign, but it did not end right. She didn't do what she should have done. As hard and as painful as it might have been, she should have conceded, congratulated, endorsed and committed to Barack Obama. Therefore the next 48 hours are now as important to the future reputation of Hillary Clinton as the last year and a half have been.

I am disappointed. As a long time Hillary Clinton supporter and more importantly, an admirer, I am sad that this historic effort has ended with such a narrow loss for her. There will be the appropriate "if onlys" for a long time to come. If only the staff shakeup happened earlier; if only the planning in caucus states had more focus; if only Hillary had let loose with the authentic human and connecting voice she found in the last three months of the campaign. If only. If only. I have written many times on this site about the talents of Hillary Clinton and why I thought she'd make a great President.

After last night's final primary, she was only about pledged 100 delegates behind him. Ironic that after not wanting to make the decision for so long, it was in fact, the superdelegates who made the decision. But I guess they did so for another reason...

It just isn't her time. It is his time. It's a new day that offers a freshness to our party that many have longed for. We felt the rush of new voices and a new energy in the Congressional sweep of 2006 and the sweep continues. It has been an organic shift. And a healthy one.

The life's work of Bill and Hillary Clinton in partnering with so many African Americans uniting our purpose and promoting our mutual issues is as responsible for Barack Obama's success as our first African American nominee as anyone. And yet, that joy is being denied for them by themselves. It is so sad.

So, I am also so very disappointed at how she has handled this last week. I know she is exhausted and she had pledged to finish the primaries and let every state vote before any final action. But by the time she got on that podium last night, she knew it was over and that she had lost. I am sure I was not alone in privately urging the campaign over the last two weeks to use the moment to take her due, pass the torch and cement her grace. She had an opportunity to soar and unite. She had a chance to surprise her party and the nation after the day-long denials about expecting any concession and send Obama off on the campaign trail of the general election with the best possible platform. I wrote before how she had a chance for her "Al Gore moment." And if she had done so, the whole country ALL would be talking today about how great she is and give her her due.

Instead she left her supporters empty, Obama's angry and party leaders trashing her. She said she was stepping back to think about her options. She is waiting to figure out how she would "use" her 18 million voters.

But not my vote. I will enthusiastically support Barack Obama's campaign. Because I am not a bargaining chip. I am a Democrat.

Editor's Note: This essay first appeared on The Huffington Post.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Democrats • Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Jim-Cicero, New York

    I have never been so intrenched in a primary as I have been with this last one and at the same time, so disapointed with our elected officials and the democratic party.
    The entire process (and consequently end results) has been somewhat a little guided since day one by the bias atttention given to Obama from the media and press and also by members of the "Good 'Ol Boys Club" of Washington. We can all laugh with Saturday Night Live but in sadness, it portrayed the truth about all that's been going on since day one.
    I hope all of you are happy with the end results because with all the issues at hand for our country , your "rising star" will have many an apportunity to shine "if" he is elected.
    I am a 53 year old white male who for the first time will not be voting. I cannot support a candiate I do not believe in and certainly will not support a party that has made such a mochary of things and in the process, brought down this country's best qualified candiadate.
    Hillary should move towards the convention in full throttle, not for herself and not for women but for this country.

    June 5, 2008 at 8:56 am |
  2. Debra Evans

    Change has come in historical proportions.

    Someone, please tell Hillary to be careful about what you say, it might come back to bite you in the butt. This is in reference to a comment she made, "He can be my Vice President."

    June 5, 2008 at 3:30 am |
  3. shenygirl

    It is obvious from watching Hillary Rosen on various cable network
    programs, she displayed no loyalty to Hillary Clinton from the very beginning. Hillary Rosen is just another political hack, strictly out for herself, and make a few bucks whenever or wherever.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this very deceitful, overweight, disloyal witch
    is already writing a tell all book. That's the kind of political hacks
    that are out there.

    June 5, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  4. shenygirl

    I agree with part of the above post, but am still questioning the fact that was mentioned about her speech last evening and the fact that she didn't concede. Hillary was only 100 delegates behind, but the superdelegates decided to come out of the woodwork, and caved into the DNC party leadership and the media elites. The SD's were coerced by the DNC and leftwing media to turn their votes over to Senator Obama or else..

    I think Hillary and Bill were demonized constantly during this campaign by the usual hate mongers in the media. And, as we all know Obama was given a pass by the elite leftwing media. The Obama lovefest probably would have continued if it hadn't been for Reverend Wright and Fr. Pflager, among others. I found the bias and partisanship from the media which was so protective of Obama to be very blatant and obvious. Some cable networks attempted to avoid accusations of sexism and misogyny, by sending out their women to do their dirty work with the usual insults and disrespect for Senator Clinton. This nomination was highjacked and totally unfair on many levels and it will be very difficult to unify the party. A concession speech by Hillary last night would not have solved this division in the party.

    I found nothing offensive or detrimental toward Obama in Hillary's
    speech after Obama was given the nomination by the super delegates. I think her nomination was highjacked by the DNC and the
    leftwing media. I believe that Hillary's speech (that was spun by the media as divisive and spiteful) is just another last ditch of the Clinton haters, Obama supporters and media elite to continue spewing their hatred.

    A Michigan Voter

    June 5, 2008 at 2:16 am |
  5. MS

    Dear Anderson & your colleagues,
    Thank you for your program and often insightful info & comments – and of course this blog sight.

    I am supporting the idea and hope for effective and healthy and meaningful, ensuring safety & respect in as far as will be possible and caring changes for Americans; the necessary changes that need to positively and fairly affect the USA's influence on important issues, no doubt international and foreign policies, for the benefit and morals of societies all over the world.
    I believe it will be IMPERATIVE to see a Woman Candidate on the Voter's card, and hopefully and I believe it should include that of a woman whose knowledge and experience could equal or better that of Mrs. Hillary Clinton.
    I believe she would not allow former President Bill Clinton's views to influence her decisions. She's a courageous, strong individualist from what I've interpreted by her interviews, her public addresses, and reviews and comments by others about her.
    With respect and appreciation, God's blessings to you all.
    Floridian Abroad (-:

    June 5, 2008 at 2:09 am |
  6. donna

    after reading the comments here, I think maybe we should have an independent run and I think Hillary might make it . All the slurs and slandering here, makes it seem more right. And John Dean and Richardson and some of the others need to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Talk about corruption in politics the delegates showed how it is done. I can only say that after all the years of being a democrat I am ashamed of my party and what it stands for. and the word independent sounds really good right now. If Hillary doesn"t then who will run will certainly get my vote. Also am ashamed of the media and their so called experts thinking. Those experts need to turn a light bulb on in their brains and maybe they will be able to see to think because they sure can"t with it off.

    June 5, 2008 at 1:59 am |
  7. Clara Lamkie

    I'm sorry Ms. Rosen, I do not agree .
    Kathleen Ritch; wonderful post!!! I agree 100%!!! Obama didn't show Hillary the respect she deserves.the AP sent out an alert early Tues. morning that Obama had clinched the nomination and Hillary was going to concede- it showed up on MNBC and Fox News, but not CNN. At least CNN contacted the Hillary camp to vet it and carified the truth of it. Hillary Clinton was NOT treated fairly AT ALL as far as the liberal biased media AND the DNC & the Dem. party goes. They "hijacked Hillary's delegates in Mi. that SHE EARNED and GAVE them to Obama (the weak candidate)allong with numerous other delegates that he DID NOT EARN-so they IGNORED THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE in Mi. Hillary was descriminated against because of her sex AND the Dem. party , DNC and Superdelegates ignored the will of the people and GAVE the nomination to the WEAK candidate. I can't believe the horror of the 2000 pres. election unfolded within our Dem. party(the party of the people?)! And now there's talk about Hillary being such a good VP so she could bring her 18 million voters (horses) with her (to the water) and back Sen. Obama (drink the "dirty" water).I'm not a horse, and I'm NOT THAT THIRSTY!!! If I were Hillary, I wouldn't take the VP spot if Obama gave it to me on a silver platter! I can't recall any other candidate who has fought so hard to assure that the voice of we, the Middle Class, the backbone of this country is respected and heard. Don't give up on us Hillary, cause we're not giving up on you!!!
    If Hillary did run as Independent, I would surely vote for her, but I'll NOT vote for Obama (he should have left that church 19 years ago). He talks about no more "politics-as-usual", but it's "politics-as -usual" that got him where he is now.

    June 5, 2008 at 1:48 am |

    You Obama supporters, and the media - you made fun of the brightest woman I could imagine with some other 18 million people - and now you want her to do the job for you, to be nice to all of you - Yes, it is nice to have a WHITE/AFFRICAN American in the ticket, what you all keep forgetting is that Obama is both white and black - Yes he has a black wife, and a black church that preaches hatred - but the truth is he is nor black nor white but a mix of the two - I hope there is no more argument about his blackness or whiteness....

    June 5, 2008 at 1:31 am |
  9. Esbee

    Caroline Kennedy on the VP nominating committee--Please. That only tells me that Bama is a puppet.

    There was no reason for Hillary Clinton to concede last night. It would have made no difference to her supporters. In fact, it would have had the opposite effect. It would have appeared to be very insincere and a forced admission of defeat.

    Forget it!! The last thing that I want in a President is someone who scoots away with her head down hoping her jr high school friends still like her....for the sake of dignity???? whose?? Tell me where do you draw the line between dignity and pretense?

    Look folks, this is what makes us Democrats. Republicans tow the line and cowtow to authority-because they are authority junkies-it is what gets them out of bed in the morning. Democrats do not. Democrats challenge authority-with relish. And Sen Clinton has done a fine job.

    This was not Clinton v Obama this was Clinton v Kennedy/Obama.

    There is no way on earth the Kennedys are going to allow 2 Clintons to be elected president before there are 2 Kennedys-especially when there have been 2 Bushes.

    June 5, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  10. Jeane G

    American democrat female voter for Clinton. I am of course voting for Obama. They both hold my views.
    She is not a VP ... She is too strong ...
    My perfect line up
    Hillary Clinton .. Supreme Court Justice for life
    Obama President
    Edwards, Richardson, Tom Harkin, Diane Feinstein VP
    and just to make sure everyone has a job
    Bush the janitor for all their bathrooms so he can clean up their explosive messes ... while they clean up his.

    June 5, 2008 at 1:01 am |
  11. Janelle in Missouri

    While I do not agree that Senator Clinton had to concede last night, I was very turned off by her lack of graciousness in her speech. Her speech last night spoke volumes about her and why 18 million democrats DIDN'T vote for her in the primaries. While she had every right to thank her supporters, she should not have continued to press her own candidacy. Her comments about what she wanted to continue to fight for were veiled attacks on Senator Obama's policies. How can Senator Clinton on one hand say she'll accept the Vice Presidential spot, and on the other hand continue to criticize the Presidential nominee's policies? If Senator Clinton can't come on board with Senator Obama's policies, she has no business even entertaining the thought of being on the ticket as Vice President. Can you imagine the Vice Presidential candidate debates where Senator Clinton would continue to push her policies instead of Senator Obama's? If Senator Clinton truly wants what is best for the American people, she'll put all the knowledge she's learned from devoting her life to public service to good use and do what's in the best interests of the American people, rather than what's in her best interest for her own political career.

    As for Clinton supporters saying they will not vote for Obama, I hope that you'll cool down in time and realize what is at stake in this election. Yes, the economy and Iraq war are front and center, but , there is one more important issue that will have implications lasting decades, that being Supreme Court nominees. The next President will have an historical opportunity to seat perhaps up to 3 Judges. Are Democrats really going to just hand the Republicans the opportunity to put an ultra conservative Supreme Court in place? Again, the ramifications of this election will be felt for decades. Please consider this very carefully before letting your emotions sway your vote.

    June 5, 2008 at 12:28 am |
  12. frances holloway

    Hillary as a women earn her right to be treated with respect. She should be VP, the bashing is disrespectful, she at least kept her head held high no matter what they said. As for her husband he is not running, as for so-called baggage, he is a man and he would have to keep in check and not bring any hardship to Hillary. I just finally quit watching the news media, most of it was bashing Hillary and it just becomes old and the people just start to discussed me. I will change and vote as a liberal liberal if Hillary is not VP. F. Holloway, CT

    June 5, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  13. Angie

    I am speechless about many of the blogs posted here. I thought Sen. Clinton's speech last night showed that she was and is a sore looser. Her impending lost had been seen for weeks. She depended a lot more on the results of Michigan and Florida to be counted than she did the other states. We as humans may not agree with the rules that have been or were set in place by the DNC, but a Republican governor (Florida) set the tone for the fall out of the DNC's ruling and Michigan drafted the plan and agreed to it. Sen. Obama was not chosen by the DNC, but by a majority of working Americans. Mrs. Clinton was not treated any differently than Mr. Obama, please keep in mind that he did get ridicle by the media just like Mrs. Clinton. The process was fair, from the ruling of the DNC, to every debate held, to every criticism made by the media to both candidate. Vote for the candidate who is best to be president and to lead this country, not against the one who you think took the chance for a woman to become the first female President. He faught, won and earned this opportunity. And do not sell yourself short by allowing yourselves to become a bargaining chip by anyone, male or female.

    June 5, 2008 at 12:13 am |
  14. Mary Greene

    A lot of these comments are stupid. America, when are you going to wake up for our children, grandchildren and their future. We need to come together as a party and vote for the nominee, except, unless you enjoyed the last eight years. Again, I say wake up America, we have slept long enough. Sen. Clinton should have conceded last night, been very gracious, which I think would have helped her now and in the long run. She is still telling lies. She said when the person reached the number, she would stop running and she also tried to steal Sen. Obama thunder last night was wrong, again wrong. She is no God to bow down too. She seems to be a spoiler for just about everything she attempts to do, health care, negative campaigning, lies. Last night was her moment to say I am a great fighter and loser and we must move on to victory for the Dem Part. Hilliary you disappointed me last night because you mainly talked about yourself and not even about our great country. Girl, get a grip, please!

    June 5, 2008 at 12:01 am |
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