The Final Surrender
It’s all over. With Hillary’s supporters chanting her name, she concedes candidacy to Obama just as she promised.
Personally, I was a little disappointed watching Hillary’s speech last night. I suppose that I was hoping that there might be more defiance when she spoke (and I wasn’t the only one). Instead, she was the good soldier and admonished the audience to vote for Obama. The rest was the same tired talking points that are being repeated ad nauseum these last few days.
This, however, caught my ear:
…I’m a United States senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women’s rights in our history…
These women and men looked into their daughters’ eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail. And after so many decades — 88 years ago on this very day — the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.
My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president. This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
How do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.
And on that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice: If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
Hillary spent a lot of time (probably a third of her speech or better) talking about herself, but most of it was done as if to say “you supported me for these reasons, which is why you should vote for Obama.” However, these last few remarks made me think the entire speech was more about telling her supporters to side with Obama for now, and that they’ll get another chance to vote for Hillary in the future.
Parting shot: Invoking Tubman was a master stroke. While the Underground Railroad reference should play well to everyone concerned about race in this election, a reference to a “brave New Yorker” woman who brought about freedom through struggle and hardship surely was not lost on her supporters (or Michelle Obama, for that matter).