Arianna Huffington -- a frequent critic of Clinton and her campaign -- recently offered a (if technically premature) salute to what she deemed Hillary Clinton's triumph-in-defeat and the first stirrings of her legacy.
"The next time a woman -- or two or three -- runs for president, it won't be seen as a novelty act. Because Hillary certainly wasn't ...
"Campaigning in Pennsylvania in early April, Clinton compared herself to Philadelphia icon Rocky Balboa. 'Let me tell you something,' she said. 'When it comes to finishing the fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit. I never give up.'
"The comparison was meant to reinforce her image as a tireless warrior -- but it was more accurate and prescient than she intended. Because Rocky actually lost his initial fight with Apollo Creed. After 15 punishing and bloody rounds, he was satisfied just to have gone the distance.
"'Ain't gonna be no rematch,' says Creed amidst the post-fight pandemonium. To which Rocky replies: 'Don't want one.'
"Even though Rocky didn't win, he was ultimately seen as a triumphant figure. And that's how Hillary will be seen too. Once the disappointment fades and the cuts and bruises heal, the lasting impression will be one of glory, accomplishment, and profound impact.
"Hers will have been a game-changing defeat."