Clinton endorses Obama

"I'm going to work my heart out to make sure Senator Obama is the next president."

Published June 7, 2008 5:52PM (EDT)

Hillary Clinton did everything she needed to do in Saturday's Barack Obama endorsement in Washington. The highlight had to be when she said: "Today I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes we can!"

After the speech, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann immediately suggested she'd talked too much about herself and her historic run – sigh -- but Tim Russert had the grace to say she "executed perfectly."

I'm not sure what more Olbermann or anyone could ask Clinton to say about Obama beyond what she did: "I endorse him and throw my full support behind him, and I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me. I have served in the Senate with him for four years. I've had a front row seat to his candidacy." She talked about "his strength and determination, his grace and his grit." She promised that Democrats could bring back "peace, prosperity and progress ... by ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office Jan. 20, 2009."

Can anyone really begrudge Clinton's graceful nod to the sexism she faced? She noticed that when she was asked on the campaign trail about gender, she often said, "I was proud to be running as a woman, but I was running because I thought I'd be the best president. But I am a woman, and like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious ... Although we weren't able to shatter the highest and hardest glass ceiling, it's got about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before."

But she had some advice for those still second-guessing the campaign, its missteps or her mistreatment: "Don't go there. Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from looking forward. Life is too short ... I'm going to work my heart out to make sure Senator Obama is the next president ... We will make history together."

Will it be enough to win still-smarting Clinton supporters over to Obama's side? I find it hard to imagine any devoted Clinton supporter who would be unmoved by her appeal Saturday, but time will tell. I looked back at Clinton's speech Tuesday night, and ahead to this one, in this video for our partners at Current:

By Joan Walsh

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2008 Elections