Hillary suspends her campaign and endorses Obama; what to expect now.

After being forty-five minutes late, Hillary made the speech we all knew she was going to make. She officially suspended her campaign and threw her support behind Barack Obama.

Hillary Rodham Clinton ended her historic campaign for the presidency on Saturday and told supporters to unite behind rival Barack Obama, closing out a race that was as grueling as it was groundbreaking.

The former first lady, who as recently as Tuesday declared herself the strongest candidate, gave Obama an unqualified endorsement and pivoted from her role as determined foe to absolute ally.

“The way to continue our fight now to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States,” she said in a speech before cheering supporters packed into the ornate National Building Museum, not far from the White House she longed to govern from.

“Today as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary campaign he has won. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him and I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me,” the New York senator said in her 28-minute address.

With that and 13 other mentions of his name, Clinton placed herself solidly behind her Senate colleague from Illinois, a political sensation and the first black to secure a presidential nomination.

For Clinton and her supporters, it was a poignant moment, the end of an extraordinary run that began with an air of inevitability and certain victory. About 18 million people voted for her; it was the closest a woman has come to capturing a nomination.

“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before,” she said.

Indeed, her speech repeatedly returned to the milestone her candidacy represented for women. She also acknowledged the unprecedented success of Obama’s candidacy.

“Children today will grow up taking for granted that an African-American or a woman can, yes, become the president of the United States,” she said.

First of all, let’s be clear about everything here. Yes, Barack Obama is the nominee. However, Hillary didn’t actually concede. I don’t know what the point of that move is, as we all know that Obama’s the nominee, but I guess she’s hanging on to one tiny thread of hope that she might still get it.

Here’s some of her speech; the full transcript is here.

This is just Hillary trying to salvage her political career. She realizes that the Presidency can still be hers in 2012, and that she needs to do a little ass-kissing if she’s going to have any hope of saving her chances.

Of course, there was the expected GIRL POWER! angle. Just because she didn’t win the nomination didn’t mean she’s stopped being Hillary; she’s still just as arrogant and elitist as she was before. This speech wasn’t about being humble or gracious. It had nothing to do with Barack Obama; it was all about Hillary. It was reminding us all that she was a history-maker, too, that she’s a pioneer and a groundbreaker, just like he is. Gay Patriot noted that she didn’t offer any kind of advice or encouragement about dealing with McCain, which was interesting. And again, that’s because this speech was all about her — not Obama, not Democratic party unity, but her.

She also got going on the healthcare issue, like with this troubling quote:

We all want a health care system that is universal, high-quality and affordable so that parents don’t have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead-end jobs simply to keep their insurance.

This isn’t just an issue for me. It is a passion and a cause, and it is a fight I will continue until every single American is insured, no exceptions and no excuses.

No exceptions and no excuses? Do we have any choice in the matter, or under Hillarycare are we forced to participate in government healthcare? Maybe she’s just taking a page out of John Edward’s playbook.

Anyway, since we all know now for sure that Barack Obama is going to be the nominee, conservatives and Republicans need to brace themselves, along with anyone else voting for McCain: independents, Hillary supporters, moderates, disenfranchised Democrats, etc. When Barack was announced as the nominee, the world media started hyperventilating about how “historic” this is, and how ground-breaking and unbelievable his clinching the nomination is, and so on and so forth. So ready yourself, because we’ve got one hell of a battle ahead of us.

Every ad aired against Obama will be deemed racist. Condemnation of any of his policies will make you a racist. Questioning any of Obama’s voting records, past remarks, “charitable” donations and earmarks, and associations will make you a racist. You’ll be accused of being too small-minded and racist to be willing to support a black man for President. It will be all about Obama and the fact that he’s half black, all the time, and we will get smeared and attacked every day that we fight to try to defeat him. The very fact that we will try to keep him from being elected will get us labeled as racists.

When McCain and Obama debate, McCain will likely be attacked and excoriated for criticizing Obama in any way, shape, or fashion. He’ll be called a bully and will be accused of using questionable and unethical tactics (like swift-boating!). Instead of being lauded in the press for being a “maverick”, he’ll be excommunicated as just another cog in the Republican hate-filled racism machine.

Here’s what’s especially troubling. If Barack Obama loses, it will make Bush Derangement Syndrome look like a Bush lovefest. The media will erupt in indignation, angrily shouting about how racists stole the election, how McCain is a racist for riding the backs of racist Americans to victory, and how America is still filled with racism for not electing a half-black man President.

See, with liberals, it’s never about policies. It’s always about superficialities.

The whole point of bringing this up is to be able to arm yourself. Be prepared, because we all know that this is what is coming, and we need to be ready for the assault. No matter how civil we try to make this fight, no matter how careful we are, this is what we will be accused of, and we can’t let it scare us. The media will try to intimidate voters into supporting Obama, and we’ve got to be prepared to stand up to it.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary.

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