When it counted, Hillary Rodham Clinton put her ego and personal interests aside and did what was best for her party and the country.
In a speech both gracious and compelling, Clinton urged her passionate legion of supporters to abandon their anger and unite behind presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.
If her faithful heed her advice, and that remains the big "if," she may have handed Obama the Presidency and subverted her hopes to one day become the first woman leader of the United States.
Clinton could have sunk Obama as easily as she helped him in her speech before the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver Tuesday night. She could have given a half-hearted show of support or even a strong speech without the emotion to back it up.
Instead, she delivered the goods and put the party back on the road to unity behind Obama and Vice Presidential pick Joe Biden. Her often-unpredictable husband, former President Bill Clinton, is expected to add the final touch when he takes the stage tonight.
Some might say Hillary had little choice. A less-than-enthusiastic speech could have ended forever her chance of becoming the first wife to follow her husband into the Presidency. But in throwing her full support behind Obama, she may delay for eight years her own shot at the job and an ever-changing political world could move behind her and her husband by then.
In an election campaign where women became a key issues, its has been the women who delivered for Obama during the first two nights of the Democratic convention: Michele Obama on Monday and Hillary Clinton Tuesday. With Bill Clinton expected to deliver his own brand of powerful oratory tonight, Obama will need to deliver one of his best speeches ever when he accepts the Presidential nomination later this week.
Past performances suggest Obama is more than up to the task and if he closes the deal he will come out of Denver with a united Democratic Party that allows him to concentrate on the more serious task of united a nation divided by an unpopular war, a disastrous economy and deep-seeded racism.
It won’t be easy but this country must be unified if it is to survive. Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is pledged to continue the divisive policies of George W. Bush and a McCain win could destroy the nation.
Hillary Clinton took the necessary steps Tuesday night to put this nation back together. Now it is up to her supporters to prove they can bury their petty grudges and put their nation ahead of personal anger and retaliation.