Monday, August 25, 2008

What Comes Down to the Clintons

The words will be there when they address the convention, but will the music?

Can the former President overcome his case of the sulks to put political ideals and party above pettiness and make a powerful case for taking back the country? Will he whole-heartedly embrace Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the means of doing it? Since Bill Clinton has never been very good at hiding his emotions, it will be a profound test of character to rise above himself at this crucial moment. His place in history may depend on it.

In rare moments in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton broke through a sense of coldness and calculation surrounding her and touched voters by showing her feelings. If she can summon up that side of herself tomorrow night and persuade supporters that she has gone beyond her disappointment and rally them to follow, it will be a breakthrough moment for the former First Lady, regardless of where her political career takes her in the future.

This week is about more than winning or losing an election, and the Clintons are in a position to profoundly affect the outcome. Never has losing gracefully, even gloriously been as crucial an issue.

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