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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

It goes without saying that I'm thrilled Obama is the Democratic nominee ("presumptive nominee" until 25 August...yeah yeah blah blah). As I watched the drama unravel I wondered how Hillary would make her exit, when she would make her exit, if she would make her exit. I honestly expected her to continue the Michigan/Florida fight and I have to say, I didn't anticipate such a graceful exit.

I'm not saying I think Hillary is ungraceful and so grace surprises me, but I am saying she chews nails and spits rust. I love her for that. I want young girls and old girls and all girls from Maine to California to love her for that (and to love it in themselves). On Tuesday when I read an email from her (below) announcing her Saturday press conference (12:00noon EST, btw) I was moved to tears. I honestly was. Political junkie or not, you have to admit that it's inspiring.

She has been gunning for the presidency from the day Bill left and she carpetbagged New York (probably even longer in her private mind). She came so close. She ran a tough campaign and is the consummate politician. She broke down barriers that people never expected to see broken in their life time. She paved the way for generations of women to come...come up through the ranks of power, respect, anything they desire.

The other moment of inspiration? That this country and her ideals mean enough to her and to millions and millions of people that we will all rally behind Obama and take our country back. She has the power to shuffle her army of supporters to the Obama camp and she'll begin that process Saturday. It will be an incredible movement to watch. You gotta respect her for that. I sure do.

In her own words:

I wanted you to be one of the first to know: on Saturday, I will hold an event in Washington D.C. to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been privileged and touched to witness the incredible dedication and sacrifice of so many people working for our campaign. Every minute you put into helping us win, every dollar you gave to keep up the fight meant more to me than I can ever possibly tell you.

On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with
Senator McCain and the Republicans.

I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
When I decided to run for president, I knew exactly why I was getting into this race: to work hard every day for the millions of Americans who need a voice in the White House.

I made you -- and everyone who supported me -- a promise: to stand up for our shared values and to never back down. I'm going to keep that promise today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.
I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.

I know as I continue my lifelong work for a stronger America and a better world, I will turn to you for the support, the strength, and the commitment that you have shown me in the past 16 months. And I will always keep faith with the issues and causes that are important to you.

In the past few days, you have shown that support once again with hundreds of thousands of messages to the campaign, and again, I am touched by your thoughtfulness and kindness. I can never possibly express my gratitude, so let me say simply, thank you.

Sincerely,

Hillary

The Kennedy of My Generation

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