Shhhhh! … The most powerful woman in the world…. Barr None! Hard work does have it’s Rewards!
Caroline, Look and Learn!
So Hillary Clinton will become with the dawn of a new White House. Madam Secretary of State. A strong hand in a velvet glove, extended to the globe on behalf of the most anticipated presidency in generations.
And, short of Barack Obama, no American played a greater role last year in influencing the choice of the 44th President of the United States. Clinton galvanized 18 million voters and made her ultimately successful rival much the better by testing him vigorously.
For carrying the banner of a history-making candidacy with a resolve and class worthy of this city — in victory and defeat — we today salute Hillary Clinton as the Daily News New Yorker of the Year for 2008.
Never in long memory was an electorate as energized as the Democrats were in a campaign that seemed to last for eons. They burned with a desire to reclaim the White House after the stewardship of George W. Bush. And they had genuine contenders in Barack Obama and . . . not Edwards, not Biden, not Dodd, not Richardson, not Kucinich . . . Hillary Clinton.
She alone — former First Lady, inheritor of the formidable Clinton political machine, admired and reviled in heaping measures — was Obama’s countervailing poll star. No one else had nearly the heft to give the inspiring upstart a run for his very considerable money.
Early on, conventional wisdom held that Clinton was the inevitable choice and would face the Republicans as a uniquely polarizing figure. To her loss and her gain, she proved the CW wrong on both counts.
The show was a spectacular. There was Clinton stumbling to a third-place finish in Iowa, a year after announcing, “I’m in. And I’m in to win.”
There was Clinton winning New Hampshire after becoming visibly emotional the day before the primary.
And airing the most effective commercial of the campaign, the “3 a.m. phone call” ad that questioned Obama’s readiness to handle a crisis.
And weathering controversies over race, and downing a shot of Crown Royal at Bronko’s Restaurant and Lounge in Indiana, and challenging Obama to a bowling contest, and refusing calls to give up the fight, and winning the Ohio and Pennsylvania primaries as a working-class heroine with roaring women’s support.
And conceding defeat with her head high.
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” she told her troops. “And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”
Now, Clinton is to be secretary of state. Senatorial confirmation is all but certain — a remarkable fact in itself. This is, after all, the same Hillary Clinton who not so long ago was the woman the political right loved to hate, the Democrat who stood for so much that Republicans could not stomach.
Not that they are in love with her, but Clinton did prove her mettle in the campaign while taking more muscular international stances than Obama did. Her greater firmness on Iran and Iraq and other matters helped give the Obama foreign policy team a much-noted centrist, pragmatic cast. So much so that the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar of Indiana, called Obama’s choices, which would include Clinton, “excellent.”
At the height of the primaries and after, many Democrats yearned for a dream team of a President Obama and a Vice President Clinton. The second spot went elsewhere, with its role and authorities still to be defined. There’s no such vagueness for Clinton: Obama gave her the planet as her portfolio at the very moment when the world is pleading for America to lead.