It was a marvelous and heartfelt speech, very skillfully and adroitly delivered. Most of all it said what needed saying.
The lines urging her supporters to get behind Obama (which I can only paraphrase here) — "Life is short. The time is too short, the stakes too high, for us to spend any time thinking about what might have been" — stand out as classic Hillary: moving forward, always fighting.
[Update: Here's the actual transcript:
So I want to say to my supporters, when you hear people saying – or think to yourself – "if only" or "what if," I say, "please don't go there." Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.
Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next President and I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort.]
I deeply appreciate how Hillary, for millions, represented the aspirations of women everywhere to see one of their own elected to the White House. That was really the centerpiece of her concession speech today, and it made the speech stick.
I particularly liked the line about how she may not have finally shattered that final glass ceiling, but there were now "about 18 million cracks" in it. That truly is the case.
There have already been many words spent exploring why her campaign came up short, but regardless of her tactical errors and missteps, the biggest problem she had was Barack Obama. He is a special and historic candidate of unique quality, and it was everyone’s mistake to underestimate him. He had a ceiling to shatter too — and is going to do it.
With the help, of course, of women like Hillary. Hopefully, the speech today will help many of them reconcile themselves with disappointment and look forward to the real victory — for women, for all of us — in November.
[Video above will be updated.]
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has more video.