Hillary Clinton went further than any other woman ever has in her quest for the Democratic nomination. She came just short of shattering the glass ceiling and inspired women and men across the country. So after her historic run what's next? What should she do at the convention? Celebrate and move on.
She's not going to get the nomination, despite how hard some of the PUMAs (Party Unity My A--, well you get the idea) work. But some think it might ease the pain for the 18 million supporters she gathered. According to party rules, she can put her name in contention, but should she? It hasn't happened recently (not since the 1992 convention) and she's publicly supported Obama. Plus, delegates are free to vote for whomever they want, Clinton or even Mickey Mouse, regardless of whether the person's (or rodent's) name is officially in contention. But now most of her supporters have begun the transition to Obama and unity will be the theme of the convention. Women and men alike are ready to celebrate her achievement and move forward.
Despite the plea for unity some within the party are still causing a ruckus. The latest pro-Clinton agitator is the Denver Group, whose slogan is "Keeping the Democratic Party democratic." They ran an ad in Roll Call and other papers across the country asking if Howard Dean and the DNC are turning the Democratic Party into the Boston Tea Party. The group argues that neither candidate has enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination (true, but what matters is the total delegate count and Obama exceeded the 2,118 needed to win back in June) and that keeping Clinton out of contention is against party ideals. Their end goal is to get Clinton the nomination, which is really unlikely.
But unlikely or not, these supporters feel passionately about having the first female Democratic nominee for president. Until Obama accepts the nomination at Invesco Field (and maybe even after that), there will still be a question for these supporters, but not for most of the country. I suspect we'll continue to hear about Clinton from her supporters, but we'll start to see even more of her back on the campaign trail for Obama after the convention.
And for the women (and men) who were so inspired by Clinton's journey, seeing her move forward and recover is the next logical step. That will do more for women in politics than fighting tooth and nail—hopelessly—for the last votes at the convention.