Clinton remains a front rank political figure, perhaps even in the context of this year’s race as Barack Obama turns his attention to the choosing of a vice presidential ticket partner.
Hillary’s loss, coming in the aftermath of such sky high expectations, is indeed a bitter pill for Clinton and her supporters, 18 million of them, who voted for her in primaries and caucuses.
But Clinton herself has long been fully aware of the gamble that sits at the very heart of a political life.
And we know her well enough by now to be sure that this is not the end of her political journey.
One intriguing aspect of Clinton’s primary story, however, is the possibility that the first signs of cracks in her campaign machine were initiated by the candidate herself when she pointed to her role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
Hillary put herself square in the center of it and was backed in this assertion by her husband, the former president.
This was back in November and came to notice both in the campaign trail in Iowa and on a network television interview.
Clinton’s assertions sparked a vigorous debate that encompassed not just her statements on Northern Ireland, but her foreign policy credentials in general. Then came the sniper in Bosnia story and from there on the earlier air of inevitability seemed to be slipping from the senator’s grasp.
With regard to her role in Northern Ireland, we were far more inclined than some to accept that Hillary was a significant player. And we were particularly willing to accept that her knowledge of Northern Ireland, its ways and nuances, far exceeded any presidential candidate in history, and that includes her own husband and the front rank Irish Americans, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
Clinton was most impressive at the Irish American Presidential Forum in New York back in early April. Her grasp of the issues, her clarity in presenting the outline of a future White House policy aimed at reinforcing and cementing a just peace, impressed all in the room.
The senator’s words resonate still even though she is no longer a candidate, at least for the Oval Office.
It is with this in mind that we express the profound hope that Hillary Rodham Clinton, no matter what position she occupies, continues to maintain her interest in Ireland, that she continues to exercise her considerable influence and ability in the furtherance of peace and prosperity in the North.
In the meantime, our country faces into a presidential election at a time of great stress and trial.
The contest will be decided between two men, one who has made history, another who has, in the context of his military service, has lived it.
We hope that both will follow the example of Hillary Clinton and speak to Irish America by way of the presidential forum.