The Race Has Just Begun

OPB | June 4, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:42 p.m.

Now what?

This evening’s speeches by Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were a study in contrasts. There was the bold pronouncement of Obama:

“Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end…. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.”

And then there was Clinton:

“Now the question is where do we go from here, and given how far we’ve come, and where we need to go as a party, it’s a question I don’t take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.”

So what’s next? There are those who heard a tacit but insistent call for a veep spot in Clinton’s speech. And some heard, in Obama’s speech, insinuations of a Cabinet nod.

Will you take Clinton up on her call for supporters’ advice on what to do now? “I want to hear from you,” she said. “I hope you’ll go to my website at hillaryclinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can.” What would you tell her? Do you want her to fight the DNC’s Michigan compromise all the way to Denver? Or concede as soon as possible and lobby for a vice presidential pick?

For his part, Obama ended one race by immediately beginning another: much of his victory speech was devoted to flinging a few arrows at John McCain. And of course McCain wasn’t going to be left out: he kicked off the presidential show tonight with his own speech, in Louisiana, full of ever-sharpening attacks on Obama.

So here we are: one almost-over (?) race, and another that is just taking off.

What about you? After a steady six-month fix, are you about to enter Primary withdrawal? What are you paying attention to as we head into the general election? If you were backing Clinton, will you support Obama — with or without her on the ticket? If you supported Ron Paul — or Mike Huckabee, or Mitt Romney — how engaged will you be in a McCain-Obama race?

For “real” change, or a “real” conservative, are you looking for a third party candidate?

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