Don Williams
Photo by Justin Williams

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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What a sweet, gracious, generous speech; Hillary endorses Obama!
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   06/07/2008)

Hillary Clinton can flat deliver a speech, and her latest is for the ages, because there was nothing flat about what she said or how she said it Saturday shortly before 1 p.m. The speech soared to high eloquence and descended to moments of sweet reflection, delivering its crucial, head-line grabbing message in wave after wave of electrifying support for Barack Obama.

“I will work my heart out to make sure that Sen. Obama is our next president,” she said, in about as clear an endorsement as one is likely to hear. “And I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort!”

Standing between giant twin pillars of historic National Building Museum near the White House she'd yearned to occupy again one day, she had the audience drinking in every word. There were tears, cheers, laughter and hugs in the audience, including some from Chelsea and Bill Clinton, who took a bow, stage left.

Even die-hard supporters who vowed never to support Obama-and yes, there were some sitting on their hands-must've been moved. If anyone entered the hall with doubts in their hearts or minds as to Hillary's commitment to America, the Democratic Party, Bill Clinton, women everywhere, but most importantly to Barack Obama, she surely emptied them of such doubt and poured in conviction.

This might be the best speech anyone ever delivered in support of Obama, and one of the best concession speeches ever crafted, right up there with Al Gore's eloquent concession in 2000.

Obama is not a fool. Far from it. He will make maximum use of this woman, who has honed her talents to a fine point in the crucible of 54 primary contests and 22 debates. In this moment she just might be the single best politician in America, maybe the world. She was surging at the end of that complex process, winning lopsided victories in several states.

Surely that record, coupled with this speech, has secured her a spot on Obama's short list of candidates for vice-president. If that notion proves too blessed unwieldy, he'll surely find some other way to take her up on the pledge to work hard for him.

Hillary's speech surpassed all expectations, surely. It blessed and vindicated her supporters. It lifted their hearts and minds. It validated the long struggle to keep her nomination alive to reach this point. Most of all, it embraced Obama in no uncertain terms.

It also delivered a message in a bottle to future historians. In a speech she surely knew would be history-making, no matter what she said or how she said it, she said and did all the right things.

Speaking to women and girls, she admonished them never to give up.

Speaking to blacks, hispanics and others of color, she inveighed against racism and prejudice in absolute terms.

Speaking to inheritors of our Earth, she gave a clarion call, summoning us all to save the Earth and stop global warming for all creatures with whom we share our world.

Speaking to supporters of former President Bill Clinton she took pains to place in vivid perspective his accomplishment in winning two of the only three terms by a Democratic president in the past 40 years.

And her conclusion was a rousing plea for unity and victory.

I confess, the speech brought tears to my eyes, and I found myself wishing that she'd made a few different decisions, so I could've supported her for president.

I do support her for vice-president. She's as charismatic as Obama. She's tough, relentless, sunny, optimistic, attractive and bright. Surely she and Obama together will be an unstoppable force in American politics and American life.

Go Obama. Go Hillary.

Read the full text of her speech here.

For video and AP report, click here.