In a huge, significant moment for America, Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee Tuesday night. It has been a race that broke barriers and trod new territory. Eight candidates started out: among them, the first white woman, the first Hispanic, and the first Vegan and the most successful bid by an African American for the top office in the land. Scores of hotly-fought primaries and caucuses later, millions of voters have been lured into the process, and thousands of new activists have been trained.

The night after the final races – the candidates thanked their supporters and swore their unending allegiance to their constituents. Senator Clinton pledged specifically, when asked what she wanted: “I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, no longer to be invisible,” It was a non-concession speech that let the air of contest – if not the contest itself live on.

So after all that talk of the new, and constituents and change and choice. It brings one up short to be reminded, so soon, that some traditions remain the same. After all that competitive racing, on the day after the final primary both Clinton and Obama headed to the same place, over to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee whose annual convention has long been Washington’s top bi-partisan pledge fest. Between June 2-4, Sen. Clinton, Obama and McCain will speak, as will Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Harry Reid, and Mitch McConnell. Races like candidates come and go, but some things never change.

Watch this commentary and a debate about migration law with Roberto Lovato and others on GRITtv.org. You can watch GRITtv with Laura Flanders, on Free Speech TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 right after Democracy Now,) and right here at FDL, at GRITtv.org. Sign up for a video feed.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.

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