I am so proud of Hillary Clinton it almost overwhelms me. After witnessing how she’s been dragged through the mud by pundits, “progressive blogs,” other women and the Obama campaign I couldn’t be prouder. Witnessing the misogyny hurled at her from every side; the sexist insults from the media, her opponent, “liberal blogs” and other women, I felt horrified and sad.  But Hillary reacted to it with grace, dignity and respect.  She never played the victim.

As the campaign went longer, she only seemed stronger, more exuberant. I had the pleasure of seeing her in New York on May 10 and she was talking to us about the policies she would enact as President. How she would take the Constitution out of storage.  How she would help kids that don’t have the opportunity for a college education (an issue very close to my heart) get one.

She went on to win states she wasn’t supposed to win, like SD and IN.  She got more popular as the campaign went on; the more people saw her the more they liked her. And although it was dismissed by the news, the votes prove otherwise.

She’s strong. She’s resilient. And she’s stood up to more hate and criticism than any man that has ever come before her.  She took attacks on her character, her looks, and her family in stride.

Above is her speech from last night (Part II: here Part III: here).

And as bloviators like Andrea Peyser call her a bad loser, I call her strong. I call her brave. I call her inspiring. She got more votes cast for her than any other primary candidate in history. More than Obama, more than Bill, more than any other primary candidate ever.

She was our first viable female candidate.  A candidate that would have been an exceptional President. She’s strong and pragmatic. Intelligent yet has common sense in spades. Graceful and proud.

I’m glad she didn’t concede last night. She will concede on her own terms. The media and Obama have wanted her to drop out since Iowa. She has shown them time and again she cannot be bullied. She cannot be strong-armed into defeat. She cannot be insulted into quitting. She’s the very definition of a strong woman.

She’s amazing.

I came into this campaign preferring her, but being indifferent to her personally.  Today, I love her. I love her humor, her candor, her intelligence, her motherhood, her experience, her resilience and her drive.

I could not be more proud of Hillary Clinton. No matter what happens, she will always be my hero.