What happened
Barack Obama praised Hillary Clinton for running a groundbreaking campaign two days after she conceded the Democratic presidential nomination to him. "I just want to take a minute to thank Sen. Clinton for the kind and generous support she offered on Saturday," Obama said at a campaign stop on Monday. "She ran an historic campaign that shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere who now know there are no limits to their dreams.” (The Washington Post's The Trail blog)

What the commentators said
“Hillary Clinton came this close,” said Katha Pollitt in the Chicago Tribune. “And once the bitterness of the present moment has faded, people will recognize they owe her a standing ovation, even if they can't stand her.” By winning 18 million votes, she “normalized,” once and for all, “the concept of a woman running for president. She made it easier for women to run for every office, including the White House.”

It’s a bit troubling how so many people are lamenting Clinton’s loss as a “tragedy for women,” said David Harsanyi in The Denver Post. The primary’s result was “not a tragedy for feminists. It's not a tragedy for Democrats.” It was a tragedy for the Clintons alone, and even in defeat Hillary will return to the Senate as “a formidable power broker”—if she doesn’t get the nod as Obama’s running mate.

It’s still easy to understand why many feminists are so disappointed, said Steve Huntley in the Chicago Sun-Times. The end of “Clinton's dream of being the first woman president” also “likely marked the death of the dream of the first female chief executive arising from the ranks of the 1960s and early '70s pioneers of the modern feminist movement. With the fall of Clinton, no name immediately comes to mind as the next great female hope.”

This primary demonstrated that the footing will remain unequal for the next woman in line, said in Ari Melber in The Nation’s The Notion blog. Clinton fought an uphill battle against an American political media that is “slanted, sexist, and dominated by men.” She and Obama broke down barriers, but “the race was still refereed, scored, and narrated by white male commentators, an influential constituency in presidential politics. Pundits talked a lot about gender and racial progress during the campaign, of course, but the elite opinion media continues to employ, groom, and promote a commentators corps that is disproportionately white and male,” and until that changes the political playing field will remain uneven.