Senator Hillary Clinton made good on a promise to a supporter and girl she considers her "goddaughter" and spoke at her high school graduation from Pelham Preparatory Academy, in a ceremony at Fordham University. Aleatha Williams and her mother have volunteered for Clinton's presidential campaign, plus her 2000 (when Alethea was 10!) and 2006 Senate campaigns. When she graduated middle school, Alethea had asked Clinton if she would speak when she graduated high school.
Williams introduced Clinton, saying, "During her historic bid to become the Democratic nominee for president, she taught us all that no glass ceiling is high enough to limit the will of a person who is committed to living up to their true potential." For Clinton, it was her first appearance since withdrawing from the race, and Clinton told the crowd:
"I have just finished the most extraordinary experience that anybody could possibly have: being able to travel around our country, this great, sprawling, diverse country from one end to the other, meeting thousands and thousands of people who want a better life for themselves and their families, who believe in all their heart in the American Dream.
"No one five years ago, no one four years ago when I attended Aleatha's graduation lunch, could have predicted that an African-American and a woman would have been competing for the presidency of the United States in 2008."
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein was on hand for the graduation and he said of the junior Senator from New York, "She changed America's view of women. Someday soon, very soon in America, we will have a woman as president. And you know what that woman will say? 'I would not be here had it not been for Hillary Rodham Clinton."'
Later this week, Clinton will appear publicly with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for a campaign event on Friday. They will also be meeting to discuss fund-raising on Thursday.