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On what happened today

So I get that the big news of today is that Bernie endorsed Hillary. That’s obviously good news, given the threat, and it is wonderful to see this stage of the campaign closed with such integrity and goodwill.

But I was truly astonished — in the best possible way—by Hillary Clinton’s speech. Because notice what she did:

As president, from my very first days, I will make campaign finance reform a top priority.

Even better, rather than simply invoking the bogeyman of Citizens United, she has explicitly endorsed congressional public funding — the key change to make reform possible, as I argued in the Times almost exactly one year ago. Here’s what she said:

We’re going to create a small donor matching system to make it easy for more Americans to be elected at every level of government.

This is huge.

HUGE.

I’ve already pointed to where she made a commitment like this in Iowa. But to see her make this commitment so clearly and forcefully now, so close to the convention is fantastic news. Added to the almost pitch-perfect reform plan announced by Steny Hoyer for the House Democrats today, this could give people a real hope that if the Democrats get control of Congress and the White House, real change could be possible. (Hoyer’s proposal is even better than my Citizens Equality Act, as it includes technological improvements as well as (1) citizen funding of congressional elections, (2) gerrymandering reform, (3) equal freedom to vote. Obviously, Stoyer saw my wanna-be-Apple-ad, and wanted to do it one better.)

Congratulations to all (especially EveryVoice) who have worked so hard to give her and the Democrats the courage to say what I know she believes. This is a real reason for optimism.