With Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat, a force in American political life for nearly four decades comes to an abrupt end.

Bill and Hillary Clinton, a husband-and-wife duo unmatched in U.S. history, brought people across the country into politics, created a vast fundraising network and shaped the nation by holding some of the highest offices in the land.

Clinton, 69, who has made two failed bids at the presidency, is unlikely to be on the front lines of politics again. Her husband, Bill Clinton, 70, a former president who was widely expected to be the first husband to accompany his wife to the White House, likely will return to philanthropic efforts at his family’s foundation.

“I’m glad the Clintons came along. They have contributed greatly to the country and the world,” said Donald Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who’s close to the Clintons. “I think they will both be willing to help in the search for new leadership.”

The Clintons represented the rise and maturation of the baby boom generation, perhaps the most discussed, analyzed and self-referential generation in our country’s history. In that sense, they were emblematic of its aspirations, as well of its outsized feelings of self-worth.

On Wednesday, as Donald Trump began to prepare to move into the White House, Clinton said goodbye to American politics and pushed the next generation to keep fighting.

Source: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article113778808.html