“No matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out.”

Then-Vice President Al Gore uttered those bitter words when he addressed the nation Dec. 13, 2000, and conceded the 2000 presidential election to then-Texas Gov. George Bush. That election would foreshadow the electoral clusterfreak that is the state of Florida – which is apparently Spanish for “Can’t vote right” – and its all things “chad,” including the hanging, pregnant and dimpled variety.

Nevertheless, Gore’s concession was his valedictory into statesmanship. Gore’s acceptance of defeat due to the undemocratic constructs of the Electoral College and (to most Democrats, anyway) the Supreme Court ruling against the Florida recount effors, was sweeping, sincere, remarkable and reconciliatory. By swallowing that bitter pill of defeat, Gore was able to fashion himself a legacy as a brand-name player on the world’s political stage.

In other words, Al Gore took his loss like a man. Contrary to some crude, sexist pop cultural humor, Hillary Clinton isn’t a man, but she is a smart woman. She knows what terms like “grace” and “civility” mean. And surely in politics, she should know what “play ball” means as well. Nevertheless, Clinton took the low road Tuesday night after rival Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination and defeated the self-proclaimed inevitable nominee fair and square, Clinton tackily dissed him. That’s not a reactionary observation. That’s not anti-Clintonism. And no, it’s not the case of a man being sexist to push the girl out of the boy’s game.

Instead, it’s the plain truth. It’s Hillary’s fault that knowing it was all over, knowing there were no more goalposts to move; knowing that Obama secured the nomination in bright, historic fashion yet she had the nerve to not concede, and then had bigger nerve to say, aloud, mind you, that she “didn’t know” if she would take the vice presidential nomination (as if someone asked her if she’d take it); that she ranted something about “respect” and a bunch of other masturbatory bunk and was defiant as if there were more contests after June 3. As if there were some primaries the Democrats counted in Ottawa and British Columbia that the rest of the country didn’t know about (which could be possible because for some strange reason, the Democrats include, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa in their nominating process).

Wednesday, the Clintonistas on Capital Hill declared Hillary a sore loser. And now, with even more egg on her face due to her power and ego-tripping, Clinton may have lost her opportunity to join Obama on an historic presidential ticket. All because she was sore.

Somewhere during all of this, Al Gore was devilishly enjoying a bowl of gazpacho, which, like revenge, is a dish best served cold. After all, Gore still blames Hillary’s New York Senate campaign 2000 for diverting attention and deep-pocket donors from his bid for the White House.

But isn’t it ironic that Hillary Clinton must channel her inner-Gore – her main rival for the ear and attention of hubby Bill during his presidency – and tap the same reservoir of humility Gore had to draw from, with hopes of being in good standing with the Democrat’s party bigwigs to salvage her political career, despite being thisclose and one swing vote on the Supreme Court away from the political Holy Grail known as the White House?

But even Al Gore understood that he had to “let it go,” as Henry Jones had to tell his son, Indiana in “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade,” and accept defeat. Gore, like Indiana , realized that, yes, the Holy Grail was at his fingertips, but no, he could not secure it.

Something tells me that Hillary didn’t see that movie.