Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Et Tu, Hillary?

She came, she saw, but she did she conquer or did she just try to knife Obama in the back? Clinton had no choice but to put up a public display of 'unity' at the Democrat convention in Denver. After all, she's didn't want to go down as the one who split the Democrats. 

Public support was all she gave, in one of the finest speeches of her political career. 

Not once did she talk up Obama as the commander-in-chief. Not once did she single out Obama as the best person to lead America out of the economic gloom. Not once did she actually come out and say Obama would make the best president. And the omissions have already been seized on by the McCain attack ads. 

Michael Tomasky makes that point well in today's Guardian Comments - the things Hillary didn't say rather than what she did say. 

And, as Ben Smith from the US Politico website puts it, "Clinton did little to sell Obama's personal characteristics, his qualities or ability as commander in chief. She mentioned Obama 12 times, McCain 12 times."

She did her duty and she did it well. But she never came to Denver to praise Obama - she still expects her supporters to bury him. 

For the first time a Gallup daily tracking poll is showing McCain edging ahead (McCain 46%-Obama 44%), with no evidence of a 'Biden bounce'. 

It leaves Clinton's 18 million strong support base open to make up their own minds. 

The anger and frustration from Clinton supporters is boiling over in Denver, with an estimated one quarter hinting they'd rather vote for McCain than Obama. 

With both Clinton and Obama's name on the roll-call vote for nomination, normally there would be a long drawn out and very public show of support for either candidates. 

But the Obama campaign has a tight grip on this convention and the spectacle of each State declaring is unlikely to happen. 

There's speculation that the roll-call will be made by secret ballot behind closed doors with just a token public vote in the convention hall.

Nothing will get in the way of Obama's big day tomorrow - August 28 - the 45th anniversary of when Martin Luther King gave hope to the world with his historic "I have a dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Tomorrow, 45 years to the day, Obama will sell his soap powder 'dream'. And no one will be allowed to rain on that parade. 

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