Possible Fireworks on the Democratic Convention Floor?

17 Aug

With the Demoncratic Convention coming up in Denver, I found it interesting that I would stumble upon this little “tidbit” at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4481224.ece:

Hillary Clinton could yet derail Barack Obama’s presidential campaign after video emerged yesterday of the former First Lady refusing to rule out a divisive floor vote at his nominating convention this month.

The tense behind-the-scenes battle over how to recognise Mrs Clinton’s achievements at the Democratic Convention, which opens in Denver on August 25, burst into public view with footage of her telling supporters that she was looking for a “strategy” for her delegates to be honoured.

Mrs Clinton, filmed talking to mainly women supporters in California last week, refused to rule out the prospect of including her name in an open ballot of all members of the convention. The move would be unprecedented for the leading losing primary candidate in recent times because it would force delegates to pledge publicly their support one by one.

“I believe we will come out stronger if people feel that their voices were heard and their views respected. That is a very big part of how we actually come out unified,” Mrs Clinton said. She received 18 million votes in the primary campaign, narrowly lost the pledged delegate race and registered a string of thumping victories over Mr Obama in the later stages of the nominating battle.

Mrs Clinton’s aides said it was highly unlikely that she would go as far as to demand a nomination roll call but the negotiations between the campaigns reflects the considerable bitterness that still exists, particularly with Bill Clinton and many of his wife’s supporters.

Mrs Clinton has been given the leading speaking role on the second evening of the convention — the night is effectively hers — but until late last night Mr Clinton’s role had yet to be determined. Faced with growing anger inside the Clinton camp of leaving a two-term president in limbo, Mr Obama personally offered a speaking slot to him hours before he departed for a week’s holiday in Hawaii. It is understood Mr Clinton will make his speech before Mr Obama’s vice-presidential pick addresses the convention.

Publicly, Mrs Clinton is doing much to help Mr Obama and is calling on her supporters to back him. She will campaign on his behalf in Nevada today, and in Florida just before the convention. After the video footage emerged, Mrs Clinton issued a statement saying that no decisions had been made on the convention, adding: “Senator Obama and I . . . will ensure that the voices of everyone who participated in this historic process are respected and our party is fully unified heading into the November election.”

Privately however, the Clintons remain sceptical that Mr Obama can win the White House. Although most voters will not focus properly on his race against John McCain until after the conventions have ended in early September, Mr Obama has stalled in the polls. A new survey also diagnosed a fresh concern for the Democrats — “Obama fatigue”. Nearly 50 per cent of voters feel that they have been “hearing too much” about Mr Obama.

The Clinton camp is also irritated by what they perceive as Mr Obama’s failure to work harder to help to pay off her campaign debt and to reach out to her supporters.

In Denver, diehard supporters are planning to demonstrate on her behalf, a prospect that unsettles the Obama camp. The groups include PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) and Just Say No Deal Coalition. David Axelrod, Mr Obama’s campaign manager, said: “We’re going to work this out.” He added that Mrs Clinton was “making a good-faith effort on behalf of Barack”, and the campaigns were talking every day.

Now, here’s what came a few days ago from Hillary’s official email campaign, to which I am subscribed:

I cannot wait for the lights to come up and the cameras to roll at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. When I join Democrats from across the country who are unified and ready to get to work to elect Barack Obama, I want you there.

I hope you will take this chance to come and cheer us on!

So many people have reached out to help us pay down our campaign debt, and I was just overwhelmed by the generous spirit of so many of you. I’m pleased to announce that Leslie of Tacoma, WA won our contest and will be joining me for dinner soon. But so many people participated that I knew I just had to give you another chance. So will you enter today for the chance to join me in Denver?

Join me in Denver. Contribute today.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an event that will truly make history. I’ll make sure you get great seats to see me speak on Tuesday night when I address the nation and see Senator Obama accept the nomination at Mile High Stadium on Thursday.

We’re going to have an amazing convention and head into the fall campaign unified and ready to work. And if you contribute today to help us pay down our campaign debt, you might be the one to join me in Denver!

Personally, I’ve had a hard time reading those “let’s get behind Barrack” emails from the Hillary PR camp (still working on retiring her campaign debt), because it all seems too artificial. Not that I’m doubting Hillary’s sincerity. She’s a dedicated Democrat, and having a Democrat elected this November would be her priority. But 18 Million voters have been shoved aside to make way for a forced agenda.  (Hmmm, do we see any parallels to 2000? 2004?)

Personally, I believe Barrack Obama is the Republicans’ secret weapon. Whoever has been behind the push to get him into the position of Democratic Presidential candidate, had an ultimate goal of electing John McCain, because they knew B.O. would alienate the populace and ultimately self-destruct.

My position on this remains the same. WRITE-IN HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION (that is, of course, unless we get a deligate uprising in Denver and Hillary gets the call to lead the Dems as the official Presidental Candidate!).  -Deb Adler

©2008 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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