Monday, August 25, 2008

The Convention

You would think a breath of fresh air might accompany the opening gavel of the most historic convention in American history, the Democratic National Convention To Select The Scary Black Man and His Sidekick, Blabbermouth.
You'd think, and you'd be wrong:
As Democrats arrived here Sunday for a convention intended to promote party unity, mistrust and resentments continued to boil among top associates of presumptive nominee Barack Obama and his defeated rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is "Securing America's Future." The night's speakers will argue that Obama would be a more effective commander in chief than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas — emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s.

This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.

Now, it occurs to the diplomat and politician in me, as well as should occur to Clinton, that securing America's future means a return to sound fiscal policies, the ones of the Clinton administration, the ones that secured the single greatest economic boom in the history of mankind (not to make too big a deal of it).
Indeed, I would imagine that this story is an Obomber or a PUMA plant, or possibly a Rove plant, designed to create a tempest where none exists. True, Obama dissed, mightily, Clinton's legacy, and he will pay for that at some point down the road, but make no mistake about it: when that payback comes, it will not be in the gaudy lights of Denver, but in the smoke-filled backrooms of the Senate.
There's too much at stake here, and not enough wiggle room to manuever.
Ironically, had Obama chosen Hillary as his Vice Presidential candidate, an awful lot of this rumour would have been emasculated from the get-go. Choosing Biden was not precisely stimulating news (his hair plugs get more coverage), and it's hard to rally around a man who's claim to fame is being trounced twice running for the top job.
Hillary would have given a large bounce immediately to the polls, but the open-ended questions regarding her candidacy would have likely given some of that advantage back, too. However, a true change agent, someone interested in showing a new political face to the world, would have chosen her, if for no other reason than to show that bygones truly were bygones and he was prepared to heal the electorate.
Of course, the McCain campaign has jumped ugly already on the choice of Biden. It is interesting that they picked up on this theme. No doubt the choice of Hillary as either nominee or vice presidential pick would have generated a completely different ad, the clear inference here being that Hillary voters should cross parties, remembering their Reagan Democratic roots while forgetting that the Republican party abandoned them in favor of the monied class.
But I digress...
More interesting to me this go-round will be Hillary's keynote address to the Convention, scheduled for Tuesday night.
She's stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, she has to give full-throated, unrelenting support to Obama's candidacy (and she's been very very good doing that these past weeks), on the other, she has some wiggle room now that it has been revealed that she was never even in consideration for the Veep nod.
Obama strikes me as the kind of kid who you really hated to see win, because he'd get all "smack talk" in your face, and you really just wanted to beat his scrawny little ass the next go-round, which is why I think we may see a Hillary campaign in 2012 if Obama falters in the least (and he will). It will be interesting to see if Hillary leaves the door open even a crack tomorrow night. In my mind, she shouldn't, but the urge to keep the uncertainty flowing for four years will be immense, the old "lead me not into temptation, I'd rather find it myself" saw comes into play here.
You know, just when I was looking forward to finally falling asleep at a decent hour after the Olympics, they go and throw this at me...

(h/t Memeorandum for showing da love)