Denver's U.S. attorney is expected to speak on Tuesday afternoon about the arrests of four people suspected in a possible plot to shoot Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges.Presumably, this could really only happen at Invesco Field during the acceptance speech. Traditionally, the presumptive nominee doesn't even appear near the convention until the night of his actual nomination and then only briefly.
One of those suspects spoke exclusively to CBS4 investigative reporter Brian Maass from inside the Denver City Jail late Monday night and said his friends had discussed killing Obama.
"So your friends were saying threatening things about Obama?" Maass asked.
"Yeah," Nathan Johnson replied.
"It sounded like they didn't want him to be president?"
"Yeah," Johnson said.
Maass reported earlier Monday that one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle ... sighted at 750 yards."
Now, I'm not sure what kind of sniper rifle one might need while, say, hunting squirrels or defending your acre of property from intruders, but it seems to me this is likely overkill as a legitimate weapon under the spirit of the Second Amendment, even if the SCOTUS recently made the ridiculous ruling that the Second Amendment applies to individual gun ownership rights as opposed to membership in a militia.
And yet, this rifle with a range of nearly half a mile and more was available legally to a nutcase. There's something wrong with this nation. Particularly when we can't win all the frikkin' shooting medals at the Olympics!
It's not like the rifle is the only assault Obama has to beware at the convention, either. The PUMAs are out in force, it seems:
As frustrated Democrats converged on Denver yesterday, some began chanting "caucus fraud," while others shouted the word "sweetie," a reference to the time Obama called a female reporter by the same name. One Clinton supporter who spoke to ABC News said Obama couldn't be trusted. Another said, "He's shifty and untrustworthy." It was assuredly not the kind of message Obama and his diligently image-conscious team were counting on at the Democratic National Convention.Clinton will have to give a very strong warning in her speech tonight about uniting behind Obama, but even then, there are hurt feelings on all sides, and while this is not a rift that cannot heal, it will take time.
Ironically, the longer the primary season ran and passions grew deeper, the shorter the healing process would be. My guess is sometime in the Spring of 2009, Obama will have to make a very public genuflection towards Hillary's supporters, perhaps by championing a signal piece of legislation.
Assuming he wins, of course. If he doesn't, then the Democratic party will destroy itself from within, backbiting and fingerpointing.
See, when Kerry lost the 2004 election, you could very easily finger the culprit: the candidate himself. That's not going to be quite so easy this time. Obama is not running against a failed incumbent, but a fairly well-liked and respected Senator. Obombers will blame Clinton, foolishly, for his loss, for dragging the campaign out, for exposing Obama's flaws.
And Clintonistas will merely point out that, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and let the woman finish cooking. Should Obama lose, he and the people who supported him so vociferously calling for Hillary's ouster from the campaign, will be made to pay heavy prices.
Harry Reid might find himself out of the job as Senate Majority Leader (indeed, it won't surprise me to find out part of Hillary's deal with Obama involves Reid's ouster), replaced by Hillary Clinton.
Of course, this entire scenario goes by the board if Obama wins, and the best way for Obama to win is for Hillary to forcefully make the case that her delegates should not only vote for Obama (maybe on the second ballot), but then shift their support fully to him.
Right now, Hillary supporters have gone to Obama by about 70-30. By making the case for an Obama presidency, Clinton will have tilted that further, and make the issue non-existent except in the darker deeper recesses of the paranoid fringe.
She should do it, too, and I expect she will. If her eight years as senator have taught her anything, there are some forces even a Clinton cannot hold back.
(much love to Memeorandum for the hat tip)