Uniting the Democrats - Macleans.ca

Uniting the Democrats


The convention has begun amid the speculation that many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are disenchanted. Already the McCain campaign is using clips from the primary season showing Mrs. Clinton attacking Barack Obama’s readiness to lead. Concern is also felt within the Obama camp about whether President Bill Clinton will deliver an enthusiastic and heartfelt endorsement. Last night the convention began and it was clear that there is one major objective, and it is unity. Democrats are known to scrabble among themselves and sometimes have carried their divisions into the presidential campaign. We can recall the events of 1968 in Chicago where protesters disrupted the convention and we can also recall Ted Kennedy’s rather lukewarm support of the Democratic nominee, President Carter. In both cases the Democrats lost the elections.

Yesterday, we were treated to an emotional and poignant moment when Senator Kennedy, against the wishes of his doctors and wife, made the trip to Denver to enthusiastically endorse Barack Obama. He spoke about an election where ‘the torch would be passed to a new generation’. He closed by saying that ‘the dream lives on’, a reference to the hopes and aspirations of his late brothers’ campaigns. Clearly, this is the stuff of unity and judging from the tears in the Pepsi Centre, it did the trick. Michelle Obama followed and delivered a speech that said more about the Obama family and their values than it did about Senator Obama’s qualifications. It was an inspiring speech and very well delivered. Again, the stuff of unity.

Tonight the Democrats celebrate the 88th anniversary of the right to vote for women. If anyone deserves to address the convention on that issue, it is probably Hillary. She ran the most ambitious campaign ever by a woman candidate. And as she so rightly says, with 18 million votes, she has paved the way for women in the future and in all walks of life. She will deliver a speech that will attack John McCain and the Bush legacy but she will also give her full support and commitment to helping Barack Obama become the next president of the United States of America. Outside of Obama’s speech on Thursday, this will be the highlight of the convention. This will be the critical point of unity. The success or failure of this convention could well be decided tonight.

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Uniting the Democrats

  1. “Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters, registered Democrats who want Clinton as the nominee, are now backing Obama. That’s down from 75 percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say they’ll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.” CNN Poll, August 24

    Looks like Hillary supporters didn’t get the memo about ‘unity’.

  2. I agree with Mr. Parisella that unity is crucial for victory. But can it really be achieved? Sadly, I doubt it. I don’t think the Obama camp has shown enough respect to Hillary. And Hillary’s recent efforts to show support for Obama seem to fall somewhere between “too little” and “too late”. The choice of Biden certainly did nothing to help. That Hillary was never even considered also seemed like an unnecessary affront. ( Though she should never have been VP, it might have appeased her supporters to know she was in close running) Kennedy’s speech might have been impassioned a few but I doubt it did anything to swing the angry Hillary supporters. I guess it is all in Obama’s hands now. He’ll need to be better than he has ever been to convince Democrats to swallow their pride, bury their hatchets and finally unite behind him….

  3. Did anyone note on the National last night the interview with OL Obie’s foreign policy advisor who came right and said that right after he gets into the whitehouse he wants to send at least 3 combat brigades to Afghanistan and then lean of the other NATO members including Canada to committ beyond 2011 !!!!! hmmmmm this raises an interesting ballot question who do you trust to negotiate with Obama Harper or Dion hmmmmm!