Today in Unity, New Hampshire, both Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will be holding their first official rally since the primary season ended. This follows a closed door meeting with Senator Clinton’s fundraisers and Barack Obama where the presumptive nominee made an important but symbolic contribution to eliminating the campaign debt incurred by the former first lady during the primary season. It is clear that this is an alliance of convenience but undoubtedly the active support of Hillary Clinton will go a long way in helping the Obama campaign.
I recall in 1964 that President Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy campaigned together despite personal animosities. While it may have appeared as a marriage of convenience at the time, it is an historical fact that both candidates helped themselves in achieving their political goals. I believe Hillary’s support of Barack Obama will be highly significant in key swing states and with key demographic groups. Most of her supporters will gravitate to Obama as recent polls indicate but with Hillary’s presence, energy and enthusiasm will gradually follow.
The more recent concern has been with the presence and support of Bill Clinton. According to some accounts, President Clinton has not gotten over his wife’s defeat. His lukewarm endorsement by communiqué of Barack Obama this week was seen as indicative of his displeasure. This blog believes that such an analysis is at best simplistic and most likely incorrect. Bill Clinton is the consummate politician who is very conscious of his legacy and his stature both in America and in the rest of the world. His role under an Obama presidency will most likely be very visible and important without the scrutiny of appearing as a co-president. So look to a major rally similar to the one with Al Gore last week where President Clinton will enthusiastically support and work for Obama. This will return Mr. Clinton to the center of Democratic Party politics, restore his standing with the African-American community, and once again recapture the lustre of a former two-term President.
So in Unity today, there will be unity with more to come. And that can only augur well for Barack Obama’s ultimate quest.