One day after DNC party head honchos decided the fates of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegates, the debate rages on as to whether or not it was “fair,” what this means for the future in terms of the nomination, and whether or not the “unity” so many at the DNC RBC meeting yesterday predicted would come from the vote will actually take place. Judging by some of the reactions I’m reading in the blogosphere this morning, I’m not so sure it will.
Make no mistake about it: Many of Hillary’s supporters are pi**ed, as liberal Ezra Klein notes here. Liberalista Jane Hamsher was at the RBC meeting yesterday and obtained video which reportedly shows bruises one Hillary Clinton supporter received after being ejected from the meeting for repeatedly chanting “Denver! Denver!” Hamsher also shot video of another Hillary Clinton supporter who was ejected from the room who, as a result, went going ballistic over the proceedings. Taylor Marsh, who also backs Hillary for prez, unloads here. MSNBC First Read’s report this morning that Obama almost had enough votes from the RBC to make Michigan a 50-50 split won’t help things, either. Nor will the Telegraph’s article about how the Obama campaign is allegedly drawing up a plan that would help Hillary Clinton make a “dignified” exit from the presidential race. Hillary’s supporters will likely see this as a slap in the face, because they feel like this election is “her time.”
I should also point out that on top of the dis these women feel like Hillary received yesterday from the RBC, there is a not so insignificant number of Hillary supporters who feel that not only has the media engaged in a blatantly sexist campaign against her, but that the Obama campaign – including Obama himself – is guilty of sexism as well. Gerry Ferraro, a prominent Hillary supporter who resigned from Clinton’s finance committee earlier this year after false allegations of racism were hurled at her from the Obama campaign and their fawning media backers, stated a couple of weeks ago that she may not vote for Obama because of what she felt were his sexist attitudes towards women. How many other women will follow suit?
Will it be Hillary Clinton’s job to unite her supporters around Barack Obama? Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left says no – that’s up to Obama. Ferraro wrote an an op/ed in the Boston Globe a few days ago saying she believes it’s Obama’s responsibility to win over disgruntled Clinton supporters. The Obama campaign, on the other hand, is essentially saying it’s up to Hillary. For what it’s worth, I personally think it’s up to both of them, considering they’ve both gotten down and dirty in the nomination fight. Of course, if Hillary does indeed take this all the way to the convention, as she’s reserved the right to do, this whole “unity” argument will be shown to be the platitude most of us on the other side of the aisle already believe it to be.
So what’s next? Today’s Puerto Rico primary, which Hillary is expected to win. It may help Clinton in the popular vote argument but in actuality would be meaningless as far as the general election is concerned, because, as Ed Morrissey points out, Puerto Rico has no electoral votes because it doesn’t vote in presidential elections.
After Puerto Rico, the last two primaries of the campaign season are on Tuesday in South Dakota and Montana, and both favor Obama. All totalled, the Obama campaign expects to only be roughly 30 superdelegates short when these last three primaries are said and done. CNN reported yesterday that many of the uncommitted superdelegates were purposely waiting until after the last primaries to make their decisions known, so look for a number of them to announce their support for Obama on Wednesday in an effort to try and move the party forward so it can focus its full attentions on John McCain, whose been able to largely sidestep the unfolding Scott McClellan drama thanks not only to the chaos of yesterday’s RBC meeting, but Obama’s announcement last night that he was leaving TUCC, both headlines that have moved the McClellan story off the top fold – for the time being, anyway.
All that said, whether or not Hillary concedes before the convention won’t matter much to the BO campaign, which will devote all the time and money and other resources it can to continuing the general election fight it has already started against McCain. While many of us are taking delight at the big split we’re seeing in the identity politics-driven Democrat party, don’t forget that Obama has a huge money advantage over McCain as well as a massive get out the vote organization that I personally witnessed at the Charlotte rally in early May. Hillary may still be a distraction for Obama for weeks after the last votes are cast and the remaining superdelegates pledge their votes, but Obama will no doubt at the very least have his surrogates out there attacking McCain on a daily basis, while his staffers and volunteers across the country continue to make use of some of that campaign cash to get fence-sitting voters enthusiastic for their candidate.
Divided Democrat party or not, the next 5+ months still promise to be a bumpy ride not just for them, but for us, too.
Batten down the hatches.