Say what you will about Hillary voters eventually falling in line and voting for Barack Obama, the rift between the Hillary campaign and the Obama campaign is not a fabrication of Fox News and the MSM. The Clintons don’t really believe that the Democrats are about to nominate the right person for president. That makes the job of convincing Hillary’s delegates to vote for Barack instead rather difficult to do. She had to make the attempt to keep herself in the conversation for 2012. Given that calculation, Hillary’s speech did more to help her future political aspirations than it did to help Barack Obama win this election.
Hillary’s speech was a great speech, and it only reinforced the belief of her supporters that she would have been tough against John McCain. She said what she had to avoid the blame for a possible November loss by Obama, but she didn’t make the case that he’s the slam-dunk choice against McCain. How could she? It’s clear she doesn’t believe that. I think Michelle Obama knew that what she was watching was Hillary going through the motions of supporting Barack. How else could you explain the resentful look on her face as she watched Hillary’s speech? It’s all a big charade — this appearance of unity deal between the Clintons and the Obamas.
You really can’t blame the Obamas for any annoyance or resentment they may feel about sharing a significant portion of their convention with the Clintons. The purpose of the Democratic National Convention should be to sell the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, to the American people as a suitable alternative to John McCain. I’m not sure the Dems will end up accomplishing this and getting the necessary bounce out of this week. Attacks on Bush-McCain policies only go so far. To advance the hope/change message, Barack has to set out his own bold vision, which will be hard because there’s nothing new about his ideas or proposed policies. The only new element is the person trying to sell those bad ideas.
All of Barack’s surrogates haven’t been able to close the deal for him so far this week. It’s up to Senator Obama to make the case to the American people, and his speech tomorrow will have a significant impact on what happens to his candidacy going forward.