Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Will Obama Speak at the Texas Democratic Convention This Week?

I think it depends on what his opponent is going to do about the fact that he is the presumed nominee, and she isn’t. For reasons that the pundits have been trying to fathom all day, Hillary Clinton failed to concede the nomination to the presumed nominee. I don’t want to join them in trying to figure out why. I don’t care why.

What, though, is this going to do to the 2008 Democratic campaign up and down the ballot in Texas? The Democratic convention in Austin begins on Friday, well Thursday night if you throw in all of the parties, drinking, and backroom meetings. It would be nice to have a single rallying point. It would be nice to have some single thing to unify this badly fractured party around.

But that isn’t going to happen.

So instead of party unity, we are going to have delegates have at each other. With nothing settled, and with something akin to defiance in the air, I think, in the absence of having anything finally resolved, this is going to be a very rancorous convention.

I’ll use the adjective “shrill”.

So will Obama show up to address this group of 16,000? Who in their right mind would want to? Who would want to attend a convention where half of the audience will greet you warmly, even wildly, and the other half will boo loudly? I think that’s not a moment that the Obama campaign will want to see on You Tube.

And now come to find out, quite accidentally, the Obama campaign is going to send a surrogate to address the crowd. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will come to the Democratic Convention in Austin, and will speak to the general session on Friday.

I don’t envy him.

He will have to stand in front of a roomful of delegates who have still not stopped bickering. This crowd knows that although Clinton carried Texas by a slim majority in the March 3rd primary, she lost in the precinct conventions that were held later that evening. So Texas stands unique among the 50 states as the only state that cast a majority of votes to Clinton, but Clinton will not receive a majority of Texas delegates at the national convention. Clinton delegates are pretty sore about that.

Half of me wants to be there to watch this spectacle. But I have a long-standing conflict that prevented me from applying for a “blogger’s credential” (yes, they really have them).

But then the other half (the empty part) doesn’t think he can take it anymore.

UPDATE: Just out is that Clinton will suspend her campaign and concede on Friday. Now I have to ask, has anything changed? I think not. It’s going to take people some time to adjust to all of this. No, nothing will really change unless she actually does her concession speech in Austin.

And what do you think the chances are of that happening?


jolie said...

So Texas stands unique among the 50 states as the only state that cast a majority of votes to Clinton, but Clinton will not receive a majority of Texas delegates at the national convention. Clinton delegates are pretty sore about that.

um, hal. can we turn-about-fair-play here? with all the passionate support you feel for your candidate, if he were the one with the most votes but least delegates, would you be willing to sit down & shut up?

also, I would argue with your characterization of clinton delegates as "sore." a better word choice would be "rueful."

after all the energy, money, focus, etc., clinton & her campaign expended do you honestly expect an immediate about-face? do you not think maybe there's some psychology at work here that says, let's have some breathing space.

I don't see how a few days of relative quiet harms the process. rather, I think we benefit by slowing down for a bit to evaluate and realign our passions, and then gear up mightily for the next phase.

Guillermo Lopez said...

I Supported Hillary Clinton Throughout Race and now that Obama is the nominee i support him. i find it extremely offensive that you would paint us Hillary supporters as bitter with a mob-like mentality by saying that we would boo Barack Obama if he spoke at the convention. I know you didnt like Hillary Clinton and i respect your choice for candidate, However, when you assume that we would do such a thing as too "boo" the nominee and go to the convention and just "bicker" it sends the wrong message. It would only make it harder for the Few who are still not ready to jump ship to Obama. Obama won the nomination, many of us are happy for him and we support him 100% but please respect the candidacy of the person we once supported.

Anonymous said...


How about rejoicing in the victory and stop pissing on the campfire?

We are all in this together at this point.

Let go of the bitterness. You won already.

Hal said...

Jolie and Guillermo:

If you read "bad winner" in my comments I do apologize. I really did want Texas to be highlighted this week in the presidential election, and yes, there is some frustration there that it won't happen.

You who don't think that there will be angst at the convention this week have a cheerier outlook than I. You are right, Jolie, it is going to take some time for some to breathe and recover, a longer time than anyone is willing to admit.

I just wished, as did many of her own supporters, that Clinton did not keep this thing going an extra day. It sent the wrong messages.

Hal said...


See above.