Is Hillary Going For The Kill At The Denver Convention?
By Alan Hart
-- - According to conventional wisdom Barak Obama
agreed, for the sake of party unity, that Hillary Clinton should
be “put into nomination” at the Denver Convention, on the
understanding that when nominated, and before the first roll
call, she would release her delegates to him and urge them to
vote for him. That, apparently, is how it’s supposed to happen
next Tuesday evening. But is that the way it will happen?
The key to understanding what could actually happen is in the
fact that Hillary did not withdraw from the race. She announced
only that she was “suspending” her campaign.
At the time one or two (perhaps more) of the most thoughtful
American commentators wondered aloud why she had refrained from
saying that she was withdrawing from the race. The point made,
quite properly and fairly, was that the word “suspension”
carries the connotation that the hiatus is temporary.
“Suspended” players in sports, for example, return to play after
their period of suspension. In Hillary’s case one possible
implication was that she was hoping that something would turn up
between June and the convention in Denver to allow her to resume
the fight on the floor there.
The something that has turned up, thanks mainly to Obama’s
apparent inability to develop his early promise and come on
strong, is that Senator McCain is ahead in the polls. One could
say there are many reasons why that ought not to have happened
but it has happened.
The day after the release of the poll findings indicating that
McCain was five points ahead, I received telephone calls from an
extremely well informed American friend telling me that Hillary
was in the process of putting the finishing touches to her
strategy to take Obama out at the convention. The friend named
the four key people who were preparing the ground for the
putsch, including the lady who is acting as Hillary’s eminence
grise. (The latter is a very powerful lady with loads of money).
If my friend’s information is correct, the following is the
scenario that will be played out next Tuesday evening, prime
time. When she is nominated, Hillary will not realease her
delegates to Obama and will say words to the effect that
circumstances have changed, and it’s now clear that only she can
guarantee to win the White House for the party. Whether or not
she herself would go as far as challenging Obama to release his
delegates to her is not something my friend was prepared to
speculate about. He said he thought that aspect of the matter
had not yet been determined. He also said it was more than
reasonable to assume that enough delegates would be prepared to
dump Barak and give Hilary victory on the convention floor if
they were persuaded that he was, or was most likely to be, a
My American friend’s information may or may not reflect the
reality of what Hillary is up to in the final countdown to the
convention. I have no way of knowing from my side of the pond (I
live in the UK). But I am still intrigued by her refusal in June
to say that she was withdrawing from the race. And I note what
was said to me when I ran my friend’s Denver scenario past a
former American congressman who knows better than most how the
game, dirty tricks and all, is played. He said: “It’s a remote
possibility but not impossible. The Clintons don’t take
prisoners and play for keeps.”.
Well soon know.
Before I decided to write this piece, I watched a short YouTube
video of Hillary in conversation with some of her most zealous
supporters. All women. It starts with one of them asking her if
she would consider having her name put into nomination at the
convention. She replies: “That’s an obvious question and we are
working on it….” The clip ends with another lady saying that she
was a delegate and was aware that some of those who had been
committed to Obama had signed a statement to indicate that they
would switch to Hillary if she was put into nomination at the
convention. I had the quite strong impression that this last
speaker in the clip was a plant - to convey a message for
Hillary that she herself did not want to speak.
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