Not Waiting For The Process To End
An article in yesterday's Washington Post aptly summarized the state of the race:
Top fundraisers for Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have begun private talks aimed at merging the two candidates' teams, not waiting for the Democratic nominating process to end before they start preparations for a hard-fought fall campaign.
There is recognition that the race officially will continue through the final primaries...
But in small gatherings around Washington and in planning sessions for party unity events in New York and Boston in coming weeks, fundraisers and surrogates from both camps are discussing how they can put aside the vitriol of the past 18 months and move forward to ensure that the eventual nominee has the resources to defeat Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in November.
A bunch of party insiders held a unity dinner, last week.
The gathering, held at the Ritz-Carlton residence of Jim Johnson and Maxine Isaacs, was a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at which former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin was honored. But the guests were well aware of the symbolism as they sipped cocktails and admired the views of the Potomac River and the Washington Monument. The event honoring a prominent Clinton supporter was held at the home of an Obama backer and co-hosted by another, former senator Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.).
"The people there had all picked sides," one attendee said. "There was a sense that there is an obligation to lead by example."
While there was little outright talk of how the primary campaign would end, guests confirmed that DNC Chairman Howard Dean set the tone with a speech in which he emphasized that despite the protracted nomination fight, he is already instituting a plan to combat McCain.
The message was clear, according to one attendee, who said, "You don't go anywhere anymore where there isn't a sense that this is over and this is about how people behave over the next month."
And that's it. If you read the Clinton bloggers, you will find many strong and valid arguments about why this race really isn't over. Or why it really shouldn't be over. If this was a truly democratic process. Which it isn't. As Big Tent Democrat has pointed out, the process wasn't designed to be truly democratic. And the Obama bloggers have spent much of the past few months bringing the shrill in a very big way over the possibility that party insiders and superdelegates would decide the race. For Clinton, anyway. Because the party insiders and superdelegates are deciding the race. For Obama. And the shrillosphere is okay with that. Because to some people it hasn't ever been about fairness or democracy, it's been about their guy winning. And the party insiders and superdelegates are declaring it over. The corporate media have already declared it over. And the pale reflection of the corporate media that is the Shrillosphere of Change long ago declared it over. The arguments don't matter. The popular vote doesn't matter. Florida and Michigan don't matter. Anything that might in any way call into question the validity or rectitude of the only acceptable outcome doesn't matter. It is over.
The Post article says that among the party insiders, much healing is yet to be done. And it would help if Obama selected a Clinton loyalist as his running-mate, although it's hard to see how the selection of a Clinton loyalist will repair the damage, unless that loyalist is Clinton herself. Which many Obama bloggers and supporters refuse even to consider. But this article was about Villagers. Beltway types. These people are friends. They see each other at restaurants. Their kids and grandkids probably attend the same schools. But from what I've seen in the blogs and in the Left Coast meat world, the healing will not be so easy. And the attitude of some prominent Obama supporters is not helping. Many seem to think it is the Clinton supporters who need to lead the healing process. Many seem to think they have little or no responsibility to help lead the healing process. Many seem to think they can merely write off the Clinton supporters. Many don't understand that victory in November is far from assured.