Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama, the Unifier, Leads Fractured Democratic Party

Barack Obama gained the rabid support of the Democratic Party’s left wing by promising among other things to first unify the nation and then ride forth to bring peace and harmony to the entire world. He assured his followers that no experience was required to perform this miracle; he would accomplish the feat solely by virtue of his singular personality. As Oprah so eloquently introduced Obama at a rally in South Carolina during the Democratic primary, “He’s the one we’ve been waiting for.”

So far the presumptive nominee, also known as “the one,” has not been able to unify his own party ahead of its national convention this August in Denver – even though his coronation is slated to occur before 75,000 onlookers seated in the Mile High Stadium at Invesco Field.

In this Tuesday’s NY Observer, Jason Horowitz describes how Clinton supporters are determined to ensure that never again will a serious female candidate be subjected to the onslaught of sexism and misogyny that Hillary Clinton faced in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

Horowitz writes:

“Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild doesn’t look like a radical.

“Surrounded by bike paths, ponds and the Atlantic Ocean in her Martha’s Vineyard farmhouse, not far from where Bill and Hillary Clinton usually summer, the lifelong Democrat and Clinton fund-raiser opened a laptop to her “Together4Us” Web site, an online petition that features Hillary Clinton looking luminous above a series of demands made of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

“Ms. de Rothschild, 54, dressed in matching blue pants and sweater, blond hair tucked behind her ears, said she plans to send copies of the more than 6,000 signatures she has collected to superdelegates, Mr. Obama, his top officials, Howard Dean and officials at the Democratic National Committee, on Aug. 18—the Monday before the Democratic convention.

“And she’ll be there, at the convention, to help press those demands, she said, especially including a dramatic overhaul of the nominating process by which Mr. Obama won the primary. She said she was well aware of Mrs. Clinton’s efforts to get Mr. Obama elected, as well as the efforts of the Obama campaign staffers, whom she said she liked, to appease Mrs. Clinton’s supporters. Despite it all, Ms. de Rothschild does not plan to vote for him.

‘“I think it’s difficult for him to fix it because of the judgments he’s made in the past and his lack of experience,’ she said, adding that there was really nothing Mrs. Clinton could do about it. “If we are dissatisfied with Obama as a potential president, Hillary cannot be expected to change our minds.”’

“A phenomenon born from the debris of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign has taken on a life of its own.

“The mostly female collection of activists who continue to rally around the cause of a decommissioned White House bid can’t exactly be described as an organized movement. There are the wealthy donors who work within official party channels and talk calmly about reforming the party’s nominating process or protecting against gender bias in future elections. Their level of hostility toward the Obama campaign varies. And then there are the outright rejectionists: the raucous bloggers and founders of groups like PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) who plan to disrupt the convention and have declared all-out war against Mr. Obama and his supporters, who they accuse of making death threats and leaving dead bunny rabbits on doorsteps in the middle of the night.

“What they share, without exception, is a profound disappointment at the way the primary turned out, and a revulsion at the way they perceive Mrs. Clinton to have been treated.

“That has been enough to establish a de facto echo chamber that has proven to be a headache for Mr. Obama as his campaign tries to project Democratic unity ahead of the convention during the last week of August.”

Read more.

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