The past few days have been a spectacle.
Why shouldn’t it be? The Democratic National Convention is underway.
These national conventions are traditionally a time to celebrate, and, in a sense, demonstrate your national power to the rival party. This year’s DNC has continued that tradition…for the most part.
So far, supporters have been praising the moving speeches of big names, such as Michelle Obama, and the struggling Edward Kennedy. But the most powerful speech of all, and the most dominant presence so far in the DNC has come from the second-most-popular Democrat in the nation: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The history-making campaign of Hillary Clinton has been an epic devastation for the Democratic Party.
Sure, you could pick up TIME Magazine and find Barack Obama’s face filling up all but the trademark red border; but it is Hillary Clinton and her devout followers that has filled up news time and headlining articles.
These headlines inform us that Hillary has told her voters to get behind Obama. If you read the contents of the articles, however, you will find the disappointment and bitterness from supporters and leaders alike that has proven a near lethal poison for the Democratic Party.
Hillary’s supporters know that she is not happy. She fully expected to win the nomination and the presidency. So did they, and that’s why they cannot let it go.
Now, just two months shy of the general election, the party that has claimed “Unity” as their key slogan struggles to achieve said unity amidst a division rivaling that of the Republican-Democrat split.
So what was it about the Clinton campaign? In its current turmoil, faithful Democrats might ask: “What did she do wrong?”
She did nothing wrong. That’s precisely the problem. One would venture to say that she has been the most influential and most effective candidate NOT to win the nomination from her own party. She turned a party (or a large portion of one) into a religion and a dream that many refuse to let go, even when she has. Her success has caused the great division within the party.
Now, whether or not this issue continues to steal media headlines or stay atop the party’s concerns through election day has yet to be seen. No doubt Mrs. Clinton will continue to rally behind Mr. Obama, but will those who have trusted her thus far continue to do so during the climax of the campaigning experience?
This will truly be a spectacle.