Theodore's World: Clinton, Obama Agree On Roll Call Vote ~ Petitions Circulated On Convention Floor

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August 26, 2008

Clinton, Obama Agree On Roll Call Vote ~ Petitions Circulated On Convention Floor


Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama agreed Monday to limit a divisive roll call for president, giving delegates a brief but historic choice between a black man and white woman.

The deal would allow some states to cast votes for both Obama and Clinton before ending the roll call in acclamation for the Illinois senator.

Clinton herself may cut off the vote and recommend unanimous nomination of Obama, according to Democratic officials involved in the negotiations. They discussed the deal on condition of anonymity while details were being finalized.

Some Clinton delegates said they were not interested in a compromise, raising the prospect of floor demonstrations that would underscore the split between Obama and Clinton Democrats.

"I don't care what she says," said Mary Boergers, a Maryland delegate who wants to cast a vote for Clinton.

As part of the deal, Obama and Clinton activists teamed up and circulated three petitions on the convention floor Monday night — supporting Clinton, Obama and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. Each needed 300 signatures to be nominated.

The dealmaking indicates the divided nature of the party: Obama does not have full control over a convention that includes many delegates who are enthusiastic Clinton supporters. But both senators have an incentive to help make peace between their opposing sides — Obama so he'll have their backing in November and Clinton so she'll be well positioned for a future run.

Clinton herself said she wouldn't tell her backers how to vote, but she told them she would cast her own vote for Obama. "We were not all on the same side as Democrats, but we are now," she said.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest child of the late Robert F. Kennedy and a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, said the animosity that some Clinton delegates feel toward Obama "is getting worse."

Townsend, a Maryland delegate, was a strong Clinton supporter but now is fully behind Obama. She said she partly understands why some of her colleagues have not joined her yet.

"There's a moment that you want to enjoy your bitterness," she said.

Clinton advisers have been holding talks almost every day on the question of how to handle the roll call, and they were still struggling to solve the mechanics of honoring Clinton without getting bogged down in time-consuming counting.

Obama said he isn't involved in negotiations over the roll call and is letting campaign manager David Plouffe work out the details with the Clinton team.

As part of the compromise in the works for weeks, the New York senator will be the headliner Tuesday night. Her husband, former President Clinton, will speak Wednesday — part of her request that he be on a separate night, negotiators said.

An official familiar with conversations between the Obama and Clinton camps said Hillary Clinton fully realizes it would hurt her politically to be seen as anything other than 100 percent behind Obama.

Bill Clinton "is not as far along" in reconciling himself to his wife's loss, said the source, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because private conversations were involved.

However, the former president is eager to draw sharp distinctions between the policies and visions of Obama and McCain. Clinton is in discussions with Obama aides over how broad the speech should be, the source said.

It was not clear whether there would be floor demonstrations for Clinton after her name was placed in nomination, a spectacle that could detract from Obama's political coronation.

The animosity in Denver is not just on the Clinton side. Susan Castner, a Clinton delegate from Portland, Ore., said six people insulted her as she walked alone down the street Saturday night wearing a Clinton T-shirt, telling her to take it off and calling her a profanity.
"I know this is not coming from Barack Obama, but his supporters are helping us decide who to vote for" in November, Castner said. "I hate the feeling that you shouldn't wear your Hillary gear unless there are two or three of you together."

The split pales in comparison to past political convention battles like the 1980 fight between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy. President Carter beat him in the primaries, but Kennedy supporters tried to take away the nomination at the New York convention. Kennedy didn't have the votes for the nomination, and at the convention finale he shunned the hugs and clasped hands that are customary at adjournment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is chairwoman of the convention, said the party must move past their primary divisions, but there should be a full roll call vote.
"I can't imagine not going into a convention and hearing 'Alabama!' and the whole world looking up to see what comes next," she said. "But as typical of these roll calls, at a certain point, somebody has the votes and the protocol and graciousness come through and that will have its own dynamic."

Wild Thing's comment........

...limit a divisive roll call for president, giving delegates a brief but historic choice between a black man and white woman.
The deal would allow some states to cast votes for both Obama and Clinton...

The way I understand this "roll call" will NOT include all the states, just in case it begins to look like Hillary will win it. A dog and pony show, they know very well if they allowed a vote the big O just might lose.

Watching the Dem Conventiion Monday night I noticed the energy level was very low, and few and far between seemed excited. From seeing a lot of the faces, many weren't even smiling, and some were down right somber, then of course others the real Obama's fans were smiiling.

Posted by Wild Thing at August 26, 2008 04:55 AM


This part of the convention I may watch just to see if it turns into a riot. If it looks like a set up, feel good, "we be united" scripted surrender by Clinton folks, then I will switch back to Discovery Channel. I want the Dems to battle, fight, war. If they are going to be all touchy-feely then I have better things to see.

Posted by: TomR at August 26, 2008 10:20 AM

Vladimir Putin and the rest of the world must be laughing at this charade of democracy. The arrogance of the United States (at least the Democratic Party) lecturing the world on free and fair elections. What hypocrites!

I seemed to have missed the moment of silence for Mary Jo Kopechne during the tribute to Teddy Kennedy. Did anyone else see it? Again, what hypocrites!

With the Democrats in charge of Congress their ratings are 9% positive. It looks like they are running their convention the same way. Pathetic.

Posted by: Les at August 26, 2008 11:03 AM

If the situation weren't so serious for the nation one would think it was a page taken from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. How about another nudge behind Kennedy's ear with that inflated pig's bladder. Wait!!! He is the pig's bladder.

Posted by: Jack at August 26, 2008 04:40 PM

Tom, I just saw on TV a few minutes ago that the discussion between Hillary's team about her speech and Obama's camp have ended and Obama is now telling her what to say. haha I guess we will see what she does and says.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 26, 2008 05:24 PM

Les, yes they had nothing about o Mary Jo Kopechne. That is one of the things they took from the gray matter in their brains. They want to forget about her completely.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 26, 2008 05:27 PM

Jack,hahha good one!

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 26, 2008 05:29 PM

Mary Jo? Like they care, Obama has thrown half the known population under the bus. They don't give a flying fig who they run over.

Posted by: Jenn at August 26, 2008 07:54 PM

Ghastly notion that we could STILL end up with Hitlery and Bubba back in the White House! Yuck! I better go wash my eyes out!
This is the kookiest, nuttiest, most stupid convention I have ever seen! Two little kids fighting in the snowdrift over who's more popular. For our sake, McPain better win or we're in for a world of hurt.

Posted by: Lynn at August 27, 2008 04:25 AM