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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2706

Bill and Hillary Clinton Key to Success of Democratic Convention Today

By Philip Fernando for Asian Tribune

Los Angeles, 25 August, ( Invesco Field in Denver is ready. Hillary and Bill Clinton will lend their luster to the Democratic Convention with cameo appearances making a solid pitch for unity. Said one analyst, there will be no rebellion but resignation from Clinton supporters who are determined get a democratic man elected to White House. So, over 4,000 delegates, 15,000 journalists from over 100 countries, over 200 local and international TV channels with their crew, 2,500 security forces and the glimmer and glitter choreographed to the last word and gesture will bring Barrack Obama’s presidential bid to a climax. Michelle Obama is expected to address the delegates on Monday.

The final important political piece before this unmatched pageant fell into place, with Obama's choice of Joe Biden, the vastly experienced chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as his vice presidential running mate. The actual physical space has been turned into a coronation by an army of construction crews. The mile mile-high sports arena is now a colossal open-air theatre where Obama will deliver his acceptance speech before 80,000 people on Thursday evening.

The selection of Biden has from a fresh impetus among many supporters. He is a straight shooter who can match wits with John McCain who had been in the senate with him for decades. Even though Hillary Clinton was not enlisted to the “Dream ticket,” the consensus is that Biden was the best alternative available.

He may have been chosen for his seasoning in national security matters - the 'Vladimir Putin candidate,' it is joked. Biden visited Georgia last week, after the Russian onslaught against Georgia played into the strongest suit of Obama's Republican rival John McCain. Biden made his presence felt immediately with his visit, making 47-year-old rookie Obama look strong in international affairs.

Biden critics have already called him a Washington insider. Smooth, and “solipsistic and maddeningly garrulous,” were some of the adjectives used. But Obama is trying to display Biden as a hardworking, nice-guy son of a Catholic family, raised in industrial Scranton, Pennsylvania, who commutes from his home state of Delaware to Washington - and by train, of all things. This is Democratic Party’s way of attracting white blue collar workers that spurned Obama and flocked to Hillary in the primaries in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Those are important swing states the party must win to reclaim the White House in November.

Biden lost no time ripping into his old Senate pal McCain as a Bush clone, who would offer only the prospect of four more years of Bush. Biden called them the most disastrous Presidency in modern times. Traditionally, the vice Presidential nominee is the attack dog on the ticket, allowing his partner to tread the higher ground.

If Springfield was any guide, Biden is more than up for it. We will see some heavy weight sparring pretty soon. Many believe that this combative, freewheeling campaigner will be the perfect complement for the cool, cerebral and ultra-disciplined Obama. The risk is that Biden can some times over do that task and may produce a gaffe or two.

The convention will be a nonstop four day party political broadcast, on prime time TV before an unusually receptive audience. This year there is tremendous interest as both Obama and McCain have not been an ex-President or Vice President. Obama is walking into the convention with a 49-45 per cent edge nationally among self-described likely voters and that lead may go up to 10 points by next week,. Obama's campaign mangers are playing down expectations, but they are secretly hoping that their candidate would have a double digit lead by September

Undoubtedly, Hillary's speech tomorrow will be a rousing call to unity. Her name will be formally placed in nomination, and even though she will tell her supporters to swing behind her rival, virtually half the elected delegates in the Pepsi Center, where the convention is being held, were sent there on her behalf.

Close primary races have often resulted in bitter rivalry. Twice in recent times precisely that occurred. In 1976 when Ronald Reagan came close to unseating Gerald Ford at the Republican convention in Kansas City, and in 1980 when Edward Kennedy carried a doomed but unrelenting challenge to Jimmy Carter to the bitter en, the rivalries were damning. Ford and Carter, incumbent Presidents, both lost. An even if Hillary proves a good loser, there is some doubt whether Bill Clinton has completely forgotten the primary season. Bill Clinton speaks on Wednesday evening. That speech would be keenly watched. Assuming that the Clinton problem can be resolved, this has every prospect of being a convention for the ages.

At the end there will be Obama's words to the 80,000 believers in Invesco Field that may carry the day. His inspirational keynote address to John Kerry's convention in Boston four years ago, that turned him overnight into a national figure, may be repeated again. Some believe that Obama will even do better.

- Asian Tribune -

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