early and often

The Fraught Details of Obama-Clinton Unity

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Nearly three weeks after Hillary Clinton officially departed the presidential race, she and Barack Obama will join together in political matrimony before a bunch of fund-raising bigwigs at the Mayflower Hotel. Obama has called on his major money people to help retire Clinton’s huge debt, and Clinton is asking hers to donate the maximum to Obama’s campaign. But because that’s not cheesy and staged enough, they’ll also appear together at a rally tomorrow in — get ready — Unity, New Hampshire! Still, while Hillary and Barack will smile broadly and bathe each other in adulation, Bill Clinton and some die-hard Hillary supporters aren’t exactly jumping onboard the unity train.

• Gail Collins says that Hillary has bypassed the five stages of grief and “seems to have invented some brand-new sixth stage of chipper serenity,” which “she ought to market … as a brand of new age meditation or yoga.” Bill, however, “may not be there yet,” and neither are her supporters, may of whom disagree with the Obama campaign on when and how Clinton should release her convention delegates. Obama wants them before the convention “so that Barack could be nominated unanimously, cleanly and quickly,” but Clinton supporters would like their delegates to be “officially tallied” to show how close a woman came to becoming president. [NYT]

• Margaret Carlson notes how convenient it is that Bill won’t be able to make the unity event in Unity tomorrow. Barack and Bill are beefing with each other for perceived slights and insults during the primaries, and Bill “is now furious that among Obama’s first hires was Patti Solis Doyle.” It’s Obama’s duties to reach out to the vanquished, and he should do so even “if it comes to begging.” [Bloomberg]

• Rick Klein and friends remind us that despite the talk of unity, “we are permanently in a zone where a few snarky comments from a few disgruntled denizens of Camp Clinton are all it will take to restart the old fires,” and obviously everything the Clintons themselves say will go under a microscope. [Note/ABC News]

• Chuck Todd and friends wonder if Obama really needs the Clintons as much as the media seems to think. Based on recent polls that show Obama running way ahead of McCain, “it’s clear that the unity issues in the party with Clinton and Obama are all inside the Amtrak corridor and nowhere else.” They also question whether the Obama campaign would simply be laughed at if they were putting up the same stink as Clinton’s supporters if roles were reversed. [First Read/MSNBC]

• Edward Luce notes that despite Clinton’s calls for unity, “a highly vocal minority of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters have chosen to ignore her plea altogether,” and have “have set up more than 100 anti-Obama websites in the last 20 days, most of them boiling with indignation.” [FT]

• Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny write that lawyer Bob Barnett has a tough road ahead as he works to “hash out questions large and small” on the uniting of Obama and Clinton. His task is made harder by the fact that Bill “continues to refight the bitter primary fight,” and “some loyalists, especially on the Clinton side, are having trouble moving on.” Still, talks on things like convention details are “complicated, but not hostile.” [NYT]

• Amy Chozick reports that Clinton is expected to focus her campaigning efforts “among the women and white, working-class voters who made up her strongest supporters but whom Sen. Obama has struggled with in the past,” though she “hasn’t received detailed marching orders from the Obama campaign.” [WSJ]

• Nicole Allan and Bess Kalb have created a handy “Choose Your Own Debtventure” for Clinton to help her decide how to settle her debt. It turns out there’s some cute accounting tricks that could help to erase her debt more quickly. [Plank/New Republic] —Dan Amira

Related: Apparently, Obama Really Does Have an Enormous Lead

For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

The Fraught Details of Obama-Clinton Unity