early and often

Clinton Hopes for ‘Cathartic’ Convention

The Democrats may have preemptively eradicated the threat of flying buckets of feces at the convention in three weeks, but can they stop the metaphorical shit from hitting the fan? A new video of Hillary Clinton speaking to a bunch of supporters shows there’s a chance the nomination of Barack Obama might not be so picture-perfect. Clinton told the small gathering that she’s negotiating a strategy for having their voices heard, and specifically did not rule out having her name placed into nomination for a vote.

It’s as old as, you know, Greek drama,” she said. “There is a catharsis. I mean everybody comes and they want to yell and scream and have their opportunity, and I think that’s all to the good.” And after the venting is over and the passionate emotions of the bitter primary are revisited, the party is more unified and “goes out and wins,” her logic goes. But we can think of at least one guy who probably doesn’t think publicly showcasing widespread dissent within the party would be a good thing. It’s likely the threat of a symbolic vote is simply a cleverly wielded bargaining chip, but it’s clear that things are still less than hunky-dory between Obama and the Clinton nation.

• Chuck Todd and friends say “you can tell that Hillary still hasn’t gotten over losing, and given all of the people she had telling her that she’d be the next president,” it’s understandable. But you have to wonder whether the Clintons would have “been as deferential…to Obama if the roles were reversed.” [First Read/MSNBC]

• Ben Smith writes that “Clinton holds some real procedural power, and could probably — if she chooses — force a symbolic vote.” But it’s “extremely unlikely to get there,” since politics, as usual, trump mechanics. [Politico]

• Karen Tumulty reports that, privately, Clinton “remains skeptical that Obama can win in the fall,” a sentiment some say “is not just a prediction but a wish.” She’s also irked that Obama hasn’t come through on his promise to help retire her debt. [Time]

• Jennifer Rubin claims the Clintons are justifiably miffed because Obama “doesn’t keep simple promises — raise money for Hillary and have dinner with Bill — which are the sort of decent gestures and savvy touches that political opponents remember.” She also thinks it seems almost as if John McCain’s recent attacks have been an attempt to “pinpoint exactly those themes which will resonate with ex-Hillary supporters.” [Contentions/Commentary]

• Taylor Marsh calls a symbolic vote on Clinton’s nomination “a mythical idea that neither Obama, Democrats, or Nancy Pelosi, who controls the convention, will allow.” The supposed disunity within the party is being reported with no “impulse control whatsoever.” [Taylor Marsh]

• Eric Kleefeld notes that the joint statement of unity the Obama and Clinton campaigns put out last night doesn’t really address any of the relevant questions. [TPM Election Central]

• Rick Klein and friends say it would be “peculiar” for Clinton to have her supporters vote for her at the convention “instead of the candidate she’s campaigning for.” They also wonder if “a party [can] heal if one of its principal players — and a few million of her supporters — aren’t ready for it.” [Note/ABC News]

• Anne Kornblut writes that “[a]t this point, it is as likely as not that Clinton will be formally nominated at the convention.” At the same time, advisers say the relationship between Clinton and Obama “are improving.” [Trail/WP] —Dan Amira

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.

Clinton Hopes for ‘Cathartic’ Convention