In an August 7 web chat covered by the Rocky Mountain News, Hillary Clinton emphasized that she'll come to Denver to praise Barack Obama, not to bury him. But conflicting signals continue to beam forth from her supporters -- not just a planned march on her behalf during Democratic National Convention week, but also confirmation from numerous Texas delegates that plans to place Clinton's name in nomination at the DNC aren't entirely dead.
"Some Texas Delegates Seek Clinton Moment in Denver," published in the August 8 Houston Chronicle, quotes Carol Alvarado, a delegate from Houston who's running for the state Senate, as saying, "There is still a very strong contingent of Hillary delegates in the Texas delegation. There are still delegates that want her to be nominated and want to vote for her."
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These sentiments are hardly unique, as an August 8 Denver Post piece about delegates who want to stand up for Clinton during the roll call of states makes clear. But if her name was actually placed in nomination, as opposed to her receiving some scattered votes, would it be catastrophic for Dems? Not according to ex-Colorado senator (and two-time presidential aspirant) Gary Hart. In an extended Q&A with Westword from June, Hart dealt directly with the prospect that Clinton's name would be placed in nomination, and shrugged it off as no big deal:
There will be those in journalism who will be looking for any friction and will be reporting on it. If Senator Clinton’s name is put in nomination, they’ll see that as a continuing challenge to Obama. I think, again, ’84 [the year of Hart's first attempt to win the presidency] is instructive, and I’m kind of amazed that journalists haven’t drawn the parallel more than they have, in that given my run of late primary victories, even though I was several hundred votes short of getting the nomination, it was expected that I’d be placed in nomination – that my supporters would put on a show, which they did. But it wasn’t "Down with [Walter] Mondale" [the eventual nominee] or anything like that. It was just people who’d worked with me and for me and who believed very strongly in my candidacy wanted to be heard. Then when the roll was called the next night, I went on the platform after Vice President Mondale was nominated and moved his nomination by acclimation. And that was the gesture of support. And the next morning, I went to his hotel suite and said, "I’ll do everything I can to help." So there was never rancor even in the closing weeks, and even though I was placed in nomination, I think very few people saw that submission of my name as a threat or challenge or anti-Mondale effort.
If Clinton is nominated, would the press and the public be able to apply this perspective? Doubt it -- which is why the Obama forces will certainly do everything they can to prevent it from happening. In fact, Ms. Alvarado's phone is probably ringing right now. -- Michael Roberts