It shouldn’t be terribly difficult to unite the Democratic Party. But I’m not sure Obama is capable of it.
According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, “However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I’m running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it.”
Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., a longtime Clinton supporter, did not like those last three words — “Get over it.” She found them dismissive, off-putting.
“Don’t use that terminology,” Watson told Obama.
Jake Tapper also reported the exchange on ABC News this morning.
While he’ll earn some goodwill when he makes gestures like taking on one of his supporters who booed a mention of her name at a rally in Detroit, I get the feeling that Obama has no idea how his victory looks to Hillary’s most devoted supporters: That once again, a hardworking, smart woman has worked her way up from the bottom, dealt with all kinds of adversity and challenges and in some cases, blatant sexism; fought hard every day from the moment she woke up to the moment she went to bed at night (and then the 3 a.m. phone calls)… and then, at what ought to be her moment in the big chair, the job went to the young hotshot with less experience. Hillary’s base identifies with their candidate on a personal level that’s probably paralleled only by Obama and the African-American community; the candidate’s victories and defeats are their victories and defeats. They take it personally. The “I’m better on the issues,” argument will probably work eventually, but it helps if it’s mixed with some empathy.