Hillary tonight said little about the novelty or excellence of Barack Obama; when she evoked landmark African-Americans, she reached back to the Civil War to avoid overt praise of Barack Obama. I think, given the pulse of the convention, the renewed rantings of Bill, and the petulance of her supporters, we can see Hillary’s quite winning, though long-term strategy.
Hers is to go through the motions as a pro-forma Democratic supporter for Obama, convinced that such an inept and inexperienced candidate will lose without shared toxicity, or singular culpability for herself. And the party, in its belated wisdom, will then recognize its tragic errors, and in just four years, given McCain’s age, will rally to her Clinton centrist 2012 campaign.
Her speech in Kennedy-1980 convention-fashion fulfilled its tripartite intentions: 1) it was well delivered, albeit in ossified liberal tropes, to such a degree as to remind the dazed delegates what a catastrophe they have committed in having nominated a novice over a pro; 2) it got her off the hook by cursory praise of Obama without suggesting enthusiasm for him that might either help his election or turn-off her supporters whose potential for trouble is predicated on Hillary as the perpetually wounded fawn; 3) it was not overtly, but only pro-forma hostile to John McCain, and did not contradict ads airing that use her prior anger at Obama as proof of a sort of “she’s right” solidarity with McCain.
Bottom line: she remains loyal Democrat, dissed victim, the should-have-been nominated candidate, senior healer ready to clean up the mess of 2008, and savior in 2012. Note well Chelsea’s ubiquity, the slick Hillary infomercial, Bill’s wide grin, and the Clinton triad everywhere.
And the reaction of the Obamanics? They will belatedly seem like the baffled victims who discover their picked pockets, know full well who did it, but can’t quite tell the police when, how, or by whom it happened.