Since Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign in early June, a group of Clinton supporters have refused to unite behind the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama and as the Democratic National Convention drew near, they petitioned to have Clinton's name placed in nomination to which the Democratic National Committee agreed to do. Clinton supporters have also organized parades and rallies for Hillary Clinton to be held during the convention as well as on the night Hillary Clinton is due to speak on behalf of Obama.
Deep seated tensions boil between Hillary Clinton supporters and Barack Obama supporters at the Democratic National Convention. Mistrust and resentment are stewing while supporters from both sides trade "not for attribution" barbs.
As time went by many believed those tensions would lessen and more of the Clinton supporters would start to accept Barack Obama as the nominee of choice and unite behind him for the good of the party.
With recent events, one specified in The Politico report (via video above) being the lack of consideration shown by Obama for placing Clinton on the ticket as his vice presidential running mate as well as not showing the courtesy to her or her supporters of giving the appearance to vet her for the position, has led to and 11 percent rise since June, according to CNN, in the percentage of Clinton supporters planning to vote and support the Republican presumptive nominee John McCain.
Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters, registered Democrats who want Clinton as the nominee, are now backing Obama. That’s down from 75 percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say they’ll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland states, "The number of Clinton Democrats who say they would vote for McCain has gone up 11 points since June, enough to account for most although not all of the support McCain has gained in that time."
Other polling statistics mentioned by The Politico come from the ABC/Washington Post poll, which shows that up to 30 percent of Clinton backers are not backing Obama over McCain.
Hillary Clinton had over 18 million votes cast in her name during the primaries, which makes 27 percent and 30 percent, millions of people, voters, that have not "united."
The Democratic convention started today, with both Obama supporters, angry and expressing frustration with the Clinton supporters that are refusing to unite behind Obama and the Obama supporters saying that the Clinton associates negotiating on Clinton's behalf are acting like "Japanese soldiers in the South Pacific still fighting after the war is over, " as well as calling them "bitter enders."
The peevishness on both sides and the volume of behind-the-scenes catcalls are noteworthy because both the Clinton and Obama teams had resolved in pre-convention talks that it was overwhelmingly in the interests of both sides to get along.
It is believed by many the reason Hillary Clinton was given a speaking slot on day two, Tuesday, and her husband, Bill Clinton to speak on Wednesday, was to give Obama and Clinton supporters time to mingle at the convention and learn to get along, with the Democratic Party officials hoping to avoid any embarrassing displays which would show the party not united.
Bill Clinton's speaking role, on a night with a theme of "Securing America’s Future," has also become a point of contention, with insiders saying Bill Clinton is "disappointed" that he was not given a speaking slot on a night where he could speak about the economy and Democratic ideas, to which he had hoped to contrast his own administrative record with the Bush years.
This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.
Downplaying the disunity and tensions being expressed on the first day of the four day convention and the reports being published about the issue, Obama strategist David Axelrod and Clinton senior adviser Maggie Williams, issued a joint statement, where they did not address the concerns associates said Bill Clinton felt, but said, "We understand that some in the news media are more interested in reporting the rumor of controversy than the fact of unity. The fact is that our teams are working closely to ensure a successful convention and will continue to do so. Senator and President Clinton fully support the Obama/Biden ticket and look forward to addressing the convention and the nation on the urgency of victory this Fall. Anyone saying anything else doesn't know what they're talking about. Period."
Highlighting the tensions still felt by Clinton supporters is a report that was published yesterday from The Politico, showing that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, while speaking in a panel discussion in the ballroom at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel with NBC's Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer, railed at the media for their part in what he called the media's "embarrassing" coverage of Barack Obama in the 2008 election coverage.
Rendell stated, "MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign," and then he went on say that Chris Matthews, who is a MSNBC talk show host, "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”
He was stopped by PBS's Judy Woodruff, who said, "Why don’t we let Governor Rendell sit down."
Brokaw was offered a chance to respond to Rendell's accusation, he stated, "Matthews and Keith Olbermann are 'not the only voices' on MSNBC."
[Update] Evidently another problem occurred last night which highlights the tensions at the convention when a Barack Obama supporter, Senate President Emil Jones who is Obama's political mentor, called Delmarie Cobb, a black Hillary Clinton delegate and supporter, an "Uncle Tom."
Jones denied the allegation, but according to the report by Chicago Sun Times, two aldermen said they witnessed the event and back up Cobb's accusation.
Another alderman said, "He said it in jest."
Cobb's states "If people are still making digs at the Hillary Clinton people because we supported her, that is not going to bring us on board. It makes us feel as though we're outsiders, and we're Democrats. The litmus test for being black is [seen as] supporting Barack."
An Uncle Tom is a racial insult which suggests a black person is perceived as behaving in a subservient manner to White authority figures.