At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Americans dropped a few baton handoffs in races they were expected to win. Today, the Clintons made sure that Obama got the handoff. Putting their considerable skills behind the newly minted Obama/Biden twofer, they slowly unfurled their acquiescence on their own terms, across D'Town, on Wednesday. Down South, they might say that the Big Blue Dogs got back up on the porch.
Giving up power is fraught with danger in most countries in the world. A transition that leaves the corpus intact is preferable but often just an ugly mashup. D'Town and the "D" Party have been teetering on the uncomfortable possibility of a civil war in the rank and file all week. Much to their credit, the Clintons passed the torch and with some of their uncanny panache.
First, Hillary assembled all of her delegates and released their votes, with the admonition that she was voting for Obama and if they were still with her they would as well. Grumbling perforated the low-key acceptance of the inevitable as gradually she brought them to her side, which is now Mr. O's side. Brother, they did not dig it but hey, Hill laid it down and they started to pick it up. That event was in the early afternoon. The Charmer from Hope capped it on the big stage later in the evening.
Rapturous applause greeted the fallen knight as the remembrance of better days swelled in the concave. Bill reminded the sardine packed house that he was the man who took us to those better days. The assembly agreed. Even though the Telecommunications Act of 1996, NAFTA and a host of other Crony candy littered his reign, it was better times for most. Some moments it seemed as if Clinton was gritting his teeth at being muzzled by the Obama ordained script and then he would pivot ever so slightly and give his fans a taste of what he wanted to say anyway. We all love a good entertainer and dear readers; Bill is as good as it gets on the political turf. It was kind of like an old time fun house ride in a carnival sideshow. There we were, knowing we were not going to get hurt but scarred just enough to make it fun.
Frankly, the rest of the proceedings, other than the tightly staged roll call vote, meant to mollify the Clinton crew, were squeamishly militaristic. What is it with the Democrats and exhibitions of strength? Republicans want to bully the world. They have since World War ll. Russians love the bully game too, as do the Chinese, Indians and far too many other nations of patriarchal pugilists. As our other fallen knight, John Edwards, rightly said, America must find something to be patriotic about other than war. Democrats need to find another way to say they are tough.
Well that won't happen soon, so, the hawks kept circling all night. We heard from generals, privates, veterans, Senators, cabinet members and heroic warriors of every description. On and on they droned about how Democrats are tough guys too. So what. Collaboration is the new paradigm, if the people on this planet are to survive. Combat is so played. Yeah, we will defend ourselves. As the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons, I am fairly certain that everybody in the hood gets the point. If we imagine that the much-ballyhooed "Joe six-pack voter" can be swayed with this argument, then, your focus group is doing crack. Diplomacy is true strength because of the fact that it is much more difficult to achieve and preserve. What's next? Democrats for Halliburton?
Finally, Joe Biden was ready for his close-up. He did well. He almost cried at this last chance for glory. He looked for all the world like Dorothy in Oz, bewildered but determined. I suppose Joe is the Democrats mean old man to balance off against McCain's finely honed skills in that arena. Fine, then, got get'em Joe.
Wait - there's more... You can't have a baton handoff or torch passing without the successor in the play and like magic, Obama made his mercurial appearance just as the throng was about to head for the exits. All crackling with positivity, he praised the Clintons, easily done now that he was on the throne - if he wins. He embraced his running mate and the entire Biden clan. He is now the man and like an impresario of yesteryear he gave a taste of the headliner but not the main dish. Tomorrow the Barack and roll circus begins in earnest.