Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hillary, Barack It's On To The Convention

I've attended two presidential conventions. My first was the GOP's 1984 gathering in Dallas, where Ronald Reagan was nominated for his second time. Then again in Chicago in 1996, when the Democratic Party gave Bill Clinton his second nod.
While each event was unique neither provided what you'd call high drama.
This election year, I'm counting on an adrenalin rush. That's because every day it's looking more like the Democratic Party's presidential nomination could be determined at its convention, which is scheduled to be held in Denver between Aug. 25 and 28.
Many political operatives and experts say this won't happen, nor should it. Some argue the Dem's "party elders"--whoever they are--will decide what's best. Others say those mysterious super-delegates will be forced to pick a winner by June, so the party can begin to run against presumptive Republican Party nominee John McCain.
There's one problem with all this: Hillary Clinton.
She's the candidate who won't get beat, nor go softly into the night.
More important--as Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin points out in today's column--the voters aren't calling it quits either. They're still coming out in droves to back Clinton or Barack Obama.
Not so long ago, party nominations were meant to be decided at conventions. It's only been in recent times that these political confabs have morphed into predictable, made-for-TV events.
You have to wonder: What are the Dems concerned about? Don't they get what's going on here?
The tussle over their party's nomination is one of the greatest political shows on earth. It's building voter interest, not destroying it.
This ain't 1968 and the American people aren't babies. They can bear witness to a lively--even contentious-- nominating process, provided both sides are given a fair shot at winning and the decision-making process is conducted in the light of day.
History shows there are times when something good--even great--is forged from heat of a convention battle.
Remember, it took three ballots to nominate Abe Lincoln.
Heck, this year I'd settle for only two.

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