The Green Papers
The Green Papers

Can the Democrats of 2008 unite?
If not, could the Party then still stand?

by Richard E. Berg-Andersson Staff
Wed 27 Aug 2008

We're gathered here in Denver for a very clear and simple purpose and that is to come out of this Convention energized, excited and ready to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States... and now I ask each and every one of you to work as hard for Barack and Joe Biden as you worked for me... because the Democratic Party is a family and this is like a big family reunion; now we were not all on the same side as Democrats-- but we are now! We are united, and we are together and we are determined.--

Senator HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D- New York) at the New York Democratic National Convention delegation breakfast on the morning of the first day of the Convention, Monday 25 August 2008.

This day- Tuesday 26 August 2008, the second day of the 45th Democratic National Convention- would have to be the day that Senator Hillary Clinton, the featured Prime Time speaker of the evening, delivers the very same message to not only all of those assembled at this Convention, but also to all her supporters "out there"; for the Democratic family seems rather more dysfunctional than it has tended to be of late.

The current split within the Party is largely being painted as being based on ideological differences: centrist Hillary versus the more liberal Barack-- but this ideological divide is largely an illusion: one based more on the perceptions "out there", forged in the crucible of a hard-fought Primary/Caucus battle this past Spring, of each presidential contender (Obama being seen as the community activist [with all that very term might conjure up for more "traditional"/moderate Democrats] from the South Side of Chicago [which has a certain- frankly, negative- image amongst many of those same Democrats], a maverick [the term being here thought of in its more dangerous context] by virtue of being a first-term Senator so successfully challenging the established Party hierarchy with his rather surprising victory in this past Spring's nomination contest; Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, has come to herself personify "the Democratic establishment"- largely due to her obvious affiliation with her husband, the former President, but also because of her now being a major "player" in the Party apparatus in the so strongly Democratic State of New York [Hillary's image, therefore, is one in which the one-time youthful 'true believer' has turned into the quintessential "ward-heeler"]).

In reality, there are altogether rather few substantial differences between the two candidates (for instance, as regards their disagreement over Health Care- Senator Clinton wanted to cover everyone, with no exceptions; Senator Obama's approach is actually the more pragmatic [in that he wasn't expecting to be getting the "whole loaf" at once]-- ironically, Mrs. Clinton's position on this issue, despite her appearing to be more the voice of moderation, is- indeed- the more "activist" one ['What do we want?' 'HEALTH CARE!' 'When do we want it?' 'NOW!!!']: but- in this, as with other issues of the day- the actual differences between the two is ever in the details) and, in truth, such differences as there might be in both ideology and approach to the issues of the day seems to be more an excuse for their respective supporters to be at odds than the actual cause of just such a dispute in the first place.

In a Commentary of mine dated 4 June 2008, the day after the final Presidential Primaries this year, as Senator Obama was numerically securing his Party's presidential nomination, I wrote that here

you had two viable presidential contenders ending up, very early in the Primary/Caucus process..., being the last two still standing and then forced to duke it out until one gained the majority, if only because neither could- to use Senator Clinton's own words- "close the deal" until the very end. What caused this complication was the fact that each contender represented a different, but long-held, Democratic Party dream of being the first Major Party to nominate a woman for the Presidency and being the first Major Party to nominate an African-American for the Presidency. It was as if the average Democrat were being presented with two of his or her favorite desserts but could, after that particular dinner, choose only one and delayed a final choice from the dessert menu until the last possible moment!

In other words, no matter who ultimately won the nomination, one of these dreams would remain a dream deferred.

The Democrats have had rather recent "nightmares" that, for example (and as unlikely as either of these scenarios might have actually been at the time they were so contemplated), a Colin Powell or a Liddy Dole might have actually been nominated for President by the Republicans, of all people! [;-)]. Well, now only one Democratic Party dream remains to be fulfilled, that of nominating a woman before the GOP might have a chance to do so-- it's just that so many Hillary Clinton supporters were so hoping that this would, instead, be the Party's dream fulfilled at this Convention and, as a result, are very disappointed and find it hard to work up a frenzy for a presidential nominee whose own dream they- however inadvertently, and only because of their own most fervent support for a different contender- once sought to block.

I still think that, in the main, as I also wrote back on 4 June: most of the rank-and-file within today's Democratic Party will, once the wounds of this nomination battle have finally healed..., come around to support their Party's apparent presidential nominee. It's just that the wounds are taking a longer time than even I myself thought to so heal!

Therefore, what Hillary Clinton herself might say at the very end of this day's second session of the Convention would, so obviously, go a long way towards healing these so obviously deep wounds within the Democratic Party of 2008--

or not!

But, first, would have to come most of the second session, which was gaveled to order to by Convention acting Chair Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta at 3:15 PM local time in Denver (5:15 PM on the East Coast of the US [2115 UTC]). The Invocation was offered by Rev. Cynthia Hale of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia; this was followed by the Presentation of Colors by the American G.I. Forum. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Kobe Langley and the National Anthem was sung by the Rocky Mountain Children's Choir.

The first speaker of the second day was non-voting Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia who was introduced by a video featuring a rap of 'DC demands the right to vote, DC demands to vote' (interestingly, where not also tellingly, Ms. Norton was introduced to the assembled as 'Congresswoman'!). Norton, picking up on the theme of the American Revolution "No Taxation without Representation" ('Taxation without Representation' has appeared on the District's license plates), noted that Democrats support the vote in Congress for the 600,000 citizens of Our Nation's Capital. Noting that the end of this week marks the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'I have a dream' speech during the famous "March on Washington", Norton referred to D.C. having a voting member of Congress as Dr. King's unfinished business.

She was followed by former Special Counsel to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Ted Sorensen, who offered comparisons between Senator Obama and JFK and scored the Bush Administration as an 8-year national nightmare of mendacity, mediocrity and economic misery. The next speaker (and one who continued this theme of linking Obama to JFK) was Congressman Mike Honda of California, a Democratic National Committee vice-chair as well as Chairman of the House Asian/Pacific-American Caucus. Bush-McCain has bled our resources dry, Honda declaimed; of Barack Obama (and referencing his own service in the Peace Corps founded by President Kennedy), Honda stated though my hair is grey, I am inspired again!

Next up at the dais was David Gipp, a Lakota Native American Indian and president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota, explaining why "tribal citizens" like him should support Obama's presidential candidacy. Gipp noted that our status as tribal, sovereign nations is specifically recognized in the U.S. Constitution. Our rights, as tribal nations, to determine our destiny within our great United States should be protected and honored by our government; our treaties with the U.S are the Supreme Law of the Land.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of California followed, sharing a vignette about how she once got on an elevator in one of the House office buildings in Washington and was asked "Whose office do you work in?"-- to which she replied "Oh, I have my own office in this building", illustrating how women are still thought of as more likely clerical workers than anything else. Sanchez scored the Bush Administration as one that has given hard-working families the shaft.

Governor Chet Culver of Iowa was the next speaker and noted that Iowa was where Senator Obama's road to the presidential nomination began (with his victory in that State's Caucuses back in early January). Declaiming that the oil companies are placing their bets with John McCain while Obama supports more so-called "green-collar jobs". Culver noted that Iowa is becoming the renewable energy capital of the United States and opined that the Obama/Biden ticket would put our country on a path towards energy independence.

Next came Governor David Paterson of New York who, after a rather lengthy period of cheering for him, mostly from his own State's delegation, humorously quipped Thank you!-- my time is up! When he got back to all seriousness, he cited his own disability (he is legally blind in one eye and totally blind in the other), noting that my story is unique- but in many ways it is not, going on to score U.S. Supreme Court decisions which have narrowed the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After a musical interlude, there was another of these 'Barack Obama in his own words' videos-- this one from Des Moines, Iowa on 20 May 2008 (where Obama had gone- because Iowa had provided him with his first victory in the Primary/Caucus "season"- to claim having clinched a majority of pledged delegates on the night he was winning in Oregon's Primary, even while Senator Clinton was winning in Kentucky [of course, at that time, Obama still had to get the pledges of enough "superdelegates" to clinch the nomination itself]).

This was followed by the members of the Congressional Black Caucus paying tribute to the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, who had passed away so very recently. Caucus chairman, Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick of Michigan; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel of New York; House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan; and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi all spoke. Conyers, in particular, noted that Tubbs Jones had led the protest against the counting of Ohio's Electoral Vote for President Bush in 2004 that caused the Tabulation Joint Session of Congress in early January 2005 to be interrupted for debate on such an issue for only the second time since the Disputed Election of 1876 (the first time was back in 1969 and involved whether or not the vote of a so-called 'Faithless Elector' should be counted); noting that Tubbs Jones did so when, invoking the controversy over Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election, she pledged "Never again!", Conyers led the assembled in a brief chant of 'Never again!' over and over.

Congressman Bennie Thompson asked the Convention to observe a moment of silence in memory of Tubbs Jones, after which there was a slide show presentation in memory of Democratic politicians, functionaries and supporters of the Party who had died since the last Democratic National Convention four years ago (including the late State Democratic Party chairman of Arkansas, Bill Gwatney, assassinated so recently; but also former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr.): also included were recently deceased journalists such as Texas' Molly Ivins, the late ABC news anchor Peter Jennings and NBC's Tim Russert.

The next speaker before the Convention was Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I live on a dirt road in a town of eighteen hundred people, Leahy noted, and I know rural America. Leahy's remarks focused mainly on his seeing neglect of rural America by the Bush Administration but he also "talked up" Senator Joe Biden, the Party's presumptive vice-presidential nominee, with whom Leahy has long worked on his Committee (Biden was once Senate Judiciary Committee chairman himself).

Congressman Chris van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took to the podium, joined by various and sundry Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives (all non-incumbents and presented as 'Candidates for Change'), including Christine Jennings of Florida who lost a close contest in the 2006 Midterm Elections that became something of a "lightning rod" for Democrats' complaints over how elections have been conducted. Van Hollen, whose father was in the US Foreign Service (he was actually born in Pakistan back in the late 1950s), shared a story about how- in a rural backwater in Sri Lanka- the family had a picture of John F. Kennedy on their wall (this being when van Hollen was in his early teens, a good decade after JFK had been assassinated) and how he hoped that, someday, a similar family somewhere around the world would have a picture of a 'President Obama' on their wall.

The next speaker was Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the daughter of the late former Texas Governor Ann Richards: of John McCain, she said If you liked George W. Bush, he'll be a lot more of the same. She was followed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, a former presidential contender this year (as well as four years ago), who told the Convention that, come General Election day in November, we Democrats are giving America a wake-up call. Among other things, Kucinich scored the Bush Administration's neo-con artists for borrowing money to bomb bridges in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, no money to rebuild bridges in America. Kucinich then led the Convention in a litany of where he felt the Bush Administration had gone wrong on the issues of the day, breaking it up from time to time with the admonition to Wake up, America!

Now, this is not a call, Kucinich went on, for you to take a new direction from Right to Left, this is a call for you to go from Down to Up... Up with peace, up with prosperity; up with the Democratic Party, up with Obama/Biden. Wake up, America! Wake up, America! Wake up, America! Kucinich was followed by California State Controller John Chiang who, following- in a noticeably lower key, mind you!- on what Kucinich had just said, opined that together we will rise, or together we will fall: here in Denver, and all across our great country, we choose to rise.

There next came a video presentation under the rubric of 'Changing the Course of America' (the overarching theme of the 2008 Democratic Convention being 'Americans Gathering to Change the Course of a Nation') featuring a California attorney named Rosa Cabrera. This was followed by Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin- like earlier speaker Congressman Honda, Doyle had also been a Peace Corps volunteer and- like Honda- he sought to make the positive comparison between JFK and Senator Obama. This is our time to revive the spirit of Kennedy, he opined and contrasted Obama supporting investing in the green economy jobs of tomorrow with John McCain offering nothing but four years of more of the same. Of the Republicans' holding the White House, Doyle stated that their days are numbered; our time has come!

Next came Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, who claimed that- with Barack Obama as President- we can move from recession to resurgence and urged the assembled to do what's right for America by electing Obama in November.

Now came a video featuring Senator Hillary Clinton introducing the Democratic women of the United States Senate who, in turn, presented what was called a "Checklist for Change". Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland began the checklist with 'Providing Equal Pay for Equal Work'; she was followed by Senator Barbara Boxer of California, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who pressed for 'Protecting the Environment; Senator Mary Landrieu, stressing the suffering of the victims of Hurricanes 'Katrina' and 'Rita' (both of which hit her State in 2005), pressing for 'Preparing for Future Disasters'; Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas pushing 'Health Security for all Americans'; Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan stressing 'Keeping Jobs in America'; Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington stressing 'Making America Energy Independent'; Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri pushing 'Enforcing Fiscal Responsibility'; and, finally, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota speaking on 'Protecting the Family Checkbook'.

After this, all the female Senators who had just spoken all gathered together on the stage to the strains of the Convention band playing Sisters are Doin' It for Themselves (most well known as a duo by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox of Eurythmics back in the mid-1980s)

It was now time for Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, former Mayor of Philadelphia and former Democratic National Committee chair, who noted that Exxon/Mobil had just reported the largest quarterly profit in the history of the world and claimed that the only thing green in John McCain's energy plan is the billions of dollars he promises in tax cuts to the oil companies.

Rendell was followed by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin who discussed the uninsured and underinsured as regards health care. She was followed by Congressman Xavier Becerra of California who scored Republican economic policies as the gift that keeps on taking. Citing the very same Mexican proverb mentioned the day before by his colleague Congresswoman Napolitano- in the form "Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are"- Becerra opined that, in Senator Obama, we will finally have a leader who will walk with us!

Becerra was followed by AFL-CIO president John Sweeney who introduced- with him on stage- a single mom with her son, an electrician who was fired for attempting to join a union and a retired steel worker who lost most of his pension and all of his health benefits when the company he once worked for got taken over by another. Sweeney was followed by Robin Golden, president of a United Auto Workers local in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who- along with his entire local- is about to become unemployed.

Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Caucus, followed, stating that in the 2006 Elections, Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans scored a victory that President Bush himself called "a thumpin' ". Well, Mr. President, as Ronald Reagan used to say: 'You ain't seen nothing yet'. The truth is: the Bush crowd has been giving the middle class a thumpin' and, this time, the middle class is going to give it right back.

There was now yet another 'Barack in his own words' video: this one from that same rally in Manchester, NH last September that was seen last evening in one of these.

By now, it was 8 PM on the East Coast of the United States and time for the cable news networks to, again, begin their usual Prime Time coverage of the Convention. At this point, there was a musical performance of country blues by a band led by Alejandro Escovedo which, in turn, was followed by the strange quadrennial ritual of the panoramic official Convention photograph requiring the assembled to turn around, with their backs to the dais, and hold their positions while the camera then panned over them.

This evening's theme was 'Renewing America's Promise' and began with a talk by one Katherine Marcano of Iowa on the difficulty of providing health care for ailing family members, even though she is covered by health insurance herself. She was followed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland who attacked the Bush Administration as 8 years of debt, division and an economy in decline... We cannot afford more of the same... Americans are tired of country club economics: we want an economy that works for all of us.

Pauline Beck, a home health care provider from Oakland, California spoke about the day Senator Obama did her job for a day to see what it was like. He spent a day in my shoes, she said. That's the kind of President we need. Ms. Beck was followed at the dais by the Secretary-Treasurer of her union, SEIU (the Service Employees' International Union), Anna Burger, who also is the chair of 'Change to Win'.

Governor Janet Napolitano next came to the podium. Noting that all the Arizonans who previously had run for President (Barry Goldwater, Mo Udall and Bruce Babbitt) had all lost, she jokingly said (considering that John McCain is from Arizona) this is one Arizona tradition I would like to see continue.

There was one more 'Barack in his own words' video: this one from Raleigh, North Carolina on 6 May 2008, the night Obama won the North Carolina Primary (and would come close to upsetting Hillary Clinton in Indiana) followed by another 'America's Town Hall' segment like the one the previous evening, with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as the "moderator" and another 4-person panel answering canned 'vox Pop' questions on videotape (with a question via e-mail thrown in for good measure) on 'Energy and Jobs'.

The next speaker was Jim Whitaker, the Republican Mayor of Fairbanks North Star Borough in Alaska, yet another Republican coming forward to support Barack Obama for President, followed by Gloria Craven, a textile worker from North Carolina who recently got laid off and Nancy Floyd of Oregon's Nth Power, promoting alternative and renewable energy, especially the promise of "green energy technology".

Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas next came to the podium: noting that her Irish great-grandmother was a maid for future President William Howard Taft in Ohio, she then pointed out that her own father (John Gilligan, later a Governor of Ohio)- the maid's grandson- had actually preceded Taft's own grandson in representing the very same Congressional District (Governor Sebelius did not point out, however, that Robert Taft, Jr. had actually defeated her dad in the 1966 Midterm Elections!). She did opine that the ability of scions of two so very different families both being able to serve the same geographical area in Congress was the American dream.

Federico Pena, a former Mayor of the Convention's host city and a Cabinet official in the Clinton Administration (where he served as Secretary of Energy and as Secretary of Transportation) spoke mainly about energy (which seems to have been the main topic of the evening in any event: let's see-- 'Renewing America' Promise'-- as in "renewable energy"-- it's a pun-- oh, I get it now! [;-)]). He was followed by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York who decried the same "country club economics" earlier scored by Congressman Steny Hoyer.

There was yet another 'Barack Obama in his own words' video segment: from St. Paul, MN on 3 June 2008 (when Obama, now virtually assured of the presidential nomination on the very last day of the Presidential Primaries, held an event in the very same arena where the Republicans will be meeting the week after this Convention).

Next came Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr. who noted that Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of Abortion, but the fact that I'm speaking here tonight is testament to Barack's ability to show respect for the views of people who may disagree with him. I know Barack Obama and I believe that, as President, he'll pursue the common good by seeking common ground rather than trying to divide us, because we are strongest when we are together... Now John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush over 90 percent of the time: that's not a maverick, that's a sidekick!... Now they're asking for four more years: how about four more months?

Senator Casey was followed by Liddy Ledbetter of Alabama who brought a Pay Equity case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she lost a 5-4 decision (on grounds that she should have filed her case within six months of her not getting the same pay as a man for the same job, even though she didn't know she was being underpaid until long thereafter).

After a musical interlude, it was time for former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, who is also a candidate for the United States Senate in this coming General Election, who was to deliver the Keynote Address for this Convention.

The most important contest of our generation has begun: not the campaign for the Presidency, not the campaign for Congress-- but the race for the future, Warner declaimed. There is no nation we can't out-hustle and out-compete and no American need be left out or left behind, he declaimed. Yes, the race for the future is on and it won't be won if only some Americans are in the running and it won't be won with yesterday's ideas and yesterday's vision, and it won't be won with a President who's stuck in the past...

Folks always ask me what's my biggest criticism of President Bush... it's not just the policy differences; it's the fact that this President never tapped into our greatest resource: the character and nature of the American people; he never really asked us to step up... this Administration failed to believe in what we can achieve as a Nation when all of us work together: John McCain promises more of the same!

The next speaker was Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who stepped up to the podium just as the 10 PM Eastern hour, the hour when the traditional over-the-air national networks would be starting their coverage of the Convention, struck. Seemingly playing on what his fellow Ohioan, Dennis Kucinich, had said earlier that evening, by noting that while families are losing sleep tonight... John McCain is sleeping better than ever: he is sleeping better than ever because he thinks- and I quote- "Americans overall are better off, thanks to President Bush"... John McCain has no problem hitting the snooze button on the economy because he's never been part of the middle class and I would say to him: Senator McCain, it is time for your wake-up call!

Strickland was followed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick who spoke about his family-- how he grew up in a rough neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago but his own daughter grew up in the type of neighborhood that, in his own childhood, Patrick only saw as a newspaper delivery boy. One generation! One generation and the circumstances of my life and family were profoundly transformed. And though that story is not told as often as we'd like, it's told more often in this country than in any other place on Earth. That is the American story; that is who we are.

Then came Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer who, continuing with the theme that went back to almost the beginning of this very day's session (making comparisons between Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy), noted that- in the modest home in which he grew up- we had a crucifix and, on our kitchen wall, we had a framed picture of President Kennedy. From here, he went on to talk about the need for a new energy policy, opining that Senator Obama understands that the most important barrel of oil is the one you don't use.

There now was a video 'bio-pic' of Senator Hillary Clinton, narrated by her daughter Chelsea. It showed quite a bit of footage from Hillary's speeches during her own campaign for the presidential nomination, well interspersed with still shots of her shaking hands with Senator Obama after a debate or warm personal greetings between the otherwise closely contesting candidates all through this past Spring. All in all, this film well walked a rather thin line between extolling Hillary Clinton's own legacy as the first woman to have a serious chance at a Major Party presidential nomination and making sure that this did not at all "step all over" her rival for that nomination who will actually be formally nominated at this very Convention the next day.

But it would be far more important, on this day, what Senator Hillary Clinton might actually say in person to the assembled. Thus, Chelsea Clinton came forward to introduce her mother, after which the New York Senator strode to the podium. Mrs. Clinton almost immediately noted that she was, among other things of which she could be proud, a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

My friends, it is time to take back the country we love, she declaimed, and whether you voted for me, or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single Party with a single purpose. We are on the same team and none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines. This is a fight for the future and it is a fight we must win together.

After a litany of reasons why she had run for the Nation's Highest Office in the first place, Senator Clinton noted that most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years. Those are the reasons I ran for President and those are the reasons I support Barack Obama for President. She then asked rhetorically: I want you to ask yourselves: were you in this campaign just for me?-- or were you in it for that young marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that young boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

She pointed out that John McCain is my colleague and my friend-- he has served our country with honor and courage: but we don't need four more years of the last eight years. She opined that it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities because, these days, they're awfully hard to tell apart!

Touching upon her own presidential candidacy's legacy, and noting that the very evening she was speaking happened to be the 88th anniversary of when the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote throughout the United States was formally certified as having been ratified by the Secretary of State, she noted that my mother was born before women could vote; my daughter got to vote for her mother for President-- this is the story of America: of women and men who defy the odds and never give up...

We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope. That is our duty: to build that bright future, to teach our children that, in America, there is no passage too deep, no barrier to break, no ceiling too high for all who work hard, who keep going, have faith in God, in our country and each other. That is our mission, Democrats: let's elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country!

The Benediction was offered by two Methodist pastors from Aurora, Colorado, Jin Ho Kang and Youngsook Kang (Hillary Clinton, by the way, was raised a Methodist) and then Convention acting chair Shirley Franklin (who had gaveled the convention to order some six hours earlier) entertained a motion to recess until 3 PM local time in Denver (5 PM Eastern Time)-- it was seconded and approved viva voce... the second day of the Convention came to an end.

So... did Senator Clinton well do her part to help unify the Party behind Barack Obama's presidential candidacy?

Yes, she did-- for she proved well able to reflect upon her own legacy, coming out of this year's nomination contest, without at all undermining the legitimacy of Obama's soon-to-be nomination. But, of course, she alone can't make those who might have supported her candidacy on the hustings and/or at the polls become 'gung ho' about Senator Obama the way they might have once been for her bid for the Presidency...

the ultimate effect- or no such thing- of Hillary Clinton's urgings to her fellow Democrats to get behind Obama will not be well seen until after both Major Parties have already held their respective Conventions and we get into the heat of the Fall campaign in a couple more weeks hence...

but, in the meantime, it would- soon enough- be time for Barack Obama to begin to turn this Convention into his Convention and that would start once he was formally nominated for President by the Democrats.

Modified .