Watching the convention is like seeing a bad divorce


The Democratic National Convention that begins today in Denver looks to me less like the coronation of Barack Obama than a soap opera wedding. The kind everyone tunes in to for the fireworks.

Will the groom find out that the bride is pregnant with another man's child, or that her husband is not dead but in fact alive in a South American jail?

You have to wonder what's going to happen when Obama turns the convention over to Hillary Clinton for the roll call of the delegates that she amassed in their overlong primary battle.

To continue the wedding analogy, it is like asking if anyone objects to the union of this man and this woman. It is a dangerous thing to do if you aren't certain of the outcome.

Will Hillary use a planned reception of her delegates Wednesday to release them all to Obama, as news organizations have reported, before the roll call?

Or will she make the poor man sit there for an interminable count of her 1,600 faithful, holding his breath lest one of them throw a wingding on the floor of the convention?

She didn't dare use the hammer of her many delegates to demand a roll call vote because it would look bad. He didn't dare deny her the stage because it would look bad.

So the Obama and the Clinton camps agreed to these arrangements through what sounded like clenched teeth.

"I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong, united fashion," Obama said.

"With every voice heard and the party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama president of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again," she said.

I wasn't there, but I bet the choreography for this event rivaled any of those sweaty studio scenes from Dancing with the Stars - the ones where star and the dancer are sniping at each other.

There is all this talk about catharsis and closure and moving forward, but take a look at the keep-the-faith-Hillary slide shows on YouTube and read all the "Nobama" comments attached by the members of PUMA (Party Unity My ...).

Talk about bitter.

If Obama thinks the Hillary supporters who posted there will get over it and move on, he has never talked to the ex-wife on the losing end of a nasty divorce.

They never let go, and they never forget, and you will still be hearing what a lying, cheating son-of-a-gun he was every time you see her in the grocery store for the rest of your life.

Melinda Henneberger, writing at, said they could carry Hillary through town and into the stadium on a bier - like the statue of the Virgin Mary in The Godfather, Part II - throwing flowers at her feet all the way, and it still wouldn't be over for her supporters.

But Hillary has to look gracious and sincere this week in Denver, because if this marriage doesn't work and Obama loses the general election to John McCain - just as she predicted during the primaries - the neighbors are going to blame her.

I know I'll be tuning in.

This is going to be better than the wedding of Luke and Laura.

Susan Reimer's column will appear on Mondays in this space and on Saturdays in the You Section.

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