You’re going to be hearing a lot of gossip and tabloid talk about a continuing battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Convention. You’re going to hear breathless accounts of how Obama dissed her — he didn’t even vet her for the VP slot or consult her! — and every time Barack Obama doesn’t smile in her general direction, it’s going to be seen as lese majeste. Not surprisingly, this line is being pushed by the Republicans and the McCain campaign, so the only thing left to find out is just how cynical and misogynistic can they be.
The not-vetting-her storyline is ridiculous. If, after eight years of the Clinton administration and a bruising primary campaign, there is something about Hillary Clinton’s background that hasn’t been explored within an inch of its life, then it’s something along the lines of how she kidnapped Amelia Earhart or was the second shooter on the grassy knoll in Dallas. And if the Obama campaign had tried to vet her by asking all the questions of financial disclosure, some Hillary supporters would have been insulted; what more do you need to know about her?
The Republicans’ attempt to drive a wedge between Clinton supporters and the Obama campaign works off the theory that the only people who supported Hillary Clinton were women, and everybody knows that women are flighty and vengeful; if they don’t get what they want, they’ll go off in a huff and vote for McCain out of spite.
I don’t know which is more insulting; that the McCain people actually think that way, or that they think that Clinton supporters will fall for it. Anyone who is seriously supporting a Democrat for president this year, be it Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Bill Richardson, is going to take one look at John McCain and remember how he treats women, both personally and professionally, and laugh their ass off at the idea that they would seriously consider voting for McCain or any Republican who would insult their intelligence by thinking that they would.
Finally, the idea of people like Pat Buchanan and William Kristol standing up for the “honor” of Hillary Clinton is mind-bending. They’re just pissed off that Barack Obama was the one who dismantled the Clinton machine; they so wanted to take credit for it, and now they can’t.