“It doesn’t take a political genius to realize that Barack Obama needed to nominate a woman for vice president,” said Dick Morris in RealClearPolitics. A recent Fox News poll showed that only about half of Hillary Clinton’s primary supporters are backing Obama, and one in five say they will vote for John McCain. Clinton “came with such baggage,” as a Clinton, that she might have been a poor choice, but the fact that he didn’t choose any woman “stands out starkly to women voters.”
Clinton supporters are “justifiably outraged” that Obama apparently didn’t even consider her, said William Kristol in The Weekly Standard’s The Blog. Clinton got “about 18 million votes” in the primaries, after all, whereas actual VP pick Joe Biden picked up “a few thousand (if that).” So the question is whether a Democratic party committed to “gender equity” will “accept Obama’s imposition of a glass ceiling at its convention?”
This sudden praising of Clinton is a “transparently shameless stunt,” said Steve Benen in Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog. It would be nice to think that Kristol and other Republicans have “found the feminist within,” but come on. They “staunchly oppose everything Clinton has fought for throughout her life,” and her supporters may not like being “played for suckers.”
Actually, “stoking the lingering resentments of the Hillary camp is probably smart politics,” said James Joyner in the blog Outside the Beltway. That said, the GOP’s “clever but bizarre” strategy of attacking Obama for having “passed over” Clinton, complete with a new ad, is so brazen it “could backfire and make more of them realize that they’re playing into the Republicans’ hands.”
Don’t underestimate the ire, and “wounded hearts,” of some Clinton backers, said Eve Fairbanks in The New Republic’s The Stump blog. These angry, anti-Obama Democratic women are real, not just "a figment of the media’s drama-hungry” imagination. So expect to hear the word “catharsis” a lot at the Democratic convention this week. Just don’t expect it to work on everyone.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
Subscribe to the Week