Feature

Clinton’s convention job

Will Hillary persuade holdouts among her supporters to back Obama?

“Hillary Clinton can’t win tonight,” said Marie Cocco in The Washington Post. Democrats expect her to be their “cheerleader-in-chief” by persuading her supporters to drop lingering doubts and unite behind Barack Obama. But no matter what Clinton says in the convention address she will either be “deemed too cool or all-too-cagily warm.”

Clinton’s task isn’t so hard to accomplish, said The New York Times in an editorial. She says she wants her backers to fight as hard for Barack Obama and Joe Biden as they did for her. If that is so, she can use her speech to spell out the reasons why Obama, not Republican John McCain, is the one who will “deliver on all the issues” they care most about, including universal health care and ending the Iraq war.

Many Clinton voters might defect no matter what she says, said John Dickerson in Slate. In the two and a half months since Obama sealed the nomination, his standing with Hillary’s supporters has only gotten worse, with 30 percent still saying they won’t vote for him. The question now is “whether there are enough of them in the battleground states to cause him real harm.”

There’s no doubt the Clintons will “put on a good show of support” for Obama at the convention, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. “They will not want to be blamed if he loses.” But there’s “a palpable sense that they won't be surprised, or upset, if he does lose. Hillary and Bill can then set their sights on 2012.”

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