In what both Dem frontrunners are describing as a â€œsymbolic tributeâ€ to Sen. Hillary Clintonâ€™s â€œhistoric campaign,â€ she and presumptive nominee Sen. Barack Obama jointly announced an agreement to formally place her name in nomination at the DNC convention:Â Â Â
Since June, Senators Obama and Clinton have been working together to ensure a Democratic victory this November. They are both committed to winning back the White House and to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver. To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Senator Obama’s and Senator Clinton’s names will be placed in nomination. â€¦
Senator Obama’s campaign encouraged Senator Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination as a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran and the fact that she was the first woman to compete in all of our nation’s primary contests.Â
The New York Times reports that â€œ[t]he details of the roll call have not been worked out, including how or whether Mrs. Clintonâ€™s delegates would be released or turned over to Mr. Obama,â€ but its sister paper, The Boston Globe, seems to know more of the story:Â
The traditional roll call of the states is scheduled for the next night. The tentative plan is for the states to announce the number of delegates for Clinton and Obama, then for Clinton to turn her delegates over to Obama and cast her own superdelegate vote for him.Â
The Times notes that â€œ[w]hile this is hardly the first time a losing candidateâ€™s name will be placed in nomination – Mo Udall persuaded Jimmy Carter to allow it in 1976 â€“ the duration and intensity of the Obama-Clinton nominating fight created wounds that have yet to heal among some Democratic activists. Many backers of Mrs. Clinton have been vigorously pushing for her candidacy to be validated through a roll-call vote.â€Â Â
Though Obamaâ€™s convention spokesperson Jenny Backus insists, â€œThis is a united convention. This is a united party,â€ the symbolism of the roll call vote may be lost on those who remain convinced she is the better candidate and was maneuvered out of the nomination by the party leadership.Â Â Â Â Â Â
â€œThe only way a Democratic Party will have the credibility to elect a Democrat in November is if the party uses a legitimate process to choose its nominee,â€ The Denver Group co-founder Heidi Li Feldman tells The Associated Press, adding, â€œWe are not per se a Clinton support group, we are a Democratic Party get-your-act-together support group.â€Â
The Washington Post reports that some Clinton supporters plan to â€œleave the convention after [she] speaks on Tuesday night, as part of an ongoing protest against Obama’s nomination.â€ But others arenâ€™t satisfied with passive protest, and are â€œitching for a fight and plan to wage one in Denver,â€ according to AP.Â Â
If Clinton does not win the partyâ€™s nomination after the roll call vote â€“ an unlikely scenario â€“ some unknown percentage ofÂ her die-hard supporters plan to cross party lines or to vote for Green Party nominee Ralph Nader in November.Â Â
Just Say No Deal Coalition co-founder Will Bower tells AP: â€œI have been voting Democratic for 18 years. I only voted for Democrats, from dog catcher to president and everything in between. I will be voting for someone other than Barack Obama come November.â€Â Â
While Women for Fair Politics co-founder Cynthia Ruccia (video) is â€œthrilledâ€ that there will be a roll call vote, she tells The Boston Globe, â€œI don’t think Barack Obama is qualified to be president of the United States. They continue to call us racist, sour old women, sore losers. This is all very insulting, and it’s very sexist and completely uncalled for.â€
Ruccia â€“ a Dem party activist from Columbus, OH – will participate in a joint press conference during the convention with former Dem officeholders, candidates and diplomats to explain why they will not support Obama â€“ and is planning to attend the GOP convention next month as a guest of McCain campaign co-chair Carly Fiorina.
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