After years of sitting idly by watching Bill tear off one piece of strange after another, it looked for a few moments last night like Hillary might have a shot at some hot, hot extramarital action. The Barry White soundtrack was missing, but Hillary and Obama buried the hatchet Thursday at the Kodak Theater and appeared almost ready to make some funky love, not war.
Okay, it wasn’t all Mandingo or Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, but after so much venom and eye-gouges and groin-punches, the two 2008 Democratic Presidential survivors achieved an almost sultry detente. With a lingering hug at the end, one could only imagine what Barack was whispering in Hillary’s ear. “Why don’t you ditch Bill tonight and come back to my hotel, and I’ll show you my ‘pole’ numbers.”
With the acrimony of the last few weeks between Senators Clinton and Obama, the pundits were portending an irreparable fracture within the Democratic Party. I was a little concerned that they were on the verge of following the age-old Democratic tendency to snatch defeat from the gnashing jaws of victory, but I never believed and still don’t that these two won’t wind up sharing a bumpersticker this fall.
The Hollywood backdrop and the plethora of stars that came out to watch the steamy tete-a-tete played right into Republican hands prompting derisions that started with an RNC statement last night and continuing on the right-wing talk radio shows today, rife with words like “pandering” and “Hollywood liberals” and “the liberal elite”.
It’s California, though, and no one’s immune to the star fucking. And, after the Republicans had their day in the sun with the endorsement of John McCain by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, all eyes and ears were on the Democratic celebrity luminaries to see who would win the nod from…Fran Drescher and Jason Alexander.
DEADWARDS: There wasn’t a room big enough to hold the love the candidates had for their erstwhile competitor, John Edwards, last night. One blogger snarkily remarked what a shame it was that Edwards had retired his Presidential bid just before he received such acclaim from his now-former competitors. For those among us who relish the nomination derby as much or more than we do the Super Bowl chase, it was a grand disappointment to see Edwards hang up his devilishly handsome, $400-a-snip locks and his potential role as kingmaker this summer in Denver by dangling his delegates over a deadlocked Hillary and Barack. Translation: “You were always my favorite competitor, and we were the most simpatico of the candidates despite our occasional differences–so PLEASE can I have your delegates and your endorsement???”
Among the politically masturbatory, there’s no bigger money shot than a brokered convention–where the candidates arrive at the convention this August with no clear nominee, and the also-ran(s), with their committed delegates that could be pledged to any of the surviving candidates, holding sway. The Republican race in 1976 between Governor Ronald Reagan and incumbent President Gerald Ford came down to the Mississippi delegation, which ultimately went for the President and helped him win nomination on the first ballot.
Nothing would make seven or eight dozen pasty-faced wonks who drink too many energy drinks happier than to see either party’s candidates land in Denver or Minneapolis-St. Paul this summer with too few committed delegates to claim the nomination outright. That would be the next best thing to watching Jennifer Love Hewitt in a thong licking chocolate syrup off a buck-naked Salma Hayek.
It probably won’t happen with the Republicans, but there was some hope for the Democrats with Edwards still in the race. He was a nearly consistent third in every contest, save Iowa, but he was scraping together enough delegates that would have made him a potential kingmaker when the gavel fell in Denver this summer.
It could still happen. No one knows what magnitude Obama’s South Carolina momentum is going to assume coming into Super Tuesday, but the Obama endorsements are piling up like cord wood, he finished January having raised over $1 million a day, and, despite Hillary’s 17-point victory in non-counting Florida, which has been casting ballots since December, Obama actually won the race 46-38 among voters who cast their ballot within the three days leading up to the primary.