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Is this the most crucial picture of the campaign?

June 28th, 2008

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    Will disaffected Hillary supporters now back Barack?

By far the biggest question mark that’s been hanging over the Democratic party’s chances in November’s election has been the extent to which fiercely loyal Hillary supporters will switch their support to the presumed nominee. Poll and after poll has shown that a significant proportion of Clinton backers, particularly women in the older age groups, have found it difficult to accept the outcome and have said they would give their votes to John McCain.

Hillary’s campaign has been a battle for her gender that has had a profound impact on many women, especially those in the baby boomer generations. To large numbers Obama has thwarted something that is so important to them and getting them on board could make all the difference in November.

At the carefully choreographed rally in the appropriately named Unity in New Hampshire Hillary declared: “To anyone who voted for me and is now considering not voting or voting for Sen. McCain, I strongly urge you to reconsider …to create an unstoppable force for change we can believe in…“I know that he’ll work for you. he’ll fight for you, and he’ll stand up for you every single day in the White House.”

As has been widely observed Obama and Clinton were colour coordinated – his tie matching her blue pant suit – and given the importance of the event and pictures like the one above this was no accident.

But there is still work to be done. Politico reports the spirit of unity wasn’t uniform throughout the crowd. “Two women held “Hillary for President” signs above their heads during the speeches. One of them, who stuffed bits of napkins into her ears while Obama spoke, intermittently yelled out her disapproval: “We want Hillary!”

My White House betting, as I reported the other day, is mostly on the number of electoral college seats the contenders will secure. The magic figure is 270 and I have bought at just over 290 on the spread markets.

I hope that I am not putting my heart before my head!

Mike Smithson






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