Robert Stacy McCain sees trouble ahead for Obama when he announces his VP choice and it isn't Hillary. While political insiders have all but dismissed the possibility of a unity ticket, he sees many of Hillary's supporters as not yet aware of the inside baseball:
...many of Clinton's supporters in the primaries were independent voters who, as American University political scientist Candace Nelson has observed, "are the least likely to pay attention to politics, least likely to be engaged in the political process." [....] ..many of those 18 million Clinton voters no doubt feel that the former first lady has earned a place on the ticket.
These voters will be shocked when, as now seems likely, Obama picks a white male running mate with little national name recognition. This week's decision to allow Hillary a roll-call vote in Denver is one indication that Team Obama may be anticipating a backlash. [....]
Most political insiders see Hillary's defeat in the Democratic primaries as the result of her own overconfidence and incompetence. Yet she still has millions of supporters who view Obama as an arrogant upstart who cheated Clinton out of the nomination.
He may be correct. Which is why the speeches allocated to Bill and Hillary Clinton at the convention will be particularly interesting. Most observers, including me, expect the Clintons to walk a delicate line, seeming to offer support to Obama while laying the groundwork for his defeat, so as to clear the decks for a Hillary run in 2012. The Clintons seem particularly skilled at smiling while positioning the stiletto behind the back.
It is still theoretically possible that Obama will shock everyone by offering Hillary the second spot. Patrick Ruffini lays out the case for this. It is perhaps equally possible Hillary will launch a coup, if enough super delegates abstain in the first roll call vote, in order to throw the voting open on subsequent ballots.
There are still opportunities for surprises.