Obama Wrestles with 'The Hillary Factor'

Three weeks away from the Democratic convention in Denver and Barack Obama still has no idea what to do with Hillary Clinton and the almost 50% of convention delegates who support her.

Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine wonders if the Clintons have gotten over the bitter primary loss:

The July 31 cocktail reception outside Palo Alto, Calif., had been billed as an evening for letting bygones be bygones, a coming together of Hillary Clinton's Silicon Valley backers with Barack Obama's to help the New York Senator retire her campaign debt. But as Clinton took questions from the 150 or so people who had paid $500 and up a head to listen, it became clear that the healing process was far from over. "For so many of my supporters, just like so many of Barack's supporters, this was a first-time investment of heart and soul and money and effort and sleepless nights and miles of travel," Clinton said. "You just don't turn it off like that."

Not exactly bitterness but a certain wistfullness comes through as Hillary emerges from her self imposed hibernation following the end of the primaries in June. However, some of her supporters make no bones about where their loyalties still lie. And for those, Obama has a huge problem; how to unite the party without making the convention seem like "The Hillary Clinton Show?"

Tapper at ABC:

The New York Daily News reported Friday that Clinton has decided not to submit a signed request to the DNC to have her name put into nomination; party rules require such a move for a candidate to be voted on.

But Clinton aides continue to say publicly that such details are still being discussed in consultations among the Clinton camp, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

"No decisions have been made," Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.

"Sen. Clinton is 100 percent committed to helping Barack Obama become the next president of the United States," Strand added. "She is very appreciative of the continued commitment of her supporters and understands there are passionate feelings around the convention. While no decisions have been made at this time, they will be made collaboratively with Sen. Clinton and her staff, the DNC and Sen. Obama's campaign and released at the appropriate time."

Many Hillary supporters are demanding the opportunity to vote on her nomination. There is very little chance that this will happen given the demonstrations it will set off not to mention re-opening old wounds from the primaries. But this leaves Obama in a quandary; how can he satisfy Hillary's backers and unify the party?

How he deals with these problems will help determine whether he wins in November.

I have some additional thoughts on these
questions here.

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