Unity Tour

Todd Beeton has an absolute must read for both Clinton and Obama partisans who must now start turning to the difficult task of reconciliation.

For me, there are two salient things to take away from Beeton’s post; an idea, and a concept.

The idea is that Clinton not necessarily drop out and endorse Obama, though that’s on the table, but remain a candidate or not, she should embark on a “Unity Tour” through the final six states of the primaries. Simply put, I love it. Let’s face it, right now there are a lot of Democrats out there who hate other Democrats more than they hate Republicans; that’s no way to head into a General Election.

Further, this would actually give us a chance to see Clinton and Obama treat each other like colleagues, and not mortal enemies whose claims that they’re still friends sound hollow and contrived.

But most of all, it would show leadership on behalf of both of them. Say what you will about either candidate, when you look at the fact that just about every state had record voter turnout you come to theĀ  realization that both of these candidates showed extraordinary leadership, rallying more troops in a primary than candidates in the past have been able to motivate in a General Election. A unity tour such as Todd suggests would take it to the next level, and show that these candidates can harness the full potential of the incredible voting force they have each brought to the table.

And it would show that they have no qualms about leading by example. It would, I believe, be an excellent way to bring to the final states the energy and opportunity of the primaries that the rest of us have been a part of, and it would help bring together a party that has in many ways masticated itself.

So that’s the idea, and frankly, I think it’s brilliant.

The concept is one that is going to be tough for some Obama supporters to accept; that Clinton made Obama better, and last night was his proving grounds. When locked in prolonged warfare, it can be difficult to see this. Feelings of betrayal and animosity can blind even the victors after all, and while much has been written about the animosity that Clinton supporters feel towards Obama and his supporters, that should not fool anyone into thinking that the sentiments are not reciprocated.

It is a truth that we should all come to grips with, and one that I think will help establish a sense of closure and make it easier for Obama partisans to approach and reconcile with Clinton partisans who themselves will be bitter and ill disposed towards reconciliation.

It gives us, perhaps, a different lens through which to approach the healing of our party that we must begin. As much as many of us may be loathe to admit it; Clinton has made Obama stronger, tougher, has prepared him for the kinds of attacks that are to come when he faces a vicious Republican party that will depend on animosity towards the Democrat to compensate for lack of enthusiasm for the Republican. And she has strengthened Obama’s support systems from the grassroots to the netroots.

There is much to be angry about for both sides, I suppose, but at this point I don’t see what that anger accomplishes. Instead, it is perhaps more constructive and more useful to look at what has been accomplished, and what we can take away from the past few months. Record numbers of Democratic voters, the development and fine tuning of a lightning fast and incredibly effective grassroots organization, a netroots machine that has solidified (with of course some wayward parts that one hopes will return to the greater whole) and acted as an awesome unit, a fundraising system that has left jaws on the floor, and a candidate who has proven that his jaw is far from made of glass.

And we would not have any of these things had this been an easy primary, had Clinton left the race earlier. We would have gone into the General Election with untested systems, and a largely untested candidate.

So, it’s a hard thing to ask, and I’m sure to get booed right off the stage, but instead of looking to the Clinton supporters with the mentality of, ‘God I hate you people but we got to work together, so let’s grin and bear it,’ perhaps our frame of mind should be, ‘Thanks for making us tougher, and better prepared for the fall. We probably wouldn’t have gotten here without you. Wanna come along for the rest of the ride?’

You may all now throw rotten vegetables at me.

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