Obama on Top

The candidate needs Clinton’s collaboration to make it to the White House

Never before has the Democratic Party been so fractured as it has during this campaign without equal between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. More than five months of primaries and millions of dollars have been necessary for Obama to gain the number of delegates (2154) that would grant him the candidacy of his party in the United States’ presidential race. Obama will have to wait until the end of August for the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado to be officially proclaimed the candidate, at which time he will become the first African-American to achieve this position.

But before Denver there remains much work to be done. It is urgent for Clinton to finally throw in the towel and bow out, and that Obama strives to heal divisions and obtain party unity if he truly intends to beat senator John McCain, the Republican candidate, on November 4th. Any other path will only work against him, and in this Hillary has a great responsibility.

She is the great defeat of this hard fight: for her arrogant behavior, insisting on her greater experience and for her dependence on her husband, Bill Clinton; but also for the bad management of her campaign and her ignorance of the rules of the primary. But her cooperation is essential for the young senator from Illinois to win the White House. The difference in delegates has been barely 200 and they are practically tied for the popular vote, and she has won the votes of Hispanics, women, the working-class and elderly whites. And among the states that backed her are no less than California, New York, Ohio, Texas, Massachusetts and Florida.

It remains to be seen if Obama will offer the vice presidency to Clinton; the two have hinted recently at this possibility. But this “dream ticket” is not without risks and perhaps the democratic candidate will turn to safer choices, like Joseph Biden or Bill Richardson. It cannot be ignored that a large portion of Obama voters do not hide their hostility toward Hillary (among them, his spouse Michelle) and believe that to put her on the ticket would violate the promise of change preached by this candidate, at age 46, son of a black father of Kenyan origin and a white, American mother, of impeccable academic training and limited political experience. This is emphasized by his rival, John McCain who, if he wins, will enter the White House at 72 years of age, three years older than Reagan when he won the presidency.

The U.S. is living a revolution comparable to the triumph of Kennedy in 1960. More than 35 million citizens have gone to the polls in the democratic primaries, a record that reveals the strong yearning for change. Obama, with his brilliant rhetoric and his zeal for embodying the dream of racial reconciliation, can win. But sometimes words don’t suffice. From now until November he should be more explicit about his platform.

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