How Hillary Has Stayed Relevant

Even after dropping her bid for the White House, Hillary Clinton's place in the race still matters.

Disclaimer: I'm not a political pundit, merely an observer of the political process.

I'm impressed with just how relevant Hillary Clinton has managed to stay in the election that she's no longer running in.  Certainly, the 18 million votes she received during the primary process would mean she would need to remain close to the process. 

Some Obama supporters I spoke with as Hillary Clinton's campaign continued on, after it became clear to many that Obama would be the nominee, did not want her to create an irreparable rift among democrats.  Once she left the race, she did fade into the background for a while.  Especially when Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate, you had to wonder what role Clinton would play in the campaign, other than that both candidates were hungry for her supporters.

Until the Democratic National Convention drew near.

On what day would Clinton speak?  Would it be during prime time?  How emphatic and convincing would Clinton be when she spoke at the convention?  What would former President Bill Clinton say?  After all, reports painted a picture that there was a pretty serious rift between the Clintons and the Obama campaign.  Democrats worried  the Clintons were shifting the focus away from the main event: Obama's nomination for president.

True, Clinton did steal some of the spotlight.  However, it was great political theater.  Clinton even stopped the roll call and moved to officially nominate Obama, her former rival, by acclimation.  It was dramatic, though we all knew how it would end, with Barack Obama accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States.

Then another woman stole the spotlight from Obama and, some would argue, John McCain.  McCain selected Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, to be his running mate.  Very few saw that coming.  It was reported that Palin's parents did not find out until it the news was broadcast on TV just hours before her debut in Dayton, Ohio.  There are already Sarah Palin action figures. 

Talk about great political theater.  An almost unknown to Americans in the lower 48 is running for Vice President. 

And then, there's Hillary Clinton, suddenly very relevant all over again.  Though she has not attacked Palin's policies or record in a campaign speech for Obama yet, some pundits believe Clinton's the only person who can really campaign against Palin head on.  Woman to woman.

This blog is being posted on Thursday morning, just hours before former rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are scheduled to sit down to lunch in her New York office.  It will be interesting to see if Clinton starts calling out Palin by name between now and November 4.  

There are 54 days to go until the election.

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