Keep Your Eyes On The Prize: Both Clinton and Obama Predict Eventual Unity for the Democratic Party

Listen up naysayers — Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama predicted “eventual unity” for the Democratic Party today. That’s right… “They may bicker daily over issues, character and innuendo, but both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama appear to agree on one thing: Democratic voters will coalesce around a nominee and carry him or her to victory in November over Republican John McCain.”

It’s time for folks to take a deep breath and understand that displaying passion supporting your candidate is fine and dandy, but once the nominee is chosen every one should “Keep Your Eyes On The Prize” — the White House. That means support the nominee and “don’t vote for McCain.”

At a rally in Fayetteville, NC today, Hillary Clinton “was asked what she would say to Democrats so invested in her candidacy or Obama’s that they would consider voting for McCain in the general election if their preferred candidate isn’t the nominee.”

Please think through this decision. It is not a wise decision,” Clinton said to applause.

“Every time we have a vigorous contest like we’re having this primary election, people get intense. Senator Obama has intense support. I have intense support. It’s exciting because people want to be involved. But, the differences … pale in comparison to the differences between us and Senator McCain.”

North Carolina holds their primary on May 5 and there are 115 delegates at stake in that contest. Barack Obama “made a similar point” today in an interview on ABC’s “World News.”

Obama said:

There are going to be some bruised feelings, whoever the nominee is. We are going to have to come together and remind ourselves that there is a heck of a lot bigger difference between either Senator Clinton or myself, and John McCain.”

And he went on to say that “the protracted contest would not harm the party in the long run.”

I think short term, there is going to be work to do for the nominee to bring the party back together again. People feel pretty passionate about their respective candidates. I appreciate that, and I understand it,” Obama said.

The former first lady, who trails Obama in the popular vote and in pledged delegates, has pushed back on critics who argue that she should cease her criticisms of the Illinois senator and end her campaign so he can focus on defeating McCain.

Clinton pledged Thursday to be a team player no matter the outcome of the primary contest.

“I intend to do everything I can to make sure we have a unified Democratic Party,” she said. “When this contest is over and we have a nominee, we’re going to close ranks. We’re going to be united … The most important goal for us is to put a Democrat back in the White House.”

Al Gore jumped into the mix, AP News reports and “professed no urgency to resolving the contest in an interview with The Associated Press.”

What have we got, five months left?” he said, when asked about whether he would make an endorsement soon.

When pressed on whether the nominee could be decided before the national convention in August, Gore said: “I think it’s going to resolve itself. But we’ll see.”

I know full well what that intensity and passion is that both Obama and Clinton are talking about, because I had both 4 years ago when I was a blogger for the Kerry campaign. But I also know how important it is that we, Democrats, take back the White House this year.

Readers here who know me know I put my heart and soul into the ’04 election and I still think about what might have been. It hurt like hell when we didn’t win in ’04 and it hurt like hell when Kerry announced that he wasn’t going to run again. It took me forever to warm up to a candidate and as a long time Kerry supporter, I parted ways with the good Senator from Massachusetts (my home state) to support Hillary Clinton. It was a tough decision, but the right one for me.

I’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton here. She is my first choice for the Democratic nominee, but I will, I repeat, I will support the nominee — be the nominee Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. And I will work my tail off to get that nominee elected as the next president of the United States. That’s the prize.

I hope that all the Clinton supporters here on The Dem Daily will consider what both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said today and pledge to support the nominee. I also urge readers here to read Joe Gandelman on the Moderate Voice. Joe’s an Independent and it’s my understanding he’s looking to put a Dem in the White House this year. He says “Despite Democratic Primary Divisions Democrats Have Good Long Term Prospects.” Todd Beeton has more on MyDD.

Remember to “Keep Your Eyes On The Prize“:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM3CYEdr5fA
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7 Responses to Keep Your Eyes On The Prize: Both Clinton and Obama Predict Eventual Unity for the Democratic Party

  1. alrudder says:

    By the time we have a convention, and a few weeks later when they join the stage with John McCain, the dynamic among our party’s activists will change…for 95% of us. (pssst, a vote for McCain is a vote for 35 years of conservative jurisprudence, and possibly 100 years of battle in the Persian Gulf)
    I was taught that “politics is about passion” and people are a bit too emotionally invested in their Democrat right now.

  2. alrudder

    Perspective is all important at this point.

  3. Janis says:

    Pamela, like I said, I respect your opinions. But I can’t do this.

  4. Jessica says:

    I think it’s great that both candidates are expressing the need for unity because things have gone way off the rails in both directions. The party is bigger than both of them and is better for the strengths they bring. Some fences won’t be mended in the short term or maybe ever but I hope the nominee is able to rally as many democrats to their side as possible.

  5. Andy Witmyer says:

    Janis, not voting is in essence a vote for McCain. Or would you rather have Bush Part II in office? It’s understandable that you’d rather support Hillary – I’m sure Pam and many other bloggers and readers here would agree – but at times, I do think people might be getting too carried away by their emotions, with either candidate.

    Obama may not be the candidate you wanted, but I hope you’ll support him. If either candidate wins the nomination, I’ll fullheartedly support that candidate.

    (That said, I still wish Kerry would have run).

  6. Janis

    If you support Hillary Clinton the best thing you can do supporting her is to follow her lead in supporting the nominee if it ends up being Obama. That is what she asked of her supporters yesterday and quite frankly she has said many times she will support the nominee and wants her supporters to do the same.

    Politics is a messy, ugly, dirty business. The one thing I have learned as political blogger who worked for Kerry in ’04 is that supporters often take things more personal than the politicians themselves.

    Hillary Clinton is a wise woman and very pragmatic — she wants to win this, as her supporters want her to, but she also understands how important it is to put a Democrat in the White House.

    I hope you will reconsider if the need arises.

  7. Darrell Prows says:

    Hillary Clinton is a wise woman and very pragmatic — she wants to win this, as her supporters want her to, but she also understands how important it is to put a Democrat in the White House.