Salena Zito

Rumors of a contentious Democrat convention appear to be greatly exaggerated.

David Morehouse, a senior campaign adviser to Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, says the threat of revolt is a perception some small constituencies would have you believe, “but these are the same people that would bite off their own nose to spite their face.”

Larry Sabato says those tiny ripples, such as the dissension of some Clinton delegates, will be magnified by the large concentration of media at the conclave. “But all of this will be washed away by the only two things anybody ever remembers: the veep choice and the presidential nominee’s final-night speech.”

Democrat delegate expert Mark Siegel says the lead-up to this convention has nothing on the unrepentant battle between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy in 1980.

“Kennedy didn't withdraw until the first night of convention, when his effort to change the ‘robot rule’ failed in a key roll call that became the test vote of the convention,” recalls Siegel, a one-time senior adviser to Kennedy.

He says the Kennedy-Carter campaign was much uglier than the Obama-Clinton primaries, especially “with the Carter people making sub rosa Chappaquiddick attacks all through the campaign.”

Right now, all of the talk is about what Hillary will do at the convention; quite frankly, that undercurrent exists mainly because so much of the political media are bored without her in the race.

“The Clinton drama is gone,” one Democrat insider explains, and political reporters “miss it, and they will look for any grain of sand that might resurrect it.”

Hillary is not stupid, and neither is Bill, Sabato says, and “they are not going to give their critics fodder to attack them. They will recite their lines and project their smiles. It does not matter in the slightest whether or not they do it through gritted teeth.”

If Hillary is seen as a sore loser, her chances to be the nominee in the future will be slim to none -- and she knows that.

The night of her convention speech, a wise, radiant, confident Hillary should take the microphone and give her staunchest supporters the voice they want on a national stage. After highlighting their struggles, she should pivot to why Obama is the better solution than McCain, and then crown herself as Obama's surrogate for those voters.

Despite numerous news reports and blogs second-guessing her intentions and pondering a possible overthrow of the convention in some Clinton coup, the possibility of her committing such political suicide is slim to none.


Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.