A Thought Experiment

Yesterday, over at Shakesville, zuzu started the following conversation:


I thought I’d start off with a little exercise. A number of you have been saying in comments that it’s over, that Obama’s the nominee, that Clinton supporters just need to face reality. For the purposes of this exercise, we will accept that Obama is the nominee....

what is your plan for reaching out to disgruntled Clinton supporters? What do you think Obama should do to reach out to these voters? And finally, please explain the reasons why disgruntled Clinton supporters should vote *for* Obama.

Please note — I said for Obama. I’m not looking for reasons why anyone should vote against McCain, or to preserve the status quo on Roe v. Wade, or to put a Democrat in the White House, or anything else. I know those arguments. I want to hear why Obama qua Obama is worth supporting.
The thread has, to date, garnered 209 comments, and will probably get some more even though it has pushed down the page some. I took part in it, listing the positive attributes that I think Obama brings to the table, including some he shares with Clinton.

I didn't object to the discussion because I see it, in part as a useful exercise--defining your preferred candidate in positive terms as opposed to negative ones. That's not to say that negative reasoning is unimportant--if a person will only vote for Obama because he's not McCain, I'll take it, and gladly.

But now I'd like to turn it around. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Clinton somehow manages to pull this out, against the odds, gets the super delegates to back her in such overwhelming numbers that she gets the nomination. There will undoubtedly be some backlash, and I would argue that Clinton, in that position, would have a far harder time uniting the party, given Obama's frontrunner status and the inevitable charges (inaccurate as they would be) that she had "stolen" the nomination from him.

So Clinton supporters--make the case for your candidate, a positive one, should Clinton pull this off. How would she unite the party?

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