Per Marc Ambinder, we now have formal word of an agreement between the Clinton and Obama campaigns that calls for both candidates’ names to be placed in nomination at the convention in order to “honor and celebrate” all of their supporters, according to a joint statement.
As I wrote yesterday, the Obama campaign didn’t have much choice here. The official purpose of a convention is to nominate a presidential candidate, and that can only be done two ways: by acclimation or by a roll call of the states.
If the Obama campaign had gone the acclimation route (as a way of avoiding a formal vote in which hundreds of Clinton delegates might dissent), the protests from Clinton’s die-hard delegates (there are many of them) would be deafening and would produce video clips that would be played over and over, completely defeating the purpose of an acclimation motion.
That left the roll call option, which is traditionally used (even when the nominee is unopposed). But even if Clinton had – as the Obama campaign would have liked – instructed her delegates not to nominate her (and refused to consent to being nominated if they went ahead and did so anyway), it would still be permissible for her delegates to vote for her in the roll call of the states. One way or another, the Clinton delegates who want to vote for her were going to be heard. With this compromise, the Obama campaign is finally recognizing this.
Now the questions will begin: Will Hillary explicitly urge her delegates to vote for Obama anyway, as a show of unity? And how many of them will listen if she does? And will any of this mollify the PUMA crowd, some of whom are still talking of wresting the nomination for Clinton in Denver? And, perhaps most importantly: Will we be talking about any of this once the convention is over?