Saturday, August 23, 2008


Senator McCain was sitting at one of his ten homes - not that I'm keeping count - when he heard that Senator Biden was our Vice Presidential nominee.

He must have just loved Senator Arlen Specter's praise for our nominee, reported today, talking about how Arlen and Joe shared Amtrac rides together to and from home and the U.S. Senate.

But how can Senator McCain really complain when our former Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee, Senator Joe Lieberman, who once stood by Senator Al Gore, is a featured speaker at the Republican Convention?

But, enough about the big picture.

It's now time to think about going to Denver.

I've stopped checking my Obama e-mail for who will be on the ticket, and am packing papers and a swim suit (I might get to use) when I to travel to Denver for the Democratic National Convention as a Hillary delegate.

I'm leaving behind my friends and colleagues at the Campbell Miller law firm and, except for an emergency, I don't plan to be working on my cases; but perhaps I should know better than that. (You can get a look at our firm and community on YouTube.)

I know that this convention will be different, because of friends who have always been gray elephant Republicans who have told me repeatedly during the endless primary season and since that they are supporting Senator Obama, and not the Republican nominee.

My law partner, Eric Zimmerman, who doesn't much like labels is a Republican, and he told me during the democratic primaries that he was voting for Senator Obama, and that was before Senator Biden was chosen.

I asked if he was just pulling my leg. He assured me he was not, and he is still for Obama - confirmed within the last 48 hours.

Eric knows about public service. And he knows what's important. Eric was the Mayor of a local town called Purcellville. He rescued and championed Little League Baseball in Loudoun County, Virginia. And he's a great lawyer and friend.

Like many other Republicans I meet and talk with, Eric thinks that we have done so badly for eight years, that he's ready for a change, and that Presidential candidate Obama is the change that we need.

I saw this same phenomenon when James Webb, the former Navy Secretary, decided to come back to the Democratic party and run for the US. Senate in Virginia.

Webb had objected to the Iraq War, declaring in September 2002 that such a war made no sense, and no one could dispute the fact that Webb, as a marine and former Reagan cabine appointee, knew what he was talking about; and Webb won, beating the incumbent Iraq-mongering Republican Senator George Allen.

My wife Holly and I supported Senator Hillary Clinton in the democratic primaries and we're going to Denver, and I am pledged to vote for Hillary this upcoming Wednesday on the first ballot.

I always thought Hillary was a class act, first got to know her during the dark days of her husband's impeachment, but also afterwards when she was the Junior Senator from New York.

That's why I worked for her when she ran for President - because she was and remains a great leader.

We cannot overlook, however, that Senator Obama has found a way to acknowledge her leadership, her tireless campaign and her significant contribution, meaning the millions of primary votes and her forceful arguments about the war, and the economy.

Obama acknowledged the significance of her run when he agreed that Hillary's elected delegates should and shall vote on Wednesday at the convention.

My friends and associates who shared my support of Hillary say she had that right anyway - to have her name put in nomination.

In one sense, they may be right.

But politics is not purely a platonic dialogue about ideals - even when it may seem to be.

A roman senator, Seneca, said the fates lead us to our destiny, or drag us there.

This is an opportunity that allows us to follow Hillary's lead.

It is a sad truth that no one who works hard for any candidate is worth much if the resultant passion doesn't prompt disappointment when the candidate loses.

This has been an acute challenge this election season.

We have before us, however, the fact that the differences that Obama and Clinton debated, while important, were narrow as compared to the ideological gulf between Obama and the Bush debacle that will continue in the name of McCain -- if we persist in dressing our primary wounds.

Our first business is Sunday when we convene as a delegation that evening with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine at the Red Rocks outside of Denver for political talk and a barbecue.

On Monday, we have the opening gavel of the democratic convention.

On to Denver!

And please watch this space for updates!

J. Flannery

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