Here Come the Crazies!

The Democratic convention is getting underway, and so far the focus has been on all the wrong places. A crowd of demonstrators has showed up, marched around Denver, confronted policemen, and generally made fools of themselves:

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The invaluable Zombie has much more:

I keep wondering when the voters are going to start noticing that the Left has gone stark raving mad.

The world of show business has united almost monolithically behind Barack Obama, but he might want to consider asking Madonna to get off his team. The McCain campaign denounced her yesterday for including in her stage show, which is just beginning a world tour, a video that linked McCain with Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe, while grouping Barack Obama with Gandhi, Al Gore and John Lennon.

It remains to be seen how much play the demonstrators will get over the next four days, but the danger to Obama’s campaign is real. From the Democrats’ perspective, the demonstrators’ slogan, “Recreate ’68,” is ominous. In that year, chaos outside the convention hall–and, to a lesser degree, inside–branded the Democrats the party of weakness and disorder. If the same thing happens this year, neither Obama nor Joe Biden is the sort of candidate to reassure nervous voters.

The other craziness surrounding the convention, of course, involves the Clintons. Bill Clinton is the Democrats’ only successful Presidential candidate in the last 32 years. That gives him a unique status in the party, and he and Hillary have made it clear that they don’t intend to exit the stage quietly. Here is how Michael Ramirez sees the Dems’ convention shaping up:

A number of the Clintons’ top advisers are refusing even a pretense of unity and have announced that they will leave Denver without staying for Obama’s acceptance speech:

Clinton will deliver her speech Tuesday night. She will hold a private meeting with her top financial supporters Wednesday at noon, and will thank her delegates at an event that afternoon. Former president Bill Clinton will speak that night. Several of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are then planning to leave town. Among them, Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman, and longtime supporters Steve Rattner and Maureen White.

Congressional Quarterly thinks the rails may be starting to come off for the Democrats:

The Democratic convention now teeters on the brink of a media disaster thanks to real news that threatens to distract reporters from the scripted show.

And wouldn’t you know, it’s all about the Clintons. … With more than enough to fuel the storyline about a rift between Barack Obama and the Clintons on the convention’s opening day, the media frenzy is on.

Polls showing restlessness among Clinton voters. Behind-the-scenes reports of arguments about the theme of Bill Clinton’s speech later this week. A Wisconsin Clinton delegate endorsing John McCain in a television advertisement. And more.

How did this happen? Many factors are in play. But central to the apparent breakdown was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s failure to publicly and forcefully dispel the notion that she was snubbed by Obama’s failure to vet her as a running mate.

All of which has the McCain campaign in high spirits. It would, of course, be terrific if the Democratic convention turns into a fiasco, whether because of the the Clintons, the demonstrators, rain on Thursday night, radical speeches from the podium by Jimmy Carter or others, or any combination of the above. But that isn’t likely to happen. Once the real event gets going, the television networks will help the Obama campaign get things back on track. Realistically, the best the Republicans can hope for is that Obama’s “bounce” from the convention is minimal.

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