Today on Meet the Press top Obama strategist David Axelrod, and top Clinton strategist Geoff Gavin continued the argument between the two campaigns, but closed with some interesting words about unifying the Democratic Party.
Host Tim Russert asked both guests if the heated battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has hurt the Democratic nominee’s chances of defeating John McCain this fall.
“Tim, I really think Democrats are going to be united in the fall. I think people understand that this is a really serious time for our country, between the war and the devastation in our economy, and that the decisions that are made in the next four years are going to shape not just the next decade, but the next century. And people want to move forward, they don’t want to go back. John McCain represents a continuation of the George Bush policies. He’s embraced his economic policies; he’s embraced his Iraq policies. I think Democrats are going to be united in the fall,” Axelrod answered.
Gavin said that he thought that the current campaign has helped the Democratic Party, “And let me add two quick points. First, I think this has been beneficial to the Democrats not just because people are excited, but Senator McCain—in getting a heck of a lot of attention, he did his bio tour, people were paying attention to us. But more—and—but I want to agree with what David said. It may be hard to tell, David’s one of my best, best friends in politics. Senator Obama is the nominee and he asks me to help, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. And if Senator Clinton is the nominee and…”
“We’ll be there. We’ll be there,” Axelrod said. I am a bit worried that it is easier for those who are committed to the party like these two to fall in line then it might be for some supporters of either candidate. What has been emerging this weekend is a sense within the party that it is time to start looking ahead to the fall. If Obama is the nominee, he will have some work to do with white voters in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri.
This is an election that the Democrats should and ought to win. They can only lose by taking their focus off the issues, and getting caught up in the distraction politics that the GOP specializes in.
Meet the Press Transcript/Video: