- The Washington Times - Friday, August 15, 2008

One-time foes Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama on Thursday agreed that the senator from New York will get a symbolic roll-call vote at the Democratic National Convention, but her supporters say that’s not enough.

The senators issued a joint statement finalizing months of discussions. Mr. Obama said that placing his former rival’s name into the nomination would be a way to “help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion.”

Convention organizers announced separately that former President Bill Clinton will speak Wednesday evening.

The Obama campaign pushed back Thursday against the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,” by releasing a slick 41-page rebuttal.

The campaign dubbed the book a “false, right-wing smear,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor called author Jerome Corsi a “discredited liar.”

Democrats, applauding what they saw as a tough response, said Sen. John Kerry lost the presidency in 2004 because he failed to rebut attacks.

Some Clinton supporters view the roll call as their opportunity to recapture the nomination from a man they say mistreated the former first lady.

Blogger “Lady Boomer NYC” wrote that she is working with others to persuade delegates to vote for Mrs. Clinton.

“Speculation’s a-flyin’ that Hillary will use the occasion to release her delegates to Obama,” she wrote. “It could happen, but naturally we PUMAs will do all in our power to keep her ROAR fierce and encourage the delegates, who are being systematically threatened, coerced and pressured to go over to the O-side, to remain strong and committed to the candidate we elected them to support.”

Others affiliated with the “PUMA” (party unity my —) group also are saying “Nobama.” They are even urging fellow Clinton supporters to “watch anything but the convention” to make TV ratings “abysmal” - except, of course, during Mrs. Clinton’s Tuesday evening speech.

“Let the DNC know we don’t care one iota about their convention, their crowning of an unqualified” nominee and “their disgraceful, shameful treatment of Hillary Clinton,” one group urged.

The Democrats attempted to alleviate some of the rancor in their joint statement.

Mr. Obama said that placing both names into nomination - one night after Mrs. Clinton’s speech at the convention - would honor her “historic campaign.”

Mrs. Clinton agreed, saying, “With every voice heard and the party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama president of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again.”

Published reports indicated that Mrs. Clinton has told associates that she will cast her own vote at the convention for the senator from Illinois.

Party activists and members of Congress known as superdelegates have said they intend to vote for Mr. Obama, even those who pledged support to Mrs. Clinton early in the primary season.

The group formed to push Mrs. Clinton as Mr. Obama’s running mate, now considered unlikely, lauded the announcement.

“This is a big win for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Obama showed that he is a leader who unites the Democratic Party, and he gets to do it by recognizing Hillary’s accomplishments in this historic race,” said Sam Arora, a former Clinton staffer and spokesman for Vote Both. “He is giving former Clinton supporters more and more reasons to support him.”

But Nancy Chapman, a lifelong Democrat from Connecticut, did not find the Obama decision gracious and said Mrs. Clinton “deserves no less.”

“I understand that she will release her delegates to Obama, but I hope that will happen only after the roll call vote and not before. Regardless, I will be voting for John McCain in November,” she said, adding that Mr. Obama can do nothing to change her mind.

“I have to laugh at all of the mainstream media political pundits who say that we Clinton supporters are for the most part on board for Obama now,” she said. “Wait and see.”

Democratic National Committee Secretary Alice Germond noted that each delegate from the states and territories will have an opportunity to cast a vote. “They are free as they always are,” said Mrs. Germond, who leads the roll call from the convention stage.

In 2004, some delegates cast votes for Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio. The same could happen for any of the candidates who ran this cycle.

As for the new best-seller, Mr. Vietor said Mr. Corsi, who has acknowledged his aim is to defeat Mr. Obama in November, has produced one of many “lie-filled books rushed to print this election cycle that are cobbled together from debunked Internet sources to make money and advance a partisan agenda.”

“Once again, bigoted fringe author Jerome Corsi is trying to make money off of an election, spinning garbage as journalism and relying on the right-wing echo chamber to pump up sales,” the rebuttal begins. “Make no mistake: ‘The Obama Nation’ is nothing but rehashed lies.”

Mr. Obama’s campaign said the book is full of factual inaccuracies that include the wrong date for the Obamas’ marriage. Mr. Corsi also writes that Mr. Obama left much of his family background out of his memoir - his father’s polygamy and alcoholism, his sister’s birth in Indonesia and that his then-fiancee Michelle accompanied him on a visit to Kenya - but the campaign points out page numbers from “Dreams From My Father” where Obama discussed all those things.

The rebuttal includes dozens of media reports calling the book “inaccurate.”

Mr. Corsi also wrote “Unfit for Command” about Mr. Kerry in 2004 and writes for WorldNetDaily.com, a conservative Web site.

Mr. Corsi readily acknowledges the political goal of his book. He considers Mr. Obama a “radical leftist” who should not be elected president. Mr. Corsi said he has no plans to work against Mr. Obama with groups comparable to 2004’s Swift Boat Veterans for Truth but said he would be willing to consider it.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

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