American politics has been delivering high drama for decades, and this year's election is seeing more of it in droves. After the relatively colourless 2004 election, 2008 is not disappointing. Hillary did her duty last night, and, since she's Hillary, she gave a storming performance. But no matter that she endorsed Obama some 10 or more times in her speech, no matter that she called and called for unity, the suspicion will still remain that Hillary knows her best chance of another run at the presidency lies in Obama losing in November. PErhaps it was there in her call to 'keep going'; perhaps it was there in the relatively mild attacks on a man she genuinely respects and likes - John McCain. But it's certainly there. This woman is staying centre stage, and conceding it only temporarily to the man she believes has taken her nomination.
Meanwhile, the Hillary speech emphasised another problem for the Democrats. Three days in to the convention, and they have yet to launch a lasting blow on John McCain. It's as if they think he might be attack-proof, and so are staying clear. Unless Bill, or Joe Biden, or Obama himself can say something scorching about their opponent, McCain will go into his own convention in a soaring position. Not for McCain the stories of division - his biggest headache is coming up with a decent veep. I'm less sure now that he will choose Romney, which would open him up to the same issues that affect Obama with regards to Biden and Hillary (i.e. their previous attacks on him in the primaries). He may throw a googly and appoint a woman, although the Republicans' leading lady, Senator Kay Bayley Hutchinson, has said she's not interested. We'll see. For the moment, it looks as if things are going McCain's way even at the height of his opponent's convention.