Four years ago, Barack Obama accepted the presidential nomination of a Democratic Party that was as unified and energized as at any moment in its past: Clintons and Kennedys, labor and Wall Street, centrists and leftists, old and young, blacks, whites and Hispanics. It bristled with the excitement of history and the expectations of a new era.
Most pressingly, Democrats said they were worried that the tensions between supporters of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama from the contest that just ended two months ago would spill into public view after her name is entered into nomination, particularly after Mr. Obama bypassed Mrs. Clinton in choosing Mr. Biden.
“I have a lot of doubts that this convention is going to be as persuasive as it should be because they’ve got this damn thing with Hillary,” Mr. Fowler said. “I love Hillary. I was for her. But this is the worst political decision I could imagine. This is supposed to be an Obama celebration. You’re going to get the nomination of someone who came very close to winning and you’re going to get a lot of people in there cheering and hollering and some people booing.”
The unanimous vote made Mr. Obama the first African-American to become a major party nominee for president. It brought to an end an often-bitter two-year political struggle for the nomination with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who, standing on a packed convention floor electric with anticipation, moved to halt the roll call in progress so that the convention could nominate Mr. Obama by acclamation. That it did with a succession of loud roars, followed by a swirl of dancing, embracing, high-fiving and chants of ”Yes, we can.”
In an effort to fully ease the lingering animosity from the primary season, former President Bill Clinton, in a speech that had been anxiously awaited by Mr. Obama’s aides given the uncomfortable relations between the two men, offered an enthusiastic and unstinting endorsement of Mr. Obama’s credentials to be president.
I know the past is a strange and alien place, but four years isn’t even the past.