There was no rain, no thunder and no lightning crackling across the sky. There was no foreboding mansion with creaky doors and broken windows as a stand in for Democratic National Committee headquarters in Chicago. But there just as well could have been.
What the DNC was trying to bill as a show of unity both Thursday night at the Mayflower Hotel and in Unity New Hampshire on Friday was an ongoing horror show produced by those masters of Democratic horror, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean.
Hillary Clinton showed up playing the kidnapped heroine and appeared on stage in New Hampshire with Barack Obama and you could almost feel members of the audience gasping and wanting to shout " No! Don't do it! Watch your back! Get away!" as if they were expecting Jeremiah Wright to leap out from behind a tree any minute.
Clinton read her lines from the prepared script and talked about electing Obama the next President and her supporters cringed in horror. Everyone knew the kidnapped heroine was doing everything that Dean and the DNC and Obama wanted her to do because that's what kidnapped heroine's do, and she played her part to the hilt.
It was ironic because after causing more disunity than the party has ever seen in it's history, Dean, Pelosi and Obama now wanted Hillary Clinton to try and save the day because they know they can't win in November without her.
As Clinton praised Obama and the figurative lightning and thunder crackled overhead, you could sense that most Clinton supporters were watching through their fingers and biting their lower lips at the hard to take parts, like what a wonderful, dashing and decisive commander-in-chief Obama would make. The audience probably bit their lips in solidarity thinking that Clinton was doing the same thing.
When Obama spoke, he talked about his grandmother in Hawaii and how she expressed sympathy for Clinton during the campaign and you could feel the audience suck in their breath, wanting to chant "I told you so". "She was rooting for her grandson," Obama said, adding that she also had complained that Clinton was being treated unfairly.
This little line must have sent more waves of horror through the crowd. Imagine. His own grandmother felt Hillary Clinton was getting unfair treatment. It certainly wasn't a line that is going to inspire a lot of unity with Clinton voters. Having him acknowledge it now after the damage has been done is probably going to evoke more horror for the DNC in the future.
The show had its premiere a few nights ago at the Mayflower Hotel to similarly bad reviews. According to most reports from the Clinton donors invited to the preview, it bombed.
In a brief Q&A that took place Obama was asked if he supported having Clinton's name on the ballot and a roll call vote at the convention. His answer was "I'm not here to negotiate the convention". You could almost hear the major chord from a gothic organ.
The answer was telling. The one who is really scared to death by all this is Obama. He knows he can't win without her if he is the nominee. But he also knows that if he is able to get Dean and the DNC to throw democratic principles over the side and keep her off the ballot in Denver he will alienate her 18 million voters. Given his last two weeks of his own Obama horror show with breaking his campaign pledge on public financing, his reversal on Jerusalem, his embrace of the telecom immunity bill, and the Johnson fiasco, ( not to mention his famous seal) he probably wakes up nights in a cold sweat worrying about a roll call vote.
He was afraid of her in the primaries, he was afraid to debate after getting roughed up at the ABC debate which is why he backed out of the last two, and he is now afraid of what might happen if Clinton's name is on the ballot and super delegates get to vote without pressure from Vampirella herself, Nancy Pelosi.
In the interim, this phony show of unity isn't fooling anyone. Clinton voters see through it, even if they are seeing through it through their fingers. Everyone knows she is playing the role she's been asked to play, doing what she was asked to do.
But in spite of the DNC's best efforts, The Unity Show is laying an egg with audiences -- especially Clinton donors and supporters, the very people for whom it is aimed.
Maybe someday it will become a cult classic with Obama supporters having midnight showings, wearing Pelosi and Dean masks and squealing with delight as he throws Wright, the Trinity Church and his seal under the bus, but for now the show gets another performance at the Mayflower on Sunday night. And after the kidnapped heroine makes her entrance, reads her lines, and the show is over, its going to be obvious that it's not Clinton who needs saving but the Democratic Party. And if Obama, Dean and Pelosi should somehow rub their hands together and think they can save it by throwing democratic principles into a vat of acid, and hold a convention without Clinton's name on the ballot and no roll call vote, the next horror show will be at the Democratic Convention in Denver. And that one will be rocky.