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Bill Clinton listens to Hillary’s convention speech. WOULD THE AGGRIEVED OUTSKIRTS LINE \(AND HOW THEY HATE THIS PRESUMPTIVE \(PRESUMPTUOUS, EMOTIONALISM AND HERO WORSHIP DERAIL THE DEMOCRATS’ DESIRED SHOW OF UNITY? many only marginally related to the foregone conclusion of the business at hand: the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate for president. But for the delegates, and for thousands of other citizens who had no obvious business in Denver other than to count themselves present at this historical marker on the road to we know not where, it was mostly about being there. As the convention approached, four distinct narrative threads fluttered in Denver’s thin air, taking the shapes of questions awaiting answers: fall into line \(and how they hate the presumptive \(presumptuous, the Democrats’ desired show of unity? Clintonian sense of entitlement overshadow the actual candidate at his own party? Would the high-risk grandiosity of Obama’s open-air accepgive Republican character assassins a broader brush with which to paint the candidate as a self-aggrandizing egoist? Despite an imposing police presence and sporadic outbreaks of unsightly but largely isolated protester-police conflict \(see city with its presumably best foot forward. That didn’t stop a four-man gang of Aryan yahoos from suburban Aurora from getting arrested with a stash of guns, drugs, walkie-talkies and bulletproof vests late Monday night. Under questioning, one turned on his buddies and suggested a vague plan to assassinate Obama at his acceptance speech Thursday night. Authorities ultimately dismissed what they called “the racist ramblings of three meth heads and concluded that the men posed “no credible threat:’ The news, whatever it was worth, didn’t make much splash nationally. Racist groups suspect the boys were framed. The answers to the first three questions, as best could be determined from inside the bubble, turned out to be highly qualified “maybes.” While nobody seemed to quite believe poll numbers suggesting that 30 percent of Hillary supporters were prepared to vote Republican in November, it wasn’t difficult to find evidence that a vocal pro-Hillary contingent had crossed a little-known land bridge into vehemently anti-Obama territory. Just a week before the convention, hardcore Austin-area Hillary delegates maintained an anything-could-happen hope that Clinton could somehowperhaps through a floor petition that never got off the groundemerge from Denver as the party’s like-it-or-not veep nominee, or even top-of-the-ticket nominee. through Denver Tuesday and tried to convince the same media they insisted had treated their candidate unfairly \(while giving birth certificate and Party Chairman Howard Dean’s undemocratic anointment of the lesser-qualified candidate. \(See www. Curiously enough, the smallish PUMA march started ahead of schedule, leaving a large and confusing gap between itself and the much larger anti-war/progressive-issue-grab-bag march that followed. That gap only got wider when the PUMAs turned away from downtown near the terminus of the route and wandered to a halt at the end of an access alley on an urban college campus. As several would-be marchers struggled to catch up, the talk turnedagainto conspiracy. Who had instructed the angry 14 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 5, 2008