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Serving the Austin community since 1975 SAVE AND SUSTAIN BOOK-WOMAN Help save an endangered species: The independent women’s bookstore For details go to Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha er Malia wave to a live video feed of Barack Obama. and minimizing turnout? Who had directed the dead-enders for Hillary down a low-profile route culminating in a literal dead-end? Had the culprits, one jokedI hopebeen wearing Obama buttons? Hillary’s knockout Tuesday speech, followed by Bill’s on Wednesday, demonstrated the perilous political water the Democrats’ most dynamic duo was asked to navigate. Hillary had to put party first on Tuesday. She had to do so in service of a candidate she has reason to feel is less qualified for the party’s nod, and she had to do so convincingly under the gaze of a media throng ready to pounce on any sign of insincerity as a symbolGod forbidof party division. Further, she had to do so with her neck weighted by a ring of inconsolable supporters who either could not or would not reconcile themselves to the plain political fact that sometimes candidatessometimes even the best candidateslose. “I want you to ask yourselves:’ Hillary asked in her Tuesday night swan song, “were you in this campaign just for me?” Like so many others at this convention, it was a rhetorical question, and the only responsible answer was no. On Wednesday morning, Clinton called a meeting with her pledged delegates and encouraged them to redirect their support to Obama. On Wednesday afternoon, midway through the traditional roll call, Clinton arrived to recommend nominating Obama by acclamation. For most delegates, that did the trick. The motion passed, and afterward El Paso delegate and soon-to-be-former Democratic National Committee Member Norma Fisher Flores, a committed Hillary supporter, struck a note of practical reality. “I won’t cross party lines,” Flores said from her seat on the floor. “If you’d asked me last night, I might have felt differently, but we cannot have another eight years of a Republican in office. Still, Flores was clear that not every member of the Texas delegation shared her pragmatism. Despite the doneness of the deal, there was nothing approaching a Texas consensus for Obama. “Even when I get back to the hotel tonight, I’ll be talking to SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15