Straw Man Smackdown

What happened to the radical Clinton partisans?

CJR convention correspondent Gabe Pressman notes that much of the coverage of last night’s festivities focuses on the fact that, despite supposition to the contrary, Hillary Clinton’s delegates seemed more than willing to accept Barack Obama as their candidate for president. But as Gabe points out, there was never much evidence to support the idea of a Hillary rebellion in the first place. Lester Feder has written for CJR about the myth of the angry female Clinton voter; the idea of the radicalized Clinton delegate seems to have been similarly incorrect. After the last night’s speech, journalists were apparently clustered around the New York delegation, going person to person, trying to find one of the vaunted Obama refuseniks. No dice. “The whole idea seems to have come from pundits,” Gabe said. (I’m paraphrasing.) “They erected their own straw man, and then they brought it down. And it never existed in the first place.”

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Justin Peters is editor-at-large of the Columbia Journalism Review.