12:39am

Mon August 25, 2008
Election 2008

Dems Will Face Major Unity Challenges at Convention

Oswego, NY – The Democratic Party still has major challenges ahead of it to unify the party after the long primary season, according to Syracuse University Political Science Professor Grant Reeher.

"This challenge for the Democrats is going to depend a lot on the ability of Hillary Clinton [and] Barack Obama... to bring the support together. There's lots of evidence that the convention in Denver could show more rifts rather than cementing the unity," Reeher said.

"The choices that were made about the way the convention is going to be structured... are very risky for the Democrats. It's far from obvious that they will be able to unify themselves," Reeher added.

As for Obama's VP pick of Joe Biden, Reeher said that Biden provides some crucial skills to the Obama campaign.

"He needed to find someone who could balance what some people are perceiving as Obama's weakness on foreign policy. [Obama] has been taking a lot of criticism in that area from McCain," Reeher said.

"[Obama needs] someone who can go out more aggressively and counterattack. In Biden, he found someone who can do those things," Reeher said.

One potential weakness of Biden as the VP is that the Obama campaign has run on a platform of a new era of politics, but Biden is a longtime face in Washington, according to Reeher.

"Biden has a little bit of a sense of being an established candidate," Reeher added.