After long negotiations, the Obama campaign has decided that Clinton's name will be formally placed in nomination and she'll get a roll call vote.
Why is this important? Clinton received almost half the votes during the Democratic primary, and her supporters were very passionate. Possibly having the first woman President was just as significant as having the first black one. Many of them have strong feelings about how their candidate was treated by the Obama campaign, the Democratic Party, and the media. Consequently, they weren't warming up to Obama, even though their candidate was urging them to.
Initially, Obama and the Party tended to ignore the Clinton supporters and were focused on having a unified Convention. They just assumed those voters had nowhere else to go. This strategy wasn't working very well. The national polls showed the general election as close, and it was getting closer as time went by.
One reason was that some of these Clinton supporters, mostly women, were really, really angry, and they were organizing. For an example, check out Just Say No Deal. At first, the Obama campaign thought this was just a fringe group or a front for Republicans, but they were dead wrong. Democrats just aren't used to women playing tough, but they sure are now.
Ignoring these voters was definitely the wrong move - that made them even madder. His campaign points out that Obama does well with women in recent polls, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Black women and young women do support Obama overwhelmingly, and a majority of Hispanic women, as well, but these groups historically have low voter turnout. But older white women do not support Obama, and senior women overwhelmingly do not - and they always vote. No Democrat is going to win without the white female vote, especially since they're not going to get the white male vote.
Several of Clinton's female big money supporters weren't ponying up for Obama. When they were approached, they said you'd better do something for Clinton's supporters or you'll lose.
A simple thing would have been for Obama to choose Clinton as his Vice President, but that wasn't going to happen for several reasons, the biggest of which was that they simply don't like each other.
The next best thing is to allow Clinton's nomination. If they do this legitimately, this will appease many of her supporters - enough to probably make a difference in the election results.
There are definitely risks to this strategy. Close to half the delegates at the Convention may vote for Clinton, and Obama will have to share much of his limelight with the Clintons.
But ultimately, it's a very wise move. Why?
For one thing, there was a strong possibility of an ugly Convention - especially outside the hall - and the Democrats definitely didn't want that.
But mainly, because it shows respect for Clinton's historic candidacy, and her supporters were really tired of being treated like dirt under someone's shoe.
For another, there was a lot of anger over the way the primary election was run. Winning the nomination fairly at the Convention gives more legitimacy to the Obama victory in the eyes of Clinton supporters.
It also makes Obama look gracious and magnanimous, when many have the opposite opinion.
Finally, Clinton and her husband are both speaking at the Convention, and with this show of respect, I think they'll be able to win over her delegates.
In my conversations with the Mississippi Clinton delegates, I know this will make most of them much happier. They were elected to vote for Clinton, and they want a chance to do it. Then they'll be on board the Obama wagon.