Clearly the flare-up between Bill Perkins, New York City's earliest Obama supporter, and Yvette Clarke, who backed Clinton even though her district favored Obama, was a sign of lingering tensions that will not easily die.
The two elected officials -- he a State Senator from Harlem, she a Congresswoman from Central Brooklyn -- went at each other verbally at a "Unity" press conference in front of a gaggle of journalists.
Yvette Clarke took the microphone as a reporter was asking why so many elected officials were missing from the supposed unity gathering, and Perkins began voicing an answer at the same time.
Clarke told Perkins to behave himself and Perkins went off on her. "Don't do that to me!" he said with strong irritation as Clarke backed away and dismissively, with a hand gesture, suggested that he take the microphone.
Others, including Tish James, Councilwoman of Brooklyn, stepped in to try to settle things down.
But the message was clear. Perkins and others (State Senator Eric Adams of Brooklyn, notably, and others) must see themselves as the "faithful few" who stayed with their principles and embraced Obama, while most of the others sough political expediency and supported Clinton even though in their heart of hearts they likely wanted Obama.
And now Clarke, Towns and Meeks -- released earlier this week by Hillary Clinton to do whatever they please -- are turning on a dime and announcing for Obama.
Will it work? Being politicians, they'll probably pull it off.
But, as the "Unity" event showed, there will be some fall-out.
There will clearly remain many New Yorkers, especially black New Yorkers, who will see their (Clarke, Towns and Meeks') steadfast backing of Hillary Clinton, even during her worst moments of race-laced attacks on Obama, as cheaply self-serving and unprincipled.
Perkins stood out in the city as Obama's voice in Harlem, where most of the elected officials had lined up behind the Harlem Dean of Democrats, Congressman Charles Rangel, Hillary Clinton's longtime friend and adviser.
(On Thursday, BrooklyRon had a post about how (according to Politico.com) politicians feared that Yvette Clarke, Ed Towns and Gregary Meeks might suffer political retribution in their communities for their support of Hillary Clinton.)
Regarding the elected officials who did not attend the "Unity" event at City Hall, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was not there, nor were a number of Latinos, including Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who had questioned Obama's appeal to Latinos and who last week expressed a desire for Obama to choose Clinton as his running mate.
A decent account of how it all went down between Perkins and Clarke is in the Time's City Room blog.
[Of course, this being June of 2008, you can see a video snippet of the disunity scene, by clicking the top image. The scene opens with Congressman Ed Towns averring that there is in fact unity among the politicans. Then you can hear State Senator Bill Perkins' voice answering, and then you can see Congresswoman Yvette Clarke stepping and saying, "Excuse me," to brush Perkins off.]