Som en del kanske fattat är det imperiet i väst som avgör framtiden för det som finns kvar av Georgien. Och förstås för dess andra klienter i Ukraina och central-asien. Det är kanske då inte så konstigt att både parterna, Georgien och Ryssland skickat lobbyister till vad som troligen blir den nästa ’första medborgare’ i USA.
För den som läst historia känns situationen något bekant. Fast då var det platser som Rom och London dit länder utanför imperiet skickade sina sändebud för att plädera för sin sak.
They came from the small former Soviet republic that fought a brief and disastrous war with Russia this month, and they were in Denver to plead their case to representatives, senators, delegates and any other political figures they could buttonhole.
A competing set of envoys from Moscow likewise made the rounds at the Democratic gathering, hoping to repair some of the damage to American-Russian ties. The Georgian and Russian governments plan to send representatives to the Republican convention in Minnesota next week as well.
With the guns now silent, the war between Russia and Georgia has shifted into a new phase, one for the hearts and minds of the Americans. The Georgians have a head start, embraced by the Bush administration and many in both parties as a small, emerging democracy bullied by Moscow. The Russians argue that the situation has been distorted and that in any case the relationship between Washington and Moscow is far too critical to let it unravel.
The timing proves particularly delicate, heading into two weeks when the parties formally anoint their presidential nominees. The attention on the Russia-Georgia conflict in recent weeks has already thrust national security back to the top of the campaign agenda and may have helped inspire Senator Barack Obama to choose Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware as his running mate.
Mr. Biden had just traveled to Tbilisi to show solidarity with the Georgians, and Cindy McCain, the wife of Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, made an unannounced trip there on Monday as part of a humanitarian mission. The man Mr. Biden seeks to replace, Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Monday that he would go to Georgia the day after addressing the Republican National Convention next week.
The shadow struggle in Denver got under way with envoys from both Georgia and Russia seeking out influential players.
“It is important for us to meet the key politicians in this country to make sure they have the right sense of what’s happening in our country and the right sense of what happened,” David Bakradze, the chairman of the Georgian Parliament and a former foreign minister, said by telephone from Denver.
Among those Mr. Bakradze and his compatriots met with on Monday were Madeleine K. Albright, former secretary of state; Richard C. Holbrooke, former ambassador to the United Nations; and Susan E. Rice, senior foreign policy adviser to Mr. Obama. (A session with Howard Dean, the party chairman, was postponed.)