Ickes Cedes The High Ground

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

Harold Ickes is supposed to be a pro. He did not demonstrate that in his interview with Greg Sargent:

[Ickes] [c]onfirmed that the Hillary campaign could still try to woo super-dels even if she lost the popular vote, with Michigan and Florida counted.

Just ridiculous. Hillary Clinton is out there arguing in favor of counting the votes in all 50 states and here is Ickes saying that the RESULT of those votes will not matter to the Clinton campaign. This is inexcusable, harmful, stupid and reprehensible. There are other issues in Sargent's interview that others will certainly take issue with, but that statement is, to me, the worst of all. If it is true, I will be the first in line denouncing the Clinton campaign when the time comes.

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    "could still try" (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by nycstray on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:02:09 PM EST
    But that's not saying they will. Just confirmed that they could. Maybe it's depending on the scenario?

    You mean the scenario (none / 0) (#23)
    by independent voter on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:51:11 PM EST
    where all the votes matter UNLESS Clinton does not lead in PV, then none of the votes matter, SDs have to put Clinton over the top?

    Nice, very nice. This is why there are a group of people who really believe she will do or say anything to win.


    Nice Job (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:04:21 PM EST
    of putting your words into someone else's mouth.  I don't mean to speak for anyone, but it's clear to me that wasn't what the post said.

    The only reason some people think Hil will say/do anything are due to wildly misleading comments like yours.


    I was responding to? The one that said it "depends on the scenario" if Clinton should try to prevail with less popular vote?

    Of Course I Read It (none / 0) (#44)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:38:13 PM EST
    And yet it didn't say anything about PV counting unless Clinton doesn't win it.  You made that part up.  If you have something to say, then man up and say it.  Don't try to put your words in someone else's mouth.  I think there is a rule against tollish behavior, and distorting someone else's comments qualifies, IMO.  I don't know how you are getting under the RADAR, but what you want to do is much more welcome on another blog ( but only in support of BHO )

    That's exactly what the post says. (none / 0) (#52)
    by independent voter on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:47:49 PM EST
    Maybe you do not comprehend the point of the post, but, clearly, that is the point.
    Please refrain from using expressions such as "man up". I have never believed a man is ANY tougher than a woman, in fact, quite the opposite.

    I Comprehend Just Find (none / 0) (#56)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:55:43 PM EST
    And I'll use whatever pharse I want.  Just like a spin doctor, you have to make a mention of "man" into a psuedo sexist remark.  I'm not afraid to call myself a man and mean it, and my acknowledgement of that does not in any way repute a woman's "toughness."  There you go again, putting your own words into someone else's mouth.  Seems like a habit for you to hide behind flase charges of sexism and not want to own your words.  

    The post does not say PV only counts if Hillar wins.  You're only making a fool of yourself to claim something that everyone can clearly see if completely false.  


    Honestly (none / 0) (#63)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:07:32 PM EST
    I'm at my last stop on the political "merry-go-round"  TL is the last place I can go and have a reasonable discussion about the politics of the election and not have to hear these kinds of accusations and distortions.

    Maybe I'm wrong, and this is just part of the political landscape.  If so, then I'll deal with it, or get movin' along.

    Please don't allow this blog to resemble the other one.  I'm all for free, reasonable discussion, but this is a refuge from the nasty, vitrolic commentary we've all experienced.  Let's please try to be classy.


    That at least is true (none / 0) (#80)
    by Salt on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 07:43:57 PM EST
    wow. n/t (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:15:36 PM EST
    Yeah, that's what I thought (none / 0) (#35)
    by independent voter on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:18:06 PM EST
    Pretty ballsy of the Clinton campaign and anyone who supports this tactic.

    Methinks you assume too much. (none / 0) (#41)
    by nycstray on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:24:29 PM EST
    I am reminded of that saying... (none / 0) (#88)
    by DawnG on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:25:03 PM EST
    ...that it's better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

    We all know that in the world of politics words are parsed out so hard as to mean something completely counter to it's actual meaning.

    Politicians don't "lie", they "misspeak".  Politicans aren't "outraged", they are "saddened".  Politicians don't "apologize" they "express regret".

    Ickles should not have said anything.  That he did speak is very "unfortunate".


    I agree. Ickes doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:03:28 PM EST
    pass the straight face test with that line.  But I am much more distressed by his admission the Clinton campaign continues to try and woo Super-Ds by reminding them of Obama's relationship with Wright.  The Super-Ds are unlikely to forget the latter.  Why is Ickes saying this and why is the Clinton campaign doing it?

    Because Wright is an issue (none / 0) (#65)
    by ChrisO on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:13:20 PM EST
    for Obama, like it or not. The Obama camp has been detailing all of the reasons Hillary is unelectable, basically repeating the mantra that everyone hates her. Notice that Hillary isn't campaigning on the Wright issue, but I'm sure the talks with the supers are much more frank. If there's an issue that affects Obama's electability, the Clinton  campaign can bring it up without saying he's guilty of anything.

    The fact is, the Obama camp is once again being very clever with the race card. If you look at what most people objected to, it was "God damn America," which has nothing to do with race. Obama's response was "yes, let's talk about race," so now anyone who mentions Wright is a racist.

    And the bigger picture to me is that Wright insulted Hillary while humping the podium. I think she's justified in saying anything she wants about the guy. People have sold this image of Hillary as somehow being inhuman to the extent that she's denied the right to be offended.


    I just learned today (none / 0) (#67)
    by Josey on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:17:35 PM EST
    that Obama participated in Farrakhan's Million Man March.
    Holy Moly!

    Hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by nell on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:27:20 PM EST
    Didn't Bill Clinton speak at the march? What is the problem?

    No - Clinton did not attend the march (none / 0) (#74)
    by Josey on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:58:35 PM EST
    He gave a speech endorsing the goals of the march, but condemning its organizer - Farrakhan.

    Did you actually just say especially men? [nt] (none / 0) (#79)
    by ahazydelirium on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 07:32:00 PM EST
    See: (none / 0) (#82)
    by Claw on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:27:06 PM EST
    Prison populations and demographics.  On topic, though, why is Ickes doing this?  It's like he's deliberately trying to push the idea that Clinton will do anything to win.  I don't think she will, and I don't think that was his intention, but...what exactly is he thinking?

    That's not what I read. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by madamab on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:10:31 PM EST
    Ickes said that was only possible IF she lost the popular vote by a very slim margin. He also said that he didn't want to file a "minority report" at the convention.

    However, using the words "high ground" when it comes to this primary campaign seems a little unrealistic.

    "Doesn't want to" file a minority report (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by rebrane on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:14:40 PM EST
    It should be pointed out that he said this in a "will do it only reluctantly" way than a "would not do it no matter what" way.

    Be careful what you wish for (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:20:12 PM EST
    If Ickes wants to empower the superdelegates to act even contrary to the popular vote, then they could of course decide this race before any more primaries....

    Which is it?


    Exactly. (none / 0) (#89)
    by JoeA on Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 05:21:54 AM EST
    i don't believe she'd do it (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Turkana on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:19:56 PM EST
    ickes is talking out his nether regions. shame on him.

    yup (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:29:56 PM EST
    Not off the reservation (none / 0) (#25)
    by rebrane on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:03:53 PM EST
    He's surely been cleared to say what he's saying. This isn't some state party co-chair talking here.

    of course (none / 0) (#28)
    by Turkana on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:08:52 PM EST
    because everything said by anyone associated with clinton speaks for her.

    That's a pretty glib response (none / 0) (#29)
    by rebrane on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:12:31 PM EST
    especially since I specifically gave an example of the kind of person associated with Clinton who might not be reading off the same page as the campaign.

    Based on? (none / 0) (#84)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:59:10 PM EST
    It is far from unusual for the metrics asserted to be significant by the Clinton campaign to change with circumstances.  This is not necessarily a criticism, but what's the basis for not taking Ickes at face value.  It's not like he's some tangential figure in the campaign.

    Here's a good line from Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 07:26:48 PM EST
    Clinton on the length of the primary campaign:

    Asked about the length of the marathon campaign, she quipped: "It's one of the longest things I have ever done. It's longer than being pregnant."

    Because Supers CAN vote their conscionce (none / 0) (#3)
    by dotcommodity on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:04:56 PM EST
    Duh, like you and me, but with more inside info...Kerry and Kennedy voted against their state. Its ok.

    No need to get all frenzied...

    You do what you want (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:07:38 PM EST
    The will of the people is important to me.

    But it was also stupid of Ickes to say it. But you go with what you want.


    Will Of The People, My Arse (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:14:44 PM EST
    The whole process is decidedly non-democratic.  If you want to know the true will of the people, then every contest must be an election, which many were not.

    In the end, and without either candidate acheiving the threshold, the SD's will have to determine who is the most electable and who should make the best candidate/potential pres.  They will probably decide w/Obama if he continues to lead on all the matrics.  Hillary should, however, be allowed to make her case.


    If "will of the people" is paramount ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:26:37 PM EST
    ... why even have superdelegates? In fact, the only reason for having superdelegates is to allow the nomination process to produce an ultimate outcome different from the result of the primaries and caucuses. If superdelegates cannot do that, they may as well not exist, because they are just a rubber stamp.

    But since they do exist, and may vote their preferences independent of any other public vote,  many have been indicating their preferences BEFORE the will of the people is known. How can it be right to penalize uncommitted superdelegates by insisting that they follow a rule that many of their colleagues have not followed.

    I believe it is better to insist that EVERY superdelegate consider carefully which candidate will be stronger in the GE, and vote accordingly. That is the reason they exist, and their only responsibility. And we should hold them responsible if they nominate a losing candidate.


    I do not want Super Delegates (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:42:00 PM EST
    But the popular vote is NOT the pledged delegate count.

    Um... (none / 0) (#21)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:39:06 PM EST
    the only reason for having superdelegates is to allow the nomination process to produce an ultimate outcome different from the result of the primaries and caucuses

    Not exactly.  It is not the purpose of SD's to over turn the primary results.  In fact, the SD's only come into play in the event that no candidate reaches the threshold of delegates, currently set at 2024.  The SD's vote decided the ultimate winner in that case, as their vote is only about 20% of the total delegates in the process.  Their only purpose is to make sure the party fields a strong candidate if none finishes strongly after the primary process.


    Mathematically, there's no difference ... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:13:39 PM EST
    ... between what we are saying.

    I understand that the purpose of superdelegates is "to make sure the party fields a strong candidate". And I want them to exercise that responsibility.

    But looking at the math of the process (and using this year's case of *two relatively equal candidates, for simplicity) if, as you state, neither candidate "finishes strongly after the primary process", then adding the votes of the superdelegates to those of the public state-by-state voting can produce only two possible outcomes:

    (1) the delegate leader after the primaries and caucuses remains the leader and wins the nomination, or
    (2) the candidate in second place gains enough votes to become the nominee.

    But outcome (1) would have been achieved anyway, without superdelegates. Therefore the only added value superdelegates provide for the party -- in so far as their votes affect the outcome -- is to make outcome (2) possible.

    *It gets a lot more complicated if there's a 3-way contest right up to the end, because a candidate in first or second place could win by picking up all the delegates of the third-place candidate, without relying on superdelegate votes. But that seems an unlikely scenario in practice.


    I Agree, Except for (none / 0) (#49)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:46:53 PM EST
    But outcome (1) would have been achieved anyway, without superdelegates.

    Not so!  If the delegate leader dosne't make the threshold ( and it looks like neither of the two candidates will ) then he/she will still need SD's to win.  That's what I mean when I say the SD's are only in play in the case of a virtual<?I> tie ( ie, neither reaches the threshold of 2024 pleadged candidates.  I orginally didn't really say "virtual tie" but am saying it here in hopes of making myslef more clear. )


    But if superdelegates did not exist ... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:22:59 PM EST
    ... then (in a two candidate race) the "threshold" needed to win would be just 50% of the primary and caucus vote, plus 1. And the candidate in the lead after the primaries and caucuses would automatically be the winner. That is outcome (1) in my post.

    Therefore the only purpose served by having the role of superdelegates is to allow the possibility of outcome (2) occurring.

    My point is that it is incorrect (and nothing more than spin) to argue that superdelegates should not produce outcome (2), because the Democratic Party created the role of superdelegates in its nomination process with the express purpose of making outcome (2) possible. In fact, there is no other reason for having superdelegates.

    If the Party had wanted to ensure that outcome (2) could not occur, then it would not have added superdelegates to the nominating process. The fact that we have superdelegates proves that the Party desired to make outcome (2) possible, when appropriate.


    As I noted earlier, it's more complicated in a 3-way tie. But that's highly unlikely.


    I think that's mistaken (none / 0) (#55)
    by badger on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:55:02 PM EST
    The nominating process, for good reason, requires a majority (actually, a super-majority, because a majority of pledged delegates might be insufficient), not a plurality.

    The superdelegates can create that majority where the candidates have been unable to achieve one - they facilitate both of the cases you present, not just the second case. Without them, you can't achieve your outcome (1) and still meet the requirement of having something more than a plurality or simple majority (50% + 1).

    While it's not a good process for a general election, I think it's a good process for choosing a nominee, in part because voters and superdelegates have different interests and different knowledge. It's the same logic as a veto override requiring a 2/3s vote - it's a kind of check-and-balance on the electorate.

    I think it's a mistake to view this in terms of the fortunes of the individual candidates and not in terms of the overall fortunes of the party.


    I think you misunderstood my point (none / 0) (#73)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:34:07 PM EST
    See my response to flashman, above.

    I understand your 2/3 majority analogy, and the superdelegate votes do create a similar situation. But you are wrong about them facilitating the first outcome.

    With no superdelegates and 2 candidates, a simple majority and a plurality are the same thing -- 50% plus 1. So a simple majority would always produce outcome (1) -- if superdelegates did not exist.

    So outcome (2) is the only additional possibility created by the addition of superdelegates to the nominating process. The possibility of outcome (2) is the reason we have them.


    I agree. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Boston Boomer on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:42:19 PM EST
    The superdelgates are there to prevent another candidate who is going to lose in a landslide from getting the nomination.  I know BTD believes that Obama will be able to win the general election, but I'm not sure how he could without winning either Florida or Michigan.  Frankly, I think he will lose in a landslide, but I don't know if that will prevent the superdelgates from handing the nomination to him anyway and sentencing us to four more years of horror and war.

    Ickes was instrumental in Kennedy's (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:10:54 PM EST
    primary challenge to Carter.  Didn't know that.  Probably explains alot.

    He did not say that (none / 0) (#7)
    by TalkRight on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:12:11 PM EST
    Ickes saying that the RESULT of those votes will not matter to the Clinton campaign

    All he meant is to give confidence to her supporters that they are in for the long fight no matter what.. of course the FL/MI matters in the over all picture..

    I think he was just keeping his options open. (none / 0) (#10)
    by ajain on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:21:26 PM EST
    He did say that the popular vote is important.

    I think Clinton will get the nomination in two ways:

    1. Make Obama unelectable, which I think she is doing by calling making him look pathetic in Florida and Michigan. Anti-democracy is not a good label for anyone.
    2. Win the popular vote.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#11)
    by ajain on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:23:45 PM EST
    I meant to say - by calling him out and making him look pathetic in Florida and Michigan.

    She's well on her way there. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by madamab on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:26:57 PM EST
    Obama's math is shaky without Florida and Michigan. He refuses to acknowledge that fact, and that is wrong in many ways.

    He should listen to BTD and do re-votes in both states. He might actually do well in Michigan, although I think he'll get creamed in Florida...but at least he would look like more of a gracious front-runner.


    Michigan (none / 0) (#83)
    by commonscribe on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:51:39 PM EST

    He might do well in Michigan if Michigan enfranchised all Democrats. There were many who, having been told their votes would not count, crossed over to vote against McCain in the January Republican primary.

    The DNC would not allow those voters to participate in the proposed revote (it is against party rules to vote in both a GOP and Dem primary ion the same year), which was one reason the revote plan collapsed.


    If it becomes clear that Clinton's (none / 0) (#90)
    by JoeA on Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 05:25:03 AM EST
    strategy is to "Make Obama unelectable" as you say,  and her fingerprints are all over it,  then she is just going to alienate the Superdelegates and motivate them to step in and endorse Obama sooner to end it.

    Ickes needs to shut up (none / 0) (#12)
    by fuzzyone on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    I pointed out on another thread his statement that he voted to strip MI and FL of their delegates because the rules required it.  

    The interview is a lot milder... (none / 0) (#13)
    by dianem on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:26:17 PM EST
    ...than the summary. It's very interesting, actually. If I had just read the bullet points, I would probably agree that Ickes was an ass. But reading what he actually said leads me to believe that he's just reiterating what they have been saying all along -  Clinton is going to go all the way, regardless. I think that in spite of all of the hyperbole and division, there is one positive effect of this campaign. The nation is watching Democrats fighting hard for the nomination. The right has been denigrating Dems as wusses who don't care about anything. People are being drawn into this battle, they are taking sides, they are getting involved... caring very much about who becomes president. I don't think it will help much with winning the Presidency this election, but it certainly does weaken the "spineless wimps" argument that has become standard among right wingers and many left-wingers. Whatever one thinks about Clinton or Obama, nobody can call them wimps.

    Let People Vote, But Respect the Process Too (none / 0) (#16)
    by Richjo on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:27:32 PM EST
    Why does it matter if the nominees are chosen by a popular vote when the President won't be? Abolish the electoral college, change the nominating system to eliminate superdelegates, or delegates for that matter. Have a vote where all states vote at once and can truly count equally. Other than that, allow the process to take its course, and allow the party to choose the best nominee. Nothing says the popular vote winner should be the nominee if it is so close that the popular vote lead does not translate into the number of delegates needed. To use a timely analogy, a team with an RPI of 200 shouldn't get in the tournament over one whose RPI is 40, but if one is 49 and the other 51 you could certainly make an argument that the lower one would be the better choice. This is a race that is so close that the difference between the two in popular votes is not significant and should not be elevated to the level of being a decisive factor thereby ignoring the way the process is in fact set up to function.

    I understand (none / 0) (#17)
    by bjorn on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:29:31 PM EST
    what he is trying to do.  But it does seem inconsistent to say count all the votes, but if we don't win more votes we should still be nominated.  There is way too much time in between OH Tx and PA, too many silly things like this get said and because nothing else is going on they get blown up out of proportion.  But I do think what he said has an icky feeling attached to it (no pun intended).

    It is not inconsistent ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:35:46 PM EST
    ... if you regard the public voting as a series of opinion polls, and the superdelegates as the deciding vote. And given that the electorate's view of the two candidates is for all intents and purposes a tie, that IS the situation this year. This is precisely the kind of situation for which superdelegates were created.

    But it is inconsistent... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by rebrane on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:16:39 PM EST
    to argue, on the one hand, that not counting the votes is base disenfranchisement, and on the other hand, that the vote count just reflects a non-deciding "opinion poll."

    Maybe opinion polls was not the best choice ... (none / 0) (#59)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:59:49 PM EST
    ... of analogy, because you now seem to equate "non-deciding" with "unimportant" or "less important". So how about a different analogy, since we're in the midst of the NCAA basketball finals.

    If the nomination process is compared to a 40-minute game then the primaries and caucuses are the first 32 minutes, the superdelegate votes are the last 8. When a game is close, its outcome is decided by what happens during those last 8 minutes.

    Even so, every point scored in the first 32 minutes is still important. You can't just ignore points scored earlier in the game, or treat those points as less important just because they were not scored during "crunch time."

    So, during the "crunch time" of our primary season, the superdelegates have to be a super as their billing implies. But their importance does not diminish the significance of those earlier scores. Neither team gets to discard the scores from a 5-minute segment of the game just because they went through a scoring slump at that time.


    with friends like these (none / 0) (#20)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 04:36:53 PM EST
    as they say. Amazingly stupid politics/pr. I expect both candidates to play politics like pols will tend to do. And of course they'll play games where ever they can and as far as they can get away with it. But there is a line they shouldn't cross, and that's counting the votes and having some semblance of democracy. Obama has crossed that line with MI and FL. He could come back to the fold and again be on the side of democracy.

    I fully expect both of them to be courting the SD's. I actually expect Clinton will have the popular vote (if you count MI and FL in some reasonable way), and so we'll have a split between (non SD) delegate count and popular vote. Then all bets are off, and both can make their arguments to the SD's.

    If one candidate fairly has both the (non SD) dels and the pop vote by any sort of margin (incl. MI and FL), then I still assume the candidates will do what they can if they think they have an argument. But the person behind would have to tread carefully keeping their future careers in mind. But even so, there can still be a case for the SD's on electability if something new has come up.

    It's the Clinton version (none / 0) (#24)
    by Faust on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:00:09 PM EST
    Of the Obama camp call for Clinton to get out of the race. Bad tactics. You don't want to look like you're being anti-democratic.

    Clinton campaign memo today (none / 0) (#27)
    by rebrane on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:06:55 PM EST
    Maggie Williams:
    Together, this adds up to nearly 43 million Americans. Are their voices any less important than those of the citizens who have already voted?

    Unstated answer: No, their voices are equally unimportant.

    Congrats! (none / 0) (#36)
    by lepidus on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:18:38 PM EST
    Kos quoted you, I guess you're back in his good graces, at least until you next post something that shows that Obama isn't perfect either.

    Kos is a friend of mine and Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:23:52 PM EST
    Unlike some others, he understands we can disagree on some things and still respect each other.

    You're right (none / 0) (#42)
    by lepidus on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:26:59 PM EST
    I'm sorry for implying otherwise. It is a good sign for the state of things after the primary that bloggers on both sides are maintaining their friendships. Hopefully it shows how we will all unite against McCain when the time comes.

    What it proves is that kos is at least (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:38:47 PM EST
    reading almost everything else here.

    If BTD is poking through the echo chamber just a little bit, that's a good thing.

    And of course, what kos says in this case is pretty ridiculous. I agree with Turkana that this will almost certainly not happen. If Obama wins the popular vote including FL, he'll have to outperform my model of election results, which means that the implosion Hillary will have needed won't have happened.


    If you look (none / 0) (#48)
    by mattt on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:46:28 PM EST
    at RealClearPolitics, Obama is leading the PV right now even if you count MI and FL as-is, giving him zero for MI.  If you don't count the caucus states, he leads by 94,000 (including MI/FL).  If you take RCP's estimate for caucus states, he leads by 204,000.  If you give him MI's uncommitteds he's leading by about 440,000.....even giving Hillary her votes in FL and MI.

    Thus, Ickes comments "what if" Hillary doesn't win the PV.  He knows it would take an extinction-level event for her to overtake Obama by any reasonable calculation.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#54)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:52:07 PM EST
    Start factoring in FL, PR, WV and KY, and you see something very different. Seriously, give Hillary the margins SUSA and Ras give her in WV and KY, and bump her PR margin up a bit, and see what comes up.

    The popular vote is not a foregone conclusion if you include FL.


    Thanks, (none / 0) (#60)
    by mattt on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:00:19 PM EST
    That's an interesting little projector I hadn't seen before.  It might be closer than I thought.

    Still, given Obama's tendency to close the gaps I think Hillary's going to come up short.  And if it is close, we'll have to argue about whether counting the initial MI/FL results is anything like fair or democratic! ;)


    Now you know why (none / 0) (#62)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:04:32 PM EST
    BTD and I think revotes in those states are essential.

    I think kos has quoted him (none / 0) (#39)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:21:11 PM EST
    ... a few other times in recent weeks (not always to agree, though).

    I don't (none / 0) (#38)
    by nell on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:20:58 PM EST
    I don't think Ickes was actually saying that they would go after pledged delegates, but I think it may also be a veiled threat IF the Obama campaign/the DNC refuse to do anything about Florida and Michigan, in which case, I say all bets are off. Because we won't win the general election if he refuses to act on these two states...

    That being said, I don't really see how this is so different from all the shenanigans Obama's people have pulled in Texas trying to get delegates to switch to his team. Some people in Texas have reported that Obama fans declared themselves as "undecided" (I guess there is a provision for undecideds in addition to the CLinton and Obama delegates), and then are planning just to go ahead and cast their delegate for Obama. I don't totally understand how this whole process in Texas works, but it is pretty clear that they were doing some unethical, but technically legal, stuff. So how is this so different?

    What about caucus voters? (none / 0) (#43)
    by mattt on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:32:34 PM EST
    My understanding is that Obama's PV total is deceptively low because caucus states (where he's been very successful) don't report PV.  How should that figure into any claim Clinton might make to the nomination by winning the official PV?  If after Puerto Rico they're tied in "official" PV, shouldn't Obama's unreported caucus voters still give him the edge?

    I mean, if we really want to count all the voters.

    After PR (none / 0) (#47)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:42:22 PM EST
    You will have two more states - SD and MT. PR is on June 1 and those two states are on June 3.

    But to answer your question, I guess we'd have to turn the Obama mantra back on him - those are the rules - you knew that when you signed up and played for caucuses that they wouldn't have accurate counts.

    There's also the argument about the trouble in Texas, where many Clinton supporters couldn't fully participate in the caucus portion.


    Popular vote is in thre rules? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Maggie on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 07:10:46 PM EST
    This is a strange argument.  "Popular vote" is not something that is officially part of the process.  It's been cited by whichever campaign benefits by invoking the measure of 'popular vote'.  Lately Clinton -- but I think back in Nevada Obama's campaign did it.  

    I know everyone is wedded to the idea that PV means something.  But the fact that all the states chose their way of electing delegates without considering what impact that choice would have on the PV category means that PV doesn't weight the states fairly.  In particular, states that chose caucus systems are being aced out of the now-important category of PV.

    Horse is out of the barn.  And since it is, I guess an effort should be made to count caucus votes as well as is possible.  But IMO the existence of PV is pretty much like the emperor's clothes.  Everyone talks about it as if it's meaningful, but because of the apples and oranges problem (caucus/primary/open/closed) it really isn't.  

    Bottom line: There will be endless disagreements about how to measure PV because PV was never designated as an official way of measuring the will of the people.  If it had, the way to measure it would have been established before the nominating season began.


    As for Delegates (none / 0) (#78)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 07:29:36 PM EST
    In some states there is 1 delegate per 100 voters, in another there is 1 delegate per 10,000 voters. And gerrymandering comes into play in all this so that someone who wins the most votes IN A SINGLE STATE may not win the most Delegates IN THAT STATE.

    Winner take all works better in some respects.

    So in a close race both Delegates and Popular Vote are really subject to interpretation, meaning that the SuperDelegates really have to be the ones who decide the race.  When the other two metrics are virtually tied, I don't see any other way to do it....it's similar to sending a tied presidential election to Congress.


    This is where I think Harold Ickes was going with (none / 0) (#92)
    by vicndabx on Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 11:25:17 AM EST
    his statement.  As has previously been discussed, what is the popular vote?  Do you include states we have no chance of winning?  How do you account for caucus states.  What if higher delegate count is based on lower voter representation?  If this race is close at the end and if you truly believe we're headed for disaster in November, I'd say do whatever is necessary to prevent that, and leave no stone unturned.

    Thanks, (none / 0) (#51)
    by mattt on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:47:47 PM EST
    I meant "at the end of the day" and thought PR was last.

    But about turning the rules back....by what rule does the PV decide the nomination?


    There is no such rule (none / 0) (#64)
    by fuzzyone on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:10:45 PM EST
    That is what so many commenters here don't seem to understand.  The super delegates can do what they want.  The popular vote is an argument to them about what they should do, an argument that weird delegate allocation rules should not trump the expressed will of the electorate as a whole.  If you don't include caucus states in the popular vote number then it seems to me that's not a very convincing argument, since at that point the delegate count really is a better reflection of all the voters.  I think BTD has said in the past he thought there would be a good measure of popular vote in the end.  I'm not sure what that is.

    Well, I don't think the 'wooing' (none / 0) (#50)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:46:55 PM EST
    without substance strategy (or just Republicans v. Wright strategy) would work...and I do think Ickes probably knows that.  Good for him btw for making the Wright thing about electability and Republicans, rather than a more personal "who is that Senator Obama" thing.  

    Ickes added: "It seems to me that there's this great desire to rush to judgment...this has been a genteel debate for God's sake. People are wringing their hands, `oh, we're gonna tear party apart.' The party's a lot sturdier than these hand wringers in Washington would have you believe."

    I found this interesting.  Really, if the party is torn apart by competition between two presidential candidates, then shame on us.  It is a good message for the Clinton campaign to be sending.

    So overall I saw a lot of good messages in the interview...but, I really don't think a superdelegate coup on Clinton's part, without the popular vote, is going to happen.  

    Does Ickes realize (none / 0) (#53)
    by Seth90212 on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:51:29 PM EST
    that since Super Tuesday, Obama has gotten 95% of the Superdelegates? Moreover, the remaining undecideds are likely leaning Obama that's why the Clinton campaign is the one pleading with them to withhold judgment. I have found no instance of the Obama campaign ever asking supers to wait.

    That's why it doesn't really strike me (none / 0) (#71)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:25:16 PM EST
    as harmful on Ickes' part.  The media narrative is already on paranoid coup alert, the superdelegates aren't trending towards her, and the only way she'd get them is on real principle.  The electability argument we sometimes make, as to her power in swing states, won't work if it's all by its lonesome.  The Clinton campaign is staying alive, but they need the votes counted for it to matter.

    Ridiculous? (none / 0) (#57)
    by jarober on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:55:54 PM EST
    If he and his candidate truly believe she's the better nominee, why is it ridiculous?  Say Hillary wins most (or even all) of the remaining contests, but does not have a majority of the popular vote.  It could easily be argued that Obama failed to "close the deal" based on Wright, various lies/exaggerations, Meeks (etc).

    At the end of the day, the argument she would be making would be simple: Do you want to have a chance to win, or do you want to make a decision based on sentiment?

    I think (none / 0) (#61)
    by mattt on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:02:45 PM EST
    the "close the deal" argument is the one based on sentiment.  In your scenario, Obama's win would be based on process.

    You know, rule of law and all that.


    I just talked with a colleague (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:16:17 PM EST
    who attended the CA Dem. state convention this weekend.  Bill Clinton spoke to the convention.  Issues discussed at the convention did not include MI/FL. Issues discussed included sub-prime mortgage crises, Iraq, and climate change.  My colleague sd. some CA Super-Ds are undecided and waiting to see how everything shakes out through the June primaries.  

    I think both candidates (none / 0) (#68)
    by standingup on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 06:19:36 PM EST
    would fare better if they stopped their staff from discussing these hypotheticals on process, stick to the issues and let the rest of the people vote.  

    BTD (none / 0) (#85)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:01:14 PM EST
    Thanks for posting this.  

    Usually, you strike me as the Joe Lieberman of Obama supporters, but this post has helped me

    I am appalled by the Clinton supporters who defend this move.  It is one thing to fight it out for one last hail-mary pass and hope for victory.  It is another thing, entirely, to ignore the process, ignore the rules and try to tear the party apart in a desperate grab at power.  This is the Democratic party, not the Clinton party.

    Please. (none / 0) (#86)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:16:27 PM EST

    It's highly myopic to subscribe to the "SDs must vote the will of the people" line.  SDs must vote for the best of the party and its chances in the GE, not the best of Obama.

    Yet Clinton (rightlly ) is insisting on the will (none / 0) (#87)
    by demps on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:22:17 PM EST
    of the people being expressed

    x (none / 0) (#91)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 07:52:21 AM EST
    Well, I'd like to keep all the Dem options open as long as possible. Certainly the argument for Clinton deserving the win goes out the window if she does not pull ahead in popular votes, but I still don't want the nomination settled until we see whether there are more surprises stored in Obama's closet. I mean, there are, but whether or not they resonate.

    And speaking of closets, I've been following the campaign calendars on Politico, and haven't seen that Michelle Obama is out and about much these days. I think she's a loose cannon and that there's potential for her to say some things (especially regarding Rev Wright) that could have a severe negative impact on the Obama campaign.

    Anyway, a convention is for choosing a candidate. I have no problem waiting until then. If the party is so hot and bothered to have a candidate before then, they should just quit having them.

    There is no reason why Clinton and Obama cannot both go on the offensive against McCain right now and continue throughout the summer. Let the superdeez get a feel for how each one would come across in a general election mode.