"Changing The Rules"

The generally astute and fair Charlie Cook buys the Obama spin on "the Rules:

The Clinton folks shouldnít be faulted for the arguments they are making: In the big states that will determine the final outcome in November, she has done better than Obama, and she holds on to downscale white voters better than her opponent does. Beyond the fact that both assertions are true, Iíd make the same arguments if I were in Clintonís shoes, as would most of Obamaís strategists if they were working for Clinton.

But you canít change how the game is played once it has begun. The Democrats have decided that the nominee will be determined by the number of delegates won, not by the popular vote, and that primaries held in direct violation of party rules (in this case, Floridaís and Michiganís) donít count. End of discussion.

(Emphasis mine.) There are two problems with Cook's statement. First, the nominee will NOT be determined by the "number of delegates won," (Cook's phrase for the pledged delegates) but by reaching the magic number of TOTAL delegates (Pledged and super), 2214. Second, trying to persuade the Super Delegates to pay attention to the popular vote is NOT changing the rules. Indeed, that is why there is a discussion of the popular vote - to sway the Super Delegates. It is surprising and disappointing to see Cook get spun like that and get the story completely wrong. And a bonus error from Cook - not ALL the contests held in violation of the DNC rules were punished (Iowa, NH and S. Ca also violated the rules, and there is a strong argument that Florida did not) nor did the rules require complete stripping of the delegations).

By Big Tent Democrat.

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    Sports talk (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by ding7777 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:23:30 AM EST
    Many a football team gains more yards than its opponent in a game yet loses on that important technicality called points.

    To use Cook's analogy, its still a scoreless game even though Obama has had the ball in the red zone a number of times, Obama just can't get across the goal line.

    To retroactively talk (none / 0) (#103)
    by 1jpb on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:05:58 PM EST
    about the popular vote is the same as waiting until the game is almost finished, and then seeing that you're way behind you propose retroactively changing the score by deciding that all the passing TDs will be reduced to one point, but rushing TDs are still worth six, such that the losing team can be ahead.  (Boxing is a better sports analogy: in this situation the judges would invent a new point system after the fight is over such that the clear loser would be  retroactively given the victory under the new point system.)

    I live in a state with a caucus.  So the popular vote comparison will not fairly represent my state because caucus attendance numbers don't represent the size of my state, not to mention the caucus numbers are unknown.  (We did have a meaningless (mostly) mail-in primary after BO won our caucus, I didn't participate in that, becuase it didn't matter.  And, I know more than a dozen people who didn't participate in our caucus or primary, but they would have been for BO in the mail-in primary, if it counted.  I also know someone who didn't go to the caucus, but did mail in a ballot for HRC out of sympathy, but if the primary counted she would have voted for BO.  The point is that you can't change the rules after the game is played, that is a banana republic election, not an American election.  The only way to measure the will of the people is to compare delegates, if my state knew that the popular vote mattered we could have easily made our primary count, it was already paid for.  But, the D Party here thinks the caucus is good for party building (for the record, I don't like caucuses.)

    I work from the principle that the will of the people is the most important factor.  I'm against banana republic elections where campaigning doesn't occurs, and/or people are told the results don't matter, and/or some candidates aren't on the ballot, and/or the preordained metrics are altered to purposefully diminish the impact of certain populations of voters.


    Enough with the "changing the rules" (none / 0) (#108)
    by tree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:54:56 PM EST
    spin. Nobody is changing the rules. The rules allow the superdelegates to decide on any metric they choose, including popular vote, electability, personal gain, coin toss, ouija board, etc. FL and MI delegations have a chance, under the rules, to petition to be seated. Nothing forbids their being seated.

     If you believe in the will of the people, are you against caucuses because they are not a good indicator of popular will, and disenfranchise certain voters? If you such a believer in the will of the people why didn't you vote in the primary? Even if it wasn't going to determine how many delegates WA got, it was the surest way to determine the "will of the people" in WA and yet you claim you didn't want to participate.


    Retroactively talkin' (none / 0) (#109)
    by Trickster on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    You're absolutely right that there are a lot of problems with figuring out how to count the popular vote.  However, you leave out the fact that ignoring the popular vote is an even bigger problem, especially for the Democratic Party which has generally taken the position that the Electoral College is outmoded because it gives too many votes to broad swaths of empty land.  You know, we made a fair bit of stink over the last 8 years out of Gore having won the popular vote in 2000.  I don't think totally ignoring the popular vote is a position Democrats should voluntarily take unless we wish to look extremely hypocritical.

    While I acknowledge that you make a lot of good points throughout the body of your post, your first paragraph is not reality-based.  There simply is no rule stipulating how superdelegates must vote, and therefore there is no points system to be changed.  Any talk of "changing the rules," whether from you or from Charlie Cook, is not grounded in fact.  

    If I were a superdelegate I would take everything possible into account, including both the popular vote and all the arguments about how and why the popular vote is slanted.  Perhaps another superdelegate would announce in advance that s/he would vote based on the pledged delegate total.  Another delegate might vote based on whether s/he saw an odd or even number of cars with one headlight while driving to the convention.  All those rationales are equally valid under the rules.

    I suspect there are few among us who favor "elections where campaigning doesn't occurs, and/or people are told the results don't matter, and/or some candidates aren't on the ballot."  But the total denial of the vote is not so democratically favored, either, and when enforced against two of the most important swing voting states in the nation amounts to a big electoral "Screw You" in the most exciting and engaging primary campaign ever--something that could be remembered and held against the Democrats in those swing states for decades to come.  And I would submit that the candidate who, depending upon the account, either stood idly by or threw up roadblocks in the way of finding a fair solution to this problem is estopped from complaining when the fairest solution still available is chosen.


    Another thing Chuck forgot to mention (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Universal on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:39:34 AM EST
    Is that the Democrats who are most in charge of 'deciding' things -- that is, the Democratic voters -- have by a majority voted for Clinton.

    Weak sauce from Cook. Real weak, like Obama-with-Catholic voters weak.

    FL/MI were not stripped of votes (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:22:42 AM EST
    just delegates.

    They held official, state-sponsored primaries, people voted, the votes were officially tallied and certified.

    Obama got no voted in Michigan because he took his name off the ballot.

    Even if the delegates from those states don't count, the votes do.


    Yep, that's the point (none / 0) (#69)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:31:32 AM EST
    Obama didn't RUN in MI.  That was his first disenfranchisement effort -- He decided not to let the voters of that state vote for him because he opportunistically wanted to kiss Iowa hiney.

    That was his MISTAKE and lost HIM votes.  Both candidates performed actions that lost them votes, this was one in his column.

    Popular votes in MI should be counted and he should get none.  He didn't run in that state.


    Anyone familiar with Elaine Kamarck? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by magisterludi on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:43:21 AM EST
    She's on the Rules and Bylaws Committee. She gave an exhaustive (it seemed to me, anyway) history of the dem process yesterday at the NPC.

    As BTD stated (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by DaytonDem on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:45:18 AM EST
    the three anointed states also broke the "roolz" but were immunized. Count the votes.

    Obama's camp began calling for Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:51:53 AM EST
    to GET OUT since Feb. 20 - after he'd won a string of states and before her Mar 4 TX & OH wins.  Since March Obama has acquired tons of baggage - Wright, Rezko, Ayers, Bitter/Cling-gate, etc. - reflected in PA results.
    So if Obama leads in delegates and popular vote (won prior to voters knowledge of his baggage) - he should be the nominee?

    I'll tell you something (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:52:04 AM EST
    if Obama declares victory after reaching 2024, especially if he loses  Indiana and gets blown out everywhere else but Oregon and SD/MT, we're going to have a civil war over MI and FL.

    A reason to seat MI and FL (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:52:20 AM EST
    "To be honest, even with Michigan and Florida counted, I think Obama will wind up with a popular vote victory."

    Doing it when it does not matter (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:03:57 AM EST
    is practically worthless. there has to be at least a patina of uncertainty.

    Besides, Obama and all his supporters tell us it is over. So if it is over, even though Clinton and her supporters do not think so, then what a wonderful opportunity to unify the Party and help your won chances in November.  


    An (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by sas on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:52:46 AM EST
    arbitrary and capricious set of rules, made by people who had no FORESIGHT, are going to be followed.

    The stupidity of punishing two states like Florida and Michigan is appalling.

    That said, the rules also call for the Super Delegates to be able to vote their conscience and pick a candidate.  This is to avoid McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis type losses.  

    At this point neither candidate has earned any nomination of any kind, and neither will have earned it until the Super D's clinch the deal.

    The nomination cannot be 'taken away' from Obama because he does not have the nomination. He will not have earned it until at least June 3.  It can only be given to him, as well as it could only be given to her. He may be ahead in delegates, but (imo) she will be ahead in popular votes when this is over.

    Should the Super D's award to either, there will be a backlash among the hardcore for either candidate.  Will blacks be forgiving?  Will women be forgiving? (most pundits don't even go there - but they should.)

    It's a big mess - leave it to Democrats to totally screw things up.

    I just read Aranda Marcotte's (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by pie on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:12:37 AM EST
    reason for supporting Obama.  Even though she admits the candidates are very close policy-wise (although she thinks Obama is more dovish):

    Nominating Obama would send the signal to the party that we're tired of the DLC, tired of the "move to the middle" strategy.  It's robbing the party of an identity, and it doesn't win elections.

    She's repeating the thinking of a lot of people in the blogosphere.  It has nothing to do with qualifications or experience.  It's all about exerting influence.

    They should look in the mirror before they criticize others for Dem party failure, especially if Obama loses in November.


    That is hilarious (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:19:08 AM EST
    The Unity Schtck candidate is the one that send the message to end moving to the middle?
    I have to write about that one.

    Please do (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:29:26 AM EST
    You are the one that can deliver the thorough debunking it deserves.

    Heh (none / 0) (#94)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:18:29 AM EST
    You are right, of course, but this is the thinking that motivates a lot of people.  Like, say, Tom Hayden and his wife.

    Hillary Clinton, you see, is the Democratic Establishment.  We all hate the Democratic Establishment because of how it's sold us out over the years, time and time again.

    So by rejecting Hillary, we defeat the Democratic Establishment once and for all.

    The fact that Obama's message is the same message we  used to criticize the Democratic Establishment for never enters the picture.  Never mind that, we're crashing the gates!!


    The Irony Is That (none / 0) (#100)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:50:53 AM EST
    Both Hillary and Obama are perceived by their Senate colleagues as uniters, iow Senators that will reach across party lines to make deals, Hillary even more so.

    They are remarkably similar despite what they say or what their fans say.


    Excuse Me Aranda But Obama Has Not Only (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:25:19 AM EST
    moved to the middle in the primary but he has moved to the right. Reagan and BushI Republican foreign policy good. Republicans needed in the position of Sec. of Defense and State. Reagan a transformation president who offered optimism and a sense of entrepreneurship and Clinton a failed president who was bad for the economy, bad for the country and the party. Republicans are the party of ideas. Social Security is in crisis. Harry and Louise poison pill ads run  against health care. Just to give a few examples.

    Laughable on its face (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:27:52 AM EST
    Do these people really believe this? I just will never understand how they cannot see that he is more in the middle than the DLC could have acheieved int heir wildest dreams.

    At least the DLC kept Democratic in their name.  For at least the first part of the primaries, Obama tried to downplay any party affiliation at all.


    Sorry. (none / 0) (#47)
    by pie on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:13:39 AM EST

    What doesn't win elections (none / 0) (#53)
    by rooge04 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:26:16 AM EST
    is the exact opposite of what she claims.  We lose elections when people like her choose the nominee.

    Superdelegates who have already endorsed (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Boston Boomer on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:55:36 AM EST
    a candidate can change their votes at will.  Some of these superdelegates may take a look at the electoral college map at some point and have some second thoughts.  In the meantime, it's not over till it it's over.  We've been hearing about Hillary's imminent demise since Iowa.  I'm comfortable sitting back and waiting for the votes to come in.

    Misinformation from the press is driving opinion (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:12:33 AM EST
    This is just one more example of misinformation and spin from people that get paid to know and report the facts. IMHO it is wrong to portry superdelegates as somehow apart from the delegate count, as he does here:

    The Democrats have decided that the nominee will be determined by the number of delegates won, not by the popular vote

    That is a true statement, but SDs are a part of that 'number of delegates won'. They can decide based on popular vote, electability, loyalty, someone bringing crowds to their own rallies, spite, or whatever else enters their brains.

    A sizeable portion of Dems reject the MI and FL punishments, no matter what the DNC says about the rooolz, and see 2214 number as the magic number.  

    Obama trying to claim a win if he gets to 2024 will be greeted with a lot of protest.  He better get a flood of SDs to pledge to him at the exact same time so he goes over 2024 and 2214 instantaneuosly.

    If he tries to claim the nomination at 2024, (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by DeborahNC on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:24:02 AM EST
    it will not be considered legitimate by many Democrats. Yet, based on comments throughout the pro-Obama blogs, his supporters will never accept a "loss" under any cicumstances and threaten to riot at the convention if the nomination is "taken" from him. Seriously!

    It's very difficult to reason with people who cling to views like that. If there folks are considered as part of the intelligentsia, then I'm truly concerned for our country's future.


    We saw their anti war riots (none / 0) (#87)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:36:13 AM EST
    they really were effective.  Puhleaze.  

    Explain to me why (none / 0) (#96)
    by independent voter on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:26:54 AM EST
    if he reaches the required number of delegates to clinch the nomination, it will not be considered legitimate by any Democrats? I suppose you could say the same thing if Clinton were to get to 2025 with the help of a huge majority of super Ds. Does this mean in your opinion we cannot have a legtimate nominee? Or only Clinton can ever be considered legitimate?

    The magic number (none / 0) (#106)
    by mm on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:45:14 PM EST
    It isn't 2025 when you include FL and MI.

    So? n/t (none / 0) (#110)
    by independent voter on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 02:28:52 PM EST
    I meant simultaneously (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:13:39 AM EST
    but you get my point

    The problem (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by kenoshaMarge on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:58:25 AM EST
    with half the people spouting about the "roolz" is that they don't actually know what the rules are. They learn a few talking points and regurgitate them endlessly in what must be an attempt to convince voters via nausea.

    I also believe that the time for a "unity" ticket is long past. For many supporters of either candidate they loathe the other Democrat more than McCain.

    Speaking only for me, I find the idea of a brilliant, gifted woman like Hillary Clinton taking a secondary position to Barack Obama repulsive beyond my ability to articulate. Women who have lived their lives in the working world have seen this kind of scenario all their lives. And we resent it. At least I do and sure as the dickens am not about to vote for it.

    So you would vote (none / 0) (#68)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:24:52 AM EST
    against the potentially the first female Vice President and potentially the first African American President?  Really?  To the benefit of  John McCain?

    Think about what you're saying.  Please.


    Your implication (none / 0) (#70)
    by kenoshaMarge on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:39:26 AM EST
    that I don't think before I post something is in and of itself an insult.

    I would never vote for John McCain.

    I will vote for down ticket Dems that support the things I value.

    I would not vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket for the reasons I stated.

    I don't care about the historic b.s. I don't base my vote on race or gender. I care about having the best possible person at the helm. Barack Obama is, IMO not that person.


    Marge.... (none / 0) (#98)
    by dem08 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:42:04 AM EST
    Here are YOUR two posts in this thread:

    "I find the idea of a brilliant, gifted woman like Hillary Clinton taking a secondary position to Barack Obama repulsive beyond my ability to articulate. Women who have lived their lives in the working world have seen this kind of scenario all their lives. And we resent it. At least I do and sure as the dickens am not about to vote for it. "


    "I don't base my vote on race or gender."

    I do not have a Doctorate in Logic, but your first statement is a feminist screed and your second is a denial that feminist screed's have anything to do with "gender".


    kenoshaMarge's outrage can only be fully (none / 0) (#73)
    by DeborahNC on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:58:49 AM EST
    understood by a woman who has been repeatedly relegated to a secondary position where her "superior" is a man who is clearly inferior in intelligence, education, effectiveness and all of the other standard criteria associated with excellent qualifications. At the same time, she must be cautious about performing too well or revealing any brilliance, lest she overshadow her boss and suddenly find herself without a job. Unfortunately, it really does happen.

    That said, I couldn't actually vote for McCain either. In any event, I don't think Hillary would accept an offer for the VP spot. That's just a feeling I have.


    Hillary is probably going to be (none / 0) (#99)
    by dem08 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:46:30 AM EST
    our candidate. I don't see how Obama can win without women and non-affluent whites.

    But....Hillary is not a Feminist Saint:

    Try imagining you are a woman office holder like Nita Lowey, who is a Democrat and native New Yorker, who has worked hard all her life, pulling herself up in the state she lives in

    and then as a viable female candidate, she has to  watch as a First Lady who has never run for nor held office, who has never lived in your state suddenly declare herself a New Yorker and then easily wins the sinecure that is New York Senator.

    Gender isn't always a card Hillary's supporter's can get riled up over. She comes from privilege, whether you see her as a self-made woman or not.


    There are no real Rulz i (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Salt on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:21:54 AM EST
    The problem now is the DNC behaviors has lacked consistency in purpose and has clumsily undermined the fair play of the contest now they look like a bunch of Party hacks  who are not trustworthy and have not the integrity required to fix what they broke.  There is no trust of Party by the Base to arbitrate a winner that will not harm the Party further they have no standing people have judged that they rigged the race against them. A caution the conciliatory offers of Clinton as Obama VP now that demographics clearly show an Obama win come Nov. is probably not going to happen  being put forth yesterday is highly offensive and such talk should stop now.  For those of you who have gotten every guess wrong so far about the nature of Dems, you are treading on a major grievance that is truly explosive in its implications and could drive folks into the streets well before Denver.  The disenfranchisement of Mich and Fla gave Obama momentum he would not have garnered in the early stages of this race and stacked the deck with only one set the anti Clinton set and attempted to gagged Clinton Democrats the majority of the Base, that SC was not punished for the same violation sealed that it was about demographic as well.  That Donna Brazile DNC Rulz committee on CNN and in Wapo, IMO knowingly triggered, the black white group grievance against Bill Clinton made the race about race and identity politics not unity.  Obama is not the choice of working class, white and senior democrats by large margin and some of this anti Obama angst can be laid at the feet of the DNC, grievances work two ways and who ever believed women, whites seniors would just poodle waddle in line after such offense were just wrong.  This election needed to be about Us, the We part of the People real unity not obvious grievance cards, not a pony giveaway, not helplessness victims of Government et al, not name the ugly name calling, but solutions for the looming decline and debt a war dead soldiers not rabid anti Clintonism not Party before country..  My View the DNC adn Dem leaders like Pelosi have blown it big time.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by AnninCA on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:07:11 AM EST
    and I trust Hillary completely to get this situation on track.

    I've been impressed so far.  I was listening to Carville, and he focused on the reality that Hillary raised the money for revotes.  Obama blocked them.  Richardson absolutely had no reply ready.


    Obama is the master of changing the rules mid-game (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Richjo on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:13:36 AM EST
    It has been clear for a long time now that the Obama camp and his supporters will not accept as legitimate the right of the superdelegates to exercise independent judgment about who the nominee should be. They have argued all along that if he is "leading"(by whatever rubric one selects), that it would not be legitimate for him to be denied the nomination. This is totally inconsistent with the party rules in both letter and spirit. The whole point of the superdelegates is to do exactly that if there is no clear winner from the primary contests.

    The difference between the two camps is that the Clinton camp has never argued that it would be illegitimate for the superdelegates not to give her the nomination. That has been the Obama argument for some time now. It is clearly Obama whose attitude is that the rules are not the rules, but rather the rules are whatever enough of my supporters say they should be, and are willing to wreak havoc on the party if those dictates are not followed. When Obama comes out and says that he will respect the decision of the party to allow Florida and Michigan a voice, and that he will accept the legitimacy of the superdelegates decision, even if it goes against him, then and only then will we be playing this contest by the rules.

    Obama's strategy (none / 0) (#84)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:27:39 AM EST
    was to go for the greatest number of delegates - not necessarily to win in blue states - which negates Obama's "bring us all together" mantra.

    Hillary is bringing home Reagan Dems that Obama trashes as unimportant!


    That'd be... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Garmonbozia on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:10:56 AM EST
    ...2025, not 2214.

    2214 inlcudes MI and FL (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:14:05 AM EST
    which the DNC Chairman has assured will be seated.

    2214 is the number.


    and you know politics (none / 0) (#4)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:22:53 AM EST
    you know he NEVER said they would have a say in picking the nominee, if AFTER Hillary drops out, they seat them, that also completely fits with what he said.

    you guys can complain about it all you want, but MI and FL will get seated AFTER Obama is the nominee.


    "After Hillary drops out" (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Boston Boomer on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:37:33 AM EST
    Why on earth should Hillary drop out?  And who is going to make her?  Is someone going to take her in a room and intimidate her, as Keith Olbermann suggested?  Hillary has the momentum right now.  Obama supporters are just going to have to deal with it.  

    That is probably true (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:24:18 AM EST
    But the magic number is 2214.

    BTW, it is because Obama will not allow the seating of MI and FL that he has no chance in FL, gone, and he makes MI difficult for himself.


    current polling (none / 0) (#9)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:29:44 AM EST
    suggests MI is not to much of a worry. I don't think  any democrat will carry FL, so for me personally FL is never a convincing argument.

    and their own democrats don't want to help their state's down ticket because the GOP side is their friends.



    What current polling is that? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:30:52 AM EST
    And your selective reliance on polls is also telling.

    As you well know, Clinton leads McCain in FL in some polls.


    oh yeah no (none / 0) (#15)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:37:25 AM EST
    I am pretty sure Obama has no shot at FL, (I still think even with Hil, FL goes Red)

    I meant MI, Obama is polling strong in MI, so right now there is no evidence to look at, that he was hurt by all this in MI.

    especially when everyone was saying he would be killed in MI because they would resent him for not letting their votes count. it doesn't seem that way, so that lessens the pressure to count the pop vote of MI, and from everything I read, FL is basically de facto counted at this point.


    What current MI polling was my question (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:46:17 AM EST
    I was talking about (none / 0) (#34)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:55:25 AM EST
    This and also I looked up the pollster.com average

    both have MI weak but still in Obama's favor. meaning with some campaigning he can pull up his numbers.

    so it hurts the arguments to say he will lose MI when polls have him competitive and ahead.

    now its one thing to say it would be more in play then we would like, but with Romney possible on the ticket it was always going to be in play, but no he is not being blown out in MI.


    See this (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by cmugirl on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:50:30 AM EST
    posted elsewhere on this blog



    I'm going to be smiling all day (none / 0) (#72)
    by eleanora on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:54:02 AM EST
    over that one, ty very much! :)

    Hillary (none / 0) (#76)
    by AnninCA on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:08:09 AM EST
    made it crystal clear that she is in until MI and FL are settled.  :)

    Goalposts keep moving... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Garmonbozia on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:08:02 AM EST
    "Being seated" and "taking part in determining the outcome" are two completely different animals and you know it. If FL and MI aren't part of the primary process (which they aren't, and most likely won't be), the number is still 2025.

    Heh (none / 0) (#93)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:13:44 AM EST
    No, they are not different.  The only point of being seated is to get a vote on the nominee.  Saying "we'll seat you once the nominee is decided" is equally silly as saying "we'll let your delegation count, as long as it's split 50/50."  Of course, you can find people who think the latter statement makes sense too.

    Are people really foolish enough to think that the FL and MI Dems don't care if they get to vote on the nominee, just so long as there's a little chair with their names on it?


    BTD what do you think will happen (none / 0) (#3)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:21:28 AM EST
    if the delegates Obama gets from PR, puts him at 2,024?

    you really think the supers let her fight to the convention to seat Florida and MI, if Obama already hits 2,024 at the end of the primaries?

    once he hits 2.024 after june. because now he is on pace to hit it.

    That is only a scenario (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:23:07 AM EST
    that can occur if he beats her handily in all  the states prior to PR and thus she will have dropped out by then.

    nope (none / 0) (#8)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:27:46 AM EST
    do the math, if he gets only 48.5% of the remaining 408 delegates, then with the way Demconwatch.blogspot.com has projected the add-ons, and the 6 of the pelosi club

    Obama need 63 more supers to hit 2,024, now do we only think he will get only 48.5% of the delegates in NC, Oregon, or South Dakota?

    every delegate he gets above the 48.5% will lower the needed super by 1.

    1722 + 198 (48.5% of 408) + 6(Pelosi Club) + 35(projected add ons for Obama) = 1,961 - 2,024= 63.

    meaning if he keeps pace PR can put him over the top.


    Then he should settle Florida and Michigan NOW (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:29:50 AM EST
    He should let the delegations be seated.

    come on this is politics (none / 0) (#13)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:34:57 AM EST
    we all know he seats them, first he has to deal with the popular vote, which is REALLY why everyone wants them seated.

    but from a politics standpoint, he only needs 63 now, and you know politicians they have no back bone, if he his 2,024 they have excuses to go, oh sorry Hillary its over Obama hit the number, I'm sorry I have to back Obama.

    adding them back raises the number and better enables we go to the convention. also at this point we all know they won't worry about MI and FL until after the primaries.

    and once the media picks up on how close he really is (thanks to proportional splitting of delegates) then the closer we get to PR, and the more supes he has endorse the closer he gets to 2,024 and the less barginning chips she really has.

    also NYT article to day says Obama plans to slowly roll out a bunch of supers. a blogger over at The Hill, also said yesterday in on a radio interview, Obama has about 20 supers he will slowly roll out over the next 10-15 days, on an average of 1-2 a day.

    so I am waiting if he has 1-2 more supers announce today then I will believe its true and Obama already has about 20 of the 63 he needs.


    So are you saying Obama has to keep (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MarkL on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:36:59 AM EST
    MI and FL out so that he leads in the popular vote---otherwise he won't be a legitimate nominee?

    ah no (none / 0) (#20)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:40:33 AM EST
    I am saying Obama will hit 2,024 once PR votes, so regardless of the pop vote, Obama will be the nominee because its hard to argue that we should keep fighting for the nomination when someone hits the magic number.

    if you disagree thats fine, its only my opinion, but I think all the supers are big babies, so Obama hitting 2,024 will be like a god send because

    1. all voting is done
    2. it gives them a reason (hey he hit the number) to finally end the primaries so they can focus on McCain.

    now if you think that after he hits 2,024 that the undecideds will still wanna continue all this thats your opinion.

    but me I honestly think if he hits 2,024 after PR votes, its done, especially since the days BEFORE PR EVERY single media outlet will be pointing out that Obama needs only 2 more delegates, 2 more and its done.

    but we will see, its only 39 days till PR.


    Too bad (none / 0) (#22)
    by rooge04 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:42:42 AM EST
    he won't actually hit any magic number when the voting is done. He's bleeding support all over the place.  

    And why are these superdelegates (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Boston Boomer on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:41:43 AM EST
    supposedly backing Obama?  Do they simply want him as nominee and the heck with the general election?  It is become clearer with each contest that Obama cannot beat McCain.  Surely there must be some superdelegates who want a Democrat in the White House?

    Apparently not. (none / 0) (#26)
    by rooge04 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:46:58 AM EST
    It is politics (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:47:43 AM EST
    PRECISELY. And winning in November is the REAL prize. Like you, I think Obama will be the nominee no matter what.

    But it will be an empty prize if he loses in November.


    I don't think he will lose (none / 0) (#37)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:58:54 AM EST
    and like you I do think we will have a joint ticket.

    Obama has huge excitement behind him, Hillary has huge excitment behind her.

    the party won't take any chances they will put all the pressure in the world to make obama offer, and try all they can to get Hillary to accept, or at the very least campaign like crazy. but I say she accepts.

    no matter what, the GOP is hurting this year, they are having fundraising problems, and are already losing special election after special election.

    they could not handle a Obama/Clinton fundraising potential.

    I like what Huckabee said

    "the VP is a job no one wants, but no one can turn down"

    I say she will accept. thus re-uniting the key demographics that each has behind them.


    Clinton as VP would hurt Obama (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Davidson on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:39:04 AM EST
    Clinton on the ticket would just stress how vastly inexperienced he is.  And don't think the media won't ask him about her supposed lack of character and racism.  He based his entire campaign on smearing her.

    They don't have to pressure Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:59:17 AM EST
    to "campaign like crazy" for the ticket if he's the nominee.  That just shows your bias.  She and her husband and her organization will go full out in support of Obama if he's the nominee because she cares about the party and about winning the White House.

    Can Obama say the same?  He hasn't been willing to so far.


    "no one can turn down"? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Fabian on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:08:01 AM EST
    I can name at least one person who can - Gore.  As for Clinton, I keep wondering why she would.  Perhaps if Cheney gives her the keys to his shadow government....?

    Yup we all know (none / 0) (#18)
    by rooge04 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:38:47 AM EST
    he will seat them AFTER he gets his nomination. Then quickly followed in November by those states voting for McCain.  Apparently all Obama and his supporters care about is the nomination, the GE matters not.

    To think we had the Presidency in our hands (none / 0) (#43)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:11:57 AM EST
    It was ours to lose this time around. I hope Kerry and Kennedy will be happy they split up the Democratic Party. If BHO has 20 supers he is meting out each day, then we have 20 more supers who are not looking at the GE. I suspect they are trying to get this thing settled now. Maybe even getting a little Dean encouragement. But people who stay home drown the rest of the ticket and right now, I think they would not care.

    How is he on pace? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Davidson on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:37:29 AM EST
    What about KY and WV?

    If this election is all but over why don't the supers just end it then?  Why is Obama so utterly worried?

    I honestly don't understand how everyone seems to believe he will is the inevitable nominee in spite of the fact he is all but certainly going to lose the GE and the race is incredibly close.


    I don't (none / 0) (#77)
    by AnninCA on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:09:38 AM EST
    believe he's inevitable.  But it's Hillary's job to make it clear through voters, momentum, etc., that this race is not over.

    The moment... (none / 0) (#12)
    by white n az on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:33:22 AM EST
    that you begin talking about what the 'super' delegates should/must consider, you become a identified as a partisan.

    There are no rules for what the 'super' delegates should/must consider at all.

    The talk about 'changing the rules' just seems to be coming from Obama surrogates as that is his campaign's eminent talking point.

    Easy question for those pushing this talking point...is this more important than electability?

    I had sent this email to Brazile sometime back (none / 0) (#17)
    by Saul on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 07:38:35 AM EST
    Mrs. Brazile

    In reference to MI and FL can you please tell me what terrible thing occurred because MI and FL went against the DNC rules not to move up their primaries?  The only negative thing that I saw that occurred was nothing more than a record number  of voters in each of those states who came out to vote.

    I understand that rules are important but don't you think it was a silly rule now that you look back at it.   Nothing terrible happened because they disobeyed the rules.  Look at all the states that vote at the same time on Supertuesday.  So two states wanted to move their primary up.  So what.

    I also understand that FL had no choice in their primary dates since the FL republican legislature and the republican Governor ordered the primary to be held in Jan.  The FL democrats wanted it in Feb.  To me it was not their fault.

    I also have heard that three other states moved up their primaries but they were not penalized.  I do not know which states exactly but the point is why the double standard. Why weren't they penalized?

    If I am not mistaken you did not ask permission of the participating candidates in MI and FL if it was ok if the DNC was not going to approve the move up of their primaries and that the DNC would punish them if they did.  My point is why do you now have to ask permission of the candidates if its ok to have a re vote. One side will always tell you no and the other side yes. You can't leave this choice up to the candidates.  Just like you ruled on the rules that FL, MI and other states could not move up their primaries with that same authority you could say they need to have a re vote and those are the rules.

    I think it is more of a pride thing with the DNC.  They could admit that it was a silly rule and reverse the ruling but the DNC has to swallow their pride  to do this.   It takes courage to admit mistakes and to swallow your pride I know but I have done it on several occasions.

    If the DNC wants to be adamant and refused to retract their ruling ,then I feel that the fairest way to include MI and FL in the nomination process is to have a re vote. If no re vote occurs then only other way would be to leave FL on the original vote count since all the candidates had an even playing field.  None of them campaigned in FL and all of them were on the ballot.  All the voters knew who they were.  No one had an advantage.  In MI there were three candidates, Hilary, Dodd and Kucinich.  The other candidates took their names off the ballot.  MI was not telling them that they had to do that they did that on their own volition.  In MI I say let the 55% of the Hilary vote go to her and the 40% of the uncommitted go to Obama.  I think that is very generous.

    Seating of the MI and FL delegates after there is a nominee is meaningless. Unless they play a role in the nomination process then you will have an illegitimate candidate.  



    the SDs may ignore the elephant in the room (none / 0) (#38)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:03:50 AM EST
    but the GOP will continue emphasizing Obama's defense of his anti-America associates, his anti-America pastor, and his elitism (in his own words)- while they wrap an American POW in the American flag.

    Obama also has (none / 0) (#40)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:07:48 AM EST
    >>>>Obama does have a substantial amount more delegates.

    a substantial amount more baggage. And it's not just any baggage - it's anti-America baggage - always a winner for the GOP.

    josey (none / 0) (#59)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:40:52 AM EST
    do you think Obama is anti-american????

    people aren't stupid (that's why he's winning).  if that's the GOP line, i'm all for it.  it is irrational on the surface (which might fit the GOP voter, but not the necessarily the independent voter).  


    Kerry Wasn't Lying About His Military Achievements (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:08:36 AM EST
    yet the Republicans were able to convince enough people that it made a difference in the election. IMO this "Bring It On" attitude will be as successful as it was when Bush used it.

    AgreeToDisagree - (none / 0) (#79)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:14:48 AM EST
    >>>do you think Obama is anti-american????

    Of course not!  but we're supposed to be nominating the best candidate to win in Nov and Obama's "anti-America" baggage is much worse than baggage of any other Dem primary candidate.


    when looking at popular vote... (none / 0) (#52)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:25:59 AM EST
    is it appropriate to count caucus go-ers?  I agree that the popular vote is a fair data point for Super D's, but not the only one.  They would also have to look at the pledged delegates and the caucuses.  


    most of Obama's votes and delegates (none / 0) (#80)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:17:46 AM EST
    were awarded before Bitter/Cling-gate and before the public became aware of Obama's association with anti-America types.

    Of Course (none / 0) (#82)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:23:19 AM EST
    You have to count caucus goers. They are voters after all. 4 states haven't released their vote counts from caucuses (although Washington also had a primary so it isn't necessary for them). But other states, besides the other 3, had caucuses and we have their vote counts which are included in popular vote counts.

    Based on your earlier comment, I (none / 0) (#83)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:26:29 AM EST
    voted for Clinton so I'm too stupid to have thoughts. Sorry.

    Sure. (none / 0) (#88)
    by eleanora on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:38:13 AM EST
    We need hard counts from every caucus state, including the four hold-outs. Votes are votes are votes--they all should count.

    Can someone explain to me (none / 0) (#60)
    by nativenycer on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 08:41:08 AM EST
    how Iowa, NH and S. Ca also violated the rules and why they are not being "punished"?

    Well (none / 0) (#95)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:19:52 AM EST
    This link may offer a perspective you don't read about much in the press.

    Folks who Don't Fully . . . (none / 0) (#65)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:21:44 AM EST
    . . . seem to understand "the rules" seems to do a lot of crowing about them.  

    They ignore the flexibilities in regard to the credentials committee's powers to seat or not seat and they seem to be happy to gloss over the prefabricated role of the superdelegates.  They are permitted to vote their minds and are not controlled by some proportionality rules or total popular vote counts, or number of elected delegates. Them's the rules suckers!  Live with them and quit your belly achin'!  

    What the credential committee does and/or what the superdelegates do, in the end do, is as much a part of the rules as all the rest! Grow up and get on board the victory train instead of trying to divert it in one direction or other.

    The People rely on the corporate media (none / 0) (#81)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:21:29 AM EST
    to "vet" candidates. Crazy system! since the corporate media is only interested in corporate profits and selling the next "American Idol."

    It's 2000 all over again with the corporate media selling us an empty suit and telling us he's the best thing since sliced bread.
    But I'd rather have a beer with Hillary and talk solutions!

    spin is fun, and fascinating who it comes from (none / 0) (#85)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:28:49 AM EST
    I just saw an "uncommitted SD", I think it was the CO gov., on ObamaTV talking about how SD's only consider the delegate count when deciding who to go for. Amazing spin. Like Cook, it's all spin of course. I'm just surprised sometimes to see who it's coming from. Either Cook is spinning for Obama, or even more sad, someone slipped him the kool-aid without him noticing.

    One part of politics that always fascinated me was the quiet whisper game that happens. Where you have not so obvious agents snuggling up to important people and constantly whispering things in their ears, to get them to spin your way. It's a very subtle and clever game. Funny enough, not unlike how cults get new members.

    And here's today's talking point on the election, Clinton people talking about how she's ahead in the popular vote count when you include MI and FL is just crazy. Because we're not counting MI and FL and that's just crazy logic. Say it three times, crazy, crazy, crazy.

    Remember folks, in the democratic party, your vote doesn't mean anything. I hope we're clear on that kids. :-)

    Superdels should DISCOUNT pledged del vote (none / 0) (#89)
    by zebedee on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:47:40 AM EST
    Contrary to the arguments of Cook and others, the only point of the superdelegates is for them to take every factor into account EXCEPT the pledeged delegate vote. Because if they did, it would be double-counting the effect of the pledged delegate allocation. The only point of the superdels is to add othetr factors into the mix (electability, other measures of the peoples' will such as popular vote, personal preference etc)

    I'm still feeling brokered convention ... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:05:46 AM EST
    Only a relatively small number of Supers need to vote for neither candidate (favorite sons maybe) to force it to a second ballot.

    I think this is Clinton's endgame strategy.  If she can't get enough Supers to vote for her, she'll convince enough to vote for neither.

    Make Obama show he can hold onto and expand his delegate base.

    The press will eat this up.  And if Clinton prevails it will look like a fair fight. The stolen election meme will be gone.

    Call me crazy, but I believe this scenario grows more likely every day.

    Obama Outmaneuvered in MIchigan (none / 0) (#92)
    by BDB on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:09:18 AM EST
    Via a MYDD diary, this op-ed reports Clinton picked up a lot of MI delegates, more than her popular vote would indicate, meaning that Obama's insistence on all or nothing for Michigan will hurt more if it turns out to be all.   He should've agreed to a re-vote.

    Jerome Armstrong also has some interesting stuff on the front page about popular vote and delegate counts.

    The Obama/MSM complex (none / 0) (#97)
    by dwmorris on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:31:18 AM EST
    "The Democrats have decided that ..."  This is the central problem with Clinton's campaign right now.  If the Obama/MSM complex are allowed to define what winning is, Clinton cannot win.

    Hillary's (none / 0) (#102)
    by AnninCA on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:59:32 AM EST
    job is to be convincing.  Her surrogates are out there working this like crazy.  She's working to get the votes.

    2 weeks is a long time.

    Particularly since Obama is more and more cornered.  :)


    Do Not Count Our Votes (none / 0) (#101)
    by shadow on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 11:56:27 AM EST
    I'm a Michigan voter. Before our primary, we were told the results would be meaningless. Hillary was the only one of the frontrunners whose name was on the ballot. None of the candidates campaigned here.

    All of the candidates had signed a pledge saying that they would not "campaign or participate" in the primary. Hillary herself in an interview on NPR said that our primary would not count for anything.

    To use the results of our primary in any way would be grossly unfair. It's obvious that if the candidates had campaigned here and we'd had a real election the results would have been totally different.

    For Hillary to now suggest that it would be fair to count the votes that were cast is ludicrous. We did not have a fair election. It's obvious that she changed her tune after the early primaries did not go as she expected.

    The nomination should come from the pledged delegates and the super delegates. If Hillary wants the super delegates to take the popular votes into account in making their decision, that's fine. Just don't included the results of our flawed primary.

    Someone said that Obama was outmaneuvered in Michigan. That's just plain dumb. All he did was honor his pledge "not to campaign or participate". I just wish all the candidates had done so as well.

    BS, Obama took his name (none / 0) (#105)
    by RalphB on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:31:42 PM EST
    off the ballot for his own reasons, not because of any pledge.  There should have been a revote in MI but that got blocked by Obama's campaign.  Don't you want your votes to count?

    Apparently not (none / 0) (#107)
    by tree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:46:43 PM EST
    Or, perhaps more likely, shadow doesn't want other Michiganders' votes to count, because most of them didn't(or wouldn't) vote the way she/he did and is willing to p@ss away one vote to block all the others. A fine democracy.

    You're missing the point (none / 0) (#111)
    by shadow on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 04:18:23 PM EST
    Obama removed his name for the same reason the other candidates did, because they pledged not to participate. This includes Richardson, Edwards, and Biden. Kucinich tried to get his name removed but couldn't.

    I think Hillary and Obama would both be excellent presidents, but Hillary is dead wrong when it comes to the fairness of our primary. She pledged to not participate and stated that the results would not count for anything. Now she's trying to count them. I'm sorry, but that's shamelessly dishonest. Plain and simple.

    Regarding tree's comment, you're totally missing my point. All I want is an open and fair primary in Michigan where we all can vote. Let the results speak for themselves. I simply don't want our original primary counted in any way because it was completely flawed and undemocratic.


    more delegate math (none / 0) (#104)
    by RalphB on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:10:47 PM EST
    from Jerome at mydd seems to find the race super close with Obama ahead 1795-1786.  A 9 delegate lead with 800 to be decided.  I like his numbers anyway.