Fairness, Rules and Self-Interest

When discussing the Florida and Michigan situations, I believe the Clinton campaign had viable arguments based on fairness, self interest and the rules for fully seating the Florida and Michigan delegations based on the results of their respective primaries. Today, I believe the Clinton camp damages the viability of its rules-based argument for Florida. I also believe they damaged the fairness-based argument for Michigan. They are now left solely with a self interest argument for the Democratic Party.

As I explained earlier, by conceding that Florida and Michigan Democrats broke the DNC rules, I believe that the Clinton camp has lost its rules argument for full seating of the delegates based on the existing primary results. The Clinton camp's invocation of Rule20(c)(7) ignores the fact that that rule requires that Florida and Michigan Democrats had taken prompt positive steps to prevent the passage of legislation that would violate the DNC primary schedule. On August 25, 2007, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled that neither Florida nor Michigan had done that. That was one of the bases for stripping of the Florida and Michigan delegations. By conceding that the August 25 RBC determination was correct, I believe the Clinton camp has already lost the argument that the RBC can reinstate the full Florida and Michigan delegations. MORE . .

The Clinton camp also rejected the argument forwarded by the Michigan Democratic Party that the DNC had selectively enforced its primary schedule rules by allowing New Hampshire and South Carolina to move their primary dates, including allowing New Hampshire to jump ahead of Nevada. Moving New Hampshire to the third position was considered a key point in this calendar and Michigan warned the DNC that it considered it essential that the DNC NOT allow New Hampshire to break the rules.

In essence, Michigan was making a fairness argument - how can you punish us when you let New Hampshire and South Carolina go scot free? I thought this was a very compelling argument. The Clinton camp expressly disagreed with this argument forwarded by Michigan. Given this, not only did the Clinton camp severely undercut Michigan's argument for full seating, it may have severely weakened its own argument for a delegation based on the January 15 Michigan vote.

What is left of the Clinton argument? A simple and compelling one - that it is in the best interest of the Democratic Party to fully seat the delegates in two key states. This is a good argument.

But I must disagree with the Clinton campaign's decision to undercut the arguments for Florida and Michigan being fully seated and in representation of the existing primary results. I cannot understand the thinking behind these decisions by the Clinton campaign.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Blanchard, Joyner and Nelson to Argue for Hillary and FL Democrats | What's Fair for Michigan and Florida >
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    And I don't know about anyone else (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:03:49 PM EST
    but it seems abundantly clear to me that the extreme punishment of FL and MI was counterproductive. The RNC actually followed its rules, and their process worked fine.

    What was the point (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:07:44 PM EST
    of punishing your voters?  Will anyone ever make sense of that other than the stupid "zero tolerance" mindset?

    There was nothing in our rules about (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:09:11 PM EST
    the nuclear option. It was, apparently, something genius Donna Brazile came up with last summer.

    Someone (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:11:27 PM EST
    with no public policy background of any kind, also I don't get the political justification.  

    How did she come to be Gore's (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:38:50 PM EST
    campaign guru?

    Goes to show you (none / 0) (#64)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:50:52 PM EST
    Hardly (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Andy08 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:50:24 PM EST
    the bright bulb of the RBC bunch...

    She did a lousy job running Gore campaign; I still remember her
    performance arguing for him: it was unbelievable poor.

    I was just looking in Wikipedia about her and was struck by this paragraph: tell me what do all these people have in common??

    Brazile has worked on several presidential campaigns for Democratic candidates, including Jimmy Carter-Walter Mondale in 1976 and 1980, Jesse Jackson in 1984, Walter Mondale-Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and for Richard Gephardt in the 1988 Democratic primary.
    After Gephardt lost the primary in 1988, Brazile served as deputy field director of the Michael Dukakis general election campaign.

    LOL, I am glad she has nothing to do with HRC campaign !!

    Note this also:

    After the post-election fight over votes in the 2000 United States presidential election in Florida, Brazile was appointed Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute. She currently serves as a superdelegate for her work for Bill Clinton.

    What a life of contradictions....


    And how many... (2.00 / 4) (#80)
    by FedUpLib on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:44:36 PM EST
    Of Hillary's Campaing staff Voted for the 100% solution?

    I believe the number you are looking for is...

    Wait for it...


    That is the number of people on the RBC That are currently Clinton Supporters that voted to strip 100% of the delegates.  Headed up by Ickes.

    The lone dissenter on the RBC for the 100% solution was/is an Obama supporter.


    $4.00/ht troll rated... (5.00 / 0) (#93)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:24:45 PM EST
    for spewing the same talking points that assumes that everyone who is one the committee who supports Clinton was supposed to work on her behalf as members of the Rulz committee.

    I think I'll go over to Balloon Juice and troll over there for a bit.  every time I do, they all talk about how they are giving more to Obama -- and since he's spending his money on troll over here, if he has more money to spend, maybe we'd get better quality trolls.  $4.00/hr doesn't get you much even in this economy.


    That means *16* NON-Clinton reps voted for it. (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 05:35:37 AM EST
     Hello ?

    If you find a comment (none / 0) (#84)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:50:55 PM EST
    where I defend Ickes or any of the rest, feel free to point it out to me.

    Depends on Your Goal (5.00 / 12) (#15)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:11:40 PM EST
    If you're Donna Brazile and want to replace Howard Dean when Obama wins the nomination, then it worked pretty darned well I'd say.  It deprived Clinton of two key states for gaining not only delegates but momentum.  Think how different Super Tuesday would've looked if MI/FL had counted at all?

    If your goal is winning in November and you don't particularly care who the nominee is, then it was a disaster.  But let's review what the Democratic Party has done:

    1. Disenfranchise two swing states worth 44 electoral votes.  But, hey, Iowa and NH are happy.

    2. Sat silent in the face of misogynistic attacks on a very popular democrat. But, hey, at least women aren't an important constituency or the majority of voters.

    3. Let Obama defend his bitter/cling comments as being essentially true (one of the dumbest things he's done this entire campaign season, IMO).  But, hey, it's not like economic issues are going to be big this year and a chance to peel off white working class voters.

    As I said at Corrente, it's as though the Democratic Party has a checklist of important voting blocs from the 1992, 1996 and 2006 winning coalitions and has been working down the list to make sure it offends each and every one.  I mean, completely disenfranchising Florida?  How politically tone deaf does someone have to be to do that?  

    What Super Tuesday would have looked like (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:15:04 PM EST
    is a very good question. If Obama had pressed forward, he might still have gotten his massive caucus victories. Or maybe not. Who knows.

    Probably (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:19:29 PM EST
    But remember he was riding a huge wave of momentum on Super Tuesday coming out of South Carolina.  That wouldn't have existed and he probably would've lost California by 5 or 10 more points.  Same thing for some of the other big states.  And the caucuses would've looked puny compared to all of Clinton's big states.

    By denying MI/FL, what the party essentially did was let the small states overrule the choice of the big states because it denied delegates to two of the big states in their entirety.  So we get the guy who won Wyoming and Idaho and not the woman who won Ohio and Michigan.  Because why on earth would the Democrats want to nominate someone who wins huge states?


    I think it's likely that Hillary (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:21:57 PM EST
    would have done better in Connecticut, Missouri, and New Mexico. She might have even cut into Obama's margins in the big primaries--even Illinois.  

    Exactly (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:26:43 PM EST
    You can't unring a bell.  So seating MI/FL now doesn't actually make anything whole or right.  They've basically waited until the nomination is done.  

    And when they lose Florida, including some close Congressional races they should win, and have to pour more resources into Michigan, they can all sit back and pat themselves on the back for how they stood up for the "rules."  As I've said before, nobody loves a noble loss like a Democrat.

    But, hey, if Obama loses Donna Brazile can argue Howard Dean was inept and run to take his place.  And if Obama wins, he can thank her by elevating her to head the DNC.  See, like Iraq, this entire clusterfrak has worked out for some people.


    Its also impossible to know (none / 0) (#42)
    by fuzzyone on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:30:41 PM EST
    what MI and Fl would have looked like with more real campaigning in those states.  Maybe Obama wins in MI and certainly does better in both states.  Who knows.

    I think there's no way (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:33:35 PM EST
    he could have won either. His "lightning in a bottle" from IA would have been dampened by Hillary's win in NH.

    We Know About Michigan (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:36:56 PM EST
    If he thought he could've won Michigan, he'd never have removed his name from the ballot.  By removing his name, he was basically admitting he was going to lose.  As for Florida, look at the demographics.  There's no reason to think he'd have won there either, even as the "inevitable" nominee, he's lost states that look like Florida.  Which is to say virtually all the big ones.

    Unclear (none / 0) (#48)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:37:38 PM EST
    In other words, I'm agreeing with you andgarden.  My post just isn't clear on that.

    Understood (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:39:15 PM EST
    It was frankly amazing that Obama couldn't run the table on Super Tuesday. I think that's when he proved that he's a bad GE candidate.

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:50:34 PM EST
    Although he confirmed it again in Texas and Ohio.  All those wins in a row, all that money, all that glowing press and he still loses Ohio by double digits?  How is that possible?

    and I heard (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by ccpup on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:18:35 PM EST
    he ended up spending more than he raised and all he had to show for it was a win in OR and two double-digit losses in Kentucky and West Virginia.

    Meanwhile Clinton has upwards of $80 million ready for the General Election.  Obama has something like $9 or $10 million.


    What dreamland are you in? (none / 0) (#81)
    by FedUpLib on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:48:07 PM EST
    Obama still has money left over from the Primary.  Clinton is $20MM in Debt with 23M for use in the GE.

    It was (none / 0) (#97)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:45:02 PM EST
    the "Archie Bunkers".  Or so I'm told



    I don't think he would have won FL (none / 0) (#53)
    by bjorn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:40:25 PM EST
    either, but it might have been a lot closer if they both campaigned there...

    Since obama had tv ads in Florida for 2 wks (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 05:51:53 AM EST
    up until the Florida primary and since he held an (against the rules) press conference in Florida, I guess you mean if Clinton would have campaigned in Florida also with ads and a press conference?

    possible since he did win a (none / 0) (#43)
    by bjorn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:32:28 PM EST
    majority of the people who decided late in FL. They had early voting, and early vote went overwhelming to Hillary.

    the purpose of the sanctions... (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:04:09 PM EST
    the thing is, the 100% sanctions were imposed at a time when EVERYONE assumed that someone (probably Clinton) would emerge as the consensus candidate of the party on or soon after ST.  It made perfect sense to inflict the maximum punishment on FL and MI if you assume that they will be seated in the name of party unity once someone was obviously going to win the magic number of pledged delegates.  

    It was just about 'sending a message' (we are going to thwart your efforts to have a bigger say in determining the nominee) and after the message is delivered, and the intent of the sanctions are accomplished.  


    Their process worked fine (none / 0) (#103)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:30:06 PM EST
    Because it wasn't a close election.

    Bottom line (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:08:54 PM EST
    Hillary was prepared to get swiftboated in the GE and she got swifboated in the primary.  

    You mean by team Obama with an (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by nulee on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:17:04 PM EST
    assist from the MSM + lefty dude blogs, right?  Succinctly put.  And now BO, Pelosi, Brazile, etc... expect us all to just get behind Obama? Right, I'll get right on that.

    Great add ons. (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:18:54 PM EST
    And I share your sentiment.  

    I'll get right on that also. . . . (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by nycstray on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:26:08 PM EST
    {ands to the very bottom of long To Do list}

    The one rule before Ohio/Texas/PA/IN/WVa/KY (none / 0) (#111)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 05:56:04 AM EST
    "You can stay in the race and run, if you insist, as long as you don't hurt Barack."

    over at corrente... (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:54:27 PM EST
    we're using the term "race-boating"... which combines "Swift-boating" and "race-baiting" in a really clever way, IHMO.

    Clinton has the most to lose or gain. (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by felizarte on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:09:07 PM EST
    I am sure that whatever is her rationale for the stand she is taking re tomorrow's DNC meeting or whatever committee, will become obvious in a few more days.  The outcome tomorrow will partly show that, as well as her statements after the primaries are done.

    Obama risks (3.66 / 3) (#58)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:45:53 PM EST

    If Hillary gets the nomination, her fight will serve her both short and long-term.

    If Obama is the nominee, his lack of fight and shrugging of shoulders will hurt him for the rest of his political life.

    His Illinois dirty games now being exposed puts this campaign deeply into a pattern of behavior on top of what we're seeing for ourselves with this. It is all about playing fair.


    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:13:59 PM EST
    Actually following the rules would have made the most sense.

    I want to see the rules hold up even after (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by thereyougo on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:14:45 PM EST
    the presumptive nominee gets the nom. and not give him a chance to be in the good graces of FL/MI, by allowing them AFTER the fact.

    If you 're going to follow the rulz, follow the rules til the end. Strip FL of any say whatsoever. That would be fair, IMO.

    It seems certain (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:15:56 PM EST
    that FL and MI will be given some say tomorrow.

    Sen. Clinton has convention options! (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by wurman on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:29:32 PM EST
    Democratic Convention Watch (link)
    Surprising a number of folks, the DNC announced that Florida and Michigan's representatives to the standing Credentials Committee will be seated, regardless of whether their delegates are ultimately seated at the convention.

    Why is this important? Because the Credentials Committee will be the one that ultimately decides whether the state delegations are seated at the convention, especially if the situation remains unresolved going all the way up to August. While each state will be barred from voting on the seating of their own delegates, they can vote on each other's, creating some interesting opportunities for horse-trading votes.

    This is tooooooo funny.

    Does any commenter perceive a potential strategy here?

    So Fl could vote for MI and MI for Fl? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by nycstray on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:36:00 PM EST
    I'm I reading that right? If so, pass the popcorn, lol!~

    Yes. (none / 0) (#72)
    by wurman on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:15:02 PM EST
    Except MI doesn't have any there, there.  The folks who would select the members of the standing committees from MI still don't exist--as per DNC.

    Errr, they exist as people, but not as a committee to do stuff in MI before June 21, 2008, the deadline to submit names, etc., or something like that.

    Maybe the Guv & Sen. Levin can get together & gin up 8 names from the Lansing phone book.

    Then, the people have to be apportioned as per the ratio of the presidential vote results.  So Sen. Clinton gets 55% of the 8, uncommitted gets 40% of 8, etc.  Obama gets ziff.  And then the rounding off has to occur with a precision to 3 decimal places, so Clinton maybe gets 5.

    'Twas brillig and the slithey toves
    did gyre and gimbel in the wabe.
    All mimsy were the borogoves
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Why Alice, I've believed six impossible things before breakfast.

    I misquoted the number. (none / 0) (#76)
    by wurman on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:29:30 PM EST
    FL will have 8 on the committee.

    MI will only have 6.

    Sorry--I was laughing so hard my fingers twitched.


    LMAO! (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by ccpup on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:15:29 PM EST
    My friend who's so politically connected it's friggin' scary told me a couple days ago that Clinton knew what she was doing and had options that bypassed the idiots like Brazile and Dean at the DNC.

    I think this is what she was talking about.  Imagine FL voting to allow MI to be seated and MI voting to allow FL to be seated.  And, with those votes and delegates and the fact that Hillary publicly and repeatedly fought for those votes while Obama tried to block them time and time again foremost on the delegates' minds, she wins the Nod by a decisive margin.

    That's not even taking into account the continuing downward spiral Obama will find himself in as June turns to July and then to August.  If he's appearing Electorally weak now, just wait until we get closer to the Convention and Big Bad Reality has begun to sunk in for the Party!


    It is always hardest on the spectators (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by felizarte on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:37:30 PM EST
    watching a closely fought sports competition.  We don't know what is being said in the team huddles, or the strategy being put into effect.  All we can do really is watch each execution and see whether it gets closer to the goal or keeping the opponent from controlling the play.

    Until the buzzer/bell/whistle is sounded, we don't know. For Hillary supporters such as myself, we cannot afford to lose heart now.  Not while our champion is still out there battling.  We are all entitled to our opinions.  But as for me, just like one other poster said in another thread, I keep my spirits up by finding other posters of like mind and interpretation of events that are obviously subject to many interpretations.  

    It could all be different tommorrow. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Saul on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:47:33 PM EST
    All this could just be a smoke screen.  What is said today and what will actually happen tomorrow can be two entirely different things.

    What it sounds like (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:33:35 PM EST
    is that they're going to hang their hat on the argument not to seat any MI delegates for Obama because all such votes were for the legal entity Uncommitted, thereby also excluding any pop vote count for him in MI. That's an especially interesting argument in light of Walter Shapiro's article mentioning that there are supposedly pro-Clinton Trojan horses among the formally Uncommitted.

    And it sounds like they may actually have the roolz on their side to do this too, if Ickes is correct. How strange it would be if the most apparently outlandish of Hillary's arguments on the MI/FL fiasco turns out to be the one that's effective for her in the end.

    these aren't stupid people (none / 0) (#86)
    by ccpup on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:08:19 PM EST
    on Hillary's team, and neither is she.  If this is what they're doing, then they're looking at a long-range goal which culminates at the Convention.

    A couple of hot, summer months with Obama being battered-and-bruised by the steady, self-inflicted drip, drip, drip of his past and the almost daily gaffes and sense of "what's coming out of the closet NEXT?" -- coupled with the plummeting poll numbers and usually solid Dem Demographics saying "no way!" to voting for him in the General -- may have many SDs switching back to Hillary in a flash come August.

    Again, we're not working with political amateurs here.  They know much, MUCH more than we do and, if this is the route they take, I trust there's a clear reason for it.


    Clinton Is A Good Democrat (4.88 / 9) (#6)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:03:37 PM EST
    My guess is that a deal has already been struck and she knows it and she's not going to upset it.  Saturday will be kabuki.  Enjoy the show.

    Even if that's not the case, she's not going to argue to cut the delegations of other states.  I know that's not what she'd be arguing, she'd be arguing not to cut MI and FL because if you did, you'd have to cut the other states.  But I think this argument is too toxic within the party.  It's the nuclear option not because it's actually damaging (at least so long as all states get seated), but because the Democrats are politically weak.  Remember, some Democratic Senators were demanding Clinton drop out in February because simply contesting the nomination was "divisive."  So Clinton won't point out the DNC's hypocrisy because that would be "divisive".

    Why she's not arguing that Florida and Michigan took prompt steps, is less clear to me.  My guess goes to my first point, the deal is done, some but not all delegates will be seated (I'm guessing half) and she's not going to do anything that will make the DNC too uncomfortable.  They'll make their arguments, but not do anything that would really put the party on the hook.

    I've said all along that Clinton is too good a Democrat for her own good.  If she'd shown half the willingness to split the party that Obama has shown, she'd be the nominee.  Because the Democrats are so weak they actually reward that kind of behavior.  

    I think you may be right wrt to your (4.00 / 1) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:05:16 PM EST
    first point. But I think that what really killed Hillary were the Super Tuesday caucuses that she apparently put almost nothing into.

    Yes (4.66 / 3) (#21)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:16:03 PM EST
    Although to be fair to her, those small state caucuses had never been important to winning the nomination before.  Who would have thought going in that the candidate who won NY, CA, MA, NJ, FL, MI, OH, TX, PA primaries would lose the nomination?  And that she did so because she didn't put resources into the Utah or other red state caucuses?  

    Indeed (4.00 / 3) (#25)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:18:53 PM EST
    It is outrageous that we have a system which allows the winner of all the states you name to not be the nominee.

    Party's Decision (4.60 / 5) (#31)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:23:05 PM EST
    We don't actually have such a system because the other states were not enough for Obama to clinch the nomination.  I'd be very sympathetic to the party if Obama had simply run the table and amassed enough pledged delegates to win the nomination. While they could overturn that, it would be very hard.

    Instead, party leaders have essentially decided to award the nomination to the person who lost all of those states.  Because apparently Democrats are so good at winning presidential elections, they've decided to try doing it this year with one hand tied behind their back.  


    I know I feel like we are part of (4.00 / 2) (#28)
    by nulee on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:20:21 PM EST
    some grand thought experiment that Markos dreamed up and wants to see unfold just for the heck of it.  Damn the results, strategy for the GE and winning.

    BDB (3.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Andy08 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:41:12 PM EST
    You have a pretty breathtaking list there.
    Good and strong comment !!

    Unfortunately, gaming the system worked better. (3.00 / 1) (#104)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 03:45:23 AM EST
    In addition to that list you gave, she then went on to win West Virginia by 41 points and Kentucky by 35.  

    But none of that matters to this group in power.

    Obama's getting 11-12 wins in a row, no matter how non-representative the process and with procedures contested hotly (without acknowledgment) in a few states - and collecting delegates in the strange way they're apportioned (24,000 people getting as many delegates as another region with 125,000 people) -- this was all difficult for Clinton to fight.

    Fight she did, but she had also been responsible for listening to the darker Mark Penn for too long, even after learning that he actually made a plan based on his "belief" that California would be a "winner-take-all" situation.

     An important factor in causing the DNC to ignore her string of wins in states that matter so in November, was what I feel is the 'young' 'male' figurehead reminiscent for some (not me) of JFK, abetted by Ted and Caroline though without good effect in Massachussetts.  Because of others who want to keep their power and control he has the winning path for the nomination if not the election (though things definitely can change before the convention in August).

      Add that those now in power do not want to give that up to the hayseed Clintons again, who apparently wield it strongly -- and with this young man with no history to speak of and clueless in so many ways except for reciting speeches but with dulcet tones in conversational speech when no issues are being discussed, the power structure can mold him and move about the White House as if it is theirs (I can say 'again' for Ted but not for Kerry).  

      So, the alleged anti-establishment figure is put through on a red carpet with lots of protective soldiers on each side put there BY the establishment, so that the latter can keep their power.  They didn't want Obama "hurt" by Clinton running in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, WVa, Kentucky, Puerto Rico and she was told in the way you tell an older smarter sister that the focus is the young brother who should inherit whatever mantle of the 'family' no matter what her accomplishments or his lack of them.

      It was humiliating the constant voicing of how she "can" stay in "if she wants" or "as long as she wants" but only if she "didn't hurt Barack."

      The die was cast long ago.  They don't care if she won all the big necessary states and they don't care if the mass of electoral college poll matches (except CNN's tie today) show her winning against McCain very strongly while Obama is losing to him.  They see him as representing their own power and that's what will decide this.

      Things will only get worse for Obama in the GE, and the only possible saving grace (for those who want Obama as president) is that McCain is also severely weakened.

      A lot will depend on their veeps but not nearly enough in the case of Obama.  I saw on one cable news station that a poll done of many vp running mates for Obama showed that he was not helped by any of them, with one exception: Clinton.

      It'll be interesting to see what happens in August.


    NY, CA, MA, NJ, FL, MI, OH, TX, PA? (2.16 / 6) (#88)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:32:37 PM EST
    For the record, you can claim that Clinton "won" those nine states, but (1) everyone -- including Clinton -- agreed in advance that FL and MI wouldn't count; and (2) Obama actually received more delegates in TX than Clinton. And of the six remaining states, Clinton had no blowouts -- winning with between 52% and 57% of the vote. As a result, Obama received large numbers of delegates from those six states.

    On the other hand, Obama won IL, NC, MN, GA, WI,
    CO, WA, VA -- all large states -- by margins of between 56% and 68%.

    Not only did Obama win caucus states, but he also stayed close to Clinton when she won primaries and achieved several blowouts over Clinton in other states. His delegate victory is more than just winning caucuses in red states.


    troll rating... (4.33 / 3) (#90)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:06:19 PM EST
    for just repeating the same old $4.00 axelrod lies they've he's been told to repeat....

    everyone -- including Clinton -- agreed in advance that FL and MI wouldn't count;

    seriously -- I think that the Obama campaign should be prosecuted for web harrassment or a denial of service attack or something, because this is getting ridiculous.  Its the same lies over and over and over again.  It doesn't matter how many times they've been rebutted, they just keep telling the same lies.


    Troll Rating (2.20 / 5) (#95)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:38:09 PM EST
    Facts are facts. Harold Ickes voted in advance to invalidate the Michigan and Florida results if they did not abide by the rules. Hillary Clinton herself said that the votes wouldn't count until she fell behind and needed the votes for the nomination. To claim that such a statement is indicative of troll-like behavior is absurd.

    The rules are (4.00 / 1) (#105)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 03:48:57 AM EST
    that waivers could be given (as when the Florida Democrats did try to get an amendment passed to move the date to Feb. 5 but the Republican legislature voted it down -- the previous vote to move the date earlier had passed because it was important (for Wexler and everyone interested in valid elections) that a paper trail be required from now on.

     The rules are also that any penalty can be modified.

     And appealed.


    Spike's should be troll-rated (2.50 / 2) (#114)
    by desert dawg on Sat May 31, 2008 at 08:27:12 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton herself said that the votes wouldn't count until she fell behind and needed the votes for the nomination.

    NHPR, October, 2007:


    (caller Q)

        HRC: I signed the DNC pledge not to campaign, not to spend money, in any of the states that were not in compliance with the rules established by the DNC that certainly strongly maintains NH's status.  I personally did not think it made any difference whether or not my name was on the ballot...(remarks about people of NH & IA wanting to win GE)...But if you look at some of the states we have to win, the margins have been narrow, and it wasn't in my view meaningful, but I'm not going to say that there's absolutely a total ignoring of the people in all these other states that won't come back to haunt us if we're not careful about it.

        ( Host Q re: then why not just take your name off)

        HRC: I personally did not think it made any difference, uh, whether or not my name was on the ballot. You know, it's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything, but I just personally didn't want to set up a situation where the Republicans are going to be campaigning between now and whenever and then after the nomination you know we have to go in and repair the damage to be ready to win in Michigan in November 2008.  I'm not going to campaign there before the deadline of the February 5th window, I'm not going to spend any money there, but I did not believe it was fair to , you know, just say, "Goodbye, Michigan" and not take into account the fact that we're going to have to win Michigan if we're going to be in the White House in January, 2009.

        (Host Q re: do you think it was a tactical mistake by Mssrs Obama and Edwards to take their names off?

        HRC: Well, they have to speak for themselves.

    Texas Caucus was (3.00 / 1) (#102)
    by janedw420 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:10:56 PM EST
    a fiasco. I spoke to a staffer who said it was dirty thru and thru. HOW DO YOU WIN THE STATE and get a significantly small number of delegates? not supers-- pledged

    Well, Obama thougth going for those states (2.00 / 3) (#35)
    by fuzzyone on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:26:32 PM EST
    made sense.  He seems to have been right.

    He Only Went For Them (4.66 / 6) (#39)
    by BDB on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    because he was weak in the big states.  Believe me, he'd have rather won California.  

    don't forget democrat anger in those states (4.50 / 2) (#56)
    by clbrune on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:45:06 PM EST
    Not only did Clinton lead in many states Obama ignored, but the Democrat population in the smaller, redder states was easier for him to mobilize.

    I mean, if you're liberal, but surrounded by fundies and policos who want to have school prayer and no choice, you're going to be hungrier for "change." Pennsylvania Democrats?  Not so much.

    I think the caucuses illustrate this, being skewed to the more activist-like Democrats.

    My opinion only.


    That's probably why DC went (3.00 / 1) (#69)
    by independent voter on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:01:07 PM EST
    overwhelmingly for Clinton

    Except that Obama added an important (3.00 / 1) (#70)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:02:35 PM EST
    extra to the Bill Bradley coalition: African Americans.

    I agree (4.00 / 1) (#78)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:34:44 PM EST
    He could only win in those states.  Perhaps Clinton tried harder than we know. Caucuses are very weird animals. I was involved in Massachusetts, once.  It was not pretty.  Hundreds of people showed up in my neighborhood.  I had never even seen them before or after.  They voted en masse.  I was overwhelmed by their numbers. The upshot is we got the weakest Dem. candidate for gov. and we ended up up with Mitt Romney for governor.    

    Her coalition is of the type that can't easily (4.50 / 2) (#106)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 03:55:21 AM EST
    make it to the fewer caucuses.

    So you have the combo of activists and college students, who are freer and energetic, and the difference between caucuses and primaries was vividly shown in Washington, Texas, and Nebraska (as well as other places), making the delegate-collection really off from what far heftier turnouts for primaries (too often not counted by the state) voted.

    Seniors, working stiffs of the type that can't easily get off work, those with children who can't just go do that for hours, people who don't have transportation to the few meeting places, or who can't afford it, those with health problems who need to vote for just self-interest but can't get to the polling places and, of course, military overseas in most cases.


    And who pray tell... (4.00 / 1) (#79)
    by FedUpLib on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:41:00 PM EST
    Is winning California now?  How about New York?

    You may want to keep your argument up to date.


    Clinton's NY numbers are better (3.00 / 1) (#83)
    by nycstray on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:49:53 PM EST
    and Obama will bleed support over the summer. She won't. Same with CA.

    Weak in CA? (2.50 / 2) (#101)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:06:05 PM EST
    Obama held Clinton to 52% in California and received 167 delegates -- more than any other state. The point isn't that Obama was weak in the big states. The story of the '08 nominating season is that Obama dominated caucus states and Clinton could not win sufficiently convincing victories in the big states to make up any of the difference.

    The actual story is that neither Obama nor (4.00 / 1) (#107)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 05:14:55 AM EST
    Clinton could reach the required number of delegates from the election results and that the 'Established order' was for Obama (power retention) as I described in another note here...

    The inability to make the magic number meant a reliance on superdelegates who can vote either way, with a view toward winning in November.  No matter how much more one might  prefer Obama, all the numbers (or 'the math') show he will lose the GE in a rather large way, especially after Republican 527 vetting of this new candidate with little history but questionable long-time associations that will hurt him/us the more the Repubs bring it out for the average 'moderate' American in ads during primetime and during meals on normal network tv (not cable).

     Ironically, a special poll showed that his one chance of winning was with Clinton as his running mate, but many of us are not looking forward to that unless she really wants it because he promises her some meaningful leadership of health care and other family-concern issues.  Then there could be some unified enthusiasm behind the ticket, and her issue-oriented enthusiasm and energy wouldn't go to waste.

    But depending on how often and bewildering the gaffes (fallen heros, uncles liberating Auschwitz, 57 states, Arabic-speaking Afghanistanis) and on any increasing weaknesses (more outbursts from long-time associates such as his "moral compass" Pfleger), even a presumptive nominee could meet up with buyers' remorse by August.


    ST didn't kill Clinton.... (4.00 / 1) (#65)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:51:42 PM EST
    having virtually no organization to speak of in the post ST states (especially Maryland and Wisconsin) did the damage.

    I mean, you don't go from a 10 point win on Super Tuesday in New Jersey to a 23 point loss a week later in Maryland unless something went terribly wrong with your campaign.  

    Obama's delegate lead on ST from all those stupid caucus states wouldn't have made a difference if she'd won in Maryland -- which given its demographic similarities, she should have been able to do.  Clinton won all the states that everyone was watching on ST, and came away with more votes on ST.... and that should have made her "inevitable", and would have if she'd won in Maryland.  


    Maryland is different from NJ (4.00 / 2) (#66)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:53:35 PM EST
    look at the AA percentages in the two states.

    you're right (3.00 / 1) (#91)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:19:16 PM EST
    wow, I didn't realize that MD was 37% AA voters...
    this means that Obama was declared the inevitable nominee solely because of identity voting by AAs....

    which no one was (or probably still is) allowed to say out loud, because it would be 'racist' to state the obvious.


    Not solely but largely (4.00 / 2) (#108)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 05:32:33 AM EST
    The high points of impact for him were Iowa (white, though split 3 ways), South Carolina (yes), Wisconsin (many white - but also pre-Wright et al), and North Carolina (yes, and after a string of losses and before some HUGE losses).

      He'd have been a very strong candidate and we would not have seen so much closeness in the actual voting, especially as we got into the last half, were it not for the almost 2 decades of time with the spiritual mentor he praised in his books; this week the the "moral compass" which was Pfleger to Obama; the "wonderful" new pastor (Moss) who replaced Wright but who praised Pfleger after his 'speech' about Hillary; the soon-to-be-illustrated association timeline with Rezko (bad judgment, which he said was "boneheaded") and increasing evidence that even Ayers (who is fine by liberal Democrat standards but anathema to moderate-to-conservative voters) had more influence than Obama admitted in the Pennsylvania debate, since Ayers started Obama's first run with a fundraiser in his own home and then his family chose Obama for the $50,000,000 fund leadership for distribution to the schools.  

      All Obama has to do is disassociate himself from Ayers' statements of non-rejection of his bombing attempts and say that the University of Chicago has deemed him a responsible member of society today and he looks to what a person does rather than what he doesn't reject.  Hmmm.  Let me think about that phrasing.


    On a percentage basis (3.00 / 1) (#94)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:27:56 PM EST
    behind only Mississippi, the District of Columbia, and possibly South Carolina.

    Wisconsin, Not Maryland (2.50 / 2) (#98)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:50:12 PM EST
    The 17 point victory in Wisconsin -- not a week earlier in Maryland -- made the Obama nomination inevitable. And I'd note that Wisconsin is only 6% black. It had nothing whatsoever to do with "identity voting."

    andgarden is right... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kredwyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:40:30 PM EST
    MD is a lot different than NJ. I've lived in both states...

    Yep (4.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Eleanor A on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:16:20 PM EST
    That's what I said when I first read this, too.  The fix is already in, and it's probably become obvious there's nothing Hill can do the change the RBC vote.

    I'm hoping so, anyway.  Because otherwise, abandoning these other worthy arguments wouldn't be what I've come to expect from our gal.


    If You Read Her Campaign's Letter (3.00 / 1) (#22)
    by flashman on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:16:05 PM EST
    on politico, as linked by jeralyn earler, she doesn't seem to be condeding at all.  I can't account for the contridictions today, but from what I've read, she is still fighting.

    It makes me wonder about the path forward (4.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 03:59:22 PM EST
    The Clinton people seem ready to accept the roolz, even as they've been applied inconsistently.

    I would also observe (3.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:00:24 PM EST
    that their argument sounds more like the one Obama should be making.

    Ah, that's it. Infiltrated by a mole/mouthpiece. (3.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:02:07 PM EST
    Given the committee won't defer (4.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:00:39 PM EST
    to Clinton's arguments on any other issue, it is hard to see why they would defer to her campaign's position on MI.

    Anyone know if they can still go to the (4.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Joan in VA on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:22:51 PM EST
    Credentials Comm. to restore the dropped delegates?

    Nothing they have said, written or otherwise (3.00 / 1) (#34)
    by felizarte on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:26:29 PM EST
    precludes their going to the convention. There is no indication that they are throwing in the towel.

    Whoa! Waitaminnit (4.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Eleanor A on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:17:40 PM EST
    Maybe that's why Clinton would make concessions today...this whole thing is going to Credentials at the Convention anyway...

    We don't know who's on Credentials yet, do we?  Hmmmm....


    last sentence of the timing provision... (4.00 / 1) (#40)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:28:41 PM EST
    BTD, here is the last sentence in the timing provision rule...

    In no instance may a state which scheduled delegate selection procedures on or between the first Tuesday in February and the second Tuesday in June 1984 move out of compliance with the provisions of this rule.

    It turns out that in 1984,

    the first contest was on February 20
    ...well after the "first Tuesday in February" -- so what was this all about?  

    I'm convinced, given Flournoy's blatantly false statement that there were no rules against campaigning in Michigan and Florida (see 20 C 1 b) that neither Ickes nor Flournoy actually know what the rules say...

    (and seriously, Rule 11?  That thing that starts with the word "provided" isn't a sentence, its a long subordinate clause.  what is up with that?)

    Based on things Chuck Todd (3.00 / 1) (#38)
    by bjorn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:27:42 PM EST
    was saying in the last half hour, it seems maybe Clinton made a deal to get FL counted, popular votes and delegates, but not MI.  They might seat the MI delegates 50/50 but the primary votes there may not be accepted by the DNC.  I am just guessing based on what he was saying.

    The DNC ruling (4.50 / 2) (#52)
    by americanincanada on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:39:39 PM EST
    no matter what it is...has no bearing on popular vote.

    They cannot change or alter popular vote totals. they also cannot give popular votes to a candidate who was not on the ballot. It is simply not within their power.


    I understand what you are saying (2.00 / 1) (#54)
    by bjorn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:42:08 PM EST
    But the media will only count the votes the DNC says are "valid."  It would be a big deal if the media accepted the FL vote, which they don't right now.

    Is it possible... (3.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kredwyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:23:51 PM EST
    that the Clinton camp is leaving it to the two states to argue the fairness arguments?

    obvious (2.50 / 2) (#17)
    by manish on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:14:02 PM EST
    They are now left solely with a self interest argument for the Democratic Party.

    Well, perhaps its only my perspective, but hasn't this been pretty obvious for a while?

    Having said that, I'm glad that the Clinton campaign is finally seeing the writing on the wall.  If they desire a unity ticket, the way to do it is not to fight it out to the convention and try and force herself on the ticket, but to make nice with the Obama campaign and make her case to them that she can be a good partner to him, both in the general election, but more importantly, helping move his agenda forward when he is President.

    Well I have to disagree with that one (4.66 / 6) (#50)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:38:58 PM EST
    Your tone aside... Clinton make nice with Obama?  You're kidding right?  Obama will have an extremely difficult time winning without Clinton on the ticket and without her voters.  Keep adding on all the little twists on the knife in the back of Obama apologizing to the country because of Pfleger but not apologizing to Clinton.  Clinton needs to make nice with Obama? pffft.

    shouldn't the entire (4.50 / 2) (#82)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:48:40 PM EST
    congregation of Trinity be apologizing to Clinton for their applause at that event?

    They showed the clip on ABC news (4.00 / 1) (#85)
    by nycstray on Fri May 30, 2008 at 05:52:47 PM EST
    those guys behind the pastor were quite the sight . . . Not going to go over well with some folks.

    A special poll of Obama vp possibilities (4.50 / 2) (#113)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 06:07:56 AM EST
    the other day showed that as of that day Obama was not helped to win by any of them -- except Hillary.

    Guess who should be being nice to whom, if he wants to win in Nov. (if he is the nominee).


    Besides, it's Obama's duty to reach out (2.00 / 1) (#68)
    by clbrune on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:59:51 PM EST
    First, if you go to the likes of Kos and Huffingtonpost, Clinton is a vile and wicked subhuman, compared with Obama's joyous goodness.  Shouldn't he step up, like a gentle Messiah, and embrace his foe?

    Sarcasm aside, the general election won't start until the Obama/Clinton relation is solved.  If Obama is the nominee, it is his perogative to woo Clinton and her supporters, or to spurn them.

    I know if I were running for president I would really want Clinton on my side.


    On the contrary (4.00 / 2) (#32)
    by felizarte on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:24:59 PM EST
    Clinton fights to win.  She sees a clear way into the convention.

    gag... gag... (1.50 / 2) (#62)
    by jackyt on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:48:52 PM EST

    The Michigan argument (2.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:00:44 PM EST
    basically dismantles the "Rules are Rules" argument.  Obviously, it undercuts their argument and puts the whole process in question.  Maybe Hillary's camp does not want to rock the boat that much, but it makes sense that Michigan does.  

    To me, that bit of information, completely destroys the DNC rule enforcement standards.  

    The RBC was boneheaded... (4.25 / 4) (#55)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:42:50 PM EST
    my theory is that Ickes and Flourney and other Clinton supporters on the committee are acting in their own interests, and the interests of their colleagues, in ingoring completely valid arguments, and advancing those which have no merit.

    And they are doing so because the valid and effective arguments exposes the RBC as the bunch of spoiled narcissistic bullies they've been for the last year.  The best argument are

    1. the decision not to grant Florida a waiver was wrong, it should be overturned, and its delegates seated.

    2. The rules must be enforced equally and rationally for all states.  While Michigan violated the rules, and was subject to sanctions, so did IA and NH, and they were granted waivers.  The choice here is one of retroactively applying punishment to IA and NH, or simply granting MI a waiver on the same (lack of) authority that NH and IA were granted waivers.

    And the only reason that the Clinton camp wouldn't use this argument is because it means that the RBC has to admit that it screwed everything up royally, or that Ickes and Flournoy and company are lying to the Clinton campaign about the rules and nobody there has bothered to find out the facts.

    Or it means that a deal has been struck which gives Clinton everything she wants in exchange for not embarassing these bonehead on the RBC.


    I agree (4.25 / 4) (#59)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:46:00 PM EST
    And of course a bit part of what's so upsetting about this is that I was hoping for the Clinton Campaign to reveal the committee for how stupid it was last summer. And as we know, it was EXTREMELY stupid.

    Really it matters not, just the fact the Dems are (1.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Salt on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:57:43 PM EST
    taking to the street to fight a corrupted primary, their own Party, which has been hijacked by a rabid fringe political sect, enabled by a women hating press while preening a fairness doctrine based on faux Rulz, using made up distribution of delegates math not based on number of votes but some strange brew called will and all this against the real WILL of the Base, no explanation or propaganda can cover that stink from a Party that supposedly valued counting every vote.  People get it no one is confused.
    There is no fairness this has been and is a massive political blunder that gave Obama momentum he had not earned with VOTES, fair is not now possible any remedy can not right the wrong with more made up math.
    They broke it, period, why bother with Act II.

    Once they seat the delegation at all, (none / 0) (#112)
    by andrys on Sat May 31, 2008 at 05:59:21 AM EST
    there's an automatic full use of total votes in those two states because these were State-certified total votes and those cannot be changed by Donna Brazile, much as she'd like to do that.

    FL delegates (none / 0) (#115)
    by carogreg on Sat May 31, 2008 at 10:16:44 AM EST
    A simple way to apply the DNC primary rules (disqualifying 50 percent of the delegates), while still allowing the voters' will to be honored, is to   seat the pledged delegates and disqualify the superdelegates.