Saturday's Argument Schedule for Florida and Michigan

McClatchy reports:

Party officials and challengers will make presentations first Saturday, and the campaigns will then make their cases. Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard and Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa, Fla., civil rights activist, will present Clinton's case, while Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., and former Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., will argue Obama's side. Levin is also expected to speak.

Mark Bubriski, a spokesman for the Florida party, said that while Democrats there want all delegates seated, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who will present the state's case, is expected to use a conciliatory tone. According to Bubriski, Nelson is likely to argue, "We want this to be over. Our goal is that this is the day to end it, to move on, to put this entire dark chapter behind us."

After hearing the arguments, the committee plans to break for a private lunch, followed by an afternoon of deliberations.

Legal arguments are not likely to hold sway tomorrow. Why? [More....]

"Everyone on that committee has a real institutional concern for the Democratic Party," said committee member Donald Fowler, a Clinton backer and former party chairman.

"We're not the Supreme Court. We're a political organization," said Allan Katz, a Tallahassee, Fla., city official who backs Obama. [My emphasis]

Given that this is not a courtroom, it makes sense to me the Clinton campaign is not going to raise technical legal arguments about rules but concentrate on arguments that might have stronger appeal to the committee. Common sense arguments.

Hillary isn't conceding that only half the delegates should be seated or that all the delegates should be seated with only 1/2 vote each. She's arguing all the votes should count and all the delegates should be seated. She's arguing the DNC was wrong to punish the 2.3 million voters who came out to vote for her. It's wrong to give Obama delegates that voted uncommitted or voted for her. The uncommitted should remain uncommitted until it's time for them to vote at the convention.

Hillary should get her delegates and her votes per the January primaries. That's her argument.

As a fallback, which is wise in my opinion since the media has convinced everyone, including me, that the committee is unlikely to count and seat both delegations full-strength, she's arguing that for Florida, seating all the delegates with 1/2 vote is better than seating half the delegates with a full vote. It's more inclusive, will result in fewer harsh feelings, and will be better for the party in November.

Big Tent Democrat strongly disagrees and thinks Hillary should make other arguments. If they were in court, perhaps so.

But for tomorrow, I'm willing to trust in Hillary's strategy. They know the committee members and the lay of the land. If they've decided not to advance an argument, it's not because they are conceding or admitting it is wrong, but because they believe it's not viable -- that strategically it's not the right move for tomorrow and it isn't likely to work as well as their other arguments in front of this political committee that is not a court.

I read it as they may be very good arguments, just like BTD thinks they are, but they are not the right arguments for Hillary at tomorrow's hearing.

BTD and I will just have to disagree on this one.

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    Maybe I am jaded.. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by JustJennifer on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:27:33 PM EST
    but I feel the outcome of tomorrow is already decided and whatever is going to happen is just a dog and pony show for the cable news networks to crow about.  JMO.

    I really like Craig Crawford (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:38:04 PM EST
    Through all of this, he's been one of the good guys.  I don't always agree with him, but I always think he's fair.

    Anyway, he's busily dispelling common myths about FL/MI at his blog here.

    Just thought I'd share.

    Me too. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Iphie on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:56:59 PM EST
    He has a way of just cutting through the bs and making points about things based on facts and not on wishful thinking or talking points. He seems to actually think about and comprehend the available information.

    I like him too- and his truth telling (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by kenosharick on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:27:05 PM EST
    is why you rarely if ever see him on MSNBC anymore.

    1.7 million (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by isaac on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:49:17 PM EST
    voters is none too shabby a turnout

    Of course, we won't know until tomorrow, (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by chancellor on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:06:31 PM EST
    but it wouldn't surprise me if others, besides Hillary, are going to argue from the rules point of view. If that's the case, Hillary should stick to the political argument--that the Dems are going to need the full backing of FL and MI voters in the GE. I don't know anything about former Gov. Blanchard's skills, but Arthenia Joyner is the State Senate Minority Whip, and was described (in the comments on a local blog) as FL's Barbara Jordan, in addition to being one of the sharpest lawyers in the state. I trust that Hillary knows what she's doing.

    Wow. "Florida's Barbara Jordan"? (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Cream City on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:15:23 PM EST
    I definitely will be watching Joyner, then.  I have Jordan on video at the 1977 Houston conference, on the stage with all of the First Ladies still with us then.  Every time I hear her magnificent voice, I miss Jordan so much.  And never was she missed more than in the Hill-Thomas hearings, which would have gone so differently had her voice still been there.

    My favorite memory of her, though, is from the Watergate hearings, when she just called out so clearly what Nixon and his ilk had done.   (If there are younger commenters who don't know why and how Jordan made history again and again, at the state level and again in Congress, do look her up.)


    Barbara Jordan: A fitting quote (none / 0) (#156)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:59:28 PM EST
    "If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority."

    The problem is (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:10:42 PM EST
    Ickes EXPRESSLY said Clinton DISAGREES with the Michigan and Florida positions.

    Ickes shouldn't even be addressing the (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:15:02 PM EST
    issue on behalf of Clinton.  He is obviously somewhat torn, given his previous vote; he is also a lightening rod.  Just shut up already.

    True, but that doesn't mean that (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by chancellor on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:20:41 PM EST
    her team has to say so. They can simply argue the political consequences without ever alluding to the rules. That way, even if "the rules" go down in flames, her argument is still viable. We won't know what her team will do until tomorrow, of course, but not taking a position on the rules may be the better part of valor.

    she disagrees with MI (none / 0) (#106)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:14:30 PM EST
    because the plan was to do 69/59 when she got 73 delegates. Why should he get delegates that voted for her? Why should he get all the uncommitted delegates plus four who voted for her?

    Not my point (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:59:28 PM EST
    Michigan's ARGUMENT for full seating is a fairness argument. To hear the Clinton camp, Michigan should only get half of it delegates.

    Question (none / 0) (#171)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:38:57 PM EST
    Don't they really just need half given that is what republicans did in punishing these 2 states?  That would cut this likely (though lame) Republican arguement out.   I am guessing this is where the 50% comes from.

    Just looked up some information (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by chancellor on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:13:49 PM EST
    on Jim Blanchard from his law firm's website:

    "Mr. Blanchard was named Ambassador to Canada in May 1993, after serving two terms as governor of Michigan (1983-1991) and four terms as a member of the United States Congress (1975-1983). In 1992, he chaired President Bill Clinton's successful campaign in Michigan. Governor Blanchard is also former chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and the National Democratic Platform Committee, as well as a former member of the National Governors Association's executive committee."

    This is clearly a man who knows MI, MI politics and Dem. Party politics. I think Hillary is in good hands.

    Blanchard and Bonior (none / 0) (#166)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:19:23 PM EST
    Jim Blanchard has never impressed me. He's not been in elective office since he lost the Michigan governorship. He wasn't a bad retail politician, but wasn't particularly popular among his colleagues in the Congress prior to becoming governor.

    His former collegue, David Bonior, however, is a different story. He will be representing Obama in Michigan. Bonior rose through House ranks to become the Democratic Whip. More than any single Democrat, he was responsible for nailing Newt Gingrich on ethics violations. But he became a Republican target and lost his seat in redistricting in 2002. He reemerged in the public eye in 2007 as John Edwards's campaign manager. He recently endorsed Obama after Edwards came out for Obama. Bonior has strong connections both with labor and within the National Democratic Party. Obama is lucky to have him in his corner.


    GOP reaction (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Davidson on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:44:06 PM EST
    Won't the right wing have a field day with this if MI and FL aren't fully seated, knowing full well that there was selective enforcement of the precious rules and waivers that shouldn't have been given (I'm looking at you, NH)?

    If the GOP decide to push this (And why wouldn't they?), the media will run with it in the fall.

    I don't see why (none / 0) (#84)
    by sander60tx on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:03:29 PM EST
    the right wing will care.  It's not their party.  They penalized some states too.  

    It's about MI/FL (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Davidson on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:10:18 PM EST
    Of course it's not their party.  Jesus.

    The reason why they would bother with this is because it'll help them in the GE not only in MI and FL but also in trying to delegitimize Obama as the nominee or, at least, showing that Clinton was unfairly punished by the DNC to favor Obama.  Remember, this is the first serious woman candidate for president, so it's more than just a primary pie fight so revealing what's been going behind the scenes would rightfully upset Clinton voters, hurting Obama's already anemic chances at earning their votes.


    How would a 50% penalty delegitimize Obama - (none / 0) (#193)
    by minordomo on Sat May 31, 2008 at 01:57:05 AM EST
    - if the difference between seating them at 50% or 100% doesn't affect the pledged delegate outcome (Obama wins in either case)?

    trying to delegitimize Obama as the nominee or, at least, showing that Clinton was unfairly punished by the DNC to favor Obama.

    If it's a 50% penalty, then it is a fair punishment for the states according to the rules.

    To argue that it was an unfair punishment of Clinton to favor Obama, one would have to demonstrate prescience on the part of the DNC that Obama would do so well in Iowa in January, which back in the summer of 2007 hardly anyone expected (including the Clinton supporters on the BRC, who also supported the 100% penalty).

    It's a somewhat convoluted argument to make, and I doubt the Republicans will try to make much of it.


    It's telling (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Steve M on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:09:39 PM EST
    that MI has consciously avoided making any legal argument whatsoever.  Obviously they believe in Jeralyn's advice.

    They barely even bring up the selective enforcement issue, although maybe they will tomorrow.  Their whole appeal is basically "give us back our delegates, do you nutjobs want McCain to win Michigan?"  Kinda funny.

    Steve, that article you posted (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by lilburro on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:26:43 PM EST
    from the Detroit News back in October was really great.  Best read of the day for me.  Seems like the candidates who removed their names from the ballot figured Michigan would get over it before the primaries really heated up.  Or at least, that nobody would remember/care about quotes like this:

    Five Dems pull out of state primary

    Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who signed the bill setting the Jan. 15 primary date, said she was "very pleased that Sen. Hillary Clinton has chosen to keep her name on Michigan's presidential primary list.

    "I am deeply disappointed with the other Democratic candidates who chose to remove their names from Michigan's presidential primary ballot," she said.

    "There is no road to the White House that doesn't pass through Michigan, and Michigan voters will remember who chose to stay on the ballot and who chose not to."

    Who would've thought Obama would become such a media darling we'd hardly hear the Michigan side of the story?


    fascinating... (5.00 / 0) (#160)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:05:58 PM EST
    what's fascinating about the article (which I'd forgotten about) is that the Republican candidates ran, and ran hard in Michigan...

    but, according to pollster.com's aggregate polling data, in Iowa McCain has been gaining on Obama since january, and Obama's lead in that state is down to 3.9 points (from a high of about 12 points), while McCain has held a steady 4.6% lead over clinton in that state since january.

    And New Hampshire seems to care even less about McCain campaigning vigorously in Michigan... he's been gaining steadily on Obama since about December, and while in the past week or two Obama has managed to slightly reverse the trend, McCain is nearly 2 points above Obama.

    In other words, general election voters in Iowa and New Hampshire don't appear to care that much about punishing McCain for campaigning in Michigan even when he's matched against a candidate who took his name off the Michigan ballot.

    So all the sturm and drang by the rulez committee about alienating Iowa and New Hampshire voters was pure BS....


    Clinton Quote (1.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:31:07 PM EST
    Before the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton was asked why she hadn't taken her name off the ballot in Michigan. Her response. It doesn't matter because the votes "don't count for anything."

    Well hey (none / 0) (#146)
    by Steve M on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:49:48 PM EST
    I do my best to add something to the discussion.

    It's nice to be able to find something of value in the News.  My roommate in law school made me cancel our subscription when they published this nasty editorial in favor of Clarence Thomas and against Anita Hill.  It kinda bummed me out because they had the best sports section.


    You've told that story before :-p (none / 0) (#147)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:52:06 PM EST
    Detroit news op ed page is a joke (none / 0) (#173)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:41:28 PM EST
    The detroit news op ed page is a conservative rag.  They argued against work sites have more toilets per number of workers, because it would up costs.  It is just an terrible paper.

    Snow Job (none / 0) (#175)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:52:15 PM EST
    Didn't Tony Snow write editorials for the Detroit News?

    It's not the op-ed page, Oh Mendacious 1 (none / 0) (#181)
    by wurman on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:07:44 PM EST
    Gordon Trowbridge / Detroit News Washington Bureau

    It's a by-lined article (link)

    Straight-shooting there for Steve M


    And that really is the point. (none / 0) (#110)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:19:20 PM EST
    The DNC has to somehow seat all the delegates by means of this, well, process seems too complimentary a term for it.

    I end this evening convinced that all the real arguments were already made behind closed doors, and tomorrow is for the arguments that look best in public. We'll end the day with a half delegate or half vote decision that Clinton will appeal to the Credentials Committee next month.

    In the meantime Obama will get the number of super-delegates he needs to win regardless of full seating of FL/MI and "graciously" ask the Credentials Committee to grant Clintons appeal.


    They do not have a legal position (none / 0) (#123)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:24:44 PM EST
    they have a "fairness" position.

    O.K. I got it. Clinton position: (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:11:25 PM EST
    you were absolutely right, DNC rules committee, to penalize FL and MI by barring all of their delegates.  And you are also absolutely correct adn very generous to permit half the delegates be seated.  

    Then, the Sat. committee rules in favor of seating all the delegates from each state.  And the DNC gets all the credit for doing the right thing for the FL and MI voters.

    win win.


    That's kind of what I was thinking, actually. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by gmo on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:19:56 PM EST
    It's not just about doing what's right, it's also about the RBC saving face.

    But is it worth me getting up to watch (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:20:51 PM EST
    C-Span at 6:30 a.m.  to see if they do the right thing?  

    No, but.. (none / 0) (#118)
    by gmo on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:22:55 PM EST
    ...it'll be worth seeing TL's liveblogging of the event ;)

    Espec. with the dueling viewpoints. (none / 0) (#121)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:23:33 PM EST
    What dueling viewpoints? (none / 0) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:29:21 PM EST
    Oh yeah......the Clinton campaign is shameful, shirking their duty to and misled the voters vs. the Clinton campaign is as brilliant as you can be in this dim situation.  You know me, I'm the incurable optimist so I'm going with the brilliant thing ;)

    And just let me anchor that in with (none / 0) (#129)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:31:00 PM EST
    a HELL YEAH! because all I have left swimming around upstairs tonight are my cheerleading skills.

    Speaking for me only, I think (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:48:30 PM EST
    BTD favors a damn the torpedos, rules-based argument and Jeralyn favors a faith-based approach.

    that's pretty funny (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Jeralyn on Sat May 31, 2008 at 12:19:36 AM EST
    Probably the only faith I have is in Karma -- what goes around comes around - and that we'll all be saying "Told you so" in November.

    I'd say I'm jaded rather than faith-based. If the Dems don't count FL and MI before the nominee is crowned so they have a say in the choice, I doubt either state will go Democratic in November and the Dems won't win the election. because they also won't win Ohio or PA. That's my assessment right now, I hope I'm wrong.

    All the Colorado's, NM, Nevadas in the country (that will probably go for McCain anyway just like the Idahos, Wyomings, Dakotas, etc) can't make up for MI, FL, Ohio and PA.

    Which is why the superdelegates should vote for Hillary.


    that's a switch... (none / 0) (#162)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:09:39 PM EST
    considering that BTD is Mr Unity Pony, and Jeralyn is all for Mrs. Divisive! ;)

    i didn't vote a 1/2 vote! (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by fly on Fri May 30, 2008 at 10:41:40 PM EST
    and when the dems don't count my vote in full, they become what the repubs are to me...crooks.

    The dem party has now de-legitimized themselves to me , forever. They have now stolen my democracy as well as the republicans have.
    You can not have your vote stolen , over and over again, and feel like you live in a democracy. And that is how we floridians feel.

    I wish i still lived in any of the 9 other states i have lived in..but i don't. And i have seen my and my husbands votes stolen over and over agin..and my sons first time to ever vote..he had his stolen as well.

    Well folks , like i say..today it is my vote tommorrow it will be yours. Because everything that is done in Fla comes to other states eventually..we are the testing grounds for how to steal an election!

    I don't think i will ever bother to vote again..it is a waste of time ..hell it won't count by past experience.
    Heck I was an elected Dem delegate in 2004 for the state of Florida..and i have worked my heart out for the very people who today are stealing my vote and the votes of the good dems in my state..actually the largest block of vets in the nation have now had their votes stolen by the two parties of this nation. So many seniors thorugh the years have said to me..there are not two parties..only one party with one big money pot in the middle..i used to argue with them about that..now i agree 100%

    This is not a democracy when almost 2.3 million peoples votes are not counted 100%..it is easy for others to give our votes away ..or to justify it..there is no justification..none!

    It is a very sad day for me to say..i no longer trust anyone in this nation to protect our democracy..it no longer exists to me.

    I was a Poll watcher at large for the dem party in 2004 and 2006 and this Jan 29th..and i will tell you this..i will never volunteer to protect another persons vote again,.I will sit on the beach and enjoy my retirement..of which i have spent almost all my retired time working for the dem party to get these jerks into office that have now stolen my vote!

    Not another minute of my time and not another dime of my money..that is my new motto!

    I will vote against anyone who stole my vote and anyone who supported the stealing of my vote by my own party!My money will go to defeating these peopel and removing them from this dem party of crooks!

    Oh and i didn't start out supporting Hillary..i didn't even like her..I volunteered and went to Iowa to work for Edwards..and i also went to South Carolina as a volunteer for Edwards..all on my own time and dime..i even gave up the Holidays with my family to do so, and my family thought it was good for me to do so...for our nation's sake.

    I worked a caucus in Iowa..i was a co-captain of a large caucus ..that was when i first saw with my own eyes the cheating of Team Obama...and i shared the co-captain role with a lawyer..he saw what i saw and we reported it..to no avail to this Obama DNC.

    Do I sound bitter..no disillusioned ..completely in our electoral process..yes...and disgusted.

    I believe the fix is in..it has been in since the bill to ban the DRE voting machines and mandate Voter Verified Paper Ballots was amended by the republican legislature to change the primary date was signed last May by the Fla governor..and Howard Dean and Donna Brazile planned the take over of our party and our white house!

    If they get away with this now..count on it happening in your state next time!
    Remember..we were the first state to have our votes stolen..out in the open..
     to seat a president in the white house illegitimately
    ..how has that worked out for everyone??????

    Ask Ohio..I bet they didn't think they would be next..but while everyone was looking at Ohio..Fla was stolen just as badly in 2004...and again in 2006.

    fly..a 2004 Elected Delegate from the State of Florida.


    If the DNC doesn't do the "right" thing (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:21:46 PM EST
    Clinton would have to do the right thing and take it to convention then......right?  If they do the right thing Clinton will have to do the right thing and take it convention.  The one thing she has not conceded as far as I can tell is what the "magic" number is.

    Everyone in this nation should be objecting (none / 0) (#184)
    by fly on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:25:43 PM EST
    to this undemocratic move by the not so democratic party!
    I was even on rapid response for the DNC until i found out that Alice Germond the secretary of the DNC was on that committee to steal my vote. When i learned she was on that committee i sent her a nasty note and told her she had alot of nerve asking me to help the Dem party when she was partly responsible for stealing my vote!

    I am throughly disgusted by the dem party right now, and i don't know how that will change in the future.

    I know Obama's people ( his surrogates in the dem party) have manipulated this nomination, and i am disgusted beyond words.

    I am angry and i will not forget this for the rest of my life. A party i have supported with my time and alot of my money, has just blatantly stolen my vote.

    I vow, I will give the money I have given in the past to the Dem party, to candidates that oppose this theft, and that oppose the leadership of this current corrupt dem party.

    And i mean it.



    That Brazile/Begala exchange (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by lilburro on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:22:56 PM EST
    was preceded by this Brazile gem:

    BRAZILE: Well, Lou, I have worked on a lot of Democratic campaigns, and I respect Paul. But, Paul, you're looking at the old coalition. A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don't have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics. We need to look at the Democratic Party, expand the party, expand the base and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Right after an outpouring of support for Democrat Hillary Clinton, this is what "undecided" and "undeclared" superdelegate Donna Brazile has to say.  You can read the whole thing here:  Brazile vs. Begala on CNN: Brazile's Blowout by Jeralyn .  Her defensiveness here is less than inspiring.

    Also, before the primaries of MI and FL, candidates and the local parties said they would attempt to get the votes to count.  Sources for this information can be found on this site if you are interested.  This is much more complicated than "they were meaningless"; tell the 1.7 million Florida voters that, explain that to the downticket candidates, and tell the local Michigan pols to stop telling people to support Obama through uncommitted, because there clearly was no point in doing that.  

    Wexler doesn't want to count all the votes? (5.00 / 0) (#124)
    by AugieDaddy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:26:30 PM EST
    I am flabbergasted the Rep. Wexler, a Florida Democrat, is going to get up before the nation and argue that his constituents votes should not be counted. No wonder I am fast becoming an ex-Democrat.

    Wow, I hadn't heard about this (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:32:50 PM EST
    Next thing I know Feingold is going to be demanding that Florida and Michigan be kicked out of the union (snark alert)

    Isn't that what the post says? (none / 0) (#151)
    by AugieDaddy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:55:43 PM EST
    Wexler is going to argue Obama's side which, presumably, is that they do not think Florida should be fully seated and counted.

    I don't think that Wexler is going to argue.. (none / 0) (#182)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:10:37 PM EST
    ...anything at all, just talk about unity, and how important the rules committee is and what great work they do, etc. etc.

    But the fact that this guy represents Broward and Palm Beach counties -- counties that Clinton carried by 24% and 32% respectively, and counties that were disenfranchised in 2000 by the GOP, tells me that he is completely unprincipled, because Obama has been doing everything in his power to ensure that they stay disenfranhised.

    If I lived there, I'd try to organize a third party run, and use Wexler's betrayal of the will of his constituents as my campaign theme.  I'd use every dirty trick in the book too -- make sure that every Jewish voter in those counties (and there are LOTS of them) know all about Obama's links to Farrakhan, Pleger, and other anti-semites, and how Wexler has embraced his candidacy nontheless.



    I called Wexler's office - they told me otherwise (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Mark Woods on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:52:06 PM EST
    Wexler does intend to argue for Obama, contrary to what we his constituents are demanding.

    I told him my family and friends are seething from Palm Beach to Delray Beach to Miami Beach over his support for Obama and mistreatment of Clinton.

    Obama cannot win FL unless Clinton is on the ticket, because we all know he doesn't want our votes counted, and we have had enough.

    Ben Graber is running for Congress and if you want to punish Wexler send a check to Graber and then call Wexler's office and let them know: 202 225 3001 D.C., 954 972 6454 Broward, 561 988 6302 Palm Beach.


    Look (5.00 / 4) (#130)
    by Steve M on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:32:24 PM EST
    No one here thinks caucus goers are anything other than awesome people.

    It's just that we think people who can't caucus because the system interferes with their lives are awesome people too.

    The process is the problem, not the people.

    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#138)
    by Tuffie on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:43:31 PM EST
    The party desperately needs to fix this whole thing before 2012. It's a Rube-Goldberg device and does no one any favors.

    Left something out (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by fctchekr on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:35:09 PM EST
    Brazile said Obama could win without white working class and Latino voters and Begala said you can't win with only eggheads and African Americans.

    This reminds me of what happened on CNN today. Campbell Brown interviewed Axelrod and he said that Obama followed the rules and took his name off the ballot. Of course he did that on his own accord because the rules didn't require him to.He also campaigned in Florida and the rules forbid him to.

    Let's face it the public can be hoodwinked fairly easily and politicians count on that. The DNC, nor the candidates figured this would last so long and the rules didn't provide for such a close primary.

    So, it's probably only baffling to Obama supporters, who view all with their own biased lense.

    Tuffie, you can't be serious. (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by Anne on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:35:24 PM EST
    Brazile gets tagged as divisive because she is; her taking Begala to task over his "eggheads and African-Americans" comment was a wholly disingenuous and intellectually dishonest response.  For weeks - months - she has been on just about every talking-head and news outlet, pretending to be "neutral" - it was Brazile who said that if the nomination was "stolen" from Obama, she would leave the party, that there would be people in the streets.  It was Brazile who suggested that the party didn't need the votes of whole segments of the electorate - so please do not come here and boo-hoo about Brazile being unfairly tagged as divisive.  The e-mail responses she sent to concerned voters - responses that were rude, dismissive and highly disrespectful of Clinton - those alone ought to remove all doubt about Brazile's interest in unity.

    This woman has been central to the debacle of Florida and Michigan, so her priority is to defend her role and refuse to admit that she screwed this up but good.

    And, honestly, how many times do Hillary's original remarks about Michigan and Florida have to be posted here before you take the time to read them?  It's in just about every thread on this subject, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding it.

    Finally, no one stopped those "thousands of voters" from going to the polls - no one. They weren't left out in the cold by anyone other than those who chose to take their names off the ballot in Michigan - and Clinton was not one of those candidates.

    The simple truth is that the DNC made terrible decisions, and they can either right the wrongs, or keep pretending to be trying to fix it.

    Brazile (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:45:26 PM EST
    Donna Brazile is the slimebag that popularized the lie that Bill Clinton described Obama's candidacy as a fairy tale.

    That was a lie.  A big, flat out, lie.

    Don't call me 'divisive" when I point out the lies told by Obama supporters designed to cast Hillary and Bill Clinton as racists.  

    Donna Brazile is a race p*mp.  She Al Sharpton with a cookbook.

    And somehow, Brazile saw it as racist (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Cream City on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:08:44 PM EST
    -- and I'm still trying to figure out how "fairy tale" is racist.  But other media bought it asap, because it was said on CNN, so it must be so.

    In other words, Brazile had her orders to play the race card and knew how to do so, and where, no matter what a Clinton said.  And it worked because of low-information voters sucked in by media spin.


    Hee! That one got me too! (5.00 / 0) (#168)
    by Grace on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:23:45 PM EST
    I've never been able to figure it out either.  If "fairy tale" is racist, where does "fictional novel" stand?  

    It's supposed to be racist because (none / 0) (#185)
    by FlaDemFem on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:38:03 PM EST
    it labels Obama as a "magic Negro". The link will explain. Way to late to go into it at length in the post. :D

    Relax friend (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:47:04 PM EST
    Don't let other posters get under your skin that much.  It isn't worth it.

    Race Baiting (none / 0) (#189)
    by Spike on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:57:01 PM EST
    "Donna Brazile is a race p*mp.  She Al Sharpton with a cookbook."

    I don't think this is appropriate.


    I don't know why (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by WillBFair on Fri May 30, 2008 at 10:16:39 PM EST
    we aren't making the selective enforcement argument, and yelling it from the rooftops. It shows that the DNC has devolved below the RNC. The republicans used  bull---- rules to steal FL. The DNC are stealing FL and MI.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: with Obama's age, race, and gender baiting, the rest of his dirty tricks, and the DNC's corrupting, this is no longer my party. It's a republican creep fest I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

    you know , it doesn't matter what the candidates (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by fly on Fri May 30, 2008 at 10:53:16 PM EST
    say..this shouldn't even be about candidates..it is we the people's vote..it is my vote..it is a soliders in iraq or Afganistans vote..or their wives vote, or their parents vote. In the past month Fla had approx 5 soldiers killed in Iraq..it was their vote..or their moms and dads vote ..Or it was the vote of sooo many vets..or seniors who worked their entire lives to retire to Florida and live out their lives to see their retirement going to hell in a handbasket..or watching their children work and barely make it with food costs and the costs of raising their grandchildren.

    This is not about Hillary and Obama..it is about the democratic right of Citizens to vote.

    And that right ..born right , has been stolen from the citizens of Florida and Michigan. There is no justification for that. None!

    fly..who has had her vote stolen by the democratic party.

    Can't wait for tomorrow....RISE HILLARY!! (none / 0) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:17:48 PM EST

    What will those arguing on behalf of (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:19:54 PM EST
    Obama say?  Have his campaign held a conference call, published its letter to the committee, spoken off the reocrd, etc.?

    I was going to ask the same thing (none / 0) (#74)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:54:29 PM EST
    Anything official like Clinton's letter out there? I can't find anything.

    Why would Bill Nelson adopt (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:27:21 PM EST
    a conciliatory attitude? Answer: for the same reason the Clinton campaign is refusing to make a rules-based argument for why the FL and MI delegates should be seated: they're looking to appear as though they fought for the voters, and then, after the last primaries, to end the campaign and concede.

    The other possibility is that they're planning to fight all the way to the convention, not in the name of the voters--they appear to be giving up that argument tomorrow, but because they will have a laughable popular vote "argument" that does not concede that anyone wanted to vote for Obama in Michigan. (That is unless Hillary has a massive victory in a huge turnout race in PR).

    I like neither option, and wish Hillary would have actually fought for the FL and MI voters.

    I strongly disagree (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by feet on earth on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:11:44 PM EST
    the mess about disfranchise voters is all on Obama lap: He alone stop the revote.  IT IS HIS BIG MESS.

    Hillary is a politician, not Obama or the party's personal dishwasher.  She has no responsibilities whatsoever to act as the Democrats cleaners.  Her only responsibilities is to run her campaign the best she van to win the nomination.  She has decided to be politically strategic to win, it her job to to this as best as she can.  Doing the legal thing for the voters that were royally screwed up by Obama could possibly be cripple her chances to win.

    Enough already with advocating assigning to Hillary the cleaning lady job. Women's work is not relegated to cleaning duties. Let the man clean his mess, for once.


    Whatever (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:14:28 PM EST
    Furthermore, (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:29:19 PM EST
    we would not be in this position if the Rules Committee had actually cared about the rules last August.

    I guess I'm wondering... (none / 0) (#152)
    by madamab on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:57:02 PM EST
    if they didn't care about the rules then, why would they care about them now?

    Why appeal to them based on the rules?


    She HAS fought for the voters (none / 0) (#6)
    by masslib on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:30:48 PM EST
    of Florida and Michigan.  She's done so for months.  Bill Nelson is speaking on behalf of Florida not Hillary.  She wants all the voters seated.  My guess is the Party "elders" are threatening her that they will never be seated by this hack of a committee and she'll be hurting Obama's chances if she presses that argument, and handing fodder to the GOP.

    In the end, she will not have gotten (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:32:59 PM EST
    them full representation. She will not be putting forward their best argument.

    Jeralyn might be right that the rules committee is political theater from top to bottom. That seems likely to me. But if that's the case we should probably not pretend that there was ever any fight to have.


    We, kemo sabe? (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:52:04 PM EST
    I could just as easily have said (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:54:31 PM EST
    "no one should have ever pretended."

    Yes Hillary has fought for the voters of Fla and M (none / 0) (#191)
    by fly on Sat May 31, 2008 at 12:22:23 AM EST
    That is why i am an avid supporter of her today, because she has been a supporter of my vote.

    No one has spoken out about the injustice to the voters of Fla and MI more than Hillary!
    And I Thank Her from the bottom of my heart!
    History will show Hillary as a valiant fighter for democracy as it once was!
    The legacy of Obama , Dean, Brazile, Pelosi and Reid and the democratic leadership of this time in history will not be kind to them, nor should it be.

    They will have put the final nails in the coffin of this democracy.



    I wish the Clinton campaign had submitted (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:33:49 PM EST
    the best damn rules-based brief possible.  Then, get each and every committee member on record saying each had read the brief and had no questions.  Sounds like the committee will get the first bite of the apple tomorrow morning, probably in the form of the already-released legal opinion on behalf of the committee.  Making me think this is a done deal.  But at least Clinton would be on record on behalf of FL and MI delegates being seated and the votes counting; even if FL and MI are not as forceful on their own behalfs as Clinton was for the voters of those states.

    It does indeed sound like a done deal (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:35:49 PM EST
    And so if Hillary actually wants to go to the convention with a rules based argument, she pretty much has to present it at that meeting.  It looks like she will not.

    isn't there a possible appeal to the (none / 0) (#91)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:08:13 PM EST
    Credentials Committee next month? I know, it makes my head hurt thinking about it, but tomorrow is not the last play before the convention.

    I think Hillary's intent is to go to the... (none / 0) (#89)
    by cosbo on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:07:54 PM EST
    convention, no matter what. That is the only other way for her win. If they seated all her delegates at 100% tomorrow she would still be behind Obama and the party could still back Obama anyway. The only way now, I think its going to the convention and a deliberate strategy of chaos around the MI/FL votes is being put into play so that the whole thing can in fact go to the convention.

    I think she knows she's not getting her (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:09:53 PM EST
    way tomorrow and is taking t to the Credentials Committee next month and then possibly to the convention.  

    Or else just the threat of that will cause Obama and the DNC to give in and seat the dang delegates.


    Karen Thurman email just received (none / 0) (#7)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:31:14 PM EST
    Dear XXXXX,

    More than a year ago, Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor decided to move our state-run presidential primary election in violation of both the Republican and Democratic National Committees' rules.

    After determining that no viable alternative existed, the Florida Democratic Party was forced to move forward with the early primary as the only way to give all Florida Democrats an open and fair election with maximum participation, regardless of disability, military service or anything else.

    Party leaders feel very strongly that the people of Florida deserve to be heard in the nominating process and represented at the National Convention. Unfortunately, because of national party rules, Florida Democratic delegates have been in limbo.

    Tomorrow, I believe that will change.

    I believe that the DNC's Rules & Bylaws Committee will restore at least half of our delegates, which would put us on par with Florida Republicans (whose national party halved their delegation).

    The Party has not made any specific recommendations to the DNC since we submitted our delegate selection plan, but we have consistently noted that a record-breaking 1.75 million Florida Democrats voted in the state-run January 29th primary, which had all the candidates on the ballot.

    Tomorrow, the Rules & Bylaws Committee will hear an appeal written by Florida DNC Member Jon Ausman. I have asked our senior U.S. Senator, Bill Nelson, to present on behalf of Florida Democrats. Several of our Congressional and DNC members will also be there to show their support. You can watch it live on C-SPAN, CNN or MSNBC beginning at 9:30 AM.

    I sincerely hope that this meeting brings closure to a dispute that has gone on for way too long.

    Florida is the nation's largest battleground state, and the Democratic nominee - no matter who it is - is going to have a strong opportunity to win here.

    It's time to unite and move full speed ahead toward November to elect a Democratic President.

    I'll report back to you after the committee issues a decision.

    Thank you for your support,

    Congresswoman Karen L. Thurman
    Chair, Florida Democratic Party

    Half the delegates? (none / 0) (#10)
    by masslib on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:33:38 PM EST
    This is so wrong.  It must at the very least be the full delegation with half votes.

    Half the delegates punishes the (none / 0) (#19)
    by Newt on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:45:57 PM EST
    party insiders who did not block this change. It's very reasonable to punish the delegates as opposed to the voters, and the public will probably view it that way.

    those delegates represent the will of the voters. (none / 0) (#187)
    by fly on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:39:06 PM EST
    the delegates are you and me..they are our votes and our voice...the public in Florida i know are angry and damn angry. And 1/2 a vote will not satisfy any of them, i assure you of that.

    And in 2004 i was not a dem insider..i was a just retired flight crew of one of the airlines involved on 9/11 and i was based in NY and i had just taken early retirement. I ran as a delegate to be a vouce for my co-workers that lost their voice on a beautiful sunny September morning. I was a novice at politics..and i ran against seasoned politicians and i won one of three delegate  women positions  in my Large Fla county.

    I became a Delegate to represent "we the people"

    I went to every caucus i could at the convention..more than any other delegate from my county..i drove myzself nuts getting to as many caucus's as i could.

    I was just a regular mom and housewife and working woman.

    I was not a party "insider' ..i had just moved to Florida, after retiring.

    And there were many people just like me as delegates. In fact i was surprised how many flight crew there were as delegates from so many states..we all wanted to be a voice for the failures of our elected officials.

    So when you strip Delegates, you are stripping the representation of yourself and your vote!



    And there is where we go (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:51:59 PM EST
    "I believe that the DNC's Rules & Bylaws Committee will restore at least half of our delegates, which would put us on par with Florida Republicans (whose national party halved their delegation)."

    That is what you will get for florida.

    Michigan? who knows?

    the Clinton camp lost ALREADY without firing a shot.


    White flag. but why? (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:53:22 PM EST
    apparently (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:55:48 PM EST
    I am too stupid to understand that this is brilliant strategy.

    Someone needs to explain it to me.


    That's what it amounts to (none / 0) (#33)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:57:06 PM EST
    I guess Hillary's campaign will use the same wunderweapons that the Democratic leadership did when it promised to end the war in Iraq.

    BIll Clinton is strangely silent today. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:58:54 PM EST
    I agree with you, BTD.  Why jettison your reporting position ahead of time?

    I am told this is brilliant (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:02:00 PM EST
    For the life of me I can not understand why. Even for PR purposes, Hillary does not even look like she is fighting for Florida and Michigan anymore.

    Maybe she doesn't want to fight harder (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:09:41 PM EST
    than Thurman, et al., who seem to be happy with the 50% delegates solution.

    Heh (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:12:02 PM EST
    Do you think (none / 0) (#44)
    by cmugirl on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:13:14 PM EST
    that behind the scenes they are even threatening her Senate seat when she comes up for re-election?

    Who could possibly threaten her Senate seat? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:18:28 PM EST

    I don't know (none / 0) (#55)
    by cmugirl on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:25:30 PM EST
    But maybe something like the Dems won't work with her in the Senate, and in 2012 will give her a challenger.  Who knows?  I don't trust these people as I could throw them?  

    Tin foil hatty I know, but I've admitted all along that I am a conspiracy theorist.


    come on! (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by ccpup on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:26:11 PM EST
    the one she just won by a landslide in 2006?  Pelosi and Dean will lose their positions before Hillary loses re-election in 2012 ... assuming she's not running for her second term as a wildly successful, popular President.

    I strongly doubt Hillary feels threatened by the likes of Brazile, Dean and Pelosi.


    Like I said (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by cmugirl on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:32:48 PM EST
    I think these people are capable of anything -and it was just a theory as to why she seems to be backing down on this fight.

    It's not like the Clintons - unless they have an ace in the hole.


    I think the DNC may be setting up (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by FlaDemFem on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:12:14 PM EST
    a situation where they can gracefully dump Obama, he has become somewhat toxic already. If they seat the FL and MI delegations, or even part of them, and she has a lead in the popular vote, then at the convention they can claim the will of the people in nominating her. They can't say that Obama just isn't up to the job and that his closet has way too many skeletons, scary ones at that. They have to find a way to do it that makes it look like they were forced into it by "the people". That's us, by the way. So it's not the DNC running as fast as they can from Obama, it's the voters. I think they are starting to see what a bad mistake they have made, they have a fractured party, and are getting angry calls, emails and letters from disgusted Democrats. It might be getting through to them. And they are setting it up so that they can stand by their "roolz" and still dump Obama at the convention. I think that is why Bill Clinton is being a good boy these days. He knows, or suspects, that the SDs are turning towards Hillary. They just need a good excuse. Like voters insisting on it.

    exactly (none / 0) (#65)
    by ccpup on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:40:05 PM EST
    I strongly suspect that they know something we don't.  Something which has not only the potential to change the minds of the SDs, but also change the race entirely.

    As I said earlier on this Thread, these people aren't stupid and if they're making a decision which may confuse some, you can be guaranteed there's a clear-cut reason for it and plan behind it.

    95% of what happens in political wheeling and dealing is done out-of-sight of the public.  And the Clintons are, if anything, politically astute people.  I fully trust they know what they're doing and are looking long-term to the Convention.


    I believe your name is spelled incorrectly (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by samanthasmom on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:12:37 PM EST
    forgive my being thick (none / 0) (#194)
    by ccpup on Sat May 31, 2008 at 02:09:07 PM EST
    but what do you mean?

    If you're talking about my "ccpup" moniker, it's named after my dog Cinnamon who I called ccpup when she was a puppy.


    Huff Post had an article up saying (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:03:24 PM EST
    African American leaders in NY opined she would have a difficult time being re-elected.

    I don't mean to deny the feelings of the voters (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:11:42 PM EST
    out there, human beings are volatile though.  Today there are people she represents feeling disgruntled but once the primary is over, if she doesn't land the nomination most of it will quickly pass.  She is a good Senator, she will continue to represent her constituency well and that will be the lead story in New York.

    Probably traceable to that half-baked thing (none / 0) (#150)
    by nulee on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:55:30 PM EST
    from the LA Times earlier this week.  I think it is rubbish.  Some of this stemmed from impolitic comments from the new governor Paterson (who is AA) - bottomline - all highly anecdotal, I really doubt this has anything to do with the meeting tomorrow, Ariana would like us to believe otherwise.

    In that case, (none / 0) (#154)
    by Grace on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:57:17 PM EST
    maybe she and Bill could move to California and she could run for Feinstein's seat (I hear Feinstein is retiring).  California would love to have her.  

    That works for me since I'll be moving there ;) (none / 0) (#169)
    by nycstray on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:26:28 PM EST
    Are you having fun yet? (none / 0) (#103)
    by samanthasmom on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:11:50 PM EST
    Perhaps this is the scene in the kabuki (none / 0) (#62)
    by rhbrandon on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:35:47 PM EST
    theater winding up on Tuesday evening to get the nomination process over with.  This might be the way Sen. Clinton gets her experience on the ticket as the VP candidate.

    Something to get used to whether anyone wants to or not: it's the only way to the vaunted "unity ticket" that has any chance of going forward.

    Hillary may not get the opportunity in 2008 or even 2012: her magic year may have to be 2016.


    I don't get it either (none / 0) (#37)
    by SpinDoctor on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:07:36 PM EST
    While I am pleased at their decision, it is baffling nonetheless.   From a legal and negotiation standpoint, it made no sense going into tomorrow having neutered themselves voluntarily.  Why not reserve all of their legal arguments at the outset with an understanding that if the rulings were not in their favor, they had a fallback, compromise position in place.  They strategy flies in the face of very basic negotiation tactics and also disillusions many supporters who believed they were taking up a righteous cause.  Would have been much more sensible to raise all of the arguments and if they lost, at least they went through the motions of standing up for those voters who they have claimed were disenfranchised.  Also, it couldn't have merely been for party unity as they could have awaited the decision and issued a statement after the fact saying that while they disagreed with the ruling, they at least had a chance to present their side and they will accept the judgment of the committee in the spirit of comity.  

    This decision ranks right up there with Guliani's Florida strategy.


    Well (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:11:45 PM EST
    at least one other lawyer agrees with me.

    Maybe this... (none / 0) (#83)
    by Exeter on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:03:27 PM EST
    Clinton has the votes on the committee and the spin is targeted more at not stepping on twos of two or three key committee members.

    Saving it for the appeal to the credentials (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:01:08 PM EST
    committee perhaps?  Maybe they know they won't get any farther with this committee than Karen Thurman did back in August.  Does anyone know what arguments Clinton could make now that Thurman did not make then?

    They would have no credibility (none / 0) (#98)
    by SpinDoctor on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:10:45 PM EST
    There would be no good reason to concede the point now and then attempt to claim the exact opposite before the Credentials Committee.  The moment they took the public position that Michigan and Florida broke the rules, they effectively precluded themselves from reasserting that argument again.  

    It is why it made NO sense to concede that point during their own conference call.  It made far more sense to argue that Michigan and Florida did not violate the rules and even if the Committee found that they had, then at least they made a good-faith argument on behalf of the voters whose interests they were purportedly fighting for.  There is simply no logical explanation for what they did today if they were interested in having both delegations sat in full. So either she has decided to concede or is using this gesture as a way to try to persuade super delegates that she is being reasonable and not advancing any argument simply to win.  Or her campaign officials actually believe that MI & FL broke the rules and they are unwilling to make a bad-faith argument simply to score political points.



    Actually it makes complete sense (none / 0) (#167)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:23:09 PM EST
    if all she wants is to be able to count the PV from both states. Half-delegates work just as well as full delegates for that. She knows she won't catch up in delegates anyway.

    If there is a behind the scenes deal, maybe her price for letting this be settled is that the committee (and Obama) accept that the MI Uncommitted stay in the Uncommitted column until the convention. Ickes certainly was emphasizing this. If she can deny Obama the PV and delegate count from MI at least until the convention that gives her her best chance to rack up her PV totals, suppress his, and keep the race open by raising the total delegates needed.


    Here's the thing I still don't get (none / 0) (#172)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:40:34 PM EST
    Wish I had gotten back to you earlier, because you seem like you could explain it.  If they wanted to argue that FL did not violate the rules, what argument could they make in support that was not already made by the FL Dem party back in August, and rejected by this very same committee?

    I do agree with you that whatever that argument is, they can't not make it tomorrow, and then try to make it later.  I think they have concluded through back room talks it is a losing argument.


    wow, I get to agree with Jeralyn (none / 0) (#8)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:32:24 PM EST
    for once on this topic.

    The fallback position is wise and necessary

    1. It is a "fallback" position -- its unsatisfactory, and doesn't mean it ends there.  If Clinton doesn't get what she wants, it gives her the perfect excuse to continue on.

    2. having all the elected delegates in Denver with half a vote makes it much easier in terms of getting full representation at the convention.  

    my biggest concern, after hearing Ickes and Fourney today, is that no one on the committee actually understands the rules themselves well enough to rebut a bad 'rules based' argument that will be coming from slime like Brazile.  We need our BTD there to call the Obot on the committee on their lies and mispresentations.....

    It seems to me that you should not (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:34:27 PM EST
    counter one bad rules based argument with another argument that is not actually rules based at all.

    I was simply commenting on the fallback... (none / 0) (#75)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:58:19 PM EST
    strategy, not the completely idiotic argument that team Clinton wants to advance.

    the only reason I can see for using the stupid argument is if a deal has been made to seat everyone as elected in exchange for not showing the world what a bunch of craven idiots run the DNC.

    But the sheer stupidity of some of the stuff that Ickes and Flourney said today tells me that the Clinton Team is getting some really bad advice from those two... I mean seriously, Flourney does not know that the rules prohibit candidates from campaigning in states that have been sanctioned for violating the timelines?   That if they campaign in one of those states, they can get no delegates from it?

    The reason that Obama went to the 4 pledge states for permission to run his Florida ad is because there was no penalty involved if he campaigned in Florida -- he had nothing to lose because the DNC had already stripped ALL the delegates from the state, eliminating any leverage they had over the candidates themselves.


    I agree that Hillary is getting bad advice (none / 0) (#80)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:01:53 PM EST
    I see the sinking ship phenomon here, and I think Hillary is unwise to trust Ickes.

    Um, OK (none / 0) (#88)
    by andgarden on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:07:10 PM EST
    You've never posted here under other names, have you?

    Foobar, that's not true (none / 0) (#186)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 11:38:31 PM EST
    I have you under another name in which you did nothing but complain about TL.

    You are not a Hillary supporter (which is fine) but your comments make you out to be one and people don't know you are being sarcastic.

    Your false information that she will be in DC tomorrow to address the committee and your referring to others as "inferior" is unacceptable.

    You're banned.


    Maybe the committee will auth. a conference call? (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:36:46 PM EST
    A flallback position is (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:50:27 PM EST
    just that, a fallback position.

    It is not your INITIAL position.

    Why would you concede your initial position to take a fallback position?


    lowering expectations? (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by kredwyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:22:15 PM EST
    I don't know what's going on...but I think we need to sit back and watch.

    Got your worry beads ready?


    It would be cool if this were the Clinton (none / 0) (#16)
    by bjorn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:38:53 PM EST
    campaign playing the expectations game as they have done fairly after NH, downplaying expectations.  And, then we get an excellent, more than expected finish, like seating all the delegates, counting all the votes.  I know it is wishful thinking, but it could happen!

    I'm sure she favors one over the other... (none / 0) (#17)
    by independent thinker on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:39:09 PM EST
    "Florida, seating all the delegates with 1/2 vote is better than seating half the delegates with a full vote."

    This is because in the first scenario Clinton would net a 19 delegate gain, but she only nets a 6 delegates gain in the second secenario. Altruism aside, she is still a politician.

    There is something else the committee should consider tomorrow. Have a look at this interesting piece over at TPM: http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/05/primaries.php#more

    The gist of the above link is that both FL and MI voter turnouts were well below those of virtually all other contests to date, suggesting that many voters stayed home because they believed the vote was meaningless...Heck, the article even points out that the 2002 MI state primary for governor had 400,000 more people participate!

    Florida had a record turnout (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:53:20 PM EST
    that's undeniable. And fact.

    not because it was meaningless... (none / 0) (#81)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:02:48 PM EST
    the reason for the relatively low turnout is lack of media attention -- people turn out in record numbers when they think their vote is important -- and the media is what makes it important.  "Lower turnout" isn't about "meaninglessness", its about whether the media is telling people that the vote is important.

    that is not correct.. (none / 0) (#148)
    by fly on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:53:29 PM EST
    I read in the Fla papers and from the FDP that the dems had 4x the number of voters than we had for the primary in 2004.

    I don't trust anything TPM anymore..they are nothing but propaganda for Obama!

    fly ..from fla


    I also think that this approach... (none / 0) (#18)
    by sander60tx on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:44:54 PM EST
    will play better in the media and sit better with much of the public (excluding ardent Clinton supporters).  Unfortunately, some have wrongly characterized her effort to count the votes of FL/MI as a "nuclear option" and I think that a knock-down-drag-out fight tomorrow would reinfoce this notion.  There is no way the DNC would let that be televised, anyway.  Most likely deals were made behind the scenes and tomorrow's meeting will simply be a public performance of the result of those deals.  It will be interesting to see what the Obama folks do.  

    Why will it play better? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:48:43 PM EST
    you think it will play better to argue that FL and Mi were rule breakers?

    You think it will play better to accept that FL and MI were treated fairly?

    Please explain to me your theory of why this will play better?


    Don't really have a theory... (none / 0) (#76)
    by sander60tx on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:59:32 PM EST
    it's just my feeling.  Her stance may not make her supporters happy, but her supporters are already on her side.  If she goes "nuclear" (whatever that means... but some might say that involved insisting on full seating of all FL/MI delegates), she makes enemies that she may later need as allies. What if by some miracle she won the nomination... she would need the other side to vote for her!  What if Obama loses?  She will want another chance in 2012!  I'm thinking maybe she doesn't want to burn too many bridges.  As for the voters, they still get a voice even if it is only 50%.  I didn't notice very much uproar on the republican side when states were also penalized 50%. The allocation of pledged delegates doesn't make any sense anyway and very few people understand it.  Clinton is focusing on the popular vote, not the pledged delegates.  It may not get her the nomination, unless something very significant happens with the superdelegates, but it will read well in the history books and it may still provide a strong rationale for the unity ticket.

    he's right... (none / 0) (#109)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:17:58 PM EST
    it might play better.

    Face it, the media refuses to understand what has really happened.  Its not like it hasn't been explained to them over and over again.  They just refuse to understand it because it is not consistent with "village wisdom".

    and because the media has already rejected the fact based argument, and is obviously quite open to complete BS if they are told to accept it by "leading Democrats", the stupid argument will be considered legitimate.

    I was actually kind of hoping that the stupid argument was a trap -- the kind of thing that someone would object to on the grounds that we object to it.... and then there is the colloquy...

    "That's from rule 20 C 7 right?  Did Iowa follow that rule as well before the committee gave it a waiver?"

    "Well, uh...it didn't have to.  It was in the window"

    "What window.  Would you point me to the provision in the rules that say that Iowa can move its caucus date earlier than the date specificed in rule 11 as long as its 'inside the window?"

    "[some BS answer]"

    "No.  that's not what I'm asking.  I want to know where the committee got the authority to ignore the specific 50% penalty provision in the rules for violating the specific timing requirement for the Iowa caucuses"

    "[we're the rules committee.  we can do what we want.]

    "Really?  I'd like to ask each member if that is their understanding of the rules committee?"


    I mean, a decent lawyer could make each and every one of these people look like absolutely craven idiots....


    Paradox - It's not in Clinton's best interest ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by dwmorris on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:46:48 PM EST
    to get all her delegates seated on 5/31.

    She needs a rationale to stay in until the convention. A failure to fully resolve the MI/FL controversy gives her a defensible position.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:46:55 PM EST
    You misunderstand my point.

    In law, you of course want to make the most appealing argument, but when rules or law are involved, you must give the decisionmakers a rule based fig leaf with which to cover their "fairness" based decision.

    And indeed, here Clinton has thrown away both a rules based argument (Florida's safe harbor) and a fairness based argument (Michigan's argument about selective enforcement).

    The question is this, why weaken your hand at all? What does Clinton's argument GAIN from this?

    Is it NOT easier to argue for the full seating of Florida and Michigan if you can argue that Florida INDEED complied with the rules and that Michigan was treated unfairly as compared to NH and South Carolina?

    If these arguments somehow interfered with the most compelling argument, I would grant you your point, but they do not. Indeed, they BUTTRESS the main point.

    What the Clinton camp did today simply makes no sense - in a court of law, or in the court of public opinion. I frankly think it is incomprehensible, even indefensible.

    One thought on this... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by gmo on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:45:24 PM EST
    The people making the decision tomorrow are also the people who made the decision to penalize FL & MI in the first place.

    Asking those people to both acknowledge that 1. they made a mistake AND 2. that they now must overturn it (incidentally, in favor of the majority of those people's preferred candidate) looks bad on both cases.

    Clinton agreeing that there was ample reason to penalize both FL & MI, and now explaining that there's reason to overturn that decision, at least helps the RBC save some face on the first point, and potentially lets them "do the right thing" on the second.

    Just a thought -- it's not a good arguing strategy to give away your strongest point, but it does make sense in currying favor with the board to say "okay, yes, you were right to do what you did then, but now you must ALSO do what is right."    

    Just a thought.


    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:11:09 PM EST
    I don't find those arguments compelling. The compelling argument to me is:

    2.3 million people, a record turnout in these states, came out to vote and did nothing wrong. they should not be penalized.

    Democrats put MI and FL at greater risk in Nov. if it disenfranchises those voters. We don't nominate based on 48 states.

    It's unfair to give delegates to Obama who voted for Hillary or to award him a share of the popular vote when he took himself off the ballot. Just because John Edwards switched to Obama doesn't mean those who voted uncommitted but supported him now would follow his lead and support Obama. There also may have been genuinely undecided voters who since changed to Hillary.

    I don't think anyone on the Committee would be swayed by the other early states not being penalized. The DNC made its position clear, it was okaying early primary in those other states but not in FL and MI.  That's like a typical white collar defendant who complains not that he isn't guilty but that he shouldn't be punished because other corporate big shots did the same thing and didn't get charged. I've never seen it work with a judge and I doubt it will work with a political committee. It sounds like a whine, not a defense.

    I disagree that by not advancing that argument tomorrow Hillary's campaign is conceding anything. She's choosing not to make that argument. That's not a concession the DNC was right in stripping delegates, it's a strategic decision that argument gets them nowhere.

    They are focused on the popular vote, not pledged delegates. They can't win pledged delegates. But if even half the delegates are seated tomorrow, they have the argument for counting at least FL's popular vote. If she does well in Puerto Rico and South Dakota, she's in an even positon until the superdelegates weigh in: He has the pledged delegates, she hopefully will have the popular vote. Then they can turn to electability and the electoral map and even the overrepresentation of caucus delegates in the pledged delegate total as a reason to give greater weight to the popular vote total than pledged delegates.

    Hillary is arguing that all delegates be seated full strength and all votes count. As a fallback, she's urging all delegates be seated with 1/2 vote each. That's her best shot in my view.


    I agree with Jeralyn on this (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:17:30 PM EST
    I hope you are right (none / 0) (#117)
    by bjorn on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:22:26 PM EST
    It seems way to reasonable and nice to work, but heck, maybe we aren't giving the comm enough credit.

    I'm not sure it'll work (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:44:49 PM EST
    It is sort of like dealing with your kids, the DNC has been nothing if not childish and juvenile, when they want the two Rottweiler puppies.  Support them fully in obtaining said puppies when it is their apartment and not your house that is going to be dismantled and see how long they still fight your opinion about having those puppies.

    Jeralyn... (none / 0) (#136)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:39:15 PM EST
    the argument that BTD is rightfully objecting to is the one that provides the rules based rationale for acting on the political consideration you cite.

    The argument that the Clinton team is offering as the one that empowers the rules committee to do the politically smart thing is completely and utter bogus.  

    In other words, we are looking at one of two things going on here...

    1. an agreement has been reached already, the rules don't actually matter, all that matter is that Team Clinton doesn't make the RBC look like the idiots they are with solid arguments, and they get something for doing so.

    2. Team Clinton is being staffed by complete morons who know less about the rules than I was able to figure out with one google search and less than 10 minutes reading time.

    Now, if you think the first option is what is going on, then the nature of the "authority" rationale doesn't matter -- the only question at this point is whether what Clinton settled for makes her look as bad as the Obots say, because it ignores the "principles" that she claims have been the basis for her Florida or Michigan arguments.

    But if you don't think that is what happened, then you should be really concerned, because there is no basis in the rules that suggests that the rules committee CAN accept that argument as valid.


    Jeralyn, What do you think about (none / 0) (#145)
    by derridog on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:49:03 PM EST
    the rumors that Nancy Pelosi is teaming up with Obama to have a huge number of Superdelegates declare for Obama before the last primaries are over -or (the other option)  give it to Obama right after the primaries are over?

    In other words, do you see any way that Clinton could pull this off or are we just pipe-dreaming -and the fix is already in?


    My impression (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimotto on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:47:45 PM EST
    is that Clinton already has 5 of the uncommitted delegates, while Obama has 31.  The other 19 will be selected in 2 weeks I think?  So these delegates are supposed to remain mute until the convention?  How is that supposed to work?

    It will be interesting to see what happens.  If they seat half the delegates from each state as voted, even if Obama gets zero from MI, after PR, MT and SD vote, and the 22 add ons from states he's won are selected he'll only be roughly 30 delegates from the nomination .  And that's with 12.5 Edwards delegates still out there.

    The only endgame I see here is to seat the full delegations, with Obama getting zero from MI.  Would he go along with it just to get closure? It would put him around 2130 after the remaining primaries and the add ons, and there would be 17 Edwards delegates and 55 uncommitted (again to they get rid of the delegates who've already been selected??).  So he'd need somewhere between 80 and 23 additional delegates, out of roughly 200 some remaining supers.  

    probably because people (none / 0) (#24)
    by cpinva on Fri May 30, 2008 at 06:49:14 PM EST
    As a fallback, which is wise in my opinion since the media has convinced everyone, including me the committee is unlikely to count and seat both delegations full-strength,

    * emphasis mine.

    like howard dean and donna brazille have been saying so publicly for months now.

    The best common sense (none / 0) (#43)
    by Coldblue on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:12:59 PM EST
    position directed to the RBC I've read is from ronkseattle
    the other day at The Confluence

    Just my two cents.

    What good would that do her (none / 0) (#51)
    by Lil on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:18:47 PM EST
    or does she believe that's all she's gonna get anyway, so as Andegarden said earlier...whatever?

    I'm feeling generally (none / 0) (#59)
    by Lil on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:28:16 PM EST
    drained from this primary and feeling resigned to the lesser candidate  becomingthe nominee. It is discouraging to hear people in the coffee shop talking about Obama and how offended they are by him. I'm feeling the pressure of sticking up for him as the candidate, just like I did with Kerry and Gore. I'm just tired at the thought of doing it for him now. giving up, maybe. Maybe Clinton is seeing the writing on the wall and sort of conceding

    He does deserve it (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:44:22 PM EST
    He ran a better campaign and is winning.  No one gave it to him.  This is not a quota system.  He won it fair and square.

    he cheated that is what he did! (1.00 / 1) (#180)
    by fly on Fri May 30, 2008 at 10:56:24 PM EST
    i call it as i saw it..he cheated..plain and simple..and he was aided by Dean and Brazile and those who follwed along..and the media!

    end of story!


    I'm smiling (none / 0) (#92)
    by Lil on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:08:35 PM EST
    ultimately (none / 0) (#158)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:01:08 PM EST
    it's her campaign and her candidacy, thus her final decision.  between her and bill those are two pretty sharp legal minds.

    Maybe you have something there. (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:27:21 PM EST
    Analogy to football team:  quarter back is "doubtful."  But quarterback plays the game.

    It just seemed to be too much of a (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:37:08 PM EST
    "give up" from her. I have to think something is going on.

    Did you see the link to LA Times (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Fri May 30, 2008 at 07:42:18 PM EST
    I posted in another thread.  Her staff agree the committee won't seat more than 50% of the MI/FL delegates.  Two of her finance chairs think Obama should get MI delegates.  She must feel rather lonely at the top.  

    What? (none / 0) (#77)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:00:07 PM EST
    she can surprise everyone when she takes the stage tomorrow does that mean?  She isn't going to be there.  Others are speaking on behalf of the states and the candidates.

    I think she is in Puerto Rico (none / 0) (#143)
    by nulee on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:47:44 PM EST

    Yes she will be in PR until the Sunday Primary (none / 0) (#192)
    by TomLincoln on Sat May 31, 2008 at 12:41:58 AM EST
    results come in. That is what the press here has reported. She, Bill and Chelsea.

    Clinton saying it doesn't make it so (none / 0) (#105)
    by Davidson on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:12:55 PM EST
    All the right has to do is explain what the actual rules were and show how the DNC singled out MI and FL, to appeal to those states.

    Selective quoting there (none / 0) (#107)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:15:09 PM EST
    First... take it up with lukasiak.

    Second: Begala is not the one who came up with that phrase.  Watch the video.

    Third: count the votes.

    Fourth: here are the rules (not the roolz)

    You are a brand new moniker, new commentors are limited to 10 comments per 24 hours.

    The Republicans moved FL (none / 0) (#114)
    by ruffian on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:21:28 PM EST
    Having Clinton win this thing was not in their best interests.

    Who here insults (none / 0) (#127)
    by lilburro on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:29:07 PM EST
    the people who went to caucus?  Or at least, the people who went to caucus and didn't intimidate or bend the rules?  What slurs do "we" have for those people that you're referring to?

    Honestly, I don't like caucuses, but where are you getting that people don't like caucus voters??

    Honestly, (none / 0) (#134)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:35:36 PM EST
    I think the primary will be over by June 15.

    What? (none / 0) (#135)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:36:57 PM EST
    Those states are counted. I don't get what you are talking about.  Caucus votes are counted.  They haven't released their real counts so everyone uses RCP estimates so I'm not sure where you get the idea people here don't count the caucus votes.  MI is counted.  The delegates are already pledged for Obama so what is your point?

    What slurs are you talking about?  sheesh

    Addressing the elephant in the room (none / 0) (#149)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:54:50 PM EST
    If this is so darn important to Clinton AND Obama, why aren't THEY making their cases?

    This would have been a SUPREME opportunity for Clinton to come down, argue for FL and MI, make Obama look weak (because you know he wouldn't show) and probably garnered more public support.

    personally... (none / 0) (#163)
    by p lukasiak on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:11:09 PM EST
    I'd like to see Bill show up as a surprise, and DARE them to not seat FL and MI in full....

    He could get all red-faced (5.00 / 0) (#164)
    by madamab on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:13:31 PM EST
    and point that finger at them.

    They'd probably fold like laundry.

    The entire DNC doesn't have 1/10 the spine of Bill Clinton.


    You can't even wait (none / 0) (#159)
    by Lil on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:01:58 PM EST
    a few more days? Let the process play out; the GE will be here soon enough according to Obama's camp. And at this point, I couldn't care less what either candidate said months ago. We are here now. What are they saying now?