Strong opinions, weakly held

Hillary Clinton’s argument for stealing the nomination

Even if Hillary Clinton is losing in terms of the delegate count going into the convention, she doesn’t plan on losing the nomination. Her plan is to convince more superdelegates to vote for her than vote for Obama, and to make sure that the delegates from Florida and Michigan have their votes counted, even though those primaries were held under the assumption that those votes would not count. Unsurprisingly, she won both of those states, in fact, Barack Obama’s name wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan.

Her campaign has created a new Web site, The Delegate Hub, that attempts to explain why voters should be perfectly OK with Hillary engineering a win at the convention.

Here’s the real message from the Clinton campaign: “Voters of Texas and Ohio, I really need your votes, but if I don’t get them, I’m going to try to figure out a way to subvert the process so that your votes don’t really count.”

Clay Shirky has written a great post explaining why this is a very bad idea. I hope he’s right. I’m posting about this because widespread exposure of Clinton’s machinations is the key to building a real backlash against them.


  1. Seems a little desperate if you ask me. I’m in Ohio and she is coming on strong: http://www.gokissmedia.com/random/hillary-clinton-free-speech-unlisted-phone-numbers-ps-vote-ron-paul (My post)

  2. Hillary “engineering” the convention is my worst nightmare. Not that I want her to win, but that I want John McCain to lose. Her actions could certainly be enough to both kill Democratic turnout and energize the Republican base. Of the three horses in the race, Obama is the only one I can tolerate. Where is a third party when you need them?

  3. This seems to be a mountain out of a molehill to me. Just like most other things in this campaign. Why don’t people like Hillary as an individual? I don’t really know. I guess the Republicans have successfully smeared her for the past 16 years.

    The convention really does seem to be a relic of a bygone era, having TV and internet readily available to voters to find out who they support in current times. It’s all politics, though. The convention is designed to enable brokered deals to select the candidate, which maybe used to need to be how things worked when news traveled slow, I’m not sure.

    However, Hillary attempting to point out that ‘Super delegates’ are not required to vote for any candidate is just her trying to stem the perceived tide of support for Obama. I read Conrad Black’s book (or a portion of it) on FDR, so I’m not sure what people think goes on at the convention.

    Here’s a clue: When Texas leader John Nance Garner switched to FDR, he was given the vice presidential nomination.

    Obama is very likely to be the nominee, but he’ll have to make nice and possibly make concessions to the Hillary Camp, unless Hillary drops out prior to the convention, which I’m not sure she should do.

  4. “Obama is very likely to be the nominee, but he’ll have to make nice and possibly make concessions to the Hillary Camp…”

    Make nice about what? It appears to me that most of the negative campaigning is coming from the Hillary Camp. From my perspective the Obama campaign took the high road and the Hillary campaign decided to go low and is now stuck in the mud[slinging] and wondering why people are holding their noses because of their stink.

  5. I’m an Obama supporter, but I think it’s a mistake to villify all decision making processes that aren’t a simple popular vote.

    In fact, our “democratic” government is founded on the principle that if the many regions of this country vote for local people they respect, that group of legislators can, in some situations, make better decisions than the people as a whole. Having accountable experts ratify democratic decisions can prevent tyranny of the majority situations.

    I deeply hope the superdelegates, with their expertise in these areas, will support the candidate that can best energize new voters, but I don’t think it’s particularly sinister if they make the wrong decision. The Obama supporters will just become disenchanted and stay home, the superdelegates will have a harder time keeping their positions of power. The system corrects itself, and life goes on.

  6. I’m not opposed to the superdelegates or processes that aren’t simple direct democracy. My issue is more with Hillary’s attempts to get Michigan and Florida added back in, even though all of the candidates agreed not to contest those primaries at the outset.

    As far as everything else goes, it’s politics. Hillary can try to lobby her way into the nomination at the convention, and those who are opposed to her doing so can complain loudly about it. I’m in the “complain loudly” group.

  7. I agree with you 100%, Rafe. The thing with Florida and Michigan, and, possibly to a lesser degree, the superdelegate issue, just reeks of the type of political machinations that people have grown so weary of.

    I know that this alone really turns me off to Hillary.

  8. I don’t know who the best candidate is. I hope Obama is the best candidate, because he appears to have the momentum. I didn’t even participate in the primary, because I’m ambivalent about who gets the democratic nomination. I’m pretty much guaranteed to vote for the democratic nominee. That being said, my biggest concern with Hillary is the fact we’d be returning the presidency to a family that already had it less than a decade ago.

    However, I don’t believe that at any time Hillary or anyone else agreed ‘not to seat the delegates’. Specifically, they agreed not to campaign in those two states because of the DNC’s ban. Perhaps that’s a fine distinction, but to me it’s another case of the MSM claiming Gore said he ‘invented’ the internet. I don’t really get why Obama even agreed to remove his name from Michigan, but I believe the decision would fall under the ‘political machinations’ heading.

    Even if they seat the delegates, Hillary wouldn’t get all the delegates. I don’t think she can win regardless at this point.

  9. Rafe,

    I’m sorry I mistook your concerns, the delegates in Michigan and Florida are a wholly different and complex issue, and I’m sympathetic to your points.

    Michigan has special problems, since the primary there essentially tells us nothing since Obama wasn’t even on the ballot.

    Florida’s more complex. It sucks that the Florida Democrats get disenfranchised when their Republican government set the state primaries. Should the Democrats allow Republican controlled state governments to take advantage of national party rules so easily? Of course, without any campaigning, there was hardly a full and fair race there either.

    Apportioning the Florida delegates based on our most reliable polls, but leaving the Michigan delegates unseated might not be a terrible compromise in this situation.

  10. I, too, feel that HRC is almost ruthless in her arrempt to win the nomination. As a Afrcian American woman, if there shenanigans at the convention, I intend to organize folk from the maryland area to boycot the general election. I personally will leave the party and become an independent and or vote for ralph nader. HRC is just as republican as the republicans. I am perplexed at the DNC leadership for allowing the Clintons to run roughshod at the DNC ; is tantamount to a dictatorship.

  11. COUNTRY ABOVE PARTY … Obama is proving to be a weak candidate. I hope there is a floor vote at the convention, and a stunning upset whereby Hillary Clinton replaces Barack, as the Democratic nominee for November … I’ll certainly vote for her, but if Obama continues to be the Democratic nominee … I’m voting for Senator John McCain in November.

  12. There’s not going to be a floor vote and Hillary Clinton is not going to be the nominee. You can certainly vote for John McCain if you wish. I’m pretty sure saying “Country above party” is a clear indication that you’re a concern troll. Thanks for playing.

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