Next Up: MI & FL
by Todd Beeton, Wed May 21, 2008 at 06:46:44 PM EDT
While the next actual primary contest is Puerto Rico on June 1, clearly Hillary Clinton sees the May 31 DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting as her next opportunity to net a large cache of delegates and to bolster the foundation of her popular vote argument. At every opportunity during a swing through Florida today, Clinton seemed to put the pressure on the Rules Committee members.
At a campaign stop, Senator Clinton likened not seating Florida's delegates to thwarting the will of the people, a la the 2000 recount.
At an appearance on Wednesday afternoon in Palm Beach County, Mrs. Clinton sharply argued that the party should seat the Florida delegates at the convention. [...]
"The outcome of our elections should be determined by the will of the people, nothing more, nothing less," Mrs. Clinton said at a retirement community in Palm Beach County. [...]
"The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear -- if any votes aren't counted, the will of the people isn't realized and our democracy is diminished," Mrs. Clinton said.
Clinton also told The AP that she would take the cause of seating Michigan and Florida to the convention if the DNC's Rules & Bylaws Committee rules against seating the delegations.
Asked whether she would support the states if they appeal an unfavorable rules committee decision to the convention floor, the former first lady replied:
"Yes I will. I will, because I feel very strongly about this."
"I will consult with Floridians and the voters in Michigan because it's really their voices that are being ignored and their votes that are being discounted, and I'll support whatever the elected officials and the voters in those two states want to do."
Does she really intend to take it to the convention? Probably not. Realistically, no matter what the ruling of the Rules Committee is, it's not going to change the fact that Barack Obama is virtually assured to be the nominee. But an affirmative ruling accomplishes several things. For one, it brings closure to Hillary Clinton's fight for the enfranchisement of those states -- giving her a moral victory to end on -- and takes part of the asterisk off her inclusion of MI & FL in her popular vote tally, which could be important in arguing for the VP slot if she's so inclined. As for the DNC, it would allow them to end this historic primary process with all 50 states having had a say, thus mitigating any residual bitterness that might remain among voters in those states. And finally, it would allow Barack Obama to claim an untainted nomination win, having achieved it even with the results of two of our largest states -- not to mention Clinton strongholds -- factored in.
Greg Sargent feels a satisfactory result will come out of the RBC meeting on the 31st and at this point I'm inclined to agree.