He Hasn't Won Yet

I was asked the other night: "Why is Hillary still in this thing?" I responded, "Has Barack won the nomination? Because if he has, why is he still campaigning?" Seriously, if the nomination is so settled as many Obama supporters like to claim, he's free to just go home to Chicago. No one's stopping him. Yet it's Hillary Clinton who is the object of the ire of Obama supporters who seem to honestly believe that Hillary Clinton's winning the nomination would be tantamount to her robbing him of something he hasn't won yet. What a joke.

Democratic strategist Ari Melbers's appearance on MSNBC Sunday during an hour long Obama love-fest hosted by David Schuster was particularly dishonest about the situation:

"Senator Clinton is highly unlikely to make up the elected delegate metric, which is the key thing here, that's the count from the people who've actually voted in these states...Even if she does her best, she's going to be down in the Democratic count and there's really no way she can legitimately win the nomination at this point."

The central problem with this statement is the premise that superdelegates handing someone the nomination is inherently illegitimate when in truth, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will need superdelegates to win the nomination. As you can see from DemConWatch's handy chart, there simply aren't enough pledged delegates left to put either of them over the top.

Now, of course, in the mind of Melber and all proponents of the Obama inevitability campaign, the pledged delegate count is king, which means that if superdelegates hand it to Obama it's OK, but if they hand it to Clinton it's not. How convenient. The problem with this formulation though is that there's absolutely no basis or precedent for the presumption that the superdelegates are bound to the pledged delegate leader. As Howard Dean himself has said of the superdelegates:

Their role is to exercise their best judgment in the interests of the nation and of the Democratic Party. I am confident that they will carry out that duty responsibly and in accordance with the highest values of our democracy and our Party.

Josh Marshall has more on the history of superdelegates that splashes a bucket of cold water on the notion that superdelegates must take their cue from the pledged delegate count. In fact, like it or not, they were created with the express purpose of keeping this count in check.

Obama supporters say that the superdelegates as a group should not overturn the verdict of the primary and caucus election process while Clinton supporters say that it's precisely the point of the super delegates to make their own considered judgment about who the party's nominee should be regardless of the finally tally of pledged delegates. The second accurately portrays why the superdelegates were created.

In fact, even this description puts too gentle a gloss on it.

But quite to the contrary, now we have phase two of the Obama inevitability campaign wherein the very people who've been fear-mongering about superdelegates "overturning the will of the people" are now concern trolling about the negative consequences for the party if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination via superdelegate. How is that for a self-fulfilling prophecy, one borne of a dishonest and divisive meme spread by Obama supporters intended to annoint Obama as the nominee before he's even earned it. So much for an honest debate, eh? And what was that about unity? The fact is, people only believe Hillary winning the nomination is "stealing" because the very Obama supporters who are now wringing their hands about what it would mean for the party if Obama lost told them so.

But the reason this isn't as cut and dried as many Obama supporters like to claim is because of the pesky matter of Florida and Michigan. Really, how can anyone talk about Obama's pledged delegate lead as reflective of voter intent with a straight face without taking into account the intent of millions of voters in two huge states that just happen to be...wait for it...Clinton strongholds? Now people are correct, of course, to say that the rules going in were that those two states wouldn't count toward the nomination, but to pretend that a pledged delegate count that will include Guam and Puerto Rico but not Michigan and Florida is somehow reflective of the "will of the voters" is disingenuous at best. By any strict interpretation of the phrase, Hillary Clinton is the only one really advocating for the will of the voters to be taken into account, while the Obama campaign and its Obama inevitability campaigners around the country would prefer to conveniently ignore those millions of votes that were cast. In fact, if the Obama inevitability campaign had its way, Hillary would have dropped out before voters in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana plus all states in between and beyond had voted. In other words, people voting is merely an inconvenience to them because it just delays an inevitable Obama nomination. The inconvenient truth is that the lead that Obama currently holds in both pledged delegates and popular vote depends entirely on not counting millions of votes cast and in the absence of a remedy for Michigan and Florida, anyone truly advocating for superdelegates to reflect the "will of the people" should be demanding that they take the true intent of voters in all 50 states and territories into account when deciding whom to support.

Tags: 2008 prsidential election, Barack Obama, Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton (all tags)

Comments

207 Comments

Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

That's all fine and dandy. But the superdelegates have been exercising their judgment in Obama's favor. So I hope that is okay with folks as well.

by lizardbox 2008-05-06 12:25AM | 0 recs
IF - THEN
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9qd-P2bI iY
Countdown:
CLINTON'S RULES - IF I DIDN'T WIN IT DOES NOT COUNT
by dearreader 2008-05-06 12:28AM | 0 recs
That's hilarious.

She's definitely courting a very specific demographic.

by bookish 2008-05-06 04:58AM | 0 recs
And it is worth noting

that Obama beats Clitnon in the last poll of Michigan, something conveniently omitted here.

Michigan is not a Clinton stronghold.

by fladem 2008-05-06 01:30AM | 0 recs
Right and don't forget florida

I lament that Todd, in order to try to find a way to write a post that somehow lauded a candidate - ended up trying to point out that

wherein the very people who've been fear-mongering about superdelegates "overturning the will of the people" are now concern trolling about the negative consequences for the party if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination via superdelegate

How absurd. The general definition of screwing up the votes cast by the people in favor of some strange party proceduer that would elect the candidate that didn't win the majority of votes -- is that they will be nominated by superdelegates.  

And that my friends is simply not going to happen. No concern trolling from this Obama fan, here. The democratic party is not going to suffer being branded as a party of elites. Not after the interests that landed Bush into the white house are done being branded as Bush Republicans - a label that Jerome rightly put as "a scarlet letter that they will have to wear for a decade"

It is my fervent hope that the end of the Clinton campaign, is a turn for the better for the quality of writing at myDD

by Trey Rentz 2008-05-06 04:12AM | 0 recs
Five or six debates every two days..

we could decide this thing in two weeks.

by architek 2008-05-06 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Five or six debates every two days..

yeah, boring us to death would certainly give the election to john mccain...

by bored now 2008-05-06 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: And it is worth noting

Obama had the opportunity to prove that Michigan supported him over Hillary. All he had to do was get behind the revote in Michigan. He was doing well in the polls there when he blocked the efforts to have a do over.

by MOBlue 2008-05-06 04:14AM | 0 recs
And yet

now, they support him in healthy margins over Hillary anyway.  Maybe they're good at spotting a pander.  I wonder how Michiganders fell about the gas holiday?

by semiquaver 2008-05-06 04:22AM | 0 recs
Not worth noting because not true

Obama did not block a revote in Michigan. The state legislature did. Obama did object to several of the plans put forth by the Clinton team including an election privately financed by James Carville and a few rich friends. The concept of a revote was never a problem.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-06 04:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Not worth noting because not true

Right....

Obama didn't block the revote, it was only his supporters in the state legislature that did. He didn't have a problem with the revote, he just kept coming up with legal challenges to every plan that was offered.

Also, the "privately financed" election was to be funded half by Clinton and half by Obama. Obama didn't want to do that either.

Why can't Obama people ever simply tell the truth about the issue? Why do they feel the need to misrepresent it? Is it that the truth looks too bad?

by joc 2008-05-06 06:30AM | 0 recs
For the millionth time.

He didn't block anything.  That is the just the spin from Camp Clinton.

A primary revote was never going to happen in MI.  There was wide opposition to it in both legislative chambers.  The Republican Senate Majority leader came out against it.  Blaming Obama for the lack of a revote makes about as much sense as blaming Hillary for it.  After all, she did waste a lot of time trying to pretend that MI counted as is, and no revote was necessary.

Fact is though, she doesn't really deserve any blame either, because the primary revote was never going to happen!

by you like it 2008-05-06 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: For the millionth time.

Of course he blocked it.

Oh wait, no that's right.

Obama never blocked it, his campaign did.

by dembluestates 2008-05-06 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: For the millionth time.

So Obama's campaign has control over MI Senate Republicans.  Good to know.  If he has that kind of power over the Republicans, I really want him to win now.

by you like it 2008-05-06 07:09AM | 0 recs
Not from what my friends there say, no

Obama for President!

by RisingTide 2008-05-06 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Obama supporters say that the superdelegates as a group should not overturn the verdict of the primary and caucus election process while Clinton supporters say that it's precisely the point of the super delegates to make their own considered judgment about who the party's nominee should be regardless of the finally tally of pledged delegates. The second accurately portrays why the superdelegates were created.

That's a bunch of cr*p.  According to the DNC, the superdelegates were created so that elected officials and party leaders wouldn't have to run against ordinary people for delegate positions period.  Denying the clear will of Democratic voters would destroy the party, and the superdelegates know it.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-06 12:26AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Todd is ridiculously right on this.  Sorry, Ward Chair, but the DNC rules actually nowhere state that superdelegates are bound to consider pledged delegates above all other concerns to make their decision.  The point, by the way, was that there is NO "clear will of the Democratic voters" when you exclude Florida and Michigan from the popular vote and pledged delegate count.  That's the will of the Obama loyalists who know that Clinton did receive more votes in both of those states, and would likely win both if a re-do were held tomorrow.  And there is NO "destroying the party" unless you yourself allow it to happen through such an attitude.

by MMR2 2008-05-06 12:36AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Funny, most polls show Obama doing better in Michigan. But I don't care about polls and I don't worry about unsanctioned and unfair elections.

Just like I don't take third-world country elections validating dictators seriously, I don't take unsanctioned contests in which a single serious candidate receives a bare majority while nearly losing to the "Anybody but her" category, serious.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-06 12:38AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I'll refresh your memory: Hillary not only beat "uncommitted" 55 to 40, but the Barack Obama campaign vigorously campaigned FOR the "uncommitted" option with the obvious implication being that Obama supporters can indeed vote against Hillary Clinton.  The state primary still occurred, fair and square.

The priority, though, is Florida.  

by MMR2 2008-05-06 12:42AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Unsanctioned and unfair elections don't count.

Sorry.

Move on.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-06 12:43AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Actually 3rd world dictators use petty rules to make sure votes that aren't for them don't count.

While democracy tries to count every one.

Guess which of the two happend to florida?

by Ernst 2008-05-06 12:58AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

The progressive movement as distinct  from the traditional liberal movement is scary.

by DTaylor 2008-05-06 01:06AM | 0 recs
You concerned about us, honey?

Who got caught with his pants down with money in his fridge? Classic liberal from LA, last I checked.

Who got caught shipping voters from other states? Classic liberal (different sense) from CT, last I checked.

Who got caught supporting a non-Democratic candidate for Senator? Two assholes, one of them from NY and the other from IL.

I hope I don't need to name no names.

Raisin' Hell, and taking names!

We will be watching you!

Accountability first!

by RisingTide 2008-05-06 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

As a general rule of thumb:  

Elections that would not be considered legitimate by the UN in a third world country (e.g., an election with only one candidate on the ballot) shouldn't be considered legitimate in the United States of America.

by Frood 2008-05-06 12:46AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

And no, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich don't count.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-06 12:47AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Ha!

Okay, so I should have said something like "elections where legitimate candidates are left off the ballot"

by Frood 2008-05-06 12:52AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

"elections where legitimate candidates are left off the ballot"

True that would make those elections unfair by UN standards

Except that here the candidate in question removed his own name on a regional ballot at his own inicitive . Making him personally responsible, and not a victim of manipulation.

by Ernst 2008-05-06 01:03AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

What about elections where the candidates are not allowed to campaign?

What about elections where the deciding body ruled them invalid in advance, and then decided to count them as it'd be the only way possible to put the second candidate over the edge?

What about elections where the even the candidate that remained on the ballot argued that they don't count for anything, and that her remaining on the ballot is purely symbolic, only to change her mind afterwards?

The Clinton campaign has made as much a mockery of democracy as Bush has made of the constitution. There's no nation in the world no matter how third-worldy whose populace would accept Michigan's primary as valid.

But I guess 8 years of Bush have taught you all to disregard fundamental democratic principles. You've learned all the wrong lessons.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-06 01:25AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

The Clinton campaign has made as much a mockery of democracy as Bush has made of the constitution.

You might have a point, except the Democratic primary process already is a mockery of democracy.  I mean come on, superdelegates?  Delegates allotted based not on popular vote, but previous voting patterns?  The whole process is a mess.

Don't get me wrong, those are the rules that everyone agreed to before the voting started so that's not to say they're unfair.  The Clinton campaign may be trying to change the rules in her favor. But she's not really making a mockery of Democracy when the whole process is a clusterfuck to begin with.

We need some serious reform for next time around.

by you like it 2008-05-06 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

granted. the rules are a little, um, weird - and oftentimes such weirdness is only discovered when there's a close enough election to matter.

that said, i should note that, IMHO, the obama team looked at the rules as they were and created a game plan that has led them to the cusp of victory. clinton too knew the rules going in; her supporters can kvetch all they want, but they both knew the rules, and one candidate played the game as is better than the other, so now the other wants to change the rules.

by jbill 2008-05-06 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Is there any rule which can prove what you said is true?

I thought we were following DNC rules (not self created fantasies).

by Sandeep 2008-05-06 12:52AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Pretty sure Mugabe taking his name off the ballot will not insure that he can rule the election invalid..

So your UN analogy doesn't stand up.

Basically Obama is trying to destroy democracy for Michigan for his own personal gain.

The more I think about him and what his stand has been vis a vie Michigan the more I think I might vote against an Obama/Hillary ticket.

by DTaylor 2008-05-06 01:08AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Clinton saying that she keeps her name on the ballot because the Michigan primary won't count, does that mean anything for you?

Clinton supporters become more and more hypocritical with every passing day.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-06 01:21AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Do you believe in Hillary's power to destroy democracy?

I don't believe ANYONE in the DNC has the right to destroy democracy.

What is it with so many "progressives" thinking its progressive to give away democracy?????

by DTaylor 2008-05-06 08:29AM | 0 recs
Obma and Edwards chose not to

run in MI.

by TeresaInPa 2008-05-06 05:15AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Vigorously, huh. Source?

by Lettuce 2008-05-06 03:00AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Wow.  She beat "not her" by 15 points. That's one hell of a mandate.

How about that current Michigan polling?

Why didn't she complain about FL and MI before she "won" them? Crass opportunism.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

She did complain repeatedly before the elections. She said it was stupid and would hurt the party.

Why is it that Obama supporters always feel the need to misrepresent the issues?

by joc 2008-05-06 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Wow.

http://www.slate.com/id/2188985/
http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffa irs/index.php/2008/01/29/kerry-hits-hill ary-for-florida-flip-flop/

Plenty more out there.  BTW, good try at a generalization there.  I'll be a good guy by not saying anything about Clinton supporters picking and choosing whichever Clinton position they like at the time.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Here is Hillary herself, not an Obama supporter on an Obama conference call slamming Hillary.

"It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything," Clinton said Thursday during an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio's call-in program, "The Exchange." "But I just personally did not want to set up a situation where the Republicans are going to be campaigning between now and whenever, and then after the nomination, we have to go in and repair the damage to be ready to win Michigan in 2008."

"I did not believe it was fair to just say, 'Goodbye Michigan' and not take into account the fact we're going to have to win Michigan if we're going to be in the White House in January 2009," she said.

"If you look at the some of the states we have to win, the margins have been narrow. And it wasn't, in my view, meaningful, but I'm not going to say there's an absolute, total ignoring of the people in all these other states that won't come back to haunt us if we're not careful about it."

Why is it that Obama supporters always feel the need to misrepresent the issues?

by joc 2008-05-06 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet


"It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything."

Later, Clinton clarified her position by saying  this election would in fact count if a.) she won and b.) she needed those votes to have any chance at the nomination.

Or something.

This is a silly argument, and it amazes me that otherwise intelligent human beings are taking it seriously.

by jbill 2008-05-06 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Hmmm... Where exactly are you saying Clinton said the election would only count if she won? Do you have a link?

Why is it that Obama supporters always need to misrepresent the issues?

by joc 2008-05-06 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Dates? That's all you need to look up.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

What's the point of this post?

If you are asking for the dates of the quotes, I would suggest start by clicking on the link provided and looking at it.

by joc 2008-05-06 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

The point of this post is that she says these things now, but she said different things earlier.  That's what dates will show you.  If you're interested.  Which you don't seem to be.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Did you go and look at the link? It's from October of last year. Were you the least bit interested in finding that out? Did you take a seconds worth of time before falsely claiming she wasn't saying these things before the vote?

Why, why, why do Obama supporters feel the need to misrepresent the issues?

by joc 2008-05-06 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Oh, you mean this quote? Because the stuff you had quoted was different.  Here's from the link you sent me, in October, 2007:

"It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything,"

You're awesome.  Thank you for being awesome. In October, Clinton thought MI shouldn't count.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

TR'd for being an unsubstantiated attack. There were certainly Obama supporters campaigning for uncommitted (along with supporters of the other candidates). But I've seen no evidence that the Obama campaign was directly involved in any of that, and you've provided no proof.

by noop 2008-05-06 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

TR'd for TR abuse.  Poorly sourced data ('unsubstantiated')  is not in the guidelines as something it's acceptable to TR for.  And a respectful argument is not an attack, no matter how much you disagree with it;  the whole point of this site is to discuss politics (i.e. argue).

User moderation on any site is a responsibility.  It's not to be used for quieting people you disagree with, or boosting those you do.  If that were the case it would be utterly worthless.  It's to hide troll garbage and to highlight particularly insightful posts.  I see a lot of groupthink-oriented

by semiquaver 2008-05-06 03:42AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

hm, it cut my post off.  oh well, disregard that last bit.

by semiquaver 2008-05-06 03:42AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I'd retract the TR if the statement was supported at all. Lying about a candidate to stir up discontent is the very definition of trolling. If you don't understand that you're only fooling yourself. Feel free to TR me, all it does is draw attention to the reprehensible behavior you're engaging in.

by noop 2008-05-06 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Spinning Heads

The spin from MyDD's front-page posters is truly dispiriting to this six-year reader.  For months, the central question about the superdelegates has been whether they would vote to ratify or to overturn the results of the primaries and caucuses.  That's the central premise of the Obama campaign's argument, and it's the angle most Democratic leaders take to the question.  

Yes, of course, both Obama and Clinton will need superdelegates votes to push them over the top and secure the nomination.  But if SD's push Clinton over the top, they will in doing so overturn the results of the primary season.  They will be nominating the loser of the pledged delegate count, of the popular vote, and of (as of right now) two-thirds of the primaries and caucuses.  On the other hand, if they push Obama over the top, they will be ratifying the choice of the voters as expressed by all of these metrics.

That Todd chooses to ignore this reality is as offensive to my Democratic sensibilities as Jerome's using the Michigan vote to make a popular vote argument in favor of Clinton.

Notice how Clinton rationalizers try to twist the argument to make it seem that the Obama campaign and its supporters are trying to claim that it would be against the rules for SD's to support Clinton, the pledged delegate loser.  They want to discredit Obama's rationale.  It wouldn't be illegal; it would be disastrous.  Fortunately, it's widely recognized across the Democratic Party just how disastrous it would be, and so it won't happen.

by deminva 2008-05-06 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I don't see how Michigan is a Clinton stronghold.  I imagine Obama would be favored to win there if they had a fair election where both names were on the ballot and both got to campaign.

by Jakra 2008-05-06 12:26AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Yep, that is why Obama got scared of a revote and came up with excuses. Lets do a revote and we will see who wins.

by Sandeep 2008-05-06 12:53AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Yup. A re-vote sponsored by Clinton supporters.

"Brought to you by Carville. Free Bites!"

by lizardbox 2008-05-06 01:00AM | 0 recs
you are mistaken

obama supported a revote in mi if all his supporters had a chance to vote.

The problem is lots of them voted gop rather than waste their vote.  and hrc's campaign won't allow double votes.

so in reality hrc is blocking the full revote, not bho.

by semiquaver 2008-05-06 01:13AM | 0 recs
Allow me to pull out my trusty DNC rule book...

...And cite you some rules.

Rule 2.E., Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention:

No person shall participate or vote in the nominating process for a Democratic presidential candidate who also participates in the nominating processes of any other party for the corresponding elections.

Now what part of Rule 2.E do you or the Obama campaign not understand?

by Andre Walker 2008-05-06 02:23AM | 0 recs
And that rule

Is why no fair revote can ever exist in MI, unless you redefine the word fair.  The illegitimacy of the contest has been set in stone.  

The Obama camp is under no obligation to allow a contest where he got zero votes to be counted, and it is laughable and undemocratic to expect them to.

Neither are they obligated to consent to a contest where a high percentage of his supporters are disenfranchised.  After all, disenfranchisement is bad -- it's the issue you're complaining about re:FL&MI.  

Wait, you don't think HRC supporters are using that disenfranchisement issue as a foil they really couldn't care less about to obtain an unfair advantage for their candidate, do you?  No, that would be way too cynical.  Plus, doctors recommend that people limit their irony intake, and that there contains lethal levels.

by semiquaver 2008-05-06 02:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Allow me to pull out my trusty DNC rule book..

I don't understand the part of the rule where the DNC is obligated to seat delegations that have been stripped by a fair vote of the appropriate committees.

You can't have it both ways. If you want to make it a rules argument, then let Michigan live by the rules. If you want to make it a political argument -- as in we can't win MI if we disenfranchise their voters -- then don't disenfranchise the people who reasonably thought they should vote on the other side because they were told their votes don't count. Rules be damned.

Hillary was afraid of a true do-over. But it doesn't matter. Obama will still come out ahead in pledged delegates even if MI and FL are counted as is.

by alvernon 2008-05-06 02:53AM | 0 recs
Let me have a look at that

Oh, yeah...and what about this:

C. 1. a. Violation of timing: In the event the Delegate Selection Plan of a state party provides or permits a meeting, caucus, convention or primary which constitutes the first determining stage in the presidential nominating process to be held prior to or after the dates for the state as provided in Rule 11 of these rules, or in the event a state holds such a meeting, caucus, convention or primary prior to or after such dates, the number of pledged delegates elected in each category allocated to the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent, and the number of alternates shall also be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. In addition, none of the members of the Democratic National Committee and no other unpledged delegate allocated pursuant to Rule 8.A. from that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the state's delegation. In determining the actual number of delegates or alternates by which the state's delegation is to be reduced, any fraction below .5 shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number, and any fraction of .5 or greater shall be rounded up to the next nearest whole number.
b. A presidential candidate who campaigns in a state where the state party is in violation of the timing provisions of these rules, or where a primary or caucus is set by a state's government on a date that violates the timing provisions of these rules, may not receive pledged delegates or delegate votes from that state. Candidates may, however, campaign in such a state after the primary or caucus that violates these rules. "Campaigning" for purposes of this section includes, but is not limited to, purchasing print, internet, or electronic advertising that reaches a significant percentage of the voters in the aforementioned state; hiring campaign workers; opening an office; making public appearances; holding news conferences; coordinating volunteer activities; sending mail, other than fundraising requests that are also sent to potential donors in other states; using paid or volunteer phoners or automated calls to contact voters; sending emails or establishing a website specific to that state; holding events to which Democratic voters are invited; attending events sponsored by state or local Democratic organizations; or paying for campaign materials to be used in such a state. The Rules and Bylaws Committee will determine whether candidate activities are covered by this section.
...

5. Nothing in the preceding subsections of this rule shall be construed to prevent the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee from imposing additional sanctions, including, without limitation, those specified in subsection (6) of this section C., against a state party and against the delegation from the state which is subject to the provisions of any of subsections (1) through (3) of this section C., including, without limitation, establishing a committee to propose and implement a process which will result in the selection of a delegation from the affected state which shall (i) be broadly representative, (ii) reflect the state's division of presidential preference and uncommitted status and (iii) involve as broad participation as is practicable under the circumstances.

by bookish 2008-05-06 03:30AM | 0 recs
Re: you are mistaken

That's right.  And the Clinton supporters at MyDD came out in force to say "no one made them vote in the Republican primary.  How many votes do they want?"  Ah, selective concerns about disenfranchising voters.

by deminva 2008-05-06 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Sure, a revote where Obama's supporters wouldn't be allowed to vote, that's your idea of "fairness".

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-06 01:19AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

The first revote plan was a standard caucus entirely compliant with DNC rules. Clinton supporters killed that and a month later tried to push a Clinton-financed primary excluding absentees and crossovers. So, who exactly was afraid of a fair contest?

by noop 2008-05-06 03:35AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Just b/c the rules provide for superdelegates overriding the will of the electorate as expressed by the elected delegates does not mean that it is appropriate for them to do so.  I disagree with the whole concept of superdelegates.  I think this position was created by establishment politicians too afraid of the people they represent.  But no use crying over spilled milk; superdelegates exist and must be accomodated.  I disagree with your premise that just b/c superdelegates are free to choose there are no questions about the legitimacy of a nomination secured by the Democratic establishment at the expense of the Democratic electorate.  You are right that such an outcome was provided for by the creation of superdelegates, but even those who created it said that such a device should only be used in the most extreme circumstances.  Obama would have to be demonstrated to be a truly flawed candidate for a large portion of the Democratic electorate to accept this aristocratic installation.  I just don't see the evidence that Obama is such a candidate.  Thus what is the rationale for overturning the will of the electorate.

by nklein 2008-05-06 12:29AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

The Clinton campaign is banking heavily on the popular vote as the rationale. But it would be a valid rationale.

To be honest I don't think the popular vote will be clear cut enough in that regard to sway the superdelegates though.

by Ernst 2008-05-06 01:10AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Popular vote is a good method if all the contests were primaries, but they weren't.  B/c calculating the popular vote is an element of comparing apples to oranges, it is a poor metric for determining the will of the electorate.  This is why most superdelegates have rejected it as a measure and have adopted the plegded delegates as the appropriate metric.

by nklein 2008-05-06 01:40AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

One could argue that super delegates should vote with their contingency.  And I suspect that would favor Hillary.  

I think the MSM is framing the argument of how super delegates should vote.  Not the democratic party.

by jelyfish 2008-05-06 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Do you mean constituency?  Actually, that would favor Barack Obama.  He's won more states and more congressional districts.  That helps him out with superdelegates.  

The problem is that the whole nature of superdelegates is that its undemocratic.  Superdelegates are desinged to potentially reject the will of the people.  So there is no frame that the media's putting on this.  The reality is that superdelegates are questionable rule.  And since I choose this party knowing the rules, I will not question this in the middle of a primary.  But I don't have to endorse it either.  That is why you see the media framing it as they do.

by nklein 2008-05-06 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Lets say that after the last Primary vote is in, somehow Clinton is miraculously in the lead in the Popular vote, but still behind in Delegates. Should the SD's give their support to Clinton, the leader in Popular votes, or Obama with his Delegate lead.  

by muggle 2008-05-06 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

What they should do is decide (for themselves) who is the best nominee to go against John McCain in November. How they decide is entirely up to them (rules, you know).

Arguing one way or the other (popular vote vs. delegate count) almost invariably leads to supporters arguing what's best for their candidate rather than what is best for the party.

by joc 2008-05-06 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Excellent analysis and a great read.

And you're exactly right: Michigan and Florida are precisely the reasons why Hillary is still in this campaign.  

by BPK80 2008-05-06 12:31AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

No, MI and FL aren't the reason she's still in. Clinton didn't give a damn about their votes last summer when her near majority on the rules committee could have voted to strip them of their delegates. Everyone involved knows that fact, and sees exactly how duplicitous she's being here.

by noop 2008-05-06 03:41AM | 0 recs
The idiocy of the contradictions

inherent in this post are outstanding.

"Wow, it's obvious they violated the rules and everyone knew they wouldn't count".... but... let's just discard that entirely disqualifying metric so we can then say "Hey! This isn't the people's will".

Unfair and unsanctioned elections are held by dictators.

You know what? 15 people in this house just voted for Senator Obama. I'm in Arizona so obviously, these 15 votes have to be counted despite not being sanctioned or fair towards the candidates.

I couldn't vote in the real primary because I prefer late primaries and I was busy working. Why isn't this very serious and totally fair and perfectly acceptable election not being counted and added towards the total votes and delegate counts?

By estimates, that's all delegates for Senator Obama.

Just drop the inanity of including unsanctioned, unfair, unrealistic contests that don't represent the will of the voters as many believed their vote wouldn't count, which lead to people voting to cause havoc in the Republican election and in which many of the candidates couldn't campaign.

Those are free and fair elections?

Right.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-06 12:33AM | 0 recs
The local school held vote between HRC and BHO

And Obama won.  Don't forget to count those votes too.  Who cares if it wasn't DNC recognized?  Those voices must be heard!

by you like it 2008-05-06 04:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The local school held vote between HRC and BHO

So, are you comparing the MI and FL primaries to a local school vote?

I got atleast 3 logical Fallacies in your post lmao.

by jelyfish 2008-05-06 05:35AM | 0 recs
Its more of a joke, but really...

why shouldn't we count the school votes?  As of right now, they are recognized just as much as the MI and FL votes.  That is to say, not at all.

Now I'm not suggesting that we actually count those votes at the school for the purpose of selecting a nominee.  That would be ridiculous.  No one would argue that a non-DNC sanctioned contest should count to determine the Democratic nominee, right?

Right?!

by you like it 2008-05-06 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The idiocy of the contradictions

It's funny how you have to go to such great lengths to try to explain away the fact that Democrats in Florida and Michigan deserve to be counted.  Why isn't your "fair and sanctioned elections" candidate supporting re-votes?

by Montague 2008-05-06 04:51AM | 0 recs
our votes counted in florida!!!

it's your myth (that you need to perpetuate for your own argument's sake) that they didn't.

i understand your devotion to hillary, but embarrassing florida democrats is counter-productive.  you feed the republican meme in florida that a.) democrats are incompetent (look what they did to the elections in dade and palm beach county circa 2000, they say) and b.) national democrats (which is a bad word in the south) use florida as a whipping boy whenever they are threatened (according to florida republicans).

please stop embarrassing florida's democrats.  we are attempting a comeback.  don't we deserve that chance?  is hillary so important that you feel the need to alienate florida's voters and set the florida democratic party back for decades?

by bored now 2008-05-06 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: our votes counted in florida!!!

You don't even make sense.

by Montague 2008-05-06 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: our votes counted in florida!!!

facts don't make sense?  that problem is too large to address in this forum.  i'll be simple:

florida's votes counted.  we got exactly what we expected.  i've not run into a single florida voter who didn't realize that our votes would not turn into convention delegates.  yet we had a record turnout!  that's counted.

stop embarrassing florida's democrats.  your need to use florida as a whipping boy not only feeds republican memes (unless, of course, that is your intention) and makes it far less likely florida will elect democrats.  it also makes fundraising more difficult.  if you didn't know that this is the result of your argument, now you do.  ignoring that fact only makes your embarrassing florida's democrats intentional.

at least we will know.  we aren't stupid...

by bored now 2008-05-06 06:06AM | 0 recs
Stick a fork in her, she's done

Her campaign is out of time and out of options, so even changing the rules on Fl. and Mi. won't help.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-05-06 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Um...Florida trending Clinton is likely due to the demographics but Michigan a Clinton stronghold? I doubt it.

Those two state parties could've planned for party caucuses after they lost their case against the DNC in court but they didn't. Reasonable people want to know why not. Washington had a meaningless straw poll primary funded by the state, but instead used the caucuses to "count" the party vote. So what was the deal with these two states just throwing up their hands and shrugging their shoulders about what a pickle they are in?

I don't know when or how to do this but next cycle "superdelegates" should be scrapped. It's pretty clear that they will finish this thing off for Obama in all probability pretty soon, but neither side should consider them a good thing for the process. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have a big group of people to push the results to the side of one person or another in a two way race should remember that it's called the "Democratic" party. Not the bigwig party. It's nuts that the Republicans have a better system in place in regards to this.

Keep proportional voting though. If we had proportional voting in the general it would destroy two party rule and open up the system for new voices and fresh ideas. It sucks having to vote for "least worst" all the time and believe me it doesn't make anything better the way it is now.  

by wengler 2008-05-06 12:35AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Preach on, Brother wengler.

If nothing else good comes out of this primary, at least it's thrown a lot of problems with the current system into sharp relief.  I do hope that after President Obama or President Clinton is sworn in that everyone can take a deep breath and then take a serious honest look at the current nomination process.  It would be wrong to change the rules during a primary season, but it can and should be fixed during the offseason.

by Frood 2008-05-06 12:50AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I agree with you there even though we disagree on our candidates choice:-)

by Sandeep 2008-05-06 12:55AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

My best remedy is to scrap the Caucuses. I realise that its up to the states to decide that, but the DNC could certainly apply pressure to get each state to go with Primaries instead of Caucuses. All elections should be decided by popular vote, not in a setting where there is a chance of someone being intimidated into voting a certain way. Of course I have a problem with Delegates in primaries, and want the GE to be decided by popular vote too.

by muggle 2008-05-06 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I think any reasonable person can agree that the superdelegates are free to use any criterion they like to determine where they cast their votes.  Nobody who's serious about discussing this nomination would disagree with that.  So yes, the late-deciding superdelegates could decide to vote en masse for Clinton, as well as some of those who've previously endorsed Obama switching their support.

What confuses me -- and, I think many other people outside Clinton's core supporters -- is why you think they would do such a thing.  By the superdelegate history chart at Demconwatch, it appears as though both candidates are currently bringing in superdelegates at roughly the same rate, with Obama perhaps slightly outpacing Clinton, although not by much.

The pledged delegate gap is unlikely to change much between now and the end of the primary season, which means hopes for a Clinton nomination depend on the current superdelegate dynamic changing drastically.  Absent Obama being caught with the proverbial "dead girl or live boy" I don't see how that's going to happen.

Superdelegates can choose any metric they want for determining who to vote for, so promoting various popular vote metrics, etc, is all well and good, but just because Clinton supporters push them doesn't mean anyone else is going to climb on board.  Frankly it seems likely to me that anyone who was going to be persuaded by those kinds of things would have publically announced for Clinton anyway.

The trouble with the votes from Florida and Michigan is that those elections went ahead without any campaigning by either side -- and in Michigan's case without Obama's name on the ballot.  I could see sliding Florida in -- since both candidates at least were on the ballot you can make an argument that it was "fair" in some rough sense; that would net Clinton roughly 30 delegates if counted in full.  But nobody's going to accept the nomination as legitimate if the Michigan delegation's votes for Clinton are allowed to decide the winner.

What's most likely from here on out is just a continuation of what's been happening since the end of February; contests won here and there by each candidate with very little change in Obama's pledged delegate lead, and superdelegates continuing to trickle in for both sides.  I just don't see any realistic possibility for Clinton to change the overall dynamics enough to prevent an Obama nomination.

She certainly does have the right to continue her campaign as long as she wishes.  I don't think it's the wise thing for her to do, but it's her call, not mine.
 

by Frood 2008-05-06 12:43AM | 0 recs
Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

He bought national ads as a bundle, and they aired in Florida several times a day for almost two weeks before Florida's primary.

 He also spontaneously crossed the street to hold a press conference and did until reminded that was against 'campaigning' rules, at which time he stopped.

 They each did about 15 fundraisers each in Florida as that was considered okay and not 'campaigning' (search me why).   They also held a debate there.  People saw both of them as much as I have here in California, not having gone to a rally for either but able to read newspapers and online articles and discussions and watch them both carry on via youtube as well as daily on my more old-fashioned tube.

 So, in essence, he was the only candidate who did campaign in Florida.

 Also, he himself removed himself from the Michigan ballot, as did Edwards.  At the time they were polling lower than Hillary.  Then Obama himself asked Michigan voters to vote for "Uncommitted" -- his campaign staff repeated that, and other Democrat bigwigs advised the voters to do the same, so there WAS an anti-Hillary vote by Obama's urging (one might call that participating in the election).

 My preferred position would be to give Obama all the Uncommitted votes, even if Edwards would have gotten about 15% or so of those.  

 

by Andrys 2008-05-06 01:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

His national air buy was approved by both the DNC and the SC Democratic Party (the only remaining early primary after Florida). While both Clinton and Obama held fundraisers in the state, Clinton held and personally attended several in the weeks leading up to the primary--capped of with an instate victory party.

More importantly, we've seen Clinton's lead drastically narrow in every state that Obama's competed in, so implying that campaigning wouldn't matter is a lie. The fact is that he would have faired much better in a real contest, particularly in MI where he more often polls ahead of her. So, it's the height of absurdity to claim the votes should stand as cast.

It's also an affront to all the other states that followed the rules and would have their votes undermined by the ones that broke the rules. Ex post facto is written into our Constitution because it's one of our core values as a nation and a party. To allow these unsanctioned contests flies in the face of that and insults us all as Americans.

by noop 2008-05-06 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

I'm in Iowa and I'm not at all "affronted" to allow the votes of other Americans count, nor do I feel that outcomes of other states would "undermine" my state.  The convoluted reasoning that is used to throw away millions of votes is hilarious.

by Montague 2008-05-06 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

I sincerely doubt you're authorized to speak for the Iowa Democratic party. However, you certainly could have communicated your view to the party last summer before the decision was made. Being a Clinton supporter might have helped you even, since she had a near majority on the committee that voted overwhelmingly to strip the delegates.

by noop 2008-05-06 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

Gee, you behave as though YOU are authorized to speak for the entire Democratic Party.  Pot, kettle.

Incidentally, I was not a Clinton supporter until the day of the caucus.

by Montague 2008-05-06 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

Who you supported and when doesn't really matter if you genuinely think that MI and FL should not have been sanctioned. You still could have made your views known to your party representatives. I pointed out that being a Clinton supporter could help only because her people held the greatest sway in that decision.

Finally, I don't claim to speak for the party. I am merely stating the facts of the event.

by noop 2008-05-06 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

So here is the question - if both Obama and Edwards had been on the ballot in Michigan, do you really think HRC would have received 55% of the vote? Or would it have been more likely down in the high 30's, low 40's, and her delegate haul diminished accordingly?

by tysonpublic 2008-05-06 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Most know Obama campaigned in Florida

I can't realistically estimate exactly what her result would have been. What I can say with absolute certainty is that Obama would have performed much better than zero delegates, and I expect she would have performed significantly worse.

by noop 2008-05-06 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Well the problem is that Clinton is behind enough to make sure Obama will win if he keeps his campaign together and that she is close enough to over take him if he doesn't.

Personally I think Obama should allow both in at 50% right now. It whould disarm a lot of critism later in the general, remove a strong rationale for Clinton and it makes a for a good superdelegate endorsement rationale while not changing the denamic of the race at all.

And it would change me from a somewhat disgusted-with it-all supporter of Obama who backs him only because he's the only one that has a chance to legitimatly win on all metrics to a somewhat supportive supporter who has some faith restored in the direction the democratic party has taken.

by Ernst 2008-05-06 01:43AM | 0 recs
this race is over

essentially, this race has been over since the day that sen. clinton & her advisers decided to give obama every contest in february after super tuesday.

& that's the worst of it from sen. clinton's point of view:  she gave him those contests.  if she'd competed for those votes as fiercely as she's competing for indiana & north carolina, well, it would be dead even & she might even be ahead.

but no.  & that's why she lost.
s.

by synth 2008-05-06 12:44AM | 0 recs
Re: this race is over

Agreed if finally she loses that will be the biggest reason. But she hasnt lost it yet. So I wont say its over. Let Obama earn the nomination and show us what he is made of.

by Sandeep 2008-05-06 12:59AM | 0 recs
Re: this race is over

If, when all of this is over, Obama is ahead in pledged delegates, would you say that he "earned" the nomination?

It seems that there is way too much shifting of the goal posts and differing views of the legitimacy of primaries versus caucuses. Of course the Superdelegates are free to choose as they see fit, but I would say having the lead in pledged delegates at the end of the contest is "earning" the nomination.

As for Florida and Michigan - I'd love to see them have a re-vote, but that is highly unlikely because both states and the DNC refuse to pay for it. And on this point the DNC is right - they broke the rules and held a primary knowing their delegates weren't going to be seated. If the state legislatures respect the rights of their citizens they would admit they were wrong and hold new contests and figure out a way to pay for it. Also, the voters in those states can take out their grievances on said state legislators who moved their primaries up despite the warnings from the DNC. Vote those idiots out.

And this is neither Barack Obama's fault nor Hillary Clinton's fault.

by GrahamCracker 2008-05-06 01:14AM | 0 recs
The DNC is able to modify penalties due

...penalties due to evidence the state parties tried to move the date to Feb. 5.  Florida did try to do that but the Republican-ruled legislature voted against the Dem's amendment to move that vote to be in compliance with DNC rules.

 The Repubs knew what they were doing there and Dean fell for it, mainly because he does, for his own reasons, want Obama to win.  Carville was unfair to him after Dean was successful with the 50-state strategy.  Dean's arbitrary control-freak rules and his stupendously unethical handling of the penalties, ignoring the modifications possible which were built into those rules have all but  ensured our defeat in Florida and Michigan.  That is beyond stupid.

 It also makes "The will of the people" a laughing matter, because after the lessons of yr 2000 he would punish the voters for actions by the Republican legislature.  

by Andrys 2008-05-06 01:44AM | 0 recs
Feel free to see the rules above

I've quoted the pertinent rules section w/r/t MI and FL above. It's pretty imperative and clear what the penalties for moving the primaries would be. Dems in FL and MI both voted in favor of leapfrogging the early contests (if you insist, I'll run down the vote tallies to back this up one more time), so crying about the GOP forcing this is dishonest. There's also YouTube tape of the Dems in FL opening flaunting the rules on the floor of the legislature if you're a visual learner.

I'm not sure how enforcing agreed-upon rules is "stupendously unethical handling" in your opinion. I guess you're implying that  the rules shouldn't apply to certain candidates. The only modification allowed is a downward one, which was applied to strip all delegates. I think this was simply to show the import of rules enforcement and will be retracted to give both states a 50% delegation in the end, but that won't affect the outcome.

In the end, the MI/FL issue is just a delay tactic to see if the environment changes enough to allow Clinton to sneak in. We've seen the worst of it, and Obama has recovered every time. This is silly season in so many ways.

by bookish 2008-05-06 03:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC is able to modify penalties due

Watch this from about 6:22:22 minutes in: http://streams.leg.state.fl.us/archive/M BR/S_SSES_2007_04_26_4475.asx

Then try and convince me that Florida's Democratic party even tried to put up a fight on moving the date. Because it sure looks like they supported it wholeheartedly, and the claim of a fight was just posturing.

by noop 2008-05-06 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: this race is over

Agreed.

The Rudy Giuliani strategy of waiting for a state to WIN BIG! doesn't work. If you want to be President you gotta campaign and campaign hard in places that appear hostile to you, cause those are the ones you need to win over(or at least lose by less points). Despite Obama supporters and neutral observers looking at the numbers and declaring it over, Obama keeps chugging along with campaign events and a lot of ad buys.

Both Clintons put a lot of time in NC to my knowledge and that will probably help them narrow the gap a bit. At the end of this thing, Clinton supporters should stiff Penn on his monstrous bill and demand money back for the crappy electoral strategy he engaged in. Hillary could be looking at a gap in the single digits rather than the massive 130-140 gap that now exists because she ran a terrible campaign strategically. She blamed it on the game and the officials rather than herself and her campaign, which is a recipe for failure.  

by wengler 2008-05-06 01:11AM | 0 recs
Re: this race is over

Awesome advice.  I think presidental candidates who still people with the bill (like Hillary) are likely to run up the deficit; obviously, there are budgeting issues.  Don't you agree?

by reenactor 2008-05-06 03:12AM | 0 recs
Nice post

and so very true:

Contest every battleground.  

Wear out tons of shoes.

Knock on every door.

The proportional system guarantees equitable results for campaigns that do this, and dooms campaigns that wait for the "big" states.

by bjones 2008-05-06 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: this race is over

Obama netted over 100 delegates in February after Super Tuesday, by racking up massive landslides in a series of small AND medium states.  Washington in particular gave Obama more than PA and OH combined gave Clinton.  Virginia, DC, and Maryland combined gave him more than Clinton got in New York.  Hawaii more than the Texas primary, etc.

Basically, Obama and Clinton split the early states, appear to be on track to split the later states, but the middle states gave Obama an insurmountable lead.

by Skaje 2008-05-06 01:47AM | 0 recs
Re: this race is over

Actually, the Clinton campaign's strategic blunder started on Super Tuesday itself.  It's hard to campaign in all those states at once, but she ducked too many contests and got blown out in Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, and Minnesota.  It was a big step for Obama's campaign to pull off a draw on Super Tuesday before starting is 11 contest sweep through the rest of February.

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-05-06 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

You don't care about the rules or you wouldn't be arguing for elections that had been declared invalid (by everyone, including Clinton) to be counted.

You don't care about the will of the people, or you wouldn't be so comfortable with the superdelegates overturning this will of the people.

So, what exactly do you care for? Which principles, logical or ethical, are you trying to follow in your argument?

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-06 01:12AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet
So, should the super delegates in the states where Clinton won have to switch their vote to Clinton, if they've already endorsed Obama (and vice versa)?
Or does the "will of the people" only count when you want it to?
by skohayes 2008-05-06 02:43AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Are you asking me what the rules say, or are you asking me what would happen if the "will of the people" was followed?

Either way, if applied consistently, would benefit Obama -- for Clinton to have a chance, you'll need to choose arbitrarily in which places we ought seek the "will of the people" and which places we ought go by the rules.

The currents points of the Clintonistas are:

- Florida: "all that matters is the will of the people"
- Superdelegates ignoring the voters: "all that matters are the rules"

These two attitudes are contradictory, but their is the only hope the Clinton campaign has, screw principle and screw logic.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-06 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

i find it hilarious, and very telling, that the entirety of the clinton victory strategy is to count a state in which her opponent wasn't on the ballot.

that's some goooooood democracy, yes it is.

by jbill 2008-05-06 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Honestly, I think most Obama supporters will agree with the main points you make, that it really isn't over yet, that Clinton can still win.  It is entirely within the rules for most of the uncommitted superdelegates to endorse Clinton and put her over the top (using MI and FL to win however, is not within the rules).  So Clinton can still play by the rules and become the nominee, it is just unlikely.  However, I don't begrudge her from continuing her campaign as long as it doesn't become impossible for her to win within the rules (Obama accumulating 2025 total delegates).

What you will find is that most Obama supporters, myself included, will argue that Clinton has no chance because we are sick and tired of the way this primary has progressed, we are angry with the way Clinton surrogates and supporters have attacked and slimed Obama, and we want to start fighting McCain already without worrying about Hillary backing up McCain's attacks on Obama (readiness to be president, gas tax, "elitist", etc.)

We all agree that primaries are a necessary and healthy aspect of democracy, but I think we can also agree that there is a point where primaries become so negative, where Democrats get into the mindset of doing anything to win, and it starts to hurt both candidates and increase the probability of the Republican winning.

With Obama so far ahead (and he truly is far ahead) he will finish the season with over 1700 pledged delegates, plus the 250+ superdelegates he already has puts him at 1950, and if he keeps adding them 1 to 2 a day he will be pushing 2000 by mid-June.  Together with superdelegates who have indicated they will endorse the winner of pledged delegates, and with his inherent advantage in add-on selection due to winning more states, it is hard to see how he doesn't pick up what little left he needs to hit 2025 and declare victory.

So you can understand why we want this to be over already.

by Skaje 2008-05-06 01:24AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Face it, he hasn't won a large primary since late February or so.  He keeps losing the big states.
One after the other.

 This is serious stuff.  You can post as if Obama has won, but the ugliness coming daily for Clinton "to quit or get out" since BEFORE Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania merely displayed the anxiety Obama supporters felt because they do know it's not over when neither has the pledged delegates required to automatically gain the nomination.  And THAT IS the ruling mechanism.  

by Andrys 2008-05-06 01:48AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Yes, he has lost a few big states.  And he has won most of the medium states, and by larger margins.  Clinton supporters seem confused how Obama is in the lead despite losing CA, NY, PA, OH, MA, NJ, and the TX primary.  It's really quite simple, winning the largest states by 10%, while losing medium states by 30%, is a losing strategy since we do not use winner-take-all primaries.

btw, North Carolina is the 9th largest state in the country.

by Skaje 2008-05-06 01:56AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

He's lost nearly all the big states that are basic MUSTs for Democrats in the General Election, and exit polling as well as electoral-college-based polling shows him NOT winning those states (at this point) from McCain while Clinton does.

 This is not a cute game of nyah nyah - my candidate won.  

 The only way he can close this down is to win Indiana tomorrow and win North Carolina big.

 It's a possibility though not a probability, so until then enough with the games already since THEY are what is divisive among supporters.

by Andrys 2008-05-06 02:10AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Looks to me like they're both ahead right now.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 03:16AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

You sound like your equating primary elections with general elections.

That's like comparing pigs to thoroughbreds.

by bjones 2008-05-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Sigh.  That's a pretty tired argument.  Either Democrat will win most of the Kerry states (CA, NY, IL, MA, NJ etc.) easily regardless of who won the primary.  There are some states where Clinton would be expected to do better, but many others where Obama would do better like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and North Carolina.

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-05-06 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Any democrat will win CA and NY in the general. Who wins those in the primary is inconsequential. The small states that are in play matter deeply.

by reenactor 2008-05-06 03:15AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Sure, at some abstract level, the argument that superdelegates should respect the pledged delegate vote is about respecting the will of the people.  Problem is, the "true intent of the people" is a fiction, especially in the context of the convoluted democratic primary system.  There is no objective metric for discerning true intent, especially when the states all used varied processes for selecting pledged delegates - caucuses, open primaries, closed primaries, semi-open primaries, etc.

Take, for example, the proportional division of delegates under the democratic process.  The DNC could have, like the repubs, chosen a winner-take-all system.  Which system truly reflects the will of the people? Winner take all or proportional?  On the repub side, if they had used a proportional system, Romney would have been tied in the delegate count after Super Tuesday and might now be the nominee.  But, of course, it would be unfair for Romney to try to change the metric mid-stream, because all contestants had agreed to play according to winner-take-all rules.  So, does McCain truly represent the true intent of the republican voters?  

Given that there's no way "objective" way to really figure out the true will of the voters, each party must choose the metric they think suits them best.  Dems chose proportional, repubs chose winner-take-all.  Both are imperfect, flawed measures, but hard choices had to be made.  

And once that choice was made, then, unless there were some gross procedural irregularities during the primaries, I don't see any good reason to subvert the results produced by the chosen system.  Unless it can be shown the the system was biased or deliberately rigged to favor one candidate over another, I can't see any legitimate basis for superdelegates to overturn the results of a fair process.  I suppose if the winning candidate was caught sleeping with a dead boy or live girl a few weeks before the convention, then, such new, extenuating circumstances could justify superdelegate intervention.

But, overturning the process shouldn't be done lightly or based on a superdelegate's individual preference for an alternative metric like popular vote or electability, or because a superdelegate individually believes that the true intent of the voters wasn't captured in the pledged delegate count.  If the superdelegates could just exercise independent judgment and ignore the pledged delegate count and use whatever metric they think is most appropriate, then what's the point in having the primaries at all?  Ultimately, it's all about the integrity of the process, isn't it?  That was the problem with the 2000 elections.  It was a process that lacked integrity and legitimacy because it had been deliberately rigged and modified to aid one party over the other.  

In the end, confidence in the integrity of the electoral process is crucial in ensuring that a democratic system of governance truly is democratic.  So, whatever the superdelegates do, they need to act in a way that preserves the integrity of the democratic primary process.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-06 01:36AM | 0 recs
The 'implicit tie' fallacy

Now, of course, in the mind of Melber and all proponents of the Obama inevitability campaign, the pledged delegate count is king, which means that if superdelegates hand it to Obama it's OK, but if they hand it to Clinton it's not. How convenient.

It's time to give a name to this pile of crap I've heard so many times - the notion that, because neither candidate will win on pledged delegates alone, we've got a virtual tie, with no reason for the supers to favor either candidate as they resolve the nomination.

So I name it the "implicit tie" fallacy.

We all know why it's a fallacy.  Regardless of the actual party rules (decided on back in 1982 or whenever, and fossilized since then because they didn't affect anything), Democratic voters didn't go into this thing having approved the superdelegate rules in advance.  Rather, they believed they were participating in a fundamentally small-d democratic process by which their votes would determine the nominee.

If a distinct plurality of primary voters chooses one candidate (who is thereby ahead in the official scoring process for months as a result), but that plurality is overruled in favor of the second-place candidate by a bunch of DNC members that nobody's ever heard of (and at least in the MD-VA-DC area, these folks are complete unknowns to the voters), then of course there's going to be trouble.

The supporters of the leading candidate will believe they were robbed.  And it will fundamentally undermine the Democratic Party's commitment to being, well, a democratic party.

It makes a big difference who's ahead in the pledged delegates.  Pretending otherwise is bullshit.

by RT 2008-05-06 02:24AM | 0 recs
great post /nt

by semiquaver 2008-05-06 02:36AM | 0 recs
Re: great post /nt

Thanks!  I should add that since 20% of the delegates are supers, a candidate could win the pledged delegates by up to a 62%-38% margin, and still need supers to push him/her over the top.  

To equate Mr. 62% with Mr. 38% would be downright idiotic: it would clearly NOT be the same for the supers to choose either candidate.

by RT 2008-05-06 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: great post /nt

Wow, I initially thought your math must be off but you're right, they could split the PDs 49.9-30.1 (winning over 62% of the PDs) and still require some SDs to hit a majority of overall delegates.

The whole "neither can do it without the help of the superdelegates" meme really does imply a close race, when that isn't necessarily the case at all.  A candidate could be winning the PDs by a 24-point margin and still need SD assistance.  Thanks for pointing that out.

by ChrisKaty 2008-05-06 07:53AM | 0 recs
amen brutha!

Todd you are so so soooo right!  This thing is far from over.  BHO has lost his mojo. I mean, look at his interviews and speeches lately, he looks beaten and beat, like he's just run out of gas.  Hillary, on the other hand, looks like a million bucks.  She seems invigorated and is connecting w/ people like never before.  

The Pennsylvania results and the good Reverend have shaken Obama up pretty good. Even worse, he seems incapable of carrying out a forceful response; a certain fatal flaw for somebody who wants to rule the free world (or even be a security guard).

I think today is gonna be a very good day for Hillary.

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-06 02:30AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Here's the problem with arguing that we can't call Obama the leader unless we resolve Florida and Michigan: even if you count both elections as they occurred, OBAMA IS STILL WINNING.

Look at the sidebar on the DemConWatch link. Counting those two illegitimate primaries, he leads by 40 pledged delegates, and has a lead of about 13 total delegates.  Given that we know at least 36 of the 55 uncommitted delegates are Obama supporters, that puts him ahead by about 75 pledged delegates and 40 total delegates.

That's pretty much a tie, you say? Well, if all Hillary can muster is a tie when she ran unopposed in one of the biggest states, why should she get the nomination?

by alvernon 2008-05-06 02:35AM | 0 recs
The idea that it's "over" is ludicrous

People talk about super delegates like they are a "lock", when, in fact, we've already seen opportunistic switching of allegiences of some supers.  So, I don't buy it.

When they actually go on record and cast their ballots, then, and only then, will this thing be "over".  (I would add that I personally think that if Obama pulls off a two-fer today, she'll get out.)

As we've seen as well, anything can happen in a campaign.  Rev. Wright is the gift that keeps on giving, and anyone who thinks it's a dead issue in the fall is absolutely living in the state known as denial.  By the way, there are no electoral votes in that state.

As Todd said, Obama wouldn't be campaigning hard if he thought it was over, and people wouldn't even bother to vote if they thought it didn't matter.  So, enough of the nonsense.  

The pundits and newsers by and large have shown their extreme biases for Obama over the campaign, and never fail to try and get Hillary to shut down her campaign.  And she continues to prove the idiocy of their commentary, much to their chagrin.

What's becoming really clear is that Obama and supporters want this thing shut down because they fear her and fear her support diminishing him even further.  What a party strategy: have one campaign end so a weaker candidate can prevail.  Now that's a recipe for success in the fall!

by DaTruth 2008-05-06 02:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The idea that it's "over"

it will be over by mid-june. your fantasy about a brokered convention is just that.

by jbill 2008-05-06 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

But quite to the contrary, now we have phase two of the Obama inevitability campaign wherein the very people who've been fear-mongering about superdelegates "overturning the will of the people" are now concern trolling about the negative consequences for the party if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination via superdelegate.
Actually, I've been talking about this for awhile now.  Sure, go ahead and call it "fear mongering" if you like, but it's something I take seriously.

Both Clinton and Obama have had a fair chance at this nomination, and Clinton's been coming up short.  She's a very strong candidate running a great 20th century campaign.  Obama's a very strong candidate running a great 21st century campaign, and that's why he's winning.  

But here's the thing: if she loses this election through a basically fair process (i.e., she loses the pledged delegate count), most of her supporters will come back and support Obama in November.  If she wins through an unfair process (i.e., the Superdelegates decide to interfere with the popular vote), we're going to have a major problem in our hands come November, and that problem is that we will completely lose African American support.  They won't vote for McCain, but half of them will stay home.  This is one reason I haven't thought it was time for Clinton to get out of the race: I don't want her supporters thinking that she was scuttled out.  I want whichever candidate loses to lose fair and square.

If he lost in a fashion which seemed fair to everyone, losing the delegate count, losing the popular vote, we'd still have their support come November, but if they perceive it as a bunch of people in power deciding to screw over the Black Guy, we're royally screwed.

I'd love to see either Clinton or Obama win in November, but I don't see any path for victory for her unless she can win without it coming across as though the election weren't stolen.  I see a fairly clear path to victory for him, as someone who will have clear contrasts between himself and McCain.  

So yeah, I'm scared of what will happen if the Superdelegates overturn the will of the voters because that's how it will be perceived by the general public.  I'm not a fan of this particular system to begin with, but if it exists, the SD's should really only be overturning the pledged delegates if there's some grievous reason for them to do so.  

And no, he hasn't won yet, but he's winning, and he continues to be winning, and nothing seems to be changing that, despite a fairly significant media narrative onslaught.

by juliewolf 2008-05-06 03:00AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

If we have a scenario where

- If Hillary Clinton wins the support of the voters, Hillary Clinton is the nominee
- If Barack Obama wins the support of the voters, Hillary Clinton is the nominee

the Party would be telling young voters and African-Americans not to bother participating in the Democratic Party.  That's why there's no chance whatsoever that the super delegates would throw the nomination to Clinton.

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-05-06 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Great post, my thoughts exactly (I diaried something very similar back towards the end of the February).

by ChrisKaty 2008-05-06 07:57AM | 0 recs
There are really only two choices

Obama continues to campaign against Hillary because effectively the general election has begun, and in case you haven't noticed, it's Hillary and McCain (witness the gas tax farce) against Obama. It is what is expected until Hillary concedes.

I will even admit that it is totally possible that the superdelegates could overturn the pledged, but to do so is just to concede the general election. Democrats would lose the African-American vote, the youth vote, a huge chunk of the Indpendent vote, and not to mention running the weaker candidate to start out with. Many of these effects would linger long past this election cycle and cost Democrats many future elections.

So there are only really two options. We either go with the guy who won the most pledged delegates, playing by the rules that were established, or we coronate the candidate who didn't win the most pledged delegates and witness the demolition of the Democratic Party.

There is nothing either "dishonest" or "divisive" about facing this truth. It is simple logic. Personally, at this point, I know that this is utterly beyond my control. The Democratic Party could decide to relegate itself to joke status for the foreseeable future, but in that case it really wasn't much of a party anyway, and maybe it would lead to a stronger third party forming. I still think however, that the superdelegates are not stupid, and that they'll not engage in nomination by coronation.

So given the choice of Obama as the nominee or the certainty of a President McCain, I'll continue to believe that Obama is our nominee and that there will be no palace coup.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-06 03:10AM | 0 recs
A Reason to be Joyous!

Barack Obama running against Hillary Clinton
                             Bill Cllinton
                             Chelsey Clinton
                             Rush Limbaugh
                             Joe Scarborough
                             Pat Buchanan
                             John McCain
                             Republican-Media

So we should be Joyous that despite all the Opponents that Barack has to battle... lies, distortions, guilt by associaiton, etc...

Barack Obama still won the most state despite the above!

Barack Obama still ahead in popular vote despite the above!

Barack Obama still raised the most money in history
despite the above!

by bacalove 2008-05-06 03:13AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

In the past, have supers ever pushed a candidate that was behind in pledged delegates ahead to win the nomination?  If so, I wonder what, if any, effect that had on the general.

I hope this isn't common knowledge; it's only since the Bush years that I've started paying closer attention to American politics.

by canuck 2008-05-06 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I'm a Republican so bear with me but I think an effective argument by the Clinton Crew is often dismissed out-of-hand.

Below are states with at least 10 electoral votes decided won by Bush or Kerry by 5 pts or less in the 2004 election, so-called "Swing States"

Florida - 27 EV's - Clinton by 17pts
Michigan - 17 EV's - Clinton 55% (with a caveat)
Minnesota - 10 EV's - Obama by 34pts
Missouri - 11 EV's - Obama by 1/2pt
Ohio - 20 EV's - Clinton by 10pts
Pennsylvania - 21 EV's - Clinton by 10pts
Wisconsin - 10 EV's - Obama by 17pts

I'll halve the Michigan electoral votes to abate that controversy.  

Adding them up: Obama - 31 EV's, Clinton - 76.5 EV's

Let's assume the 2008 Electoral map shares a rough resemblance with 2004.  Sure, Obama supporters argue he could win a red-state like Virginia, but I'll come back with an argument that McCain could win a blue-state like New Jersey.

Put Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the Republican column.  Put ALL other "swing-state" of any size (CO, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, WI) in Obama's column.

McCain wins 270-268

Keep all 2004 states the same but flip PA to McCain.  Now Obama is looking at an impossible 76 EV deficit.

I guess what I am trying to say is Clinton effectively blew out Obama in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania...THE Swing States.  If Clinton's your nominee there is 68 EV's on the table.  Add in WA, OR, CA, IL, VT, NY, ME, RI, CT, DE, DC, MD (aka hammer lock Dem states) and she only has to find 12 other EV's to secure the win.

by repub319 2008-05-06 03:33AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

ok, lots of fallacies here: one, obama is up like 21 in jersey. so throw that out. second, he's up by about 10 in penn. toss that one too. statistically tied in ohio and florida according to the last polls there (and that's without campaigning at all in florida).

look at jerome's map. flip ohio (which will not go repub in the fall) and he wins 295 EVs.

by jbill 2008-05-06 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Not to mention, Obama polls better than Clinton against McCain in Michigan.  

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-05-06 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Great post!

The key to your post is your premise, Obama has not won yet. And Clinton has not lost yet.

June 4, the pressure will surely mount to push one of two results.

A Superdelgates will commit to Obama

B Superdelegates, Party Official, Democratic Senators (more of whom have endorsed Obama), Members of the House, etc will demand Clinton concede

This in turn will produce one of two results

A She concedes

B. She resues to concede and the Supers commit to Obama

I love Hillary but she does not have a aviable endgame here.  She's been behind in pledged delegates for close to 3 months.  Her startegy has been to reky on Supers, fight for illegitimate results in MI and Fl and argue thats she's more electable based upon cherry picked polls.

If she has a starytegy to take this nomination, she ought to play it May, I am pretty sure teh Supers are going to make June 3 just the date of the last primary for barcak Obama, the presumptive Deomcratic Nominee

by kmwray 2008-05-06 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

"Obama supporters say that the superdelegates as a group should not overturn the verdict of the primary and caucus election process"

If that is true than Obama needs to go to all the Superdelgates in the States that he lost and tell them that the right thing to do is not to overturn the will of the voters in your state and you have to cast your vote for Hillary.

by CMFost23 2008-05-06 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

By Todd's rationale, is the primary ever decided before the convention? Since the rules allow for the pledged delegates to vote their conscience, isn't it always possible for someone else to win? Couldn't they all vote Mike Gravel come convention time? Doesn't Mike Gravel stand a good chance of being our nominee?

by noop 2008-05-06 04:10AM | 0 recs
Great post. Resonates with Boehlert's

superb article on why it is a double standard for the press to be helping Obama supporters try to push HRC out of the race - when she can completely win it.

http://mediamatters.org/columns/20080430 0001?f=h_column

by Molee 2008-05-06 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Great post. Resonates with Boehlert's

Great article by Boehlert.  Thanks for the heads-up.

by Montague 2008-05-06 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

This has been said a million times already on this site but the fact of the matter is that the supers have been and seem to continue to be breaking towards Obama. Deal with it.

Also, there is simply no way that the FL and MI delegations will get seated as currently constructed. Whatever solution is adopted will certainly be in Obama's favor more than the current slate, so why keep beating this drum?

by wasder 2008-05-06 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

I find it interesting that you point out how Hillary is so set on these votes being counted NOW.

Question 1: Don't you remember back at the beginning of the primary season when even Hillary was saying that the votes their wouldn't count?

Question 2: Do you believe Hillary would still be advocating for the votes to count if she had lost in one or both of those states?

I have no problem with Hillary trying to have it play out in her favor. She is trying to win an election and that is what you do; however, lets not pretend that she is so concerned about their voices being heard. It is about getting elected; not helping out the voters in Florida or Michigan.

by JDF 2008-05-06 04:19AM | 0 recs
this is all very self-serving...

which points to the problem.  while i believe that hillary has every right to stay in the race as long as she wants, her supporters are feeding her co-dependency.  hillary can't win the nomination.  they have been waiting for "the other shoe to drop" so that the electorate (including the superdelegates) sees what is so very clear to them.

it doesn't occur to them that they could be wrong.

first, we were warned that the tony rezko trial would blow barack out of the water.  then there was the rumor that he was muslim.  then it was his (christian!) preacher (which basically ends any hope that the muslim rumor could be effective).  just wait, we are told over and over.  something will turn up.

add to that this absolutely delusional perception among many of her supporters that barack's campaign isn't a movement but a cult (which exposes the kind of circular reasoning that supporting hillary seems to require -- is it a bad thing that a politician's supporters are so devoted in an electoral system?) and that he/they perceive the candidate not as a politician but as a messiah.  that perception, fed by the clintons themselves, is kind of hard to write without cracking up (or rotflmao, as some say); it's even more absurd that there are (apparently) rational people who have chosen to buy this.

the simple question that hillary and her supporters cannot answer is, how does she win starting from so far behind?  let's set aside the fact that she's run this truly awful campaign (textbook awful) and assume that she runs the perfect campaign from here on out.  so how does she win?

the very fact that the clinton campaign is discussing a "nuclear option" demonstrates just how desperate they see her chances.  no more talk of "running the table," or giving voters the chance to decide, they are planning (?) hand to hand political combat all the way through the convention.  iow, they agree that it's unlikely hillary can win without extraordinary steps, steps more likely to divide the party, alienate independents and radicalize the other side of this primary.  the story, from here on out, is to be how hillary swiped this vote from barack, and that one, and still another.

which makes hillary's winning of the general even more unlikely!

will the clintons risk destroying the democratic party in order to put her name on the ballot?  well, their efforts to win florida in the early 90s are instructive, where they went out with a deliberate (and effective) attempt to purge southern progressives from the ranks of the democratic party leadership in the state (presumably because clinton was never a southern progressive, and he didn't like the examples of askew, chiles and carter diminishing bill's stature).  so, yes, experience suggests that hillary and her supporters are willing to destroy the democratic party if they feel like it.

but hillary has another option.  hope.  yes, it's possible that hillary could feel the change in the democratic party, cast off her deep political cynicism and turn from the dark side.  choose the force, hill.  come to the light.

hillary could play the role that ed kennedy choose after his bitterly divisive primary with jimmy carter.  he ended his presidential ambitions -- for the good of the democratic party -- becoming an elder statesmen and worked incredibly hard at building up a stronger, more inclusive democratic party.  that's a damn fine legacy.

anything could happen.  i'm betting that hillary truly believes that a clinton is the only democrat who could be elected president, and that anything she does to force that choice upon the "idiots" in the party is good.  so destroying the party is not only an option but a necessity.  to the royalist way of thinking, only they can win, so only they can be the rational choice.

but it puts the whole "obama as messiah" frame the clinton supporters have been pushing in perspective.  no hillary's not clean, she is easy to beat up, and she's run a shitty campaign.  it takes a strange leap in logic to argue that she's the most electable.

but politics is strange...

by bored now 2008-05-06 04:20AM | 0 recs
what about the voters?

Fla voters were told their vote would not count, and so many voters either stayed home or didn't cast a vote for the primary.

What about those voters? Told their vote would not count, so they didn't vote, they are now to be told (if HRC has her way) that they shouldn't have listened to the Dem Party and to the candidates (who agreed to the rules). HRC wants to tell the Fla voters that those who didn't listen to the Dem party will get their vote counted, and those who did listen do not get a vote.

That's not to mention that those who did vote, cast a vote they believed and were told would not count. How can that vote be considered a valid representation of a voter's intent if it was cast in the belief that it would not count? Who knows what criteria a voter used to cast that vote if they believed it would not count.

by Mojo Risen 2008-05-06 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

When the primaries are over, Barack Obama will be ahead on all counts: announced superdelegates, pledged delegates, popular votes, and number of states.

That's why Hillary should quit.  But she certainly doesn't have to, it's a free country.  Obama is certainly not going to "go home to Chicago" if Hill is still out there on the stump.  Gimmie a break.

Florida and Michigan don't count.  Never did.  They don't exist.  Nobody voted there.

The end.

by Reluctantpopstar 2008-05-06 04:33AM | 0 recs
Excellent diary

Thanks for laying it out so clearly.

by Montague 2008-05-06 04:41AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

why is he still campaigning? because he has a republican opponent named john mccain who is campaigning against him. mccain is not campaigning against sen clinton.

and yes, there is the pesky matter of florida and michigan. too bad the party has rules isn't it? why don't we just forget the rules, all the rules, and we can all run for president.

by hueydixiepearl 2008-05-06 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

"Seriously, if the nomination is so settled as many Obama supporters like to claim, he's free to just go home to Chicago. No one's stopping him."

Seriously, that would be a very strange thing to do.

McCain has won the Republican nomination but he has not returned to Phoenix.

For the people who missed the Republican Pennsylvania result
HUCKABEE, MIKE 90,836 11.3%
MCCAIN, JOHN 582,943 72.8%
PAUL, RON 127,239 15.9%

Or to put it another way, perhaps that particular argument is a tad spurious.

by My Ob 2008-05-06 04:50AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won

If those who have wanted HRC to drop out got their wish earlier, the REPUBLICANS WOULD BE TEARING OBAMA TO SHREDS right now.  Obama's finally getting a little bumpy ride, but it's nothing compared to what the Repubs would be doing to him if he were the only candidate left.  Ironically, HRC's continued presence is actually protecting Obama from the worst of the worst.
by moevaughn 2008-05-06 04:56AM | 0 recs
Fear of Republicans

the driving force of the Clinton campaign.  Must suck to be so scared all the time.

by JJE 2008-05-06 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Fear

must suck for Obama to be so afraid of debating the issues.  (one-on-one with no moderator, no less)  must suck for Obama to be afraid to join Hillary in a town-forum setting to take questions directly from the citizens.  Who's the big wimp?  What is Obama so afraid of?

by moevaughn 2008-05-06 05:58AM | 0 recs
lol...

did barack put on a pink dress or suck up to scaife and drudge?  i will never forget the undecided voter i talked to who resented the fact that hillary clinton needed her husband to advance in her career.

"real women don't do that."

no wonder she acts that way...

by bored now 2008-05-06 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re:

If those who have wanted HRC to drop out got their wish earlier, the REPUBLICANS WOULD BE TEARING OBAMA TO SHREDS right now.  Obama's finally getting a little bumpy ride, but it's nothing compared to what the Repubs would be doing to him if he were the only candidate left.  Ironically, HRC's continued presence is actually protecting Obama from the worst of the worst.

by moevaughn 2008-05-06 06:19AM | 0 recs
that may be...

but i haven't argued that hillary has to drop out.  what i've said consistently is that history shows us that people don't drop out of presidential races until they are broke or they cry.  with a hundred million dollars to rely on, it's difficult to see how hillary will ever be too broke to compete.  and i think "making her cry" is even more unlikely.  so i'd suggest that it was never going to end until someone got the number of delegates needed to win.

which hasn't happened.

quite frankly, i'd argue that barack has benefited from hillary's competition.  the "barack is a muslim" meme is finally dead, because of the publicity given to jeremiah wright.  "denouncing" wright has become barack's sister souljah moment, although it breaks my heart that we feel the need to do that kind of thing.

and the fact that the obama campaign hasn't closed this race out is troubling.  but he's emerged as the strongest candidate of those who choose to compete, which was (sadly) true of kerry in 2004.  i disagree with your last sentence vehemently.  we can only speculate what barack will face from republicans, and it's easily possible that they will have nothing better to attack him with than hillary had.  so it's just as likely that barack has faced the worst.  maybe, maybe not.  what we do know is that republicans are not as well funded as they were in 2004, so it will be interesting to see whether their attacks can catch on...

by bored now 2008-05-06 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: that may be...

Thanks.  Your other reply kind of baffled me -- didn't seem to relate to my original comment.

I'm glad you're not one of those who have been pushing HRC to drop out.  I just disagree that if and when Obama is the last Dem standing, the Repubs won't have more to destroy him with. They sure will -- magnified many times over, but we'll see what happens in GE...

by moevaughn 2008-05-06 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won

Clinton is doing their dirty work for them.

by reggie44pride 2008-05-06 08:17AM | 0 recs
Right effing on, Todd! What really

slays me is this notion that if Hillary presents a more believable "electability" argument to the SD's and they actually {{{gasp}}} vote for her then she is stealing it. Or if she does really well today and some SD's declare for her they are {{{gasp}}} not listening to the will of the voters. Is Ted Kennedy, or John Kerry, or Deval Patrick, elected representatives and a governor, listening to the will of the voters of Massachusetts? Is John Baldaci, my governor, listening to the will of the voters of Maine because he supports Hillary? Oh, that's right, according to the Obama camp they are supposed to disregard the wishes of their own consituents and think "nationally" when it benefits Obama, as in Massachusetts, but when that reasoning might benefit Hillary, as in my state, then the SD's should listen to the will of their constituents. Disingenous is the polite way to describe the "if she wins she somehow stole it" meme. If supers were only there to "reflect the will of the voters," then they wouldn't be there in the first place. No matter how many times Obama supporters are reminded of the role and the history of the SD's, they just. won't. have. it. "Rules" only apply when it benefits Obama, as in FL and MI. But when it comes to the rules governing the SD's - not so much.

by Rumarhazzit 2008-05-06 04:56AM | 0 recs
Legitimacy

I think no one can argue the basic facts of your argument are 'technically' correct.  Obama has not won and Clinton has not lost, both will need super delegates to get over the line and one would hope a resolution can be achieved on Michigan and Florida.  And until there is a candidate who has reached the magic number both candidates should (or can) stay in until such a time.

However, after stating those facts, the rest of your argument goes off the rails a bit.  

The most important thing that comes with the dem nominee is 'legitimacy'.  This is where 'the math' (pledged delegate leader) and 'the rules' (Florida and Michigan can not be seated as is for breaking the rules when all candidates agreed to the punishment) become so important.  Its hard to argue genuinely against them or more correctly its more ligitimate to argue for them.

All rational Obama supporters will admit, grudgingly, the supers can do whatever they want for whatever reason they want.  But the supers have to worry first about the legitimacy of the candidate.  It will be harder for the party as a whole (plus independents) to accept a candidate who is not seen as the legitmate winner.

So this is where the Obama supporters get so blue in the face when trying to point this out.  The continuously changing and tenuous arguments the Clintons and their supporters throw out as a valid way of measuring legitimacy of the process just dont have the same 'legitimate' feel as 'the math' and 'the rules'.

There is no doubt that this primary has identified a lot of problems that we have with our nominating process, but we have to live with the process we have for this cycle.  To try and change the rules midstream will be disasterous and will, to use the Clintons word du jour, disenfranchise all the states that have gone before and followed the rules as agreed.

So to me it comes down to legitimacy as primacy.  Sure, the supers can do whatever, but the more legitimate the outcome appears in relation to the rules as set at the beginning of the process, the more easily that candidate will be accepted and the stronger the mandate they will weild.

by pattonbt 2008-05-06 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: self-fulfilling prophecy:

Axelrod has taken this "create your own reality" strategy over from Karl Rove.
by moevaughn 2008-05-06 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: self-fulfilling prophecy:

heh.  we should learn things from our opponents.  it is actually our campaigns advance...

by bored now 2008-05-06 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Yeah, well here's how I see it.

If the supers don't give it to:
the pledged delegate leader;
the winner of the most states;
and the "popular vote" winner (however that is determined)...

then they better have a rock solid reason as to why they don't.  The argument of electability over McCain is a crock, pure and simple.  Both Dem candidates would clean Senator Slipper's clock.

What else is there?

by bjones 2008-05-06 05:04AM | 0 recs
Why is McCain still campaigning...

The republican contests are essentially over but he's still out there.  Why begrudge Obama for campaigning still?

by mishiem 2008-05-06 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: What Position is Obama running for ????

When I hear Obama surrogates say he won. Who exactly did he win over ????

The last time I checked:

he was losing to Hillary Clinton among White voters by 2 to 1.

he was losing to Clinton among Latino voters by 2 to 1.

he was losing to Clinton among Asian-American voters by 2 to 1

he was losing to Clinton among Catholic voters by 2 to 1

he was losing to Clinton among Senior voters by 2 to 1

he was losing to Clinton among Women voters by 2 to 1

he was losing to Clinton among Jewish voters by 20 points.

he has lost 7 of the 8 largest electoral college states in the nation ( and yes, all that matters in Nov. are the electoral colleges )

And yes,

he has lost to Clinton Among Registered Democratic voters.

So who exactly is being inspired here?

What kind of nominee do we have here who has lost all of the above?

Is he running for President of the United States of America  or President of the African-American community ?

The guy even needs to PREVENT & DISINFRANCHISE Florida votes from counting because he would then lose the Popular vote. ( The same Florida that they both Did Not Campaign & they both had their names on the ballot.

Who? The 30 yr & below liberal bloggers on Kos & Mydd??? Who?

by latinfighter 2008-05-06 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: What Position is Obama running for ????

"When I hear Obama surrogates say he won. Who exactly did he win over ????"

A majority of people who have voted in Democratic primaries and caucuses?

Hillary leads if and only if you give her all her Michigan votes and you give Obama zero uncommitted votes.  If you want to make an argument about process - that he should be punished for taking his name off the ballot, you can make that argument.  (I won't agree, but at least it's consistent.)  If you want to make an argument about who got the most support from Democrats, you have to give him - at a minimum - some of the uncommitted voters.  

by TL 2008-05-06 05:21AM | 0 recs
minor technicality...

isn't it obvious?  hillary's supporters only count the votes that went to her.  nothing else matters.  it's the only way she can win...

by bored now 2008-05-06 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: What Position is Obama running for ????

Can you tell me who the Latino community is. There are black, white and brown in that community. A Cuban American is very different to a Mexican American. A Brazilian American is very different to a person from Guatemala. It is not a monolthic block.
You write that it is.

Same for the Asian Americans. The Fillipino has nothing in common with a Korean.

You need to understand this.

by MissVA 2008-05-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: What Position is Obama running for ????

Half of Brazil's 190 million people is of African stock. Did you know that? That is 90 million people. Same goes for Dominicans. All of them have African blood. 20% of Cuba is of African blood. Maybe more. Same for Colombia.

My friend. Latino's come in many shades, many kinds and they don't share your hatred of Blacks. Not when their blood is part African.

by MissVA 2008-05-06 05:42AM | 0 recs
Michigan is not a "Clinton stronghold"

Obama polls at least as strongly as Clinton in Michigan, often stronger.  It's a state more like IL or IN or WI than it is like Appalachia.

And, though I can't believe we're still talking about Michigan, here it is one more time.  When Hillary thought it was to her political advantage to say so - back when she was romancing Iowa and New Hampshire voters - she gave her word that those states would not count.

If she wanted those states to count, she could have said so before the IA and NH primaries and taken her chances with the voters.  She decided not to, and she doesn't get to play Calvinball and change the rules now that it's to her advantage to do that.

by TL 2008-05-06 05:18AM | 0 recs
I'm disappointed

Todd,

You have consistently been a fairly objective voice on this site;  I am fine with you being a Clinton supporter, but this is a blatant partisan diary that I'd more expect from Jerome.

You know as well as I do that the supers aren't going to overthrow the pledged delegate leader barring "a dead girl or a live boy"-level scandal.  It's not that they can't do it; they simply won't.

The fact that Clinton has gone into blatant Republican-style tactics and pandering isn't making any friends for her among the superdelegates.  I wonder what favors she had to call in to get Senator Menendez to come on Morning Joe and badmouth economists.

If anyone is fearmongering, it's your candidate.  Please take a more moderate stance.  The nomination is almost over; the fewer hard feelings between the supporters of the candidates there are, the better off we'll be in taking on McCain.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-06 05:20AM | 0 recs
Read this Todd

She signed an agreement not support the Michigan doesn't count and we won't run party position.

She broke the agreement.

Michigan violated party rules.

He wasn't on the ballot.

Define integrity.   Remember that one?

And as for expediency...if it were to count:
forget 70% of the youth vote and Afrian american vote and that of millions of others like me who willjust have had enough.

McCain will be the winner in that scenario.

For Hillary it's lose-lose.

MP

by markpsf 2008-05-06 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Another MyDD hitjob on Obama and his supporters?  I think it may be time to move on from MyDD if this keeps up.

by Bobby Obama 2008-05-06 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: move on from MYDD

Hooray!!  

by moevaughn 2008-05-06 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

You won't leave.

by reggie44pride 2008-05-06 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Remember republicans hate the Clintons with passion and they will forget John McCain is on the ticket but fight with every emotion to stop the Clintons. Ho, by the way a substantial number of democrats will sit home, that's the equation super delegates are dealing with.

by MissVA 2008-05-06 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Todd,

Do you really think that Senator Clinton's team wouldn't be banging the drum to get Obama out of the race if their positions were reversed?  Of course they would, so lets stop pretending that she is somehow virtuous in this situation.  It simply serves her interests for this thing to continue, because she is trailing.  

Now, of course you are correct that she could still win.  But what are her odds?  Jerome has said she has a 20-25% chance at the nomination, and that's up because of Reverand Wright, etc.  If we accept that percentage, and I think it's too high, then some frustration on the part of some Obama supporters is pretty normal.  As it would be if the situation was reversed.  I wonder, however, if you would still be writing the same post if it was Obama who was behind by this much.    

by HSTruman 2008-05-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Reverse- Don't even go there!

Truman,

And do you think if the situation were reversed, Obama's people would be saying that the Only thing that matters is Pledge Delegates & that Super Delegates have to follow whatever Pledged delegates say???

Please. Do Not even go there.

Obama & Clinton are both politicians.

Obama & Clinton are both human. ( there is no saint obama here)

If the situation were reverse, their arguments would have just been reversed as well.

Axelrod & Penn are both sinners.

Chicago politicians are just as dirty as any politician ( or even worse)

Democratic politicians are just as power hungry as Republican politicians. They are all politicians.

Don't even go "reverse" because Yes, their arguments today would just reverse.

by latinfighter 2008-05-06 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Reverse- Don't even go there!

Thanks for making my point for me.  Glad you agree with me that each candidate's position on the state of the nomination battle is predicated on ensuring that they win.  Shocking, I know, but something Todd's post seems to miss.  

I assume that we can all now stop feigning outrage when Senator Clinton argues that the (small) number of metrics that favor her should be determinative and when Obama does the same?  They're each trying to win.  I'm not sure why that rather obvious point required this front page post dripping with anger at Obama supporters offensive attempts to help their candidate do just that.  

by HSTruman 2008-05-06 07:49AM | 0 recs
Vigorous nonsense

What vigorously expressed nonsense.

It was Hillary Clinton who started this campaign with the theme of unearned inevitability and it was Hillary Clinton who became the petulant loser when things didn't go her way.

It is Hillary Clinton who is damaging the values of the Democratic Party by spewing right-wing nonsense with all the feigned sincerity of a Rovian operative while she now seeks to tarnish the Obama ban.

It is Hillary Clinton who refuses to allocate any votes to the caucus states, as if they deserve no part in the election.

It is Hillary Clinton (and her operatives Ickes and Mcauliffe) who supported the idea of denying Florida and Michigan the vote if they violated the Democratic rules.

Yet Obama is being attacked for playing by the rules and pro-Clintonites crow with glee about Clinton's nasty campaigning. Yes, Obama supporters are angry that Clinton is damaging the party and selling Republican politics as Democratic values.

They should be.

by AdrianLesher 2008-05-06 05:41AM | 0 recs
Nonsense Indeed

Hillary is petulant?  When I see her she is smiling and radiating energy and passion.  That "old broad" makes Obama look like a fop.  He is the one who needs a smoke and some "me time". No, not petulant.  

by emmasaint 2008-05-06 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Okay.  One more time.  The superdelegates will not vote to nominate Clinton because the only way she can win the nomination is to seat FL and MI.

It's an Olympic year.  Think of this primary season as a series of races, most of which Obama has won. Now, after the competition is over, the loser wants to change the rules of game so that she can be the anointed "winner".

Florida and Michigan were disqualified for knowingly breaking the rules. They knew the penalty.  All players in the game also knew and agreed to the rules. Unknown thousands of voters stayed home because they knew the rules.

So here we are at the victory stand and the raging loser is attempting to elbow her way to the top tier and claim the prize. "The rules are unfair! I deserve to win!  It's mine!  Mine! I tell you! In the name of the Working Man and Woman, I demand it!"

Even those supers who will forgive her ridiculous pandering, "are you with me or with the oil companies" challenge and ignore her behavior during the campaign, will never toss her the nomination if they have to change the rules after the fact to do it. They aren't athletes, but they know the penalty for throwing a game.  

by MsCasey 2008-05-06 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

i think you and many Clinton supporters have it wrong.The "ire" comes from her abandoning her platform and beginning the negative campaigning. I'd love her to continue if the purpose was to build up the party and its platform while still competing. That has not the been case.

Regarding the "coup de superdelegate", I think it is a valid conern for some and everyone should understand that concern regardless if you agree with it or not. Personally, I think its fine if Supers want to overturn the pledged delegate outcome. It's part of the system that's been put in place, it's part of the rules (something I adhere to). While these rules don't build up confidence in me regarding the democratic process I don't think a primary's goal is to be "democratic". I'm also aware that supers are as likely to overturn the pledged delegate outcome as I am of winning the lottery.

I was originally for Edwards and as soon as he left the competition I've seen this primary disintegrate into a nasty name calling fest (he's not experienced, he's an elitist, he has poor judgement, he might be muslim, he doesn't wear a lapel flag pin, he's worked with Ayers, she's the wife of Bill...). It's all petty and for that I miss Edwards terribly because he kept this primary on message.

in any regard, be careful on how you talk about these issues Todd. You can sloppily generalize Republicans on these parts because they're not around to defend themselves but don't generalize Obama supporters. You'll find that your take on the situation isn't so right on.

by alex100 2008-05-06 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

ridiculous diary. too many holes. It's not even worth hashing out. The proof and video is out there to break down the last two paragraphs of this. From Hilary's, Ickes to McAuliffe own words saying those whom break the rules will not get a voice.

It's a ridiculous diary. Truly is Todd. From top to bottom you failed to grasp at any reality or deeper understanding of the situation.

by alex100 2008-05-06 05:50AM | 0 recs
Thanks for the great post, Todd

You cut straight through the crap to core logic.  I only wish I hadn't read all the comments that followed that did nothing but muddy the water again.

Obama has not won anything.  If it truly was impossible for Clinton to pull this out he would need to keep campaigning to keep his message out there and fend off attacks, but he wouldn't be sweating blood and nickels in Indiana and North Carolina.  He'd do what McCain did once he locked up the nomination but before Huckabee dropped out -- he'd have the thing on cruise control, say nice benign things about Hillary and focus all his forces on the Republican administration and presumptive nominee.

More than anything HE'S kept Clinton in this race in the minds of the voter by campaigning against her as if he still has to.  So, what gives?  Is she out of it entirely or does she still have a shot?  Because one look at the Obama campaign tells anyone he still thinks he needs to campaign tooth and nail against her.  So what's that about?  Spite?  Bury the B? I truly doubt it.  Establish himself as a strong finisher? Ah, that's not working out for him so good.  He'd look like a stronger candidate in the fall if he was home right now cooking up policy and taking a breather.   That's what WINNERS do -- they don't run in place at the finish line just to keep p their heart rate.    

The Supers are free to do whatever they think best serves the Party (and themselves, of course).  Each of them has their own complex set of considerations in making their FINAL decision.  Coming out early for one candidate or the other is nothing but the laying down of political cover -- "I supported him/her first before this or that happened, then for the good of the party I felt compelled to change my vote".

If Obama locks this up in their minds they'll be an avalanche of Clinton delegates switching to Obama for "party unity".  If a plausible case for Clinton as the nominee can be made the avalanche will go the other way.  (provided the Super isn't up for reelection in a district that went strongly for one or the other)

It slays me how folks tend to forget the majority of Supers are elected POLITICIANS.  Like they aren't pledging this way or that way for any reason other than their own political gain.  But at the end of their day only one thing will matter -- how will my vote effect my political future?  For some it will mean voting with their constituents.  For most it will be voting with the next president.  None but select few will be voting their consciences, what's "fair", "by the rules", to the "will of the people" or even what's best for the Party.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-05-06 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the great post, Todd

the more important point, which I haven't seen expressed here yet, is Obama needs far fewer superdelegates to get the nomination.  Clinton needs an 'avalanche' while Obama needs a steady but not overwhelming flow - exactly what we have been seeing last couple of weeks. Unless Clinton takes NC I don't see how that changes.  Seating MI and FL as voted (which I view as an extremely unlikely outcome. but that's just me) would help her but would not be nearly enough to pull even with Obama.  

So rather than impugning the motives of either candidate or their followers, let's not lose sight of who needs what to get the nomination.  

by Kensingtonbill 2008-05-06 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the great post, Todd

True enough about the delegate count and I'm all for an end to trashing either candidate -- but then I'm all for an end to world hunger too.

I wish the SANE Democrats around these parts could just look at the facts and offer their opinions, debate all they want, without giving into the urge to trash one candidate or their supporters.

As I see it Clinton is a real long shot, true enough, but she's not completely out of it.  If she truly were, Obama wouldn't be campaigning so hard against her.

He, of course, has alot of cards on his side of the table -- the pledged delegate count, the trending in the Supers, the ability to refashion the map and bring Independents and young people into the Party.

She, however, has a few good cards herself -- the momentum of the past month or so, a stronger showing with certain "must win" demographics and states.

I heard it said a week or so ago by some talking head on CNN -- the talk amongst party insiders (that would be the Supers) is she has the better shot at the Whitehouse, he is the better candidate to build and expand the Party.  This presents a difficult decision for them, far more challenging than what's "fair".  

What scalds me in reading here are the people who still want to resort to all the same tired mud-slinging and evil name dropping, who don't seem to understand that at the end of the day it's going to be all about

  1. winning the Whitehouse
  2. promoting the Democratic Party
  3. spinning it all to look fair and above-board

Rules, who went negative first, who has the most negatives, who said what about what when, what's "fair", who's the "real winner", what Supers should or must do, the "will of the voters" -- it's all hot air in the realities of how this will be decided.  

It will be decided, no matter how many ninja moves it takes, on who has the best shot in November at moving forward a Democratic agenda.

And right now? That's too close for anyone to call.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-05-06 08:16AM | 0 recs
Bingo...

Nothing I could add would provide value to a great diary...

Hit the nail on the head in a clear and concise manner...

by SaveElmer 2008-05-06 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Thanks, Todd, for pointing out what so many are failing to recognize in this primary process--he hasn't won yet!  And by all expectations, he will not be able to win even once the remainder of the states have voted.  So bottom line is, the 1st step of our current Democratic primary system will fail to produce a winner.  

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the DNC rules state anywhere that if Step 1 of this process fails to produce a winner by failing to achieve the total delegates needed through the state election process, that we instead simply default to the candidate who has more delegates regardless of whether they achieved the needed number or not.  No, that is not how the rules are set up--so neither Obama nor Clinton will be the winner.

Instead, right or wrong, we have this Superdelegate system.  And as established, Superdelegates were intended to use their judgment to determine their vote, to help in producing a winner where the state elections have failed to do so.  So should the Superdelegates wind up deciding this, as they inevitably will--it is only because there is NO winner.  And that is what so many Obama supporters fail to acknowledge. And if we have no winner, then the superdelegates deciding in Clinton's favor is not overturning the state election process--because that process failed to produce a winner, there is no winner to overturn.  Yes, this current system has brought to light many shortcomings of this current system--but it is what it is (and I can only hope there is serious consideration given to this process for future elections since it has been shown to be so flawed).  

And I agree wholeheartedly with Todd's statement "The inconvenient truth is that the lead that Obama currently holds in both pledged delegates and popular vote depends entirely on not counting millions of votes cast and in the absence of a remedy for Michigan and Florida, anyone truly advocating for superdelegates to reflect the "will of the people" should be demanding that they take the true intent of voters in all 50 states and territories into account when deciding whom to support."  And while those delegates not being counted prevent any winner from being determined from the state election process (which I think has been one of the biggest flaws of this process--punish the state leaders who didn't follow the rules, but don't take away the people's votes--we are the country who fights for other countries' right to democracy after all, yet we ourselves are saying we won't count two such important states and millions of voters?  The attitude of the DNC on this matter is an embarrassment!), the rules do not then define what must constitute the "judgment" of the superdelegates.  Just as so many here have expressed their opinions as to what superdelegates should base their opinions on, the simple fact of the matter is that all that will matter is their opinion when it comes time to making their selections.  Again, this may be flawed, but that's the way it's set up to work.  And I certainly have my opinion on what should be taken into consideration in making the judgment of what is best for our country and for our democratic party, but--it doesn't matter one bit since I'm not a superdelegate.  But bottom line is, there's nothing to overturn because there is and will be no winner (i.e., if there were a winner, we wouldn't need superdelegates--but we don't have a winner, so they become the 2nd step in completing this process).  

All that is just to say--exactly as Todd pointed out with this diary--he hasn't won yet!  He needs the superdelegates to win just as much as Hillary does.  Yet only when the possiblity of Hillary winning when this is all said and done is it being viewed as the election having been stolen.  But with no winner, there's nothing to steal.  So it's really as simply as that: we have an extremely flawed system that is resulting in this fiasco--and I have to add that current DNC leadership should be held accountable for this fiasco of an election, in my humble opinion--that is bound to result in a very large percentage of the democratic party being upset with the outcome of this election.  And keep in mind that neither Obama nor Clinton established these rules--so I believe those taking out their anger on the candidate they don't support (or the supporters of that candidate) are misdirecting their anger.  But I've rambled enough, so that's all.  Thanks again, Todd, for injecting some reasoning into this process.    

by ChargedFan 2008-05-06 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Just a fairy tale.

by Kobi 2008-05-06 07:47AM | 0 recs
Setting the record straight

thank you.

Now instead of trashing HRC, Obama supporters can get busy completing his campaign, and making sure he wins.  Otherwise you're wasting time trying to get HRC to drop out, or trying to insult HRC supporters.

by 4justice 2008-05-06 06:25AM | 0 recs
by judyo 2008-05-06 06:31AM | 0 recs
Wait...

Michigan = Clinton stronghold? In what parallel universe?

by Newcomer 2008-05-06 06:35AM | 0 recs
Mine I guess

1. strong support from the state machine outside of Detroit

  1. strong union support
  2. Detroit machine in shambles with the Kilpatrick debacle still going on
  3. economy in the shitter so bad we are jealous of places like Ohio
  4. angry electorate at those who seem to want to shut them out
  5. deepseated racial distrust

For the record, I wish 6. were not true.  If participants are lying to pollsters anywhere, they are lying in Michigan.
Obama would need a massive inner city turnout to win and he could get it, or he might not with the legedary problems with voting, particularly in Detroit.
No love lost around her for Granholm, she's pretty much public enemy number one after Kilpatrick, but  she can move a mighty machine especially if she smells a cabinet post.  
Kilpatrick is the ringer in all this -- Detroit city government and the party regulars are walking around like birds after a hurricane.  

If I were a betting person, given where Obama is at this week, I'd bet on Clinton in Michigan, especially if she opened the floodgates in campaigning here.  

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-05-06 08:29AM | 0 recs
Obama Has Won ~ Race is Over

I haven't read through the entire comment section but from my perspective the primary race is absolutely over and Obama has already won.  

HRC simply can't catch Obama in pledged delegates which is THE metric that Supers will use to determine the winner.

Furthermore, there simply will be no resolution to FLA and MI that will give HRC any meaningful gain in delegates.  At best she can hope for a 50-50 split in delegates or a 1/2 count and split of delegates.  Either way, she loses.  Popular vote totals from MI and FLA will also be totally discounted by Supers for obvious reasons and regardless of the claims that HRC makes.  

What I don't understand is WHY does such a smart woman and a politically savy politician like HRC understand the cruel logic of the numbers here.  The race is over and she can't win and she should know it.  

by Our Past 2008-05-06 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

"Yet it's Hillary Clinton who is the object of the ire of Obama supporters who seem to honestly believe that Hillary Clinton's winning the nomination would be tantamount to her robbing him of something he hasn't won yet. What a joke"

Meanwhile, in the real world, there does not seem to that much of a difference between Hillary and Obama supporters.

According to a just published Gallup poll of Democrats 23% said Clinton should drop out and 15% said Obama should >
http://www.gallup.com/poll/107029/Most-D emocrats-Eager-Either-Candidate-Drop.asp x

by My Ob 2008-05-06 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

2 Md. leaders endorse Obama

by Kobi 2008-05-06 07:32AM | 0 recs
Face it Todd, it's over

Clinton is just playing Mike Huckabee in a bad, made for reality skit.

by reggie44pride 2008-05-06 08:00AM | 0 recs
FL & MI: Will of the voters

Clinton can't catch up that way either. The only way she might - might - is if the will of the voters in MI is thwarted and Obama gets a zero.

It's over. Obama is building his GE operation by campaigning in the rest of the states.

by RLMcCauley 2008-05-06 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Sorry, but it is over.  After tonight, she'll need at least 80% of all remaining votes to win.  

by bradical 2008-05-06 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

It ain't over till the fat lady sings.  

Obama is going to have to beat Hillary and he hasn't been able to do that.  Hillary has not been able to beat Obama either.  So there you have it sports fans.  There isn't enough people left for one to "beat" the other.

According to the rules superdelegates were not to be stripped from MI and FL and only half of the pledge delegates were to be removed.  The DNC violated itself over its ruling to remove all of the delegates from FL and MI instead of what their own rules said.

Sorry Senator Obama put forth legal challenges to every suggestion except his own which was to split the delegates 50/50.  The problem with Senator Obama is short term thinking versus long term results.  He has been trying to simply run the clock out on this primary process and Senator Clinton is gaining offensively on him. Politics is not a basketball game. At this juncture he is looking defensive and tired.  She is looking energized and ready.  This isn't the end of the game, only halftime

Let's talk up Guam as a win  even if it is by 7 votes.  Guam doesn't vote in the general election. But let's pretend that MI and FL doesn't even exists when they do indeed vote in the general election.

Senator Obama has divided the party by the spin of "stealing" an election he hasn't won and neither has Senator Clinton.  The SD's responsibility to to get the electable candidate for the GE. With the current controversy regarding Obama's associates and paper thin resume..versus Senator Clinton's old baggage electability is  going to be an issue.  Both of these candidates are going to require work to get elected.  However, to spin a "stealing argument" is arranging the circular fire squad.

If we want to put a democrat in the white house, we have to look at 50 states not 48.  We cannot afford to let MI a mostly democratic state and FL a swing state go by the wayside. If Senator Obama doesn't fight for those voters now.  There is no guarantee that they will fight for him come November.

by minty 2008-05-06 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet
Actually, the rules did strip the votes of he superdelegates.  The rules allowed the rules committee to impose different sanctions and it did.  The rules allow the issue to be revisited, and it is going to be.  However, if they go back to the old rule (1/2 vote and no supers) Sen. Obama will still lead Sen. Clinton.  
About 300 supers are still to be heard from, but it doesn't make sense to assume their votes will be different than the approximately 50 - 50 wo far.  
by stationakl 2008-05-06 11:13AM | 0 recs
didn't Lamont take a vacation

after he got the Dem nomination?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-05-06 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

You're right that the superdels don't have to vote according to the popular vote.  They're gonna factor in a bunch of things, such as pledged delegates, states won, coattails, popularity, honesty, electability, integrity, opinion polls, their gut, who they owe, etc.  I know you're not in the tank for Obama, that's obvious.  But you have to at least admit that Obama is competitive in every one of those categories (I would say, winning) except the "who they owe" part, with many of them probably owing Bill Clinton in some way.  This is why she got the automatic 100 superdel lead back when this started and she was the inevitable candidate.  Remember?

There is no "pesky matter of Florida and Michigan".  Unfortunately for the Hillary Wambulance Brigade, that's a done deal.  Hillary herself agreed to the rules months ago, and those states broke the rules.  Those states disenfranchised themselves.  They do however have every right to vote in the general any way they see fit, but that's the only right they have left.  They really should learn a lesson about this.  Hillary can complain all she wants and say the new metric is 2200-whatever, and claim she's taking it to the convention.  Once the superdels break for Obama by next month and give him 2025, it really will be over.

And at that point, he really can stop campaigning for the nomination.

by RichardC 2008-05-06 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Yet it's Hillary Clinton who is the object of the ire of Obama supporters who seem to honestly believe that Hillary Clinton's winning the nomination would be tantamount to her robbing him of something he hasn't won yet. What a joke.

Seems like there's ire and hatred directed at Obama by HRC supporters. They seem to think Hillary Rodham Clinton is entitled to be the nominee. And the fact that Obama wins contests is evidence that the Obama campaign cheated or someone (or some state) that lacks legitimacy participated in the process.

For example, HRC supporters are constantly trying to winnow the competition to excluding states won by Obama or excluding Black voters and focusing on a narrower pool of voters that makes it look like she won or at least did better than she did.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-05-06 08:56AM | 0 recs
Don't try and reason with them, Todd

They are living in a fantasyland where a neophyte first-term super-liberal senator can become president. He just needs to make sure the system is as rigged as possible to his advantage.

by doyenne49 2008-05-06 09:16AM | 0 recs
McCain is still campaining is he not?

So your comment about Obama still campaigning is mute.  besides, why shouldn't he continue campaigning, he has about a trillion dollars in his primary account.

by mishiem 2008-05-06 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: He Hasn't Won Yet

Of course this fails to take into account the fact that the prices will just go up to compensate.  I am  disgusted that so many Democrats are supporting this blatant pandering, especially after so many years of seeing it from the other side.  Once again, I will add to the chorus of voices that are saying it is time to move on and face our party's real enemies:  the GOP and John McCain.

by brathor 2008-05-06 01:13PM | 0 recs

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