Patterico's Pontifications

3/16/2008

Hillary’s Plan to Win

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:55 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

No wonder Democratic leaders are discussing ways to resolve the Obama-Clinton race. It may have something to do Hillary Clinton’s recent Q&A with Newsweek (March 17, 2008, issue):

“How can you win the nomination when the math looks so bleak for you?

It doesn’t look bleak at all. I have a very close race with Senator Obama. There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates, all for different reasons, and they’re all equal in their ability to cast their vote for whomever they choose. Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to. This is a very carefully constructed process that goes back years, and we’re going to follow the process.”

Following up on those statements, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff (March 24, 2008, issue) apparently has confirmation from Harold Ickes that Hillary may encourage pledged Obama delegates to switch to her:

“Although her campaign quickly denied it was waging any effort to “flip” Obama’s pledged delegates, Clinton’s remarks weren’t academic. After the 1980 battle between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy, her chief strategist Harold Ickes noted, the party changed a rule that required pledged delegates to stick with their candidates no matter what. The current rule, adopted in 1982, states that pledged delegates “shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”

A “good conscience” reason for a delegate to switch, Ickes told NEWSWEEK, would be if one candidate—such as, say, Clinton—was deemed more “electable.” If delegates believe she has a better chance in November than Obama, Ickes said, “you bet” that would be a reason to change their vote. (He added, however, that the campaign is “focused” on winning over uncommitted superdelegates “at this point.”)”

Obama’s campaign spokesman responded that this proves Hillary would go to any length to win.

I think Presidential candidates have to sell a piece of their soul to put themselves in a position win. However, both Bill and Hillary Clinton seem inordinately willing to damage their Party if it would improve their chance to win. Urging pledged delegates to vote their consciences may be permitted by the rules, but it makes the Democratic Party seem like a political party of elitists beholden to special interests. In other words, it makes Democrats look like their characterization of the GOP.

If Hillary’s plan succeeds, the Democratic Party might as well name Bill Clinton as its permanent Super-DUPER Delegate.

— DRJ

16 Responses to “Hillary’s Plan to Win”

  1. Obama’s ship is sinking at precisely the wrong time for the Dems. Earlier would have been OK and Hillary would have got the nod; later, and it would have all been academic as Obama would of course have won.

    But right now? Just in time for Hillary to steal it, with all the internal dissension that that action can bring.

    ras (fc54bb)

  2. ras: Obama’s ship is sinking at precisely the wrong time for the Dems.

    That’s a little much. Last I checked, he’s still ahead in the polls, and he’s got more than five weeks for this Wright thing to blow over. My money says he’ll be back on his game in two weeks tops, especially with Hillary trying to jack his delegates.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  3. Obama’s campaign spokesman responded that this proves Hillary would go to any length to win.

    I suspect this person’s title is “Person in charge of stating the blindingly obvious”…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  4. Russell,

    The Wright scandal isn’t the kind that goes away easily. Even if the MSM tries to bury it, it’s too easy one to condense into an attack ad.

    Plus, it and Rezko belie the image that propels his campaign: that this candidate is truly different. He’s not, and now everyone sees that the emperor has no clothes. To recover Obama is apparently going to try playing the fool (“I had no idea those clothes were fake!”) and we all know that fools have less chance than knaves of being elected.

    He messed up when he chose to play the fool in the first place, rather than – in what could have been a natural play for him – acknowledge that he always knew of Wright’s comments but never took them seriously and just considered them empty blather. Too late now.

    He may or may not win the nomination in this most surreal of years, but he won’t win the presidency.

    ras (fc54bb)

  5. Going just from the delegates I had to choose from, these are not “people of conscience”. They’re political hacks, some pretty high-level and some low-level, whose conscience is “what’s in it for me?” There will be bribery by both sides — whether it’s a federal job for Joe Precinctcaptain or multimillion dollar law work farmed out to John Daley.

    nk (8a8387)

  6. NK,

    Hard to tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats these days, isn’t it?

    DRJ (a431ca)

  7. I meant Hillary vs. Obama by “both sides”, DRJ. I don’t know whom to give the edge to. Both their antecedents are gangsters. Obama’s well known and Hillary’s slightly less — her husband’s step-uncle who gave him his start.

    nk (8a8387)

  8. I knew you were referring to Obama and Clinton but given the GOP’s love for earmarks, it’s still hard to tell the difference.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  9. Last I checked, he’s still ahead in the polls, and he’s got more than five weeks for this Wright thing to blow over. My money says he’ll be back on his game in two weeks tops, especially with Hillary trying to jack his delegates.

    He may be doing OK against Hillary, but he’s dropped 7 points against McCain over the last few days. Revotes in FL and MI, along with Hillary’s projected lead in PA may well keep this thing a horse race until August, when it will be decided not by a photo finish, but by the party apparatus.

    No matter what happens, a significant part of the Democrat base is going to be extremely unhappy and they won’t have the 9 months to get over it that the Republican base will have had learning to live with McCain. I think we’re watching an implosion fueled by identity politics, and I think we’re going to see the second presidential election in a row that the Dems should have walked away with, yet screwed up fantastically.

    More popcorn, please.

    Pablo (99243e)

  10. If delegates to the Electoral College retain the right to not vote for the candidate as a given state’s Sec. of State directs them to do, I see no problem with a political party pledged delegate exercising that very right.

    Ed (049e64)

  11. This is what is cracking me up about the Democratic party. In 2004, after 4 years of George W. Bush, everyone was telling me how Bush could not get reelected because he was so dumb, so corrupt, so this and so that. It was a slam dunk. So the Democrats nominated the least likable person who was running then, John Kerry and picked the Breck girl as VP. Hilarious.

    Now in 2008, everyone has been telling me that it is a slam dunk for the Democrats – again – to take the White House. So the Democrats are going to choose from either Obama, or Hillary? And create the largest split in a party since the Republicans split up over Teddy Roosevelt?

    Hilarious.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. The last time the Democrats picked a candidate primarily based on “electability”, they got John Kerry.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  13. Heh. That’s so true.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  14. 12. Steven Den Beste:

    The last time the Democrats picked a candidate primarily based on “electability”, they got John Kerry.

    Looks to me like they are trying to do worse this time.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    (Psst, Stephen: I wanted to make a comment at your site about the history of agriculture in the Willamette Valley, but couldn’t figure out how without having to sign up for a blog. I’m not able to maintain the one I have now…is there a way around that?)

    (oh yeah, Willamette Valley agriculural history. That ought to get somebody motivated. 🙁

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  15. The Demo contest is a hilarity-fest that keeps on giving. we have not only the “stupor delegates” but also the rule cited above which seems to permit pledged delegates to switch their choice even on the first ballot. This is Calvinball on a grand scale. Surely a laughfest. I am looking forward to rioting in the convention arena in Denver. Please, all gods, let it be so!!
    also, I advise people who support McCain to sign up with the Nader campaign. in most states, nader needs large numbers of petition signatures to get on the ballot. Putting Nader on the ballot could swing a state or two to the GOP side.

    John Cunningham (1cb7c8)

  16. I’m sure Obama’s people are out promising money for campaigns right now for all the superdelegates. Money is about all he has right now. He squandered his race card by hanging with Wright.

    Of course Hillary is the winner here. And so what? If she did provide Wright’s tapes to all the media, she had a right to, because it’s germane to the election of the president whether or not he associates with advisers who hate America.

    They have lanced the boil of racial hate. Let’s see where it leads us.

    Patricia (f56a97)


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