Saturday, February 09, 2008

Stop Thief!; A Do-Over? Democrats' Fate May Ride on It

Forwarding an important email from James Forman.  I have no doubt that the Obama team is on top of this
The New Republic has it right:
But neutral observers can't stand idly by as one campaign openly discusses stealing the nomination at the convention. Democrats need to recognize this potential gambit for what it is: a cynical, selfish hijacking of the democratic process. Clinton would not be laying the groundwork for this ploy unless it was potentially decisive. And the damage to Democrats (and democrats) would be profound. If Clinton is truly willing to trample so many institutions she professes to care about in pursuit of victory, she will have proven her enemies correct.
This also made the front page of today's WSJ -- I've included the story below:

In a primary season full of odd twists, consider this one: Florida and Michigan, which currently don't have a single vote at the Democrats' August convention, could determine who is elected president.

With the Democratic nomination essentially deadlocked after this week's Super Tuesday primaries, and no clear resolution imminent in a series of smaller contests this weekend, party attention is turning to the unusual situation of the two big states. Voters have already cast their ballots there, but the voting took place in violation of party rules.

Because they voted earlier than they were supposed to, the two states have been denied a say at the Denver convention. But leaders of the state parties -- backed by Hillary Clinton, who did well in the nonbinding votes -- are agitating for a voice.

That's putting pressure on the two states to come up with a new delegate-selection process, perhaps a caucus or convention, that satisfies party rules.

From: James Forman []
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2008 7:56 AM
To: James Forman, Jr.
Subject: Word to Obama Lawyers: Pay Attn to Florida and Michigan Now, not Later

This is urgent y'all.  Remember how the Democrats slept through the Florida battle in 2000 while the Repubs geared up and ended up winning the recount battle (with the decisive help of the court, sure, but they also did a great job of influencing public opinion).  I remember thinking the Dems were in trouble when, one day after the election I saw a group of Republican "local activists" standing at a courthouse and saw the one was a former Supreme Court clerk that I know.  He lives in DC, not Broward County.  These were not neighborhood citizens, this was a high powered legal and PR team that was in place almost immediately and controlled the terms of the debate.  Meanwhile, so many Dems said, this is messed up, but the Repubs will never get away with changing the rules of how you count votes in the middle of the process, will they?  We know how that turned out. 

I fear that a repeat is in the works.  Obamans--hope, unity, beyond partisan divisions--are knocking on doors, emailing videos, and going to rallies, while the Clintons are beginning the process of stealing the election via the Florida and Michigan primaries.  The editors of the New Republic, a centrist magazine that has not endorsed any candidate, lays out the issue plainly in the article below.  Money quote:

What is beyond debate, though, is that all the major Democratic campaigns accepted this move without complaint. Clinton, along with her rivals, signed a pledge not to "participate" in the Michigan and Florida primaries.

But as soon as it became clear, in the wake of Iowa and on the eve of South Carolina, that Clinton potentially faced an extended battle for delegates, she began to demand that the rules be changed in the middle of the game. Her campaign has been arguing that the non-contested elections in Michigan and Florida should be made retroactively meaningful--and, therefore, that Clinton should be handed a gift of nearly 200 delegates. The Clinton team has wrapped its case in the logic of voter disenfranchisement. "I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee," Clinton has said.

Barack Obama went to Harvard law school.  I didn't, but I understand that there are some good lawyers that come out of that spot.  Question to Obama legal talent: Are you on the case?

Stop Thief!

What is Clinton's ploy for Michigan and Florida's delegates?

The Editors,  The New Republic  Published: Friday, February 08, 2008 

 It is increasingly looking like end times in American politics. Ann Coulter--Ann Coulter!--has vowed to vote for Hillary Clinton over John McCain. And now many yellow-dog Democrats, who once worshiped at the Clinton temple, sound as if they have just consumed the complete collection of Wall Street Journal editorial page writings on Billary. 

A Do-Over? Democrats' Fate May Ride on It

February 9, 2008; Page A1 

In a primary season full of odd twists, consider this one: Florida and Michigan, which currently don't have a single vote at the Democrats' August convention, could determine who is elected president.


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