Crooked speech from the Clinton campaign

First item:  Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director, argues that there’s nothing undemocratic about winning on the basis of superdelegate support:

“We don’t make distinctions between delegates chosen by million of voters in a primary and those chosen between tens of thousands in caucuses,” Wolfson said. “And we don’t make distinctions when it comes to elected officials” who vote as superdelegates at the convention.

But of course, that line about not making distinctions between primaries and caucuses is bullshit. Clinton is on record stating that caucuses are undemocratic.

In fact, I think Wolfson’s argument has merit. Caucuses count; so do superdelegates. Those are the existing rules. Whether they’re good rules or bad really doesn’t matter. The candidates have to win within the existing rules.

I’m confident that superdelegates will ultimately endorse Obama, if he maintains a significant lead over Clinton. That’s what he needs to focus on.

Another existing (if bizarre) rule is that the votes in Michigan and Florida don’t count. The Democratic party is punishing those two states for holding their primaries too early in the season.

It was a very heavy-handed way of addressing the situation, but again, those are the existing rules. As a result, Obama took his name off the ballot in Michigan — but Clinton didn’t. And Obama didn’t campaign in Florida — but Clinton kinda-sorta did, while maintaining the pretense that she wasn’t.

It’s another rule that the Clintons are trying to overturn after the fact. (It has been their position for some time; most recent statement to that effect here.)

The upshot is, Clinton wants the rules to apply when they benefit her (superdelegates) but not when they disadvantage her (caucuses, Michigan and Florida). Wolfson is being disingenuous when he claims, in effect, that the Clintons consistently support the existing rules.

Second item:  Mark Penn, Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster, tries once again to belittle Obama’s victories:

Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn’t won any of the significant states — outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama.

Which states are insignificant on this analysis? Only

Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Also the District of Columbia.

So far. I’m sure Wisconsin and Hawaii will become insignificant states in their turn, if Obama carries them next week.

Clinton and her supporters will say just about anything, won’t they? And they can somehow do it with a straight face.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bridgett
    Feb 14, 2008 @ 22:01:25

    I’m happy to live in an insignificant state. I think Missouri’s in good company this time.


  2. Stephen
    Feb 15, 2008 @ 06:33:10

    Yes, but think of the missed opportunity! If the vote had swung just one percent in the other direction, Missouri could have been one of the significant states.


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