Friday, May 16, 2008

Hillary: "Chaos" continues

Whether or not her staff have accepted Hillary Clinton's defeat as inevitable, her campaign's capacity for mischief continues. The following fundraising e-mail was sent out over Hillary's signature this afternoon:
Millions of voters in Florida and Michigan are depending on you to help make sure they have a voice in this race. Will you stand up for them today?
Thanks to your efforts, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already spoken out, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting May 31 to make a decision about whether or not the votes in Michigan and Florida will count.
Now I need you to urge the DNC to make the right decision on May 31. I need you to remind them that in the Democratic Party, we count every vote.
Tell the Democratic National Committee to count the votes of Florida and Michigan.
On May 31, the DNC has a chance to make it clear that the people of Florida and Michigan have a voice in our party. The decision is especially critical given the important role these states will play in November.
And your voice could make the difference for the millions of people who went to the polls in those two states to make their choice for president.
Stand with me today and tell the DNC to count the votes in Florida and Michigan.
I have consistently said that every vote must count. It is such an important principle in our party. I really appreciate you standing up for the values we share.
Thank you,

Save your pity, and put an asterisk beside your post-mortems. Hillary continues to insist that it will take 2,209 delegates to win the nomination, and if the DNC does otherwise, it will give the lie to their rhetoric about "disenfranchisment."

This may be just a tactical threat -- muscling a campaign-debt payoff from the DNC in return for her concession -- but that doesn't mean it's not a genuine threat. If the Democrats want her to go away nicely, they'll have to crawl and beg.

If you go to kill the Queen, be sure to kill the Queen.

UPDATE: Hard-core Clinton supporter Jeralyn Merritt conveys the message of Hillary's Friday conference call with friendly bloggers:
She is staying in the race. She is ahead in the popular vote by 50,000 votes, counting Florida and Michigan which must be counted. She intends to continue to lead in the popular vote when June 3 comes around and everyone has voted.
The number one message: It's the map not the math. In addition to the popular vote, the electoral map shows her with a cushion and Obama with a deficit. She has won 311 electoral votes to Obama's 217. While a few of hers like Texas and Oklahoma will be a challenge in November, many of his states will be: Alaska, Idaho, Utah, to name a few.
It's especially important to focus on this because it's what superdelegates are supposed to be doing, exercising independent judgment to determine who would be the better candidate against John McCain in November. (Emphasis added.)
The key point here is that Hillary is making arguments for her nomination that, while they might not persuade superdelegates, will certainly seem plausible to her own committed supporters. Thus, if Hillary is denied the nomination, many of her supporters will feel deeply disappointed and betrayed by their own party, an alienation perhaps sufficient to deny Obama thousands of votes in key swing states come Nov. 4.

Even if Team Obama feels they've got the nomination locked, they've still got every incentive to be nice to Hillary at this stage, because if she can't rally her supporters to back Obama in November, he could be in trouble.

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