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Politico: Clinton camp: Race will last until June


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Clinton camp: Race will last until June

By: Mike Allen

Feb 16, 2008 01:28 PM EST

By Mike Allen

Harold Ickes, a top adviser and delegate strategist to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, accused Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday of trying to short-circuit the party’s presidential nominating process with a “rush to judgment” when he has momentum and Clinton is struggling.

The campaign held a conference call for reporters to explain the increasingly significant nuances of the Democratic presidential nominating process and to stress the Clinton team's contention that — despite media momentum for Obama — the delegate race is tied and neither candidate is close to securing the nomination.

Ickes predicted Clinton will have the nomination locked up shortly after primaries and caucuses end on June 7.

Responding, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement: “The Clinton campaign just said they have two options for trying to win the nomination — attempting to have superdelegates overturn the will of the Democratic voters, or change the rules they agreed to at the 11th hour in order to seat non-existent delegates from Florida and Michigan.”

“The Clinton campaign should focus on winning pledged delegates as a result of elections, not these say-or-do-anything-to-win tactics that could undermine Democrats’ ability to win the general election,” Plouffe said.

The Clinton campaign has counseled patience at least through the April 22 primary in Pennsylvania, where the New York senator is endorsed by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.

Source: Politico

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If you can't win it via the electorate just steal it. A long and typical strategy employed by the Democratic party over many years. I wonder what the Obama constituency will do if this happens??

As an Obama supporter I can say that if Hillary wins the nomination fair and square then I will have some decisions to make over the course of the few months leading up until the general election.

However, if Obama continues and wins more overall votes, pledged delegates, and states . . . and Clinton somehow wins due to some shady business with superdelegates I can say that I will vote for John McCain and pray he changes his stance on Iraq.

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From NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones and NBC's Domenico Montanaro

The Clinton campaign held a conference call, led by Harold Ickes, a top aide, to discuss the superdelegates issue and expectations for the upcoming contests.

Ickes, a DNC member and superdelegate himself, said the campaign expects Clinton to "hold her own" in Wisconsin, to win Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania and to have come close to closing the delegate gap with Obama by March 5th. He said by the end of the process on June 7th, when Puerto Rico votes, she would be "neck and neck" with Obama and would wrap up the nomination soon after. Ickes said the nomination would be settled "before we get to the floor" of the convention but that the campaign would take this fight all the way to Denver.

Ickes argued the "superdelegates" should be called "automatic delegates" instead, because the former makes it sound like they have “superpowers.” The DNC itself refers to them as “superdelegates” and as “unpledged” delegates.

"Automatic delegates don't have superpowers. Their vote isn't given any extra weight," Ickes said, explaining it was still a one-person, one-vote scenario, though they already get the opportunity to vote in primaries and caucuses like regular voters.

The effort to change the terms journalists use to refer to the superdelegates was particularly interesting as a political ploy. The word "automatic" has implications that would seem to fit well with the arguments the Clinton camp has been making, namely that superdelegates should exercise their independent judgment.

On Florida and Michigan, the campaign again said voters in those states should not be “disenfranchised” and that the states were important to the Democratic Party's fortunes. Ickes also said Clinton didn't vote on the DNC rules.

But Ickes did. And he voted in August to strip Florida and Michigan of their delegates as a sitting member of the Rules and Bylaws Commission.

“There’s been no change,” Ickes said, adding that he was then acting as a member of the Rules and Bylaws Committee “not acting as an agent of Sen. Clinton. We had promulgated rules -- if Florida and Michigan violated those rules” they’d be stripped of their delegates. “We stripped them of all their delegates in order to prevent campaigns to campaign in those states.”

In fact, however, that was not why Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates. They were stripped of their delegates because they violated party rules by moving up their contest dates before Feb. 5. A pledge to not campaign in those states did not come about until one was put forward by the four early states allowed to go before Feb. 5 by the DNC -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Clinton was the last to sign this pledge.

“Those were the rules, and we thought we had an obligation to enforce them,” Ickes acknowledged today on the call even while trying to convince members of the media that Florida’s and Michigan’s delegations should not only be seated at the convention, but should also have full voting rights and that delegates should be allocated based on voting that took place in those states -- even though in Michigan, Obama’s name did not even appear on the ballot and uncommitted got 41% of the vote to Clinton’s 55%.

Despite polls showing Obama doing better against McCain than Clinton in a general election, the campaign argued that Clinton would actually do better and that “polls change.” Ickes and adviser Howard Wolfson argued that while Obama has carried red states, those would be states that would never go for Democrats in November. Clinton carried swing states like Nevada and Tennessee, they said. There was no mention of Virginia, which Obama won handily.

They also argued that Clinton’s base voters -- women and blue-collar Democrats -- are more reliable. Obama has “voters who might not be as reliably there,” Wolfson said. While that could be argued for the record numbers of young voters who have come out to vote for Obama, Wolfson made no mention of African Americans, one of the pillars of the Democratic Party.

Ickes repeated earlier contentions that there was no reason to "re do" the votes in Florida and Michigan and didn’t directly answer if they would participate in a re-vote in Michigan. Ickes also acknowledged that it would be possible for Clinton to lose pledged delegates but control a majority of the credentials committee, which ultimately decides if and how Florida’s and Michigan’s disputed delegations would be dealt with.


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More ammunition for proof of Democratic shenanigans-

February 16, 2008 -- Barack Obama's primary-night results were strikingly under recorded in several congressional districts around the city - in some cases leaving him with zero votes when, in fact, he had pulled in hundreds, the Board of Elections said today

Unofficial primary results gave Obama no votes in nearly 80 districts, including Harlem's 94th and other historically black areas - but many of those initial tallies proved to be wildly off the mark, the Board of Elections confirmed.

Truth is, in some districts getting a recount, the senator from Illinois is even close to defeating Hillary Clinton.

Initial results in the 94th District, for example, showed a 141-0 sweep for the New York senator, but Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said today that the ongoing recount had changed the tally to 261-136.

As yet, none of the results has been certified, Vazquez said, adding that the Board of Elections had begun a painstaking ballot-by-ballot canvassing of all voting machines four days after the Feb. 5 election.

"We are doing a recanvass, and we will be counting all paper ballots, including absentee ones," Vazquez said.

"Some initial tallies had zeros, but it was most likely due to human error. Those were unofficial numbers, and no confirmed results have been released yet."

In a predominantly black Brooklyn district for which Clinton was given credit for a 118-0 victory on Primary Night, the Board of Elections' latest figures indicate that she may not even come out the winner - Obama currently has 116 votes to her 118.


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