Today is the day that Barack Obama will, by anyone's count, pull ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for delegates. With seemingly assured victories in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C., Obama's total will outnumber Clinton's even with all the super delegates factored in. Whether the current momentum Obama enjoys will translate into victories in Texas and Ohio, Clinton's final firewall, remains to be seen.
So what is Hillary to do? Simple. She'll attempt to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. You see, if you can't win fair and square, then cheat. Now there's a message for America's youth. But if Clinton thinks that going back on her word is as simple as posting a misleading press release
on her website, she has another thing coming.
The world knows that Clinton, along with the other Democratic candidates, promised to abide by the Democratic National Committee's decision to punish Michigan and Florida for pushing up their primary dates without permission. Conveniently, Clinton's was the only name left on the Michigan ballot. And in Florida, she had the nerve to hold a victory party even though she'd already agreed that the delegates were expressly disqualified.
Consider the reaction in Democratic circles should Clinton play this final card to try and save her presidential bid. From the editorial board of The New Republic
The New Republic hasn't endorsed any candidate in this race. Our staff is divided, like the Democratic electorate. 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.
Josh Marshall agrees in a post titled No Way
The Clinton camp really needs to be shut down on this new gambit of theirs to muscle the party and other candidates into seating the Michigan and Florida delegate slates.
And Ezra Klein
, at the American Prospect, worries that Clinton's tactics will wreak havoc on the party:
This is the sort of decision that has the potential to tear the party apart... ...It's as hard as hardball gets, and the end could be unimaginably acrimonious.
, another outspoken voice who is critical of Hillary for considering this move, succinctly addresses the irony of Michigan and Florida moving up their primaries in order to have a more influential role in the process:
...[penalizing the states] could remind voters that Michigan and Florida broke the rules and flouted repeated warnings by Dean and the DNC that moving up before Feb. 5 would lead to exactly these sanctions. And it might also remind them of the irony of the situation--that had they scheduled their primary for, say, next week, they would've been HUGELY influential...
For those Clinton supporters out there who don't believe Hillary will go this route, we have already have an instance of her campaign attempting to change the rules to insure victory. It happened in Nevada
, where a Clinton-backed union sued at the last minute to nullify a polling place agreement that seemed to benefit Barack Obama. If the agreement had benefited Clinton, you can bet she would not have made a peep.
I am sorry to say that Hillary Clinton has adopted a win-at-all-costs mentality. This issue has nothing to do with respecting the voters of Florida (where I reside) or Michigan. It has to do with squeezing out every possible delegate, even the ones that you've previously agreed are off limits.
It is not too late for Hillary to do the right thing and drop this plan. As my second choice in this presidential contest, I hope that she does.
Tagged: Barack Obama
, Hillary Clinton
, president 2008