According to rules adopted by the national Democratic Party in 2006, no state except Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina would be allowed to hold presidential primary elections prior to February 5, 2008. When Michigan and Florida chose to ignore those rules, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) stripped both states of their delegates for the Democratic National Convention. By then, all of the presidential candidates had agreed that they would not campaign in those states and most withdrew their names from the ballot in Michigan, except Chris Dodd and Hillary Clinton.
Knowing that the DNC had declared their votes literally worthless, Michigan voters went to the polls on January 15, 2008 and cast their ballots. 55% of them chose Hillary Clinton and 40% chose “uncommitted”. Two weeks later Florida Democrats also exercised their futility and delivered a meaningless 49% win for Clinton while Obama got 33% of the vote. On January 25, Hillary began pandering to the Florida electorate by declaring, “I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan.”
As Clinton lost more and more primaries and caucuses to Obama, the more pressure was brought to bear on the DNC to do something about the so-called “disenfranchised” voters in Michigan and Florida. There was briefly talk of holding those primaries again, but when neither the DNC nor the states were willing to pony up the money to fund a re-vote, it became clear the only way their delegates would be seated is if they were divided equally among the candidates.
Once this dishonest attempt to win the Democratic nomination for President failed, Clinton and her campaign began make their case for the “super delegates” in the party. Clinton was won more swing states, they said. The nominee who has won the popular vote should get the nomination, they claimed, until Clinton was no longer the leader in the popular vote. At one point, Clinton representatives even floated the idea of using electoral college representation to determine which candidate should receive the support of the super delegates. What was largely unreported during this time, though, was the fact that Clinton’s previously overwhelming lead amongst the super delegates began steadily decreasing after the Florida primary.
After apparently big victories in Texas and Ohio, Clinton seemed to regain some of the momentum she had lost. It wasn’t long, though, before Obama erased those wins with overwhelming victories in Wyoming and Mississippi. Now with little hope of winning, the Clintonites began at first to imply that pledged delegates could switch their votes and then Hillary Clinton herself was quoted several times saying that no party rules existed that limited pledged delegates in whom they might vote for during the convention. Never mind the extreme unlikelihood of Obama’s staunchest supporters suddenly deciding that Clinton is a better candidate than Obama, the mere suggestion is an ethical breach that no Presidential candidate should commit. But it gets worse. Newsweek and other news organizations reported that the Clinton campaign was using so-called “robocallers” to call delegates and get them to switch sides prior to their county or district conventions.
Clinton is actively trying to subvert the process that the Democratic Party has adopted for deciding their candidate for the President of the United States. It’s despicable and Clinton should not only be denied the nomination, she should be run out of the party.
- Florida Democratic primary
- Michigan Democratic primary
- Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign 2008
- Democratic Presidential candidates 2008
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