Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

So Hillary Clinton gave an interview to Time (click to second page)expressing her clear view that none of the votes cast in the primaries or caucuses should count:

[E]very delegate with very few exceptions is free to make up his or her mind however they choose. We talk a lot about so-called pledged delegates, but every delegate is expected to exercise independent judgment.

Let me rephrase that for you: Every Democrat who thought they were voting for a candidate was really expressing an advisory opinion. Delegates must vote however they think is best no matter what the mere voters said.

For all the pissing and moaning about Obama trying to "disenfranchise" voters, he has not demonstrated this kind of breathtaking contempt for rank-and-file Democrats.  This will certainly make the cut when she releases her greatest hits of hypocrisy album.

The most frustrating thing about this attitude is the way she has complained non-stop about caucuses. It's true that Obama keeps picking up more delegates in caucus states that have regional and state conventions, effectively overturning part of the original vote. But how can she endorse that reality (again and again) at the national level when she complains about it at the state level?

But she goes further, flatly stating that primary voters don't matter, either. According to her, the delegates from California, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania should all feel free to vote against her at the convention, no matter what the voters said. How's that for giving the finger to your supporters?

News flash for Hillary: We know you think we're stupid. We know you perfected the art of flim-flammery during the events of 1998-1999. We know you are using those skills to make it look like this race is not yet over. But Obama's pledged delegates are not going to vote for you.  Period.  Feel free to shut up about it at any time.

Tags: breathtaking chutzpah, disenfranchisement, Hillary Clinton, scorched earth (all tags)



Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

She's just stating the rules - "pledged" delegates really aren't.  Which is why the media should refer to them as "estimates". Craig Crawford had a blog post about this on March 6th.

http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/trailmix/200 8/03/dirty-delegate-truths.html

And, she's a politician and trying to win votes.  But you fault her for reminding the delegates of what the rules are?

by cmugirl90 2008-03-26 11:27AM | 0 recs
The unsaid rules

are that delegates represent those who voted before them, and have a moral obligation not to thwart their preferences.  If you attended a Democratic caucus or precinct training at any level this year, you heard that said plainly.  That's why Senator Clinton's leaning on that part of the rules can be criticized.  It's not illegal, but it's wrong.

by McNasty 2008-03-26 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The unsaid rules

The pledged delegates (at least in primary states) are loyalists chosen by the campaigns.  While theoretically they could switch, morally they should not and practically speaking they really wouldn't want to anyway.  It's ridiculous for Clinton to toss this trial balloon - it has no chance of working and makes her look scheming.

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-03-26 01:18PM | 0 recs
I see

so if all the Hillary "pledged" delegates decided to vote for Obama you won't be yelling voter fraud?

by kindthoughts 2008-03-26 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

Hillary also seems to forget that the Obama campaign gets to pick the "so called pledged delegates."  As a result, there is little to no chance these delegates are going to flip to Clinton.

by Blue Neponset 2008-03-26 11:34AM | 0 recs
Obama says you're not allowed to vote

The moral high ground has been completely lost by the Obama and his campaign.

He is refusing to allow the Voters of florida a wight to vote or to have their votes matter.

He is the reason the revotes in florida and Michigan won't happen....

The fundamental basis of democracy is the right to vote and those votes matter.  Obama is disenfranchising millions of people.  If a Republican was doing this we would be howling "Stop thief"  but since it's Obama..it must be okay.  It's not okay

Depriving people of the right to vote is morally bankrupt.

by debcoop 2008-03-26 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says you're not allowed to vote

Even if you think Obama lost the moral high ground by "disenfranchising" MI/FL voters, I don't see why that means Hillary should be free to disenfranchise voters from the other 48 states by urging their delegates to follow their hearts instead of their promises.

by alvernon 2008-03-26 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says you're not allowed to vote

So you cheat and expect that to stand?

The rules are clear.

The spirit of the rules is that the will of the democratic party voters determine the democratic candidate.

Obama has a bunch of GOP votes but Hillary is the clear winner of DEMOCRATIC PARTY VOTES.

If the DNC doesn't respect the democratic party members maybe its time for a new party...

by DTaylor 2008-03-26 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says you're not allowed to vote

rated 0 for spreading lies about why the revote in michigan/florida didn't happen.   Go to redstate.com if you want to peddle that kind of garbage to people.

by soros 2008-03-26 12:09PM | 0 recs
There was no lie

The Michigan Democratic party had a plan, the DNC signed off yes to the plan, the Clinton campaign said yes tot he plan....the only party not to agree was Obama and the Obama campaign.  The Michigan party wanted approval from both campaigns and they didn't get that from Obama.

Tupac Hunter, the Obama Michigan campaign chair, explicitly said no to a revote.

Bob Bauer, the Obama campaign lawyer put out  scores of pages of objections....objecting to a revote.

Obama has fudged by saying the delegates could be seated but he never says thoer votes should be counted.

The liar is you.  Don't you ever do that to me again.  Because I know my facts...you just engage in trashing and wish fulfillment.

by debcoop 2008-03-26 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says you're not allowed to vote


Soros, I know what you mean about spreading misinformation, but let's reserve the 0-ratings for personal attacks and the really offensive stuff.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-03-26 12:39PM | 0 recs
Stating the rules isn't the problem

It's not that she's stating the rules that really matters here. Rather:

1. She is a total hypocrite for repeatedly suggesting that she might still be in it on the grounds that Obama voters might have their votes yanked away from them.

2.  Putting that out there repeatedly does nothing but further undermine a process already on the ropes.

3.  As McNasty notes, it denigrates the moral responsibility for delegates to keep their promises to the voters who sent them to the convention.

Just because something is within the rules doesn't make it right, or so we've been told repeatedly by Clinton supporters whining about MI/FL, caucuses, and whatever else.  Whatever else you think of the process (which is clearly fucked up in a variety of ways), suggesting that pledged delegates flip is the most reprehensible possible abuse of the rules.

by alvernon 2008-03-26 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Stating the rules isn't the problem

She is winning among Democrats.

Its the Democratic party nominee.

She is the candidate of the Democratic party.

The GOP already has their candidate if they get to pick our candidate too then my democratic party membership is worthless and will be treated as such in the future.

by DTaylor 2008-03-26 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Stating the rules isn't the problem

Well, there's a reason that many states allow non-registered Democrats to vote in the Democratic primary: it leads to a nominee more likely to win in the fall than one selected exclusively by people like you.

When an independent voter decides to cast a vote for a Democrat instead of a Republican, it helps solidify their commitment to the Democrat. They want to prove they made the right choice in the primary, and they've already thought about why the Dem would be a good president.

Besides, getting to the point of the diary, Hillary says even delegates from states with closed primaries should ignore those Democratic voters if they feel like doing so. That is repugnant.

by alvernon 2008-03-26 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

Gee. If delegates, especially superdelegates, aren't allowed to have independent judgment than I would say that the beloved endorsements of Janet Napolitano and Bill Ricahrdson (just for starters here), should be, heh, illegal. Both there states went Hillary and yet they are exercising independent judgment in their support.

by apolitik 2008-03-26 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

We're talking about pledged delegates, not superdelegates.

Given how many state Obama has won, following your rule would give him a landslide.

by alvernon 2008-03-26 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

This won't happen with delegates belonging to Obama or Clinton, even though it's technically allowed.

But there is an inherent hypocrisy in saying "we need to count all the votes!...Florida and Michigan need to be heard!" and then making a case that "pledged" delegates aren't really pledged.  If that's the case, why do we need to vote at all?

Of course, as in most hypocrisies, it's a two sided coin, and I'm fully aware that for Obama supporters to decry this, while offering any opposition to revotes in FL and MI, is also hypocritical, in that you cannot claim that these delegates belong to Obama, thus lending weight to the voice of the people, while simultaneously preventing some people from affecting the outcome.

See what this has reduced ALL of us to?  We're all hypocrites, now.

by freedom78 2008-03-26 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count
It's according to the rules set by the DNC. Despite the popular belief, the primaries are not the same as the general election. There's nothing fair about it. Oddly, that is very much like our general election. If the primaries were just like the general election, we might actually have votes in each state, not caucuses which are the least democratic of all processes.
by zenful6219 2008-03-26 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count
You forgot to add 'Barack Obama' in your tags next to the 'disenfrachisement' tag. At one time, not too long ago, Obama was all for making sure everyone's vote counted. Not anymore. Now, he'd rather not see Florida and Michigan seated at the convention.
by zenful6219 2008-03-26 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

<blockquote>News flash for Hillary: We know you think we're stupid.</blockquote>

Precisely, and that's one of the central reasons she's losing -- especially among the educated. Here's what James Fallows had to say:

<blockquote>And I do not recall Bill Clinton saying anything as flatly insulting to the intelligence as Hillary Clinton's statement about the Michigan primary during her interview yesterday with Steve Inskeep on NPR's Morning Edition.

Flatly false from Bill Clinton? Sure: "I did not have..." But flatly insulting to the intelligence, in the fashion of an old press briefing by Scott McClellan when defending Scooter Libby or Alberto Gonzales? No. And that is what Hillary Clinton did yesterday -- to the plain incredulity of the normally calm-sounding Inskeep, who kept asking things like, "But how could the primary have been 'fair' if Barack Obama's name was not on the ballot?"

Listen to the clip to hear for yourself, if you haven't already done so -- but it came down to a "how stupid does she think we are?' argument that it was Obama's own fault that he obeyed the party's rules (as other candidates did) and took his name off the unauthorized Michigan ballot. "We all had a choice as to whether or not to participate," she told Inskeep. "Most people took their names off the ballot, but I didn't. And that was a wise decision, because Michigan is key to our electoral victory in the fall."


One of Bill Clinton's strongest and most admirable traits as a politician was that, in his prime, he never talked down when explaining his positions. No matter what the audience -- financiers, laid-off factory workers, teenagers, foreigners -- he always encouraged them to see the big picture.

And to think. He said again and again that the Republicans' goal was to keep people from thinking, because once they did start thinking clearly, as opposed to hating or fearing, they'd see the wisdom of the Clinton plan.

Agree on the merits of his plans, or disagree: You can't deny that this was his approach. He made people feel, too -- but virtually every step of the way he encouraged them to think.

As for why this has not been his wife's approach -- well, we just don't know whether it's a difference in temperament between the two of them, or difference of talent, or difference of strategies, or difference driven by the fact that this time they're up against someone (ie, Obama) who also is very good in the "making people think" approach. But the contrast in thought-content between Clinton '92 and Clinton '08 is striking.</blockquote>

by RP McMurphy 2008-03-26 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

I'd also like to point out that we are not a democracy, we are a republic. And if you want to continue getting up in arms about how unfair the process is - keep working towards changing that process after the election. The ONLY thing we have available to us at this point is how things are right now. Vote in your primary. Participate in your caucus. These diaries about someone stealing the election seem to be uninformed about how politics actually works in these United States. Wake up to the reality and work within it for change! If you are an Obama supporter ask him to do what you think is necessary. If you are a Hillary supporter, ask her. And that change can only come one voter at a time. If you want to have more "say", then work towards becoming a superdelegate yourself.

by Julene 2008-03-26 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: Nobody's vote should count

I do think this election will lead to some DNC reforms, though probably not the most important possible reform, which is taking away the IA/NH monopoly -- perhaps the single most destructive element in national politics, because it guarantees that presidents will pander to their parochial interests.

But this isn't about the rules. Of course the rules permit a switch. Many delegates do switch because their candidate dropped out, so they cast their vote for the person who already won.

This is about the reprehensible suggestion that the outcome of this primary is still up in the air because pledged delegates might break their promise and vote to give someone else the nomination. It just won't happen, but it makes this process look more like an exercise of raw power than it already is.

That is cynical, that is selfish, and coming from someone who has been whining about the process from the moment she realized that it wasn't as rigged in her favor as she thought it was, it is terribly hypocritical.

by alvernon 2008-03-26 01:41PM | 0 recs


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