Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters of "Scorched Earth Philosophy"

As a Dem. who has been disturbed by the numerous diaries on MyDD urging Clinton to "take it to the convention," I was heartened to read Pelosi's comments today, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article entitled "Pelosi Warns Clinton Die Hards" i?f=/c/a/2008/05/30/MNQE110L6T.DTL&t sp=1

From the article: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday warned supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who are threatening to take the delegate fight as far as the Democratic National Convention, that they are pursuing "a scorched earth philosophy" that would seriously damage the chances of electing a Democratic president in November."

More below . . .

Pelosi did not mince words this time around (as she has in the past): ""I admire the enthusiasm of those who want to take this to the limit," Pelosi said. "But it will harm our party's chances to win in November. Their enthusiasm is wonderful ... but it's a luxury I can't afford."

I am asking everyone on MyDD to side with the party on this. I know this is painful. I know your candidate didn't win, but the causes those of you who passionately support Senator Clinton are pursuing (and I am thinking about Alegre and others here) will be better served by working within the party and the system that we have, whatever you think of it (or the nominee).

I think it's time for everyone to start putting their efforts into fighting for November. And those of you for whom health care is a major issue, I urge you to work together, to organize, and to find a way to bring Hillary's and your vision to the convention in August with the nominee that we have.

Please, for all of our sakes, it's time that we all buried the hatchet and fought for what is right: taking this country back, restoring civil liberties, restoring the honor of the U.S. globally, and more. I know it's hard to think this way, but a Bill Clinton supporter said this to me in the caucuses in Washington State in 1992: less people will die if Bill Clinton is President. I believed that then (even though I voted for and supported Brown in the caucuses)and I believe it now with our likely nominee.

I came here to have dialog with Clinton supporters because I felt that the strike--that separation, that civil war--was not the answer. I know it's been somewhat contentious with all of us here, but we need to come together. We need to realize that we all belong in this fight against oppression, destruction, and war.

Tags: civil war, clinton, Convention, Fight, nomination, obama, Pelosi, war (all tags)




i think that senator clinton is the best cchoice, but i don't think that a floor fight is the way to win anything in november. it doesn't mean i'll stop supporting her though just because obama is the nominee.

by jaydeebee 2008-05-30 03:50PM | 0 recs

Nor should you. Senator Clinton still has great things to accomplish in the Senate and in her non-political life, I'd wager, and I wouldn't want the support of someone on my side who was willing to just simply give up on their candidate because they weren't the nominee.

by ragekage 2008-05-30 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters

Those of us who follow nancy have long known who she supports. Just because she's now more obvious about trying to deliver the nom to Barack doesn't mean she has any power.  If she had such power and still didn't impeach Bush?  I think she has none, this is up to the campaigns. It's funny or ironic that Barack's response to new pastor problem isn't seen as scorched earth, and letting Democracy do it's thing is?  I expect her to take it to Denver.  

by anna shane 2008-05-30 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters

Yes, Nancy and Harry Reid are generally afraid to take on Republicans... but, the record shows they have no qualms taking on other democrats.  The only filibusters that Reid succeeded in mounting were against Democratic Senators' bills.

They have a lot more guts than you think....

Plus, Nancy Pelosi controls the convention floor... she doesn't have to recognize anyone she doesn'r want to recognize.  No recognition... no vote... no voice...

by LordMike 2008-05-30 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters

she can threaten to punish those congresspersons, but she can't get them reelected.  

by anna shane 2008-05-30 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters

She can take away their committee seats and put their offices in the utility room in the basement...

She doesn't really need to... the congresscritters are almost all for obama 'cos he brings in the ### and has the best ground game going.

by LordMike 2008-05-30 04:34PM | 0 recs

What was Obama's response and how was it scorched earth??  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-30 03:58PM | 0 recs

don't feed.

by JJE 2008-05-30 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

he made a distancing remark and avoided saying the guy was a freak and had no business speaking in public, let alone to a church. He didn't say the the cheers over mocking Hillary, that jeer and sneer that is now so evident, isn't right, they need to get right with their souls. A different minister who spoke before PP was disgusted and was not too shy to say so.   At this particular time, when he's assumed she wants him dead, the timing could not be worse for him. she can ask women to support the eventual nom even if it's him, but this racism he's injected has turned off voters of all races.  Mocking a women by claiming her whiteness makes her entitled is hardly okay and in this case scorched earth was by this friend of his, and not scorched earth would be Barack telling the guy off.  Instead he just distanced, he didn't speak out against this ugly speech. He's scorching his own earth. She's just trying to win the nom, and campaigning for herself.

i heard a joke, that Barack has to say negative things about her to counter the positive things she says about herself.  

by anna shane 2008-05-30 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

You may have wanted a more forceful denunciation from Obama, but it doesn't make his response "scorched earth."  Scorched earth campaigning refers to explicitly negative attacksvor harmful tactics.  Whatever you else you want to say about his comments, you can, but what you cannot say is that it is an example of what Pelosi was referring to when she talked about scorched earth tactics.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-30 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

I don't get it. I thought his denunciation of Father Pfleger was pretty forceful, to be honest. Was he supposed to repeat the whole Pfleger diatribe and fisk each line in it and say why it was offensive?

by elrod 2008-05-30 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters

You need to read up on how the democratic party works.  She wields the gavel at the convention and has all the power in the world to force it.

by kasjogren 2008-05-30 04:41PM | 0 recs
This is one point I disagree with her on..
Sorry Nancy.. I voted for you, but I don't think that is your decision to make. Since I no longer live in your enlightened district, you hopefully can understand that Obama's healthcare plan is a 'luxury'(NOT!) that I cant afford..
by architek 2008-05-30 03:55PM | 0 recs
I'm so glad that the folks ....

who seemingly inhabit places like that other 'k' orange site are NOW paying attention to and supporting Pelosi.

I seem to recall a time when they were calling for her head and openly supporting Sheehan to unseat her because she was not kowtowing to their agenda.

Frankly, this has about as much impact on Hillary's supporters as the broken toilet on the space station.

by emsprater 2008-05-30 03:57PM | 0 recs
I think Pelosi has a lot of hubris...

...coming out with a statement like this--even though everyone has known her sentiments for quite awhile--before the Primaries are over.

Who the hell is she?

Most of the folks on this blog are very quick to blame the "lay-down-and-die" Congress for not standing up to Dubya these past two years. And, guess who was running the show in that august body?

In fact, it is precisely because of this mentality and these types of statements that Clinton may just very well take it to the Convention.

If folks stop disrespecting the half of the Party that voted for her, maybe there'd be a little more reciprocity from the Clintons in coming days, instead!

When you fight fire with fire in politics all you end up with is a bunch of ashes.

Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama are engaged in the closest Party Primary in our history right now.

Many, many leaders of our Party have taken this to the Convention floor with far, far less support than Senator Clinton has right now.

Many reading this know I'm speaking the truth. The Clintons know it, too. And, they're among the most fervent of Party supporters anywhere. But, anger has a way making people see red; and, at the end of the day, the Clintons are just people, too.

Remember these comments when you respond with mockery and rants against folks like me if you're really as interested in Party Unity as some claim on this blog. Or, ignore it at your own expense.

by bobswern 2008-05-30 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Pelosi has a lot of hubris...

Oh Puh-leeze. What would be a sign of "respecting" Hillary's supporters short of making her the nominee? Nothing, I bet.

by Cochrane 2008-05-30 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Pelosi has a lot of hubris...

Read the last paragraph of my comment, above. When I was thinking of ranting bloggers here on MyDD, you were right at the top of my list.

You really lack substance in your comments by the way. When it comes to ranting you're a bit of a purist!

by bobswern 2008-05-30 04:09PM | 0 recs
Here's a sign

Stop responding with such dismissive and insulting comments. Unless, of course, it's your aim to fan the flames.

by Swedie 2008-05-30 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's a sign

Bob's crap deserves nothing less. He has been dismissive and condescending long before I ever started posting.

by Cochrane 2008-05-30 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Pelosi has a lot of hubris...

Yeah, previous candidates have taken the fight all the way to the convention.  How well did the eventual but battered and bruised democratic nominee fare in the general election?  Oh, yeah, THEY LOST.     The democrat lost in 1968, the daddy covention fight of them all.  The democrat lost in 1980.  The democrat lost in 1984.  

Doris Goodwin said it best.  If Hillary and her supporters want to take it to the convention, hey, it's not against the law, they can try if they want.  But, they'd better give up the pretense of believing in party unity because threats of a floor fight is the most divisive act a democrat can threaten to do.  So, advocate for a floor fight all you want, just be honest and say you are willing to sacrifice party unity and the November election for . . . I don't what.  What exactly is it you expect to achieve with a floor fight?  The democrats rallying behind Hillary cheerfully and enthusiastically?

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-30 04:09PM | 0 recs
Serious misinformation in your comment!

There was no real floor fight in 1980 or 1984.

I was a Carter/Mondale communications staffer in '80. Press sec'y for MI in the gen'l and a press ass't in CT in the primary.

I spent a good part of my time in 1980 in the GE working with Kennedy and his staff in MI!

Jimmy Carter lost to Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980. Ronald Reagan happened to be the GOP nominee that year.

1984? Tell me all about the "floor fight" in 1984, please. What are you're referencing?

What about 1960?

by bobswern 2008-05-30 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious misinformation in your comment!

Playing semantics, not kosher, especially Hillary Clinton herself referred to the 1980 and 1984 conventions as examples of a candidate taking the fight to the convention.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-30 04:42PM | 0 recs
No semantics at all...

1980? Kennedy was fighting for issues planks; he was not even close to being in the running for the nomination. Not by a longshot. He may have insisted upon a formal ballot vote, or something to that effect, but that was about it. Delegate-wise, it was not even close. Not like this year.

1984? Again, show me anywhere where there was a reference to a floor fight in 1984, for the nomination. Maybe an issue, or something tangential. But, not the nomination. Mondale was waaaaay ahead, by something like 1,000 delegates by Spring of '84. He chose Ferraro for his V.P. in late Spring or early Summer if I recall.

Neither '80 or '84 are comparable to this year. In fact, I'm pretty certain 2008 is the closest Primary in the Party's history. (At least in the last 100 years. The numbers in '68 may prove my hunch incorrect, however.)

by bobswern 2008-05-30 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious misinformation in your comment!

As for 1960, remember how close that election was, even though JFK was running against a really bad candidate in Nixon?  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-30 04:44PM | 0 recs
Also, in 1960

LBJ ran a very short campaign -- about a month long -- before forcing his way onto the ticket.  While there was a split, it didn't boil for months.

by Rorgg 2008-05-30 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Pelosi has a lot of hubris...

were the 100 super delegates who declared for Clinton before the first vote was cast showing disrespect for the voters and the other candidates?

Pelosi has never asked Clinton to bow out before the last vote was cast. But once someone has the winning number it's over.

by hankg 2008-05-30 04:28PM | 0 recs
Clinton Supporters of "Scorched E

It was really a message to Hillary Clinton, not necessarily to her supporters.  She's telling Clinton not to try to instigate a floor fight, because it won't be tolerated.  And she does have real power, as the poster alluded to above.  Moreover, she has a lot influence over the superdelegates, especially over the supers in the house of rep.

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-30 04:03PM | 0 recs
Oh I love her now

Pelosi on Clinton supporters:

"Their enthusiasm is wonderful ... but it's a luxury I can't afford."

I guess we know who will be playing the role of Sandra Day O'Connor in Recount 2008.  Nah, scratch that; she's Scalia.

by BPK80 2008-05-30 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh I love her now

The weight of your hyperboles is crushing me.

by kasjogren 2008-05-30 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh I love her now

There's not much I can do about your reaction.  

by BPK80 2008-05-30 05:00PM | 0 recs

You mean the Nancy Pelosi who couldn't afford the luxury of fighting for impeachment? The one who couldn't afford the luxury of fighting to end the war in Iraq? The Nancy who has failed as a leader on nearly every front? That Nancy Pelosi? NOW she's going to get tough? lol

I agree that we need to unite to defeat McCain in November, and I will vote for whoever the nominee is. I agree that "the strike--that separation, that civil war--was not the answer." But I don't need a 'sternly worded letter' from fearless leader to bring me around, and in fact I have a rude phrase lurking in the back of my throat for both Pelosi and Reid, one that starts with an "f" and ends with "you". I'm in a touchy mood tonight, and she can kiss my okole.

by Swedie 2008-05-30 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi???

Swedie thanks I could'nt find the right words but you did and she needs to retire from the Leadrship back to her seat in congress as well as the Senate Leader!

by tpagy 2008-05-30 04:52PM | 0 recs
Why doesn't Pelosi warn Obama supporters to chill

No wonder the Congress has a lower approval rating than Bush.  Pelosi seems to always do and say the wrong things.  She could have easily come out and have said that it's important for the misogyny and sexism of the Obama surrogates and the racism of Obama's ministers at TUCC to stop with their hate speech.  Yes, the big orange hated Pelosi before they liked her, once she was in the tank for Obama.  Hmmm?  I see hypocritical people.  

Pelosi lost my respect when she took "impeachment off the table,"  when she continued to allow funding for the Iraq war, couldn't hold the Bush administration accountable for any of their criminal acts---now she expects us to listen to her.  She does not own my vote or my voice.  The dictator-like energy around this is getting kind of creepy.

by truthseeker2 2008-05-30 04:42PM | 0 recs

This is how majority parties wane back into the minority, only to rise again when the replacement majority party suffers from the same cavalier overconfidence.  

by BPK80 2008-05-30 06:20PM | 0 recs
Pfft on Pelosi

Newsflash: Pelosi is still an Obama shill.

Great.  Thanks for the memo.

by hornplayer 2008-05-30 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Warns Clinton Supporters

The Democratic leadership did intervene in 1984 to prevent Gary Hart from launching a floor fight (and they way they did this was by convincing enough undeclared SDs to back Mondale so he'd get the nomination w/o any doubt).

Pelosi, I'll bet, is essentially making the same sort of threat.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-30 05:20PM | 0 recs

nancy peolosi is going to endorse BO!

by canadian gal 2008-05-30 05:35PM | 0 recs


by SoCalVet 2008-05-30 10:53PM | 0 recs
Pelosi is the most powerful woman in America

She doesn't like Hillary Clinton, but she is a very important member of the party, like her or not. I wish she were more aggressive as Speaker, but I don't think she deserves the vitriol she gets.

By the way, Pelosi is talking to Clinton here, not her supporters. The only one who can encourage hard core Clinton supporters to back Obama is Hillary Clinton herself. Obama will not be able to win over some of these voters no matter what he does or says. It's a team effort.

by elrod 2008-05-30 05:58PM | 0 recs
What Pelosi fails to realize

is we WANT a democrat, just not THAT one.

by nikkid 2008-05-30 06:08PM | 0 recs
But, but...

She's a woman. You're just being sexist!

by Massadonious 2008-05-30 06:24PM | 0 recs
we are warning Pelosi that Obama' nomination leads

to a disaster and WILL complete the division of the party

by engels 2008-05-30 08:44PM | 0 recs
I'll show you "Scorched Earth..."

This has been about the disrespect shown by Obama and his supporters from the get-go.

They scorched this earth, and I'll be damned if I'm going to fall for their 'demands'.

My vote is not a given.

by SoCalVet 2008-05-30 10:52PM | 0 recs


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