Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Seven former chairs of the Democratic party, and the family of an 8th, sent a letter to DNC members today urging them to support the most electable candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Obama campaign, apparently in need of new endorsements as national and state polls show trouble for the Senator, announced today the support of former DNC chair Paul G. Kirk, Jr.  However, Kirk had already announced his support for Obama back in February.  Perhaps the campaign forgot that Kirk was already in their camp...?

Clinton enjoys the support of a majority of DNC automatic (or "super") delegates.

As reported by The New York Times, here is today's letter in full:

May 2, 2008

Dear Fellow Democratic Party Member:

Democratic National Committee members work tirelessly to elect Democrats locally, and they serve as strong advocates for finding solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. As former DNC Chairs, we are proud to be leaders in a Party that seeks to alleviate the burden of limited access to health care, fix broken systems of public education, improve working conditions for middle-class men and women, and ensure America's safety and security, at home and abroad.

Those of us who support Hillary Clinton for president do so with the knowledge that she, just like us, has dedicated her life to improving the standard of living for others, and she has worked to make our Party the strong force that it is today. Her values are our Party's values. Her record of fiscal prudence is matched by her commitment to social responsibility. Her accomplishments in the area of strengthening America's security are a matter of public record.

Hillary has run one of the most formidable campaigns in the history of our Party. Her wins this primary season are significant -- Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas. Her base of support includes women, Hispanics, seniors, Catholics, middle and low income Americans, and rural, suburban and urban voters. That's a formidable coalition tailor-made for victory in a November general election.

In fact, if the election were held today, Hillary would beat Senator McCain, but Senator Obama would lose to the presumptive GOP nominee. According to the most recent polls available, Hillary would beat McCain by a margin of 279 to 259 Electoral Votes. But McCain would beat Obama by a margin of 291 to 247 Electoral Votes.

In a hypothetical general election matchup with McCain, Clinton is winning handily (50%-41%) while Obama is statistically tied with McCain (46%-44%), according to the AP-Ipsos poll released Monday. In the days following the Pennsylvania primary, Gallup Poll Daily tracking showed Hillary pulling even with Senator Obama. As of Thursday, Hillary was ahead 49%-45%.
Hillary can win our Party's nomination. She is neck and neck with her opponent in Indiana and North Carolina. Both states have sizeable voting blocs that resemble constituencies who supported Hillary by large margins in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other contests.

Years of job loss and the recent economic slowdown mean that most Indiana and North Carolina voters are more concerned about the economy than anything else. Hillary has consistently garnered the majority of support from voters who say the economy is the most important issue facing our country.
Hillary's campaign is currently operating at full capacity in Guam, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota.

As in states that have already voted, election official are expecting record turnouts. Pennsylvania registered more than 215,000 new voters ahead of its April 22 primary. More than 200,000 new voters have registered in Indiana since the start of the year. And in counties across North Carolina, registration numbers are double -- or triple -- what they were in 2004.

More than 30 million Americans have already cast a ballot in our Party's nomination contest and millions more will go to the polls between now and June 3. The record numbers of Americans who are registering and coming out to vote reflect the excitement about our candidates and the strength that our nominee will have behind him or her in the fall. The primary process will make our nominee stronger and better prepared to take on John McCain. Our Party only gains from having more voters -- including more new voters -- all across our country.

We encourage you to continue to fully consider Hillary Clinton and the fact that she is qualified and accomplished. Too much is at stake for us not to consider deeply the choice we must make for our Party and our country.

Kenneth Curtis
Former DNC Chairman (1977-1978)

Charles Manatt
Former DNC Chairman (1981-1985)

The Family of the late Ron Brown
Former DNC Chairman (1989-1993)

Mrs. Alma Brown, Michael Arrington Brown & Tracey Brown James
Debra DeLee

Former DNC Chair (1994-1995)
Don Fowler

Former DNC National Chairman (1995-1997)
Steve Grossman

Former DNC National Chairman (1997-1999)
Governor Edward Rendell

Former DNC General Chairman (1999-2001)
Terence McAuliffe

Tags: automatic delegates, chairs, DNC, Endorsements, Hillary Clinton, superdelegates (all tags)



Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

ok why is he Inlcuding Florida and Michigan???!!?!?!?

this is one of the supers that said they should not count ??? why is he flip flopping now !??!?!?!?

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Use more punctuation.  It makes people take you seriously.

by bobbank 2008-05-02 12:05PM | 0 recs

McAuliffe Has Flip-Flopped On Counting Florida, Michigan
"I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.

"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I said. "We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost."

He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.

"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.

"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it."

We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly.

as opposed to obama, who has maintained all along that the states of florida and mishigan don't exist, and that there are no democrats in those states (even if they did exist, which they don't).

hey, obama....

by campskunk 2008-05-02 12:47PM | 0 recs
Clinton supporters created the FL/MI mess

Namely, Gov. Granholm, Sen.Stabenow, FL Sen. Geller etc made for the mess by screwing around with the Democratic primary schedule.

Obama followed the rules as set by the DNC.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters created the FL/MI mess

by DiamondJay 2008-05-02 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters created the FL/MI mess

so during Jim Crow, blacks not voting was just "part of the rules?" or Rosa Parks should have just followed "the rules" when she was forced to the back of the bus?

by DiamondJay 2008-05-02 03:07PM | 0 recs
There are 48 states besides FL and MI

(plus territories) that Clinton supporting leaders and officials in FL and MI thumbed their nose at by breaking the primary schedule and creating the mess for the party and helping the GOP in the process. Had they stuck by the schedule, FL and MI would've played a positive and meaningful role in the nomination process. Blame the creators of this mess for the mess.

As the rules stand, FL and MI won't get counted and any sort of change in rules after voting began will have to be acceptable to and approved by both campaigns.

Please see my own modest proposal for resolving MI here.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 03:25PM | 0 recs
And, the Clinton campaign

agreed, both implicitly (by running the primaries scheduled and organized by the DNC) and explicitly (eg, when HRC said in IA that MI and FL won't count), that FL and MI delegationg will not be seated.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: There are 48 states besides FL and MI

wouldn't it have been nice if Strom Thurmond flip flopped on voting rights too?

by DiamondJay 2008-05-02 04:28PM | 0 recs
Even HRC said that FL|MI were not going to count

This isn't an issue of voting rights, but since you're trying hard to make it one, you should know that a lot of people didn't show up to participate in the beauty contest in FL and non-contest in MI because they were told that their votes would not count. They will be disenfranchised if the flawed results are counted as reflecting true voter intent.

Did you know that Dems had fewer voters than the Reps in both FL and MI whereas they out-polled Reps by large margins in almost every other state? That's a proof that tons of voters did not show up because they were told (even HRC said that they were not going to count) that FL and MI were not going count.

The real issue is that Clinton supporting Democrats in those states (Granholm, Stabenow, Levin, Geller etal) joined the Republicans to mess with the process designed by the DNC and abided by 48 other states that were scheduled to go before and after FL and MI. Those states will be disenfranchised too by allowing the renegade and flawed results to count as they are.

Furthermore, in MI, exit polls showed that the vote split would've been C:46 and O:35 and Obama would've done even better if he had been able to run and campaign there.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 04:52PM | 0 recs
Who are you comparing to Rosa Parks?

Rosa Parks disobeyed a law that was patently unjust, and she did so without an eye to her own interests. Nobody involved in the Florida/Michigan debacle can make such a claim.

Should the DNC just roll over if any state unilaterally decides that it wants to go first? How is that fair to other states?

If the analogy applies at all, Florida and Michigan told the rest of the states to go sit down at the back of the bus.

by baudelairien 2008-05-02 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters created the FL/MI mess

Obama took his name off the ballot to pander to Iowa and to delegitimize a contest he knew he would lose.

Wouldn't it be nice if right before the Potomoc Primaries Hillary said, "Hey, I don't really feel like having my name in a contest where I lose by 30 points.  It would look bad!  We should take my name off the ballot and then say that those states don't count."

Maybe Obama should have taken his name off the ballot in Ohio and Pennsylvania and said that they don't count.  

Why don't we make Obama a flag pin that has only 48 stars, one for each of the states that he wants to count?  

by BPK80 2008-05-02 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters created the FL/MI mess

He took his name off because it's commonly done. Gore and Bradley took their names off a similar renegade MI ballot in 2000.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-03 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters created the FL/MI mess

Removing one's name from a primary's ballot is not commonly done.  

Nor would it be common for the loser of such an election to plausibly say, "well don't count that state, but if you do, let's pretend I got half the votes."  

by BPK80 2008-05-04 08:16PM | 0 recs
selective quoting

In the other part of that passage, which you conveniently left out, they specifically mention the 50% delegate loss.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-05-02 12:55PM | 0 recs

I don't see anything about 50% seating in the Huffington post article
 I am quoting from and I don't have McA's book. So, feel free to quote and link to the passage you're talking about.

I read "The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television" as a threat to not seat any delegates from MI.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: asdf

Violation of timing: In the event the Delegate Selection Plan of a state party
provides or permits a meeting, caucus, convention or primary which constitutes
the first determining stage in the presidential nominating process to be held prior
to or after the dates for the state as provided in Rule 11 of these rules, or in the
event a state holds such a meeting, caucus, convention or primary prior to or after
such dates, the number of pledged delegates elected in each category allocated to
the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by
fifty (50%) percent
, and the number of alternates shall also be reduced by fifty
(50%) percent. In addition, none of the members of the Democratic National
Committee and no other unpledged delegate allocated pursuant to Rule 8.A. from
that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the state's delegation. 3e5b3bfa1c1718d07f_6rm6bhyc4.pdf

DNC Delegate Selection Rules

by skohayes 2008-05-02 03:13PM | 0 recs
Not a passage from the book in question.

You've linked to DNC selection rules document. The commenter "sepulvedaj3" was talking about some alleged passage from McAuliffe's book while falsely accusing me of selective quoting.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-05-02 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Not a passage from the book in question.
The same rules that McAuliffe is talking about in his book. It's been "selectively" quoted all over the internet as some sort of proof that McAuliffe has somehow changed his mind.
The Price Herman Commission, appointed by McAuliffe in 2005, is the one who came up with the 50% rule, by the way.
by skohayes 2008-05-03 05:13AM | 0 recs
That quote isn't about 2008

The convention is in Denver this year, not Boston.  

by BPK80 2008-05-02 11:11PM | 0 recs
Terry McAuliffe endorsed her!!

That's a BIG GET!!

by Al Rodgers 2008-05-02 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe endorsed her!!

That's hilarious.  Perhaps McAuliffe and Rendell forgot they were already in Hillary's camp?

by haystax calhoun 2008-05-02 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe endorsed her!!

I'm sure Terry has a promising future as a democratic strategist

by GeorgeP922 2008-05-02 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

I have to say, that is a pretty damned strong message they just sent.

by bobbank 2008-05-02 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Best. Endorsement. Ever.

If only I could see David Axelrod's face as reads this...

by Misty Mountain Maggie 2008-05-02 12:09PM | 0 recs

you guys are too much.

I'm laughing my ass off.

Yeah, Ax is freaking out, McAullife endorsed Hill.


by Al Rodgers 2008-05-02 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Hahhahah

Did you read the whole letter? Doubtful.

It isn't just Terry and Rendell. How about you subtract those two... that leaves a whopping FIVE former DNC chairs and the family of another (who have previously kept out of it) that feel she is the best candidate to beat McCain.

That is very significant, no matter how you wish you could write it off.

by Misty Mountain Maggie 2008-05-02 12:23PM | 0 recs

Now all she needs is 400+ delegates.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Why on earth would former DNC chairs, who one would assume understand how these things work, cite those up and down daily tracking polls as a reason to vote for a candidate?


by emptythreatsfarm 2008-05-02 12:11PM | 0 recs
They didn't write the script.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

an impressive list indeed.

by LindaSFNM 2008-05-02 12:14PM | 0 recs
Terry McAullife = Failure

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:39PM | 0 recs
Troll rating me won't make him any successier.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 08:48PM | 0 recs
I TR'ed you for your trolling, not for his sake

Heck, I'm not really a McAuliffe fan.

But if you're going to make an argument that he's a failure, make an argument. An equals sign does not an argument make.

And if you want to persuade anyone, try spelling his name correctly.

by baudelairien 2008-05-02 09:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Let's give the Obama camp a break on this; maybe they thought it was another Paul G Kirk Jr., who also was once upon a time DNC chairman.....

by pollbuster 2008-05-02 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton


by LindaSFNM 2008-05-02 12:28PM | 0 recs
Linda Can Haz Politick?

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

by LindaSFNM 2008-05-02 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

no fair! hillary is listing endorsements from DNC CHAIRS WHOSE NAMES PEOPLE ACTUALLY RECOGNIZE!!!

by campskunk 2008-05-02 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Yup, otherwise, their vote doesn't matter, right?

by mefck 2008-05-02 01:15PM | 0 recs
All former DNC chairs and how they're voting

While we're doing a headcount of DNC chairs, here are all the surviving ones along with their endorsements. They're all superdelegates, with the possible exception of Curtis, whose status depends on the resolution of the FL controversy.

Fred Harris (Chair 1969-70, NM): Obama
Bob Strauss (Chair 1972-77, TX): Uncommitted
Kenneth Curtis (Chair 1977-78, FL): Clinton
Charles Manatt (Chair 1981-85, CA): Clinton
Paul Kirk (Chair 1985-88, MA): Obama
David Wilhelm (Chair 1993-94, OH): Obama
Debra DeLee (Chair 1994-95, MA): Clinton
Chris Dodd (Gen'l Chair 1995-97, CT): Obama
Don Fowler (Nat'l Chair 1995-97, SC): Clinton
Roy Romer (Gen'l Chair 1997-99, CO): Uncommitted
Steve Grossman (Nat'l Chair 1997-99, MA): Clinton
Ed Rendell (Gen'l Chair 1999-2001, PA): Clinton
Joe Andrew (Nat'l Chair 1999-2001, IN): Obama
Terry McAuliffe (Chair 2001-05, VA): Clinton
Howard Dean (Chair since 2005, VT): Uncommitted

Summary: 7 Clinton; 5 Obama; 3 Uncommitted

Note that the DNC had a 2-chair system from 1995-2001, where the General Chair was the public spokesperson and the National Chair was the administrator.

by baudelairien 2008-05-02 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: All former DNC chairs and how they're voting

Howard Dean = Obama
Roy Romer = Clinton

Anybody know who Bob Strauss is leaning towards? Looks like he'll be the tie breaker.

by Misty Mountain Maggie 2008-05-02 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: All former DNC chairs and how they're voting

BTW, these are obviously just educated guesses. Not trying to state this as fact or anything.

by Misty Mountain Maggie 2008-05-02 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: All former DNC chairs and how they're voting

I understand that Romer is in the "Pelosi Club," i.e. will cast his vote for the winner of pledged delegates.

I agree that Dean will cast his vote for Obama.

As for Bob Strauss -- it looks like he maxed out his contributions to Clinton, giving $2,300 to her in Q4 of 2007, but only $500 to Obama in Q1 of 2008. So I would count him as a favorite for Clinton.

On the other hand, if he was going to come out for Clinton, it's curious that he didn't join the other letter writers. (But were any of the signatories not previously on the record as endorsing Clinton?)

by baudelairien 2008-05-02 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: All former DNC chairs and how they're voting

For all the accusations that the Clintons were a nightmare for the Democratic Party, single-handedly destroying the Congressional majorities and handing governships and statehouses to the Republicans, it is interesting that so many Chairs from the Clinton years are supporting Hillary Clinton.

by psychodrew 2008-05-02 05:24PM | 0 recs
Half is not so, so many...

Of the 8 surviving DNC chairs that served while Bill Clinton was president, 4 are endorsing Hillary Clinton. 3 are endorsing Barack Obama, and Romer will vote for the leader in the pledged delegate count.

Given the lack of a consistent verdict from these folks, I don't think a strong argument either for or against the Clinton administration follows. Nor should it, since these folks share the credit and the blame for what happened at that time.

by baudelairien 2008-05-02 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: All former DNC chairs and how they're voting

They owe their political 'fortunes' to the Clintons, not surprising at all.  Notice the elected DEMS, and who they support.  THAT will tell you where the wind in blowing.

by stryan 2008-05-02 09:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Shocking! Once again only the S.D.'s that support hillary matter. Can't you guy's see how silly you look everytime you try and discount Obama's S.D. supporters?

by venician 2008-05-02 12:57PM | 0 recs
Enjoy it. This site is high comedy.

This site is some of the best unintentional political comedy on the net.  You never know what crazy shit you will find on the rec list from day to day.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

And elected officials support Obama in greater numbers, including their colleagues in the Senate.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:35PM | 0 recs
Yeah, embittered politicians like Kerry

who turned on John Edwards as well.

by internetstar 2008-05-02 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Joe Andrew -- former DNC chair who supposedly switched from Clinton to Obama.

His firm, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, where he has been a partner since 2004, comes in at #4 on Obama's Top Donor list.

Makes one wonder exactly when Mr. Andrew made his amazing switch.

by jen 2008-05-02 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

You should know that Sonnenschein is a massive law firm. And Joe Andrew is hardly a presence there.

by brimur 2008-05-02 05:53PM | 0 recs
Don't spoil the conspiracy, smarty pants.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

Did the family of Ron brown have a seance to determine who he would endorse?

by feliks 2008-05-02 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

If this is the type of insensitive response that is typical of the new politics, I'll take the old politics.

by pollbuster 2008-05-02 06:18PM | 0 recs
And Thus Poll Buster Spake!

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-02 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton

This is not the first time Obama is recycling his endorsements.  It has been happening on a regu;ar basis lately.

by rrs11215 2008-05-02 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Former DNC Chairs for Clinton
Please, Howard Wolfson talking point.  We only should watch Chuck Todd and his count - this guy WAS NOT counted by Todd's number.  
Down to 23 SD lead, with at least 3 coming Monday.  Obama will be within 20 Tuesday ...
by stryan 2008-05-02 09:48PM | 0 recs


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