Political Headline of the Day

Via ThePage I see:

Clinton supporters are concerned Obama isn’t fundraising aggressively enough to help Clinton retire the debt from her bid.

That perchance wouldn’t be the debt she racked up running a kitchen-sink sleazy as hell strategy against Obama after it was clear she had no chance of winning would it?

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Published in: on July 30, 2008 at 4:43 pm  Comments (5)  
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  1. Hi Chris,

    It’s surprising that you would find Clinton’s drive for either a revote in Florida and Michigan or to have those votes counted as an example of a “sleazy campaign.” And the Obama campaign’s drive to block revotes in those states was not sleazy? Surely Hillary Clinton was within her rights to try to get those votes to count and especially to try for a revote. Surely it was questionable for Howard Dean to discount the entire vote in both states.

    You can argue it the other way of course, but that it is “changing the rules” does not really work. In the narrow sense, yes, but in the broader sense the rules do state that Florida and Michigan get to vote in the Democratic primary. It was not the voters’ fault but the fault of politicians (Republicans in Florida), so surely it was reasonable especially to try for a revote. But Obama knew that even with his advantage in money he wouldn’t win those states, so he blocked a revote. So, his winning was more important than upholding Democratic principles (reminiscent of his 1995 campaign, an article about which I linked on my blog post).

    I have responded generally to the charge that Hillary Clinton ran a relatively low-minded campaign in a blog post you can find here:

    http://monk.gaia.com/blog

    I decided to put it in a blog finally so I wouldn’t have to keep repeating myself. 🙂

    I enjoy your blog.

    David

  2. I think the only question that needs to be asked on this one is: If Clinton had not won Michigan and Florida do you really think she still would have pushed for their being seated?

    It was like anything politics plain and simple imo.

  3. Of course she wouldn’t be pushing for MI and FL delegates to be seated if she hadn’t won them, and she wouldn’t be pushing for a revote if she didn’t think she had a good chance of winning, and it’s also true that Obama was blocking a revote because he didn’t think he would win. But that doesn’t make the two positions morally equal–in a democracy people have a right to vote and shouldn’t be disenfranchised because of the actions of politicians, or overly penalized because of the actions of self-serving politicians.

    The point is: there was nothing wrong with Clinton pushing for delegates to be seated or pushing of a revote. It was a reasonable, fair thing to do. Challenging the decision of Howard Dean is not “sleazy,” nor is pushing for a revote. She tried to get the deleagates seated, tried for a revote and then accepted the decision of the committee.

    If anyone was sleazy and demonstrating less-than Democratic ideals there it was Obama for blocking revotes.

  4. David,

    Obviously we disagree on this and I don’t really want to re-hash all the ins and outs of this particular episode.

    For me it wasn’t that Clinton just wanted delegates seated it was that she needed them seated either on terms that were beneficial to her or a re-vote to help her win. There were fair offers that would have resolved the disputes very early on but not in ways that would have got Clinton advantages in the race. Which she turned down.

    Again she’s a politician, that’s what they do, but when she wrapped herself in this aura of fighter for the rights of people it was really tawdry and ugly even by US pol. standards.

    No doubt the Obama team played its own politics but I think it’s fair to say they didn’t really start it.

    peace. cj

  5. I like many of the points you make. We’ll probably have to just agree to disagree here, but I would like to say a few of things.

    1) A 50/50 split was not a reasonable offer. It just neutralized the whole vote. So they offered a 50/50 split and blocked the revote–they didn’t want to count the Michigan and Florida votes because Obama lost (he unnecessarily, to pander to Iowans, pulled his name off the Michigan ballot when he was down 16 points in the polls), and they didn’t want them to have a revote because they thought they might not like the results. This is an anti-Democratic maneuver, akin to those of the Bush campaign during the Florida recount.

    2) There were perhaps a few tawdry moments in the Clinton campaign, but I wouldn’t characterize the entire campaign that way, and if we did we would need something similar to describe the Obama campaign.

    3) As I show in my blog, it was the Obama campaign that started it. They were just very good at turning things around and saying that Clinton started it and that it was only Clinton who was playing dirty tricks. It was a smear campaign. Hillary Clinton was swiftboated by the Obama campaign and the liberal press.

    But I always said that we needed a Democrat who could fight, and now we have one (two actually, 🙂 ), so I’m not complaining about that. There was just something unusual and inaccurate in the way that Hillary Clinton was portrayed.

    Finally, the Obama campaign has not been shrewd when it comes to unifying the party. Clinton was demonized, and she continues to be demonized by many of Obama’s supporters. This is not shrewd politics. It could cost Obama the election.

    d


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