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The road to 2214 goes straight through Florida & Michigan

One of the reasons I enjoy the blog, TalkLeft, is their commitment to discussing the Florida and Michigan situation. I’ve participated in several threads on the subject. But, I haven’t been able to get a particular response to one of my comments yesterday out of my mind. Here’s what she said:

Please don’t be naive. You can argue as BTD does that it is in the best interest of the party to have a revote.

Don’t fool yourself. HRC would argue against a revote, if that was her path to the nomination. It just so happens it is not. She is a Pol and a very good one. That is one of the reasons she would make a good president. Unlike some I don’t consider being a Pol to be an insult or a disqualifying.

“Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right”

The bit I highlighted, is the bit I’m arguing against.

If there is one thing that can’t be argued, this is not Hillary’s first presidential campaign. She’s been doing this for years — from her youthful experiences working for George McGovern in Texas through her husband’s presidential campaigns in the 1990’s.

And there is no way in the world a politician with those experiences would consider blocking the delegations from two states. In fact, every move she made at every step shows she was very conscious of how important those states could be. Do you think she accidentally didn’t follow the path of Obama & Edwards and remove her name from the Michigan ballot? It didn’t seem accidental at the time:

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers said it would be foolish to rebuff an important swing state, especially since doing so could alienate Democratic-leaning independents who could be favoring her. But she is also taking a risk that staying in Michigan will not hurt her in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Those states, all sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee to vote first, forced the Democratic candidates to sign a pledge not to campaign in Michigan and Florida. Clinton advisers said that even though she was staying in the Michigan race, she would not campaign there. (4 Democrats Leave Michigan’s Early Primary; Clinton and Dodd Stay In)

Any argument that Hillary would block Florida & Michigan if she were in Obama’s position is nonsense. Hillary would never put herself in Obama’s position. She’s not just a politician. She’s a damn good politician. And she’s right.

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18 Responses

  1. Whether or not Hillary would argue against revotes isn’t the issue.

    Whether or not the Democratic party disenfranchises two (important swing) states is the issue.

    Even if Hillary is being cynical, she’s still right.

    BTW – I agree with katiebird, not Molly Bloom. Hillary is acting on principle.

  2. So she’ll do anything to win and yet she would shoot herself in the foot in two must-win GE states? Makes perfect sense.

    In addition to not being politically suicidal as Obama and the DNC obviously are, the media would’ve never let her get away with it.

  3. The one thing I have always said about this argument(HRC would be as unprincipled), is that with HRC i can faith that she would do the right thing, while Obama has shown me that he won’t.

  4. I agree with you katiebird. I don’t think Hillary would do what Obama is doing, because she is not stupid.

    Obama seems to be driven almost completely by ambition. I don’t think he cares anything about people or policies. He just wants the power. I know Hillary is ambitious too, but she has shown all along that she is thinking long-term, not just about what will get her what she wants right now.

    Obama, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any ability to curb his need to win right now and to have everything sewn up. Yet, he doesn’t seem to be thinking at all seriously about the general election.

    Can he really be so arrogant as to believe that MI and FL voters will still come around and support him in the general? Or does he honestly believe that he can get states like North Dakota and Montana to go for a Democrat? He would have to pile up a hell of a lot of small state to equal the electoral votes of FL and MI. And I think he’s got a chance to lose MA, PA, and NJ. How can he win? I don’t know what he and his people can be thinking of.

  5. Katiebird–

    I hope you are feeling a little better today.

  6. I agree with the objected-to comment. My position has never been that Hillary isn’t the pol she’s made out to be–it’s that Obama is the pol he claims not to be, and maybe even a bit worse than the norm. If Obama supporters merely said “look, when these decisions were made, Hillary made a strategic miscalculation and that’s what you get…you win some and you lose some!,” I wouldn’t have a big problem with it. Instead, they make it into some kind of moral issue, as they always do because in the absence of a substantive case for Obama, they construct a spurious moral case against Clinton.

  7. There is ambition to BE someone, and ambition to DO things. Obama wants to BE president very badly. What would he do with it? Hard to say, when his chanted message is “change change change.” Change how? Change to what? Bush has changed this country, but few would say for the better. What would Obama do as president? Is the answer like with Bush – “anything I want”?

    If Hillary wins, certainly she will BE president. But she has spoken concretely about what she wants to DO – reform many economic set-ups to be more fair, benefitting poor and middle-class Americans. She would push to end discrimination against many American groups, including gay citizens. That’s a kind of ambition I can wholeheartedly support.

  8. What is missing in all these crap about ‘Hillary is ambitious’ is that she WAS First Lady. Now, I am not an American and please correct me if I am wrong.

    As sister of ye said, if her ambitious was to BE someone, that is to be catered too, there is not a more powerful position than the First Lady. While the leaders could tell the President off, every one is obliged to respect the First Lady. It’s the decorum.

    Does she want to live in the White House, fly by Air Force One, be the most important guest at the State Dinners?? She has done all of these.

    So exactly, she has an ambition to DO things.

  9. Rich in PA: Hillary made a strategic miscalculation

    I’d describe it as yielding to the political blackmail of IA/NH/NV/SC. There was very little room to actually … calculate.

  10. I f she would do anything to win, why then did she tell her campaign not to mention race at all and kept quiet for months on the Wright videos before the msm started to use them?

    There is more than enough dirt on Obama that if she had gone negative early on she could have sunk his unity fleet. The reason why she didn’t is that, unlike Obama, she is a Democrat to the core and a longtime visionary who wouldn’t do anything that harmful to the party, the progressive forces and the art of politics in American society.

  11. B: (nodding) “I f she would do anything to win, why then did she tell her campaign not to mention race at all and kept quiet for months on the Wright videos before the msm started to use them?”

    BostonB, (thank you for asking) I don’t know if I feel better or if I’m just getting used to the pain. Thinking about the elections seems to help, though. 🙂

  12. […] Katie Bird at RiverDaughter reminds us of what the Hillary Clinton camp said about Michigan in October 2007 when she decided to keep her name on the ballot (along with Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel): Mrs. Clinton’s advisers said it would be foolish to rebuff an important swing state, especially since doing so could alienate Democratic-leaning independents who could be favoring her. But she is also taking a risk that staying in Michigan will not hurt her in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Those states, all sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee to vote first, forced the Democratic candidates to sign a pledge not to campaign in Michigan and Florida. Clinton advisers said that even though she was staying in the Michigan race, she would not campaign there. […]

  13. Katiebird, you are quite right. The “Hillary would do it too” is just a variant of the Obamaphiles’ favorite talking point, “Hillary did it first and she’s mean!”

    I don’t believe Hillary would have blocked a re-vote if she was in the lead. That Obama has done so just reveals his weakness as a candidate.

  14. hlr: I was “quoting” a putative Obamista argument, which isn’t mine. But I think it was a bad decision. Hillary should have broken the blackmail of NH and IA from the position of power she had back when these decisions were made. I’m sorry she didn’t, and maybe she is sorry now as well.

  15. Rich, should she have refused the pledge? I wondered about it at the time. Not for her particularly, but for Edwards too. I was pretty shocked that the IA/NH status quo was protected this time around.

  16. Katie- I don’t know, since it’s hard to turn back the clock and stop knowing what we know now about how things would transpire. But to me, the best answer at the time might have been this: “In deference to NH and IA’s historical role, I will ask MI and FL to hold later primaries and I won’t take part if they’re earlier…but *only if* NH and IA agree to rotating the privilege of holding the first primaries in 2012 and thereafter. No party that calls itself “democratic” can enshrine the permanent supremacy of two states without any sound reason.”

  17. No party that calls itself “democratic” can enshrine the permanent supremacy of two states without any sound reason.”

    I think we could have a drawing start in reverse order from the dates of the last round of primaries and let states choose their dates.

    It’s unbelievable that it’s so artificially difficult.

  18. Obama and his bots just don’t get it. Neither does Dean or Brazile. There won’t be any ‘unity party’ at the end of this primary season UNLESS FL & MI delegates are counted toward the nomination.

    Period.

    The rest of us know what they don’t know, or simply delude themselves into ignoring through selective hearing: We won’t vote for Obama if Florida and Michigan delegates aren’t counted.

    It won’t matter what Clinton SAYS about supporting the nominee and the party. We know she will do what is right for the party, i.e., make a speech about how important it is to win in Nov. etc. It won’t persuade Democrats that Obama is legitimate. Wanna know why?

    Well ask yourself: When Al Gore made his concession speech, a brilliantly crafted unity speech about the “good of the country” when he said Bush had won the White House in Jan. 2001—Did you suddenly say, “Why Yes! Bush is the “legitimate” winner!?”

    No. You didn’t. You accepted that Gore made that speech because he was the better candidate, a man with character and integrity. But, it didn’t legitimize G.W. Bush in your minds, anymore than Clinton’s speech will do for Obama.

    If Florida and Michigan don’t count; Obama will be G.W. Bush.

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