So, David Plouffe went to Harvard the other day to muse hypothetically about what might have happened if Florida had actually, um, *counted* back in February:
“In fact, we might not have been the nominee,” Mr. Plouffe said at a forum sponsored by the Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Plouffe said that he was surprised – and relieved – when the Clinton campaign bowed to pressure from early primary states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, and agreed not to campaign in Florida after the state defied the Democratic National Committee and scheduled its primary before Feb. 3. That spared the Obama campaign the burden of running in a state where all sides agreed Mrs. Clinton was very strong.
“The Florida primary was always of concern to us,” Mr. Plouffe said. “When they agreed to do it in the Clinton campaign, I was really surprised.”
(The vote was held, and Mrs. Clinton won, but the Democratic National Committee said that delegates won there would not count in determining the outcome of the race.)
The way it turned out, Mr. Obama crushed Mrs. Clinton in South Carolina on Jan. 26 and rolled into Super Tuesday on Feb. 5, when there were more than 20 states holding contests. Florida would have taken place on Feb. 29, which Mr. Plouffe argued could have made everyone forget South Carolina.
“If we hadn’t had that moment of velocity coming out of South Carolina — particularly after losing New Hampshire – I don’t know if we could have survived Feb. 5,” he said.
Well, wasn’t that nice. They were relieved that Clinton had stuck to her agreement because that meant Obama didn’t have to spend money and time in a state he knew he couldn’t win at the same time they could work with Obama’s enablers in the DNC to fuck over Floridians, Hillary and the rest of the country’s Hillary voters.
I can just imagine Plouffe, Axelrod, Brazile and Obama himself sniggering and patting themselves on the back for pulling a fast one over on Hillary the sucker and the rest of us. High fives all around. I mean, why bother treating your voters with respect when the other guy makes it completely unnecessary?
There are business courses available for people who want to figure out how to get what they want and believe it or not, they never recommend the aproach that Obama took. Oh, that doesn’t mean that the management types ever take the advice but the pros who teach this stuff make a point that playing the game by cheating and backstabbing is limited short-term thinking. *Supposedly*, good negotiators operate in good faith and are up front and honest. Good game players triumph over evil in the end blah-de-blah-de-blah. So, maybe Hillary’s crew were a bit over confident that they could win in the end. But I can still remember the night of SuperTuesday when even Karl Rove thought that Obama would have a hard time pulling off a primary win. Well, SURE, but that’s only because Rove was counting Florida and possibly Michigan. It was probably only a hearbeat later when Rove realized what a brilliantly devious thing it would be for the media to suppress Floridians and pretend it didn’t count.
Did Hillary have a choice in the matter? Allan Katz, the Floridian RBC member who screwed us all royally and says he is now proud of it would probably say “no”. The RBC’s decision of the previous August to strip FL and MI of their votes made the RBC members into minor celebrities. Whoo-hoo! 15 minutes of fame and all that. They. Had. The. Powwwwwer!!! What a moment in the sun, a chance to make a solemn, momentous decision on TV, a day that will live in infamy when the petty bureaucrats had a chance to make the 2008 election into a teachable moment about race.
How delighted they must be that they elevated skin color over character so that now we have the specter of four years of Jon Favreau, Rod Blagojevich and the Villagers holding the White House hostage if their cushy status quo is disrupted. This is the price that the rest of us pay. The Democratic party has covered itself with dishonor. Oh, sure, it *won*. But the consequences of not bargaining in good faith are that now voters sincerely believe that there isn’t a bit of difference between the parties, that all politicians are crooked and that you can’t trust any of them. Obama won because the Republicans were sooooo baaaad. But in the future, the Democratic party will have a much harder time making its case. It has lost the moral high ground. It ripped the nomination from one of its most deserving, loyalists and gave the finger to the voters.
Mr. Plouffe, we have very long memories.