Hillary Clinton's camp has "pinned its increasingly thin hopes" for winning the WH Dem nod "on winning full delegate slates from" MI and FL. "But the hard reality of delegate math makes victory nearly impossible." Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson: "We need to work with others to ensure that Michigan and Florida are seated." The Clinton camp "insists that full delegates" from MI and FL "would cut 58 delegates from Obama's lead." But the proposed plan to divide and seat MI delegates, which Obama mgr. David Plouffe "stopped just short of endorsing" 5/7, would give Clinton 4 less delegates than her full total from 1/15 (Trowbridge, Detroit News, 5/8).
That wasn't enough for the Clinton camp, though. In a letter released 5/8, the camp called on Obama "to agree to seat full delegates slates" from MI and FL, based on "those states' disputed January primary results." The letter said: "Your commitment to the voters in these states must be clearly stated and your support for a fair and quick resolution must be quickly demonstrated" (Trowbridge, Detroit News, 5/8).
The Clinton letter also compared the disputed MI and FL contests to FL's disputed '00 presidential election. The letter said: "The Republicans won an election by successfully opposing a fair counting of votes in Florida. As Democrats, we must reject any proposals that would do the same." Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor responded by saying that "when Senator Obama is the nominee, he will build a strong campaign in both Florida and Michigan to help put those states in the Democratic column in November" (Lengell, Washington Times, 5/9).
Oh, Yes He Did
"Growing confident that he will be" the Dem nominee, Obama "promised group of uncommitted superdelegates" 5/8 that FL's "delegation will be counted at the" convo. Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL): "He assured us that Florida delegates will be at the convention, and they'll have their party hats on." This "appears to be the first time Obama has made such a clear, definite promise" (Gibson, Orlando Sentinel, 5/9).
More Mahoney on Obama's promise: "He understands it's important that the Florida delegates get seated and he's committed to doing that. At the same time he's concerned that the primary wasn't reflective of how well he could have done." Obama's "personal assurance" came as Clinton "renewed her push to see that the state's delegation is represented" at the convo in a way that "mirrors" the 1/29 primary, even though "she too had agreed not to campaign in the state" (Clark, Miami Herald, 5/9).
More On the MI Seating Plan
Clinton "has insisted" that MI's 128 pledged delegates "be seated according to the state's" 1/19 primary results. The Obama camp said it will "seriously consider" the plan to divide 69 delegates for Clinton and 59 for Obama. Vietor: "The fact that Senator Clinton has flatly rejected the wishes of Michigan Democrats proves that her position on this matter was apparently never about principal or the people of Michigan, but about whatever political calculation benefits Senator Clinton." The DNC will address the MI plan 5/31 (Washington Times, 5/9).
Despite Clinton's objection, the MI Dems exec. cmte voted 5/8 to approve the 69-59 delegate split. MI Dem Chair Mark Brewer "said he thinks the state is closer to reaching a solution agreeable to the candidates and the state and national party officials" (AP, 5/8).
More on why the Clinton camp doesn't like the proposal: Clinton camp spokesperson Isaac Baker: "This proposal does not honor the 600,000 votes that were cast in Michigan's January primary. Those votes must be counted." However, MI Dem spokesperson Elizabeth Kerr said: "This proposal honors the January 15 results and takes into consideration the fact that Barack Obama's name was not on the ballot. We continue to think this a fair resolution to seating the delegates" (Hoffman, AP, 5/9).
Another Letter For You
FL congressional Dems "also sent" DNC Chair Howard Dean "a letter asking him to help ensure a decision is made by" 5/31 (Allison, St. Peterberg Times, 5/8). The letter said that, based on the primary results: "Florida voters are tired of Republicans and are demanding a new direction in our country" (AP, 5/9).
What's The Situation?
CNN's Henry reported that HRC supporter/Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein threatening to cut off contributions to cong. Dems unless Speaker Nancy Pelosi embraced his plan to finance revotes in FL and MI.
Henry: "CNN has learned Speaker Nancy Pelosi had an explosive phone call with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein late last month according to three officials briefed on it. Weinstein, a key backer of Senator Hillary Clinton, threatened to cut off campaign money to congressional Democrats unless Pelosi embraces his new plan to finance a revote in Florida and Michigan. The three officials told CNN, Weinstein appeared determined to buy Clinton more time by pushing for the revote which may be her last chance of catching Barack Obama. One official said Pelosi refused to give in, telling Weinstein, 'Don't ever threaten me again.' Though she would not discuss the matter after CNN broke the story."
Pelosi: "No. I think enough has been said about that phone conversation."
Henry: "Weinstein vehemently denied any threats to cut off campaign funds telling CNN, 'I told her people felt there would be a disenfranchisement of voters unless leaders came up with a remedy for Florida and Michigan.' Another person familiar with the call said Weinstein also warned that powerful Democrats may turn to Republican John McCain if the problem is not fixed. Pelosi, however, insists the long primary battle is not dividing the party."
Pelosi: "Me, I like combat, you know. I think the best training for campaigning is campaigning. So I think that as they have campaigned, the support in our country has grown for a Democratic message. This is all very healthy" ("Situation Room," CNN, 5/8).
Clinton chair Terry McAuliffe, asked if he wants to react to the Weinstein/Pelosi story: "The first I've heard it. No one should be threatening anybody. We all agreed Michigan and Florida can't be disenfranchised and people go about arguing in different ways. It's the first I heard about it" ("Situation Room," CNN, 5/8).
This article appears in the May 9, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.