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US Politics

How to Close Camp Clinton

She also brazenly announced, on what should have been Obama’s special night, that all delegates were now free to change their mind

Suspended means lying in wait

When Senator Barack Obama passed the Democratic Party’s nomination target of pledged delegates and superdelegates on Tuesday, long established, accepted protocol in such circumstances required that his opponent Hillary Clinton  graciously concede. Conceding meaning that her campaign was not simply suspended – it was over – it was ended and with no disgrace attached to her loss. She was simply beaten by a better candidate who on his merits has proved he has an excellent chance of becoming the 44th President of her country.

Testing the waters

Predictably Clinton did nothing of a sort, in fact, just the opposite.  Earlier in the day she had her campaign people angle for a major reward, a compensation from the Obama team for coming second. A reward about the size of the Vice Presidency. With little subtlety she was suggesting she could bring all of her supporters over to the Obama side with the click of her fingers. The amazing grace of ego. Floating the idea that the task would be much easier if she was offered a place on the Obama ticket as his running mate. Can’t be plainer than that.

Underhand work

To add insult to injury she also brazenly announced, on what should have been Obama’s special night, that all delegates were now free to change their mind about their pledged endorsements and she made it clear she intended to work hard to acquire them by the time of the convention.  At present Senator Obama is the current holder of the greater number of delegate endorsements, but starting Wednesday the Clintons are committed to undermining his support. They are not interested in observing rules or protocols. For them the contest is not over. This needs to be understood and taken very seriously.

A Quick Fix

This places Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in an intolerable position. Yet one simple step may resolve the problem. It involves the Obama campaign inviting their delegates and superdelegates to forward their Obama endorsement via a statutory declaration valid to November 30th 2008. A copy of the document to be lodged at the Party’s National HQ within 7 days. 

Game Over

A statutory declaration carrying the endorsement would not be subject to change during its currency. This procedure would protect the delegates from harrassment following their endorsement of a candidate. In the present circumstances it would put paid to any  insurgent plans the Clintons may be considering in their last ditch efforts to overturn the current result. 

I am sure the Obama delegates would be only to happy to oblige in bringing certainty and closure to the Primary result. Then all Democrats could focus on waging the main game campaign against one Monsieur Jean McCain?  Le Republicain!  

What do you think?


email: john@tellingthoughts.com

website: www.tellingthoughts.com


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  1. I am disappointed in the Clintons. Mr. Clinton’s Foundation does so much good. She is an awesome Senator. James Carvel’s ‘win at all costs’ doggedness has taken all the grace from the Clinton’s image, and reduced them in my eyes, and others. We have seen blind, ego-driven leadership for the past 8 years and can’t take any more. Hopefully this current position she has taken will have some merit in the long run. Perhaps all those HRC supporters need the time to give up the ghost and come back to the party. I have been surprised by all the HRC fans who are so prejudiced against Obama – the emotional hate for him is odd and unhealthy. Is this the doing of the Clinton/Carvel campaign? What happened to love of Country? and commitment to shared values and goals such as universal health care. I wish there was some way to learn how many Hillary supporters are actually Rush Limbaugh fans/ Democrat spoilers, and if any of those claiming they will now vote for McCain were always going to vote Republican. It is just hard to believe that these ranting Obama haters are actually Dems.

    Posted by Carrie J | June 4, 2008, 9:20 pm
  2. Wow! Good “out of the box” thinking.

    Posted by Diane | June 4, 2008, 9:44 pm
  3. This is only for superdelegates and either uncommitted or Edwards delegates (who are now uncommitted actuelly). Pledged delegates can’t change their votes anyway.

    I think if you get enough delegates to reach her targeted number,2200+, whatever half of all total delegates are including Florida and Michigan at full votes, she may sit down.

    They believe the only rules are their rules so beat them at their own game!

    Posted by General Parker | June 4, 2008, 10:47 pm
  4. Sounds lawlerly. And if it works, I am all for it. Good work as usual John.

    Posted by Mike | June 4, 2008, 10:58 pm
  5. Pledged delegates can change their minds. I’m in Texas and they have tried to poach Obama delegates.

    I really don’t trust that language I’m hearing from the Clinton camp…this is not over.

    Posted by azul perez | June 4, 2008, 11:09 pm
  6. very good article. she isn’t dividing the party, she is dividing the country! So sad, such a sore looser, but we have seen this throughout the primaries. At least we can count on Obama to have more class and better character. He is smart and knows what we see the Clintons are doing and he will handle this situation with careful consideration! He will be the next President of the US!! ABOUT TIME we have a REAL LEADER!!

    Posted by lisa | June 4, 2008, 11:20 pm
  7. Well I think this would be find if this was really what she thought would happen. She does not think this. Her raising this is just a mere justification to move forward. To know what she really wants you have to look at the under current. Hill and Bill are passive agressive. She wants to the party to agree that they do need her….or say they do not. No only do I think this is a teriibly risky posiition I think this very seffish for her to make such an openly agressive move shows her true nature…the only problem Obama faces is how to appeal to her supporters on an emotional let and replace the hostility that Clinton created with a we are one spirit. This is not one that Obama can do alone this has to take place at the grassroots level.

    Posted by Cassandra Chandler | June 4, 2008, 11:34 pm
  8. Staying the course with the Obama agenda – we have to win the general election from a destructive Republican party and their current joke-McCain. whatever McCain had – is missing in action-he seems a frail shell compared to OBama. Obama is a moral and honest man capable of being our leader and cleaning up tired dirty politics of yester-year. And that is where the Cleanup comes in for the Clinton camp. The Clintons created their own mess, and they can go down alone with it. By the end of the week anyhone who desires to keep their own house or senatorial or governor post should wise up and go Obama! They all rely on voters in the end — and the millions Hillary claims have long since joined Obama. They always do.

    Just the facts mam!

    Posted by Cecilia | June 4, 2008, 11:41 pm
  9. Senator Clinton’s disgraceful speech last night yet again underscores the fact that (for her) this election has always been about her own personal (blind) ambition to be President, and nothing to do with the Democratic Party or its values: health care, jobs, the economy, the war, or any of the other issues to which she pays lip service. Ignoring “long established, accepted protocol” is nothing new for the Senator, but she seems truly unaware that people tend to see her behavior as power-hungry and grasping, if not downright mean-spirited. She may personally lack the -ability- to graciously concede. If so, the American Public would do well to be wary of her.

    Her conduct throughout this primary election season has continually revealed serious flaws in both her judgment and in her personal character, flaws which would prove disastrous to our country were she to become President and Commander-in-Chief.

    Posted by Carl | June 4, 2008, 11:49 pm
  10. I find your blog today lacking the grace that you accuse Senator Clinton of lacking. I am a male Obama supporter too but I refuse to vilify or demonize Senator Clinton or any other Democrat for that matter. Republicans do that; not Democrats! And whether you realize it or not, we Obama supporters need to reach out to Senator Clinton’s supporters and constituency with grace and embrace. Right now there are too many women of a certain age who feel that Senator Clinton’s loss mirrors their own losses in their life; they can’t break the glass ceiling. We need to understand the depth of that feeling among women of that age and make sure that they feel genuinely feel welcome into the general election campaign – just as Barack wants us to do. Whether we like it or not, Senator Clinton is and has been the symbol and hope for women for a long time. We need to cease and desist attacking Senator Clinton. She is asking for feedback on her website. Obama supporters should congratulate her on a tough race and be gracious and glad that we will be working together. Our focus should be, as Barack’s is, defeating John McCain and taking back this country!!!!

    Posted by Larry LaMotte | June 5, 2008, 12:20 am
  11. A CNN pundit accurately characterized Hillary Clinton’s non-concession speech last night: “deranged narcissism”.

    Last night Clinton passed the point of reasonability, by any measure, and entered the realm of the bizarre and the obscene.

    Her choice to continue her campaign, in clear defiance and obvious futility, is a regretable decision, both for her party and her legacy.

    Clinton’s behavior last night will prove a murky nadir in the history of the Democratic party, and will serve to cement history’s vantage point of her campaign and her character.

    That Barack Obama can and will overcome this obstacle and will succeed in calming the party’s turbulent seas stirred by Clinton’s egocentric debacle is additional testament to his unique talents and innate leadership abilities.

    Obama’s superbly tactful and gracious handling of Clinton’s infantile absurdity has set the tone for the next three months. Party officials won’t feel the need to dignify Clinton’s demands with any further negotiations, as she has nothing to negotiate with, and every second she continues her charade is time and effort lost for the advancement of the Democratic party to the White House.

    Hillary Clinton’s muzzling and re-programing is underway behind the scenes. Party elders have certainly and swiftly taken action to ensure that the Clinton-initiated and perpetuated internal destructiveness will not stand in the way of Obama’s path to the presidency.

    Laurie Singh

    Posted by Laurie Singh | June 5, 2008, 12:28 am
  12. Larry LaMotte,

    “She is asking for feedback on her website.”

    When you go to HillaryClinton.com, there is no real way to offer comments and feedback except for an (optional) message area you can fill out *while you pledge your support to Hillary*: “I’m with you Hillary, and I am proud of everything we are fighting for.”

    In fact, all the web site is really doing now is asking for campaign contributions. In her speech she asked her supporters to go to her web site, offer feedback, and “help any way you can”. I can only assume that means financial help.

    “Obama supporters should congratulate her on a tough race and be gracious and glad that we will be working together.”

    In his last three speeches, including last night’s, Obama spoke very highly of Hillary Clinton. I think he is setting the tone towards Hillary that we all should adopt.

    However, based on how she has handled her campaign so far, there are those of us that are skeptical about her intentions to help the Democratic party. It seems to be only about helping Hillary. Perhaps it is all about the campaign debt – I don’t know.

    We are not trying to vilify Hillary, and I do realize that a lot of people feel heavily invested in Hillary’s campaign. We are just anxious to get the primaries officially resolved so that we can throw money and support as a united Democratic party towards defeating John McCain. It is frustrating to have to postpone that effort for even another day.

    Posted by William Holt | June 5, 2008, 12:51 am
  13. First of all Larry, just because she is a Democrat doesn’t mean Hillary shouldn’t be held accountable when she is wrong and in this instance she clearly is wrong. Her response to being out-maneuvered by Obama was to implement a predictable but effective divide and conquer strategy. She knew she could not win in any other way and to me this is very reminiscent of the last two Bush campaigns. The divisiveness she has created during this campaign is atrocious and she should be called out on this because it hurts the country. She is the one preventing Barack from focusing on the general.

    As regards John’s idea I think it’s a great one but I do have one concern. In the minds of many superdelegates, I think Clinton’s less than cheery “anything can happen” argument might prevent some of them from signing on. After all, the Clintons still wield a lot of power in the party. I’m certain many pledged delegates would be on board with it but frankly I’m really not too concerned about her poaching any of them. We Obama supporters are a very loyal bunch. All things considered though, I think this idea would be effective.

    I also think that those who have the power and political capital (i.e. Dean, Reid, and Pelosi) need to start pressuring her, in a very direct and open manner, to stop this quixotic quest and get with reality. After all, they can afford to stand up to her and have done been doing so in a very polite, understated manner. Perhaps we’ve gotten to the point where a heavier hand would be both called for and beneficial for everyone concerned. Whether Hillary knows it or not, continuing on is not helping her and it is certainly not helping the country.

    Posted by Daniel | June 5, 2008, 2:02 am
  14. I am extremely concerned and outraged at her unwillingness to concede the nomination. Even today, her speech at AIPAC, she made numerous statements that indicated she has no intention of giving up, and poised her position on Israeli foreign policy, basically outlining her differences from Barack’s. This will devastate our party and ruin our chances to win come November. I myself plan on getting the email addresses of all the Superdelegates who are her staunchest supporters as well as emails for the head of the Democratic party, and plan on sending them letters to encourage them to shut her down.

    Posted by Jen Haskill | June 5, 2008, 2:09 am
    As Social Workers we learn in family dynamics about the process of holding others ‘hostage.’ Unfortunately, Hillary is ‘holding Obama hostage’ to unprecedented and unrealistic demands. Of course she must be in shock that she did not win!
    However, if she is holding him ‘hostage’ at this level, would not the same be true if she were vice-President? Do we need a White House team of conflict and power struggles, or one of cooperation? Most of all, what does our country need?
    What does the Democratic Party which has been ‘kicked to the curb’ the past two elections need? Hillary’s true friends need to congratulate her for her hard work, give her a much
    needed hug, and proceed for the best for the Democratic Party. All emphasis should be on winning and “not being kicked to the curb’ again. We need our two-party system.

    Posted by Frances | June 5, 2008, 3:59 am
  16. Something to think about related to Clintons “unwillingness to concede the nomination” and talk to advisors.

    Roumors of her wanting to have superdelegates change, Force herself onto Obama as VP and other thoughts could even be true to a point But have we overlooked somethng….

    If Clinton concedes then her campaign has “Legaly” and “Officialy” come to an end. OK it has come to an end but until its “Official” she can still (under FEC Campaign Finance Laws) ask for and accept Campaign Donations.

    Clinton is $21 million in debt (depending on what report you trust) so the decision NOT to concede allows her to continue fundraising.

    Her website ask for people to send a “Message of Support” but if you skip that the next thing you see is a big Red Contribute button.

    Im sure all the other reasons we have heard are true to a point but this is Hillary and shes a Clinton so MONEY Im sure is a major factor. Lets face it what comes first in the phrase “Money and Power” ?

    Posted by PoliticalPsychosis | June 5, 2008, 3:57 pm
  17. I think that if Hillary Clinton would have at least acknowledged his getting to the “majic number” on Tuesday that Obama supporters would not have felt slighted. She did not give one hint of recognizing his accomplishment of being THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE!”
    Had she not been so “nasty” with her tone, as us women can be at times, we can cut a person with our words. This was evident as some of her supporters (government leaders) and lay people gave their questions, comments, etc. at the DNC Rules & By-Laws Committee hearing. I have been listening for her to just thank him for any victory during the campaign and she never did. That’s not including all of the other “stuff” that went on during the campaign. Her whole tone turned people off. I was willing to give her my vote before I knew Barack, but unfortunately now I can’t. I have little positivity left for the Clintons. And I think she and Bill should pay for her own debt of 20-30 million!

    Posted by Gloworm | June 5, 2008, 6:52 pm