Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Clinton says she is willing to take her fight to the convention

Ostensibly claiming to "support" Michigan and Florida's desires to have their delegates seated, Hillary Clinton says she might take her fight for the nomination all the way to the Democratic National Convention.

Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is willing to take her fight to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to the convention if the two states want to go that far. In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton was asked whether she would support the states if they continue the fight.

The presidential candidate said Wednesday, "Yes I will. I will, because I feel very strongly about this."
Last week, I wrote:

Anybody entertaining the delusion that Hillary Clinton plans to withdraw from the presidential race - ever - needs to wise up. She has no intention of ceasing her efforts to steal the prize that she could not win.
And here we are. Clinton has now articulated what many Democrats have been dreading - the possibility of a brokered convention even if, over the next two weeks, Barack Obama reaches the 2,025 delegates he needs to win the nomination. If "the two states" want her to challenge Obama's having won the nomination under the agreed-upon rules, then she will do so.

Obviously, this is an attempt to strong-arm the DNC's rules committee on May 31 into giving her what she wants with respect to Michigan and Florida. Maybe she just wants to be able to say that she won the popular vote. Maybe she really does intend to try to leverage her "victories" in those states into an argument that the superdelegates should overturn the results and give her the nomination instead of Obama. Or maybe she is trying to blackmail Obama into giving her the VP slot in exchange for not forcing a brokered convention.

By holding on to the Michigan and Florida cards, Clinton will likely go to the convention arguing that Obama needs 2,210 delegates to win the nomination, not 2,025. She began suggesting this last week, and might think she can sell it as a rationale for challenging Obama on the convention floor.

And it is conceivable that Clinton would reject any proposed compromise from the rules committee that would avert a floor fight in Denver. She did not put this out there by accident.

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