07 May 2008

Hillary’s Nuclear Option

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Harold Ickes explains to the Politico that the Clinton camp knows where it can get some reinforcements.

The campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) has begun urging party officials and news organizations to include the disputed Florida and Michigan delegations when figuring the number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

That unorthodox approach could put her in striking distance of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) over the next month.

Harold Ickes, Clinton’s chief delegate strategist, said in a telephone interview that the senator is likely to finish the primary and caucus season on June 3 “substantially less than 100 delegates behind” Obama’s total if those two states are included.

“We don’t believe that this party is going to go forward into a presidential race without seating both Florida and Michigan,” Ickes said.

But the Democratic National Committee had declared those delegates should not be counted as punishments to the states for moving their contests so soon in the process.

So Clinton’s argument depends on the actions of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee when it meets May 31 to consider pro-Clinton challenges that would seat those delegations.

Clinton’s new magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,209 delegates, compared to the 2,025 that would be needed without Florida and Michigan.

“The Obama people keep talking about 2,025, which implies they don’t intend to seat Florida and Michigan,” Ickes said. “We think that’s a mistake on the part of the party – it’s foolish.”

Maureen Dowd is shocked at what a cynical politician that once sweet young Hillary has become. How dare she stand in the Left’s way?

heaven help the Democrats as they try to shake off Hillary. On top of her inane vows to obliterate Iran, OPEC and the summer gas tax, she plans “a nuclear option” during her Shermanesque march to Denver. Tom Edsall reported on The Huffington Post that the Hillaryites will try, at a May 31 meeting of the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee, to renege on their word and get the Michigan and Florida delegations seated. Addressing supporters here, she urged the counting of the Florida and Michigan votes, noting “it would be a little strange to have a nominee chosen by 48 states.”

“It’s full speed onto the White House,” she said. …

It’s hard to believe that this Hillary is the same Wellesley girl who said she yearned for a more “ecstatic and penetrating mode of living.” What would that young Hillary — who volunteered on Gene McCarthy’s anti-war campaign; who cried the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed; who referred to some of her “smorgasbord of personalities” in a 1967 letter to a friend as an “alienated academic,” and an “involved pseudo-hippie”; who once returned a bottle of perfume after feeling guilty about the poverty around her — think of this shape-shifting, cynical Hillary?

She’s so at odds with who she used to be, even in the Senate, that if she were to get elected, who would voters be electing?

Obama is like her idealistic, somewhat naïve self before the world launched 1,000 attacks against her, turning her into the hard-bitten, driven politician who has launched 1,000 attacks against Obama.

As she makes a last frenzied and likely futile attempt to crush the butterfly, it’s as though she’s crushing the remnants of her own girlish innocence.

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