Clinton camp awaits DNC ruling

05/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

The Hillary Clinton camp refused to say today whether they’ll appeal if the meeting this Saturday of the Democratic Party’s Rules and By-Laws Committee does not rule in their favor.

The meeting this Saturday in Washington could potentially end the divisive issue of whether or not to seat Florida and Michigan’s congressional delegations, which have not counted since the national party ruled those states disobeyed party rules by moving up its primary date.

In anticipation of the meeting, the Barack Obama camp has recently admitted that the status quo is not acceptable in regard to the two states.

Clinton aide Harold Ickes calls that a "breakthrough," and says that means that both candidates and the media need to acknowledge that the number of delegates needed for the nomination has now changed.

Saturday’s meeting is highly anticipated, mostly among supporters for Hillary Clinton, who contend that the victories Clinton won in those two states should be counted, and with it, those delegates awarded to her.

A memo issued Tuesday night says the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws committee has the authority to restore some – but not all of the delegates that Clinton wants.

When asked if the Clinton camp would accept anything less than the delegates that she is able to get in Florida, which would be 38 to Obama’s 19, campaign aides said full restoration of the delegates was the only thing they were focused on.

On the conference call, a columnist with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Stephen Goldstein, introduced a new element that has not been a part of the general discussion.

He referred to the fact that Clinton won 50 percent of Florida’s Jan. 29 primary, Obama 33 percent, and John Edwards took 14 percent. He asked that, in the event that Edwards delegates chose to now support Obama, would the Clinton camp be okay if the delegates are then allotted with a 50 percent to 47 percent disparity, which would be the case if Edwards votes were to count with Obama’s?

Also participating in the conference call was Clinton supporter Tina Flournoy, who is also on the Rules and Bylaws Committee. She was asked that if the committee opted to restore all of the delegates to Florida and Michigan, would that encourage other states in 2012 to do exactly what these two states did this year - that is, move their primary dates up in direct contravention of Party rules? She didn’t think that would be the message.

Also on the call the Clinton campaign attempted to demonstrate again why they are not close to giving up on their fight for the nomination.

Spokesman Howard Wolfson referenced a new report from the Gallup polling organization that shows that in the states that Hillary Clinton won in the Democratic primaries this year, she leads John McCain in the fall.

The Gallup poll shows that in the states that Barack Obama won primaries and caucuses, he is essentially only tied with McCain.

When asked to comment on Victor DiMaio’s lawsuit against the DNC being thrown out of court today, Ickes said he was not aware of that, and had no comment about it.

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