Rep.: Half of House Dems may vote Hillary at DNC
By AMIE PARNES & BEN SMITH | 8/15/08 5:58 PM EST Text Size:
On Friday, the Obama campaign confirmed that the floor vote in Denver, intended to assuage Clinton supporters still stewing over her narrow loss, will be conducted as a state-by-state roll call. (Um, NO - we are not stewing over "her narrow loss," we are stewing at loss of democratic process; voter theft, fraud, and intimidation; and caucus irregularities, to name just a few.)
Rep. Loretta Sanchez says she’s happy for the chance to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Democratic National Convention — and she predicts that as many as half of the Democrats in the House could join her. (WOOHOO!!!! About damn time y'all got yourselves some backbone!!! Not you, Rep. Sanchez - you have always been a stand-up woman!)
Just how many former Clinton supporters will vote for the former first lady during the symbolic first ballot is anybody’s guess, but each of them will be called upon to do so — whether they want to or not.
On Friday, the Obama campaign confirmed that the floor vote in Denver, intended to assuage Clinton supporters still stewing over her narrow loss, will be conducted as a state-by-state roll call. Under proposed convention bylaws, delegates would be forced to register their votes on a tally sheet with the convention secretary — the rules could be altered or suspended before the start of the convention.
“By putting her name in nomination, you're putting people on the spot,” said former delegate counter Matt Seyfang, adding a second potential drawback: “Having a roll call ... just chews into your broadcast time.” (Oh, dear, goddess - yes, that bothersome little democratic process is so TIME consuming! Don't the little people know it is all about OBAMA?!?!?! We cannot be bothered with things like actual VOTES and a smidgen of transparency!! C'mon, already - sheesh!!)
Lower-key options were available. For example, Clinton’s name could have been entered into nomination, followed by laudatory speeches, ending with her release of delegates to Obama and proposal that he be nomination by acclamation, Seyfang said.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the “mechanics” of the roll call vote are still being worked out, but he conceded that Clinton probably will garner many votes on the first ballot. ("Mechanics"?? You mean, like how much they can strong-arm Clinton to just throw over her delegates to The One as quickly as possible without letting it LOOK like that is what they are doing?)
For Obama’s camp, the roll call is a ritual that will defuse any potential tension with Clinton or her supporters without affecting the outcome or the theater of Obama’s dramatic nomination. (Oh, I see - the whole roll call thing isn't really a necessary part of the Democratic, or even Republican, Party electing its nominee, it is simply a "ritual"! Well, I have to tell you, I have learned something new today! All along, I thought the "ritual" of the roll call was to allow the respective delegates to vote for their candidate, thus representing the actual will of the people. Silly me!!! What a goof...)
Said Sanchez: “I believe there are a lot of supporters for Hillary among the superdelegates, especially now that they’ve agreed to place her name in nomination. I think half the House Democrats would probably be Hillary supporters, especially women. ... I felt she was the most experienced and the best candidate and I still feel that way.” (Hell to the YES!!!)
Clinton herself has said she plans to vote for Obama. (Honestly, what else is she going to say? Poor thing - she is so between a rock and a hard place...)
A longtime Clinton adviser said it was “crazy” to guess at numbers but estimated that the former first lady would garner between 600 and 1,200 delegates — considerably short of the approximately 1,800 she had collected at the time of her departure from the race in early June.
“It’s a bizarre strategy,” said one Democratic strategist of the roll call. “It could backfire and show that her influence is waning. Chances are, she’s not going to have as many delegates vote for her on the floor as she had in the primary.”
Indeed, many Hillary diehards, including at least one member of the New York delegation, are reluctant to vote for Clinton after switching over to Obama.
“I think that most superdelegates, including myself, are going for Obama,” said New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who campaigned with Clinton around the country. “I made my decision for Obama, and I’m not switching again.”
Other onetime Clinton backers are reluctant to reverse course for fear of angering their black constituents.
“My boss is totally conflicted about it — and pissed Hillary is putting us in this position,” said a congressional staffer for another New York House member. “We still haven’t made up our mind and I don’t know when we are going to.” (I'm sorry, s/he's PISSED that HILLARY is putting him/her in this position?!?!? Golly gee willkers, pal - that democratic process thing just SUCKS for you, doesn't it?? You are mad at HER for what, getting the majority of popular votes so that you might have to actually take a stand and piss some people off? Wowie zowie - you poor little things. But see, this was never supposed to be a SELECTION anyway, so for people to act like Obama should get it just so the AA community doesn't get pissed off is just plain cowardice. And it's insulting. To the AA community and the rest of us. This is NOT American Idol - really. It is about the highest job in all the land, and voting for the least competent candidate ever is a sacred duty. It is not one to be used to placate people who might get MAD at you if you vote the way the majority of people voted. Again, it's called a SPINE - look into it, Congressional Staffer. Oh, and stop the blaming of HILLARY for being the candidate the PEOPLE want! That is assholic on oh-so-many-levels. Talk about blaming the victim - good grief.)
Another New York delegate, speaking on condition of anonymity, predicted that as much as 30 percent to 40 percent of the New York delegation would pick Clinton over Obama during the symbolic vote.
Obama’s decision to accept a roll call vote, which came after weeks of talks with the Clinton camp, doesn’t mean he’ll let the process get out of hand, observers say. (I'm sorry, does this say Obama is going to ACCEPT a roll call vote?!?!?! Oh, what a great guy! He is actually going to allow a DEMOCRATIC process that has existed for over a hundred years to take place?? How benevolent of him. Cough. Choke. Gimme a break already - this is the way Conventions are SUPPOSED to work. If a candidate with 1 delegate can be on a ballot, the only question is why they thought Clinton SHOULD NOT HAVE been in the first place!!!! THAT is the question, not how magnanimous Obama is being by following PROTOCOL!! What is WRONG with these people?!?!?!?)
“The convention is about nominating Barack, so his people want to speed through the vote as fast as possible so it won’t take too much TV time,” said a Democratic delegate who plans to vote for Clinton. “They also want to avoid a scenario where she’s leading at any point.” (Again, silly me. I thought the Convention was about nominating the candidate who is best for the country, the one for whom the majority of people voted. I did not realize before this year that the DNC has become synonymous with Barack Obama. I still cannot wrap my head around how this fledgling senator, with virtually no record, dangerous associates, and astonishing secrecy who will not even provide his REAL birth certificate, is the one the DNC hand-picked. It just boggles my mind. But this convention, this "show," is all about OBAMA, not the Democratic National Party, or so it appears. What a tragedy that the DNC is morphing into the RNC. I never thought I'd see the day, and I sure wish I never had...)
(Additional reporting by Glenn Thrush.)