Monday, June 02, 2008

Hillary Clinton: I'm not Quitting

Despite all the salivating, hopeful media stories about how Hillary and Obama's people are in talks about her:

1. Taking the number 2 slot as the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee for 2008.

2. Having the Obama campaign pay off all her campaign debts.

3. Looking for a Supreme Court nomination while Bill is given the nod to be U.S. Ambassor to the U.N. were Obama to be elected to the highest office in the land.

4. Quit by the end of the week.

The Hillary 2008 campaign express is not stopping in South Dakota or Montana tomorrow according to Hillary spokesperson Mo Elleithee. CBS News' Fernando Suarez reports that Clinton has no plans to concede the race for her party's nomination during her election night celebration to be held in New York tomorrow night.

In what is a telling indication of what is to come from the Clinton campaign Suarez relates that the Mrs. Clinton's spokesperson, Elleithee vaguely left open the possibility that the campaign may challenge the Michigan ruling at the convention.

Elleithee also denied reports that the Obama and Clinton campaigns have been in conversations on how to end the race.

And ominous clouds are developing for the Obama campaign from die-hard Hillary supports like Harriet Christian who had to be thrown out of the Democratic Party's rules committee meeting when it was announced that only half the delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries would be seated at the party's convention this August. This decision comes from the party that wanted to "count every vote" in 2000 when the outcome of the general election hung in the balance in Florida. (Talk about irony) Infuriated Clinton supporters like Ms. Christian are not going to go quietly into that good night as Howard Dean and the party bosses would hope.

There is a palpable rage at the party establishment and at Barack Obama who is seen as unqualified to be the party's nominee by Hill's supporters. Don't count on both camps joining hands to sing "kumbaya" in Denver this summer or by the time the general election rolls around in November.

Here was the scene as it erupted before the cameras:

Hillary is 44 is considered the back door to the Clinton war room and the mood in the room today ain't pretty. Already borrowing from Nancy Pelosi's "Culture of Corruption" meme the Clinton faithful are fighting mad, and they're not going to take it anymore.

Reliable Democrat partisan Dana Milbank was the proverbial fly on the wall during the Rules Committee's raucous meeting the other day when the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegates was decided by the party chiefs.

The chaos and vitriol seemed to confirm Democrats' fears that they might blow an election that should otherwise be an easy victory for them. Nor did the compromise fit well with the Democrats' oft-voiced commitment to voting rights. They decided they would give Florida and Michigan half of their voting rights -- one of the more arbitrary compromises since the 1787 decision that a slave should count as three-fifths of a person -- and voted to award Obama 59 Michigan delegates, each with half a vote, even though his name wasn't even on the ballot in the state.

Over disruptive cheering, the committee voted 15 to 12 against a proposal to give Florida full voting representation. Clinton supporters in the audience erupted in a chant of "Denver! Denver!" -- a threat to take the fight to the convention in August.

That was followed by a unanimous vote to give Florida half of its voting rights. The audience again erupted in heckling. "Lipstick on a pig!" somebody shouted.
"Please conduct yourselves like proper men and women," committee member Alice Huffman suggested.

Not a chance. The panel went on, by a vote of 19 to 8, to give Michigan half of its votes -- and to give Obama the gift of delegates that the voters of the state had not given him.

Ickes was enraged. "I am stunned that we have the gall and the chutzpah to substitute our judgment for 600,000 voters," he told his peers. "Was the process flawed? You bet your ass that it was flawed. . . . You bet your ass a lot of people didn't vote." Ickes accused the committee of "hijacking" delegates -- "not a good way to start down the path of party unity."

In the anarchic audience, fists pumped and cheers broke out, requiring the committee to call for security to calm the ruckus.

There's trouble in them thar hills.

Here's the view from Hillary is 44.

It happened as Alice Germond, secretary of the Democratic National Committee who so far has remained neutral in the presidential race, started talking about the civil rights movement as well as the importance of playing by the rules. Suddenly it dawned on the Hillary Clinton supporters in the audience that the committee was not going to go their way. “I was incredibly proud to come down here as a student on the mall and listen to Dr. Martin Luther King talk about civil rights,” said Germond, as the crowd simultaneously began to hiss, cheer and shush, her voice being drowned out by the roar. “We are not the current administration who plays lose with rules,” Germond continued, her voice rising a little desperately to dampen down the onslaught of outrage that was just beginning. “I’m feeling very badly that we can’t seat Michigan and Florida in full,” she virtually yelled over shouts of “Shame on you!”

The noise they made was the sound of the Democratic Party fracturing: one third for Obama cheering, one third for Clinton booing and the rest, including the chagrined members of the panel, frantically hushing both sides as if to say, ‘Don’t go there, don’t show the Republicans how dysfunctional we are.’ It was also a cry of desperation, because the panel’s ruling virtually ensured that the door was slamming on Clinton, who with three races to go now has little chance of overcoming Obama’s lead. The meeting only went downhill from there, with committee co-chair Alexis Herman pounding the gavel in a vain attempt to restore order and Harold Ickes, a senior Clinton advisor and member of the committee, claiming the panel was “hijacking” democracy and threatening to appeal the ruling well into the summer.

Later interviewed by Fox News Harriet Christian says, "If Hillary Clinton does not get the nomination for President, I will not vote for Obama, not just because of Obama but because I feel the Democratic Party has left me. I have not left them."

There are a lot of Harriet Christian's out there who have just been skunked by their party.

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