Hillary’s Letter to Superdelegates

Dear ___________,

The stakes in this election are so high: with two wars abroad, our economy in crisis here at home, and so many families struggling across America, the need for new leadership has never been greater.

At this point, we do not yet have a nominee – and when the last votes are cast on June 3, neither Senator Obama nor I will have secured the nomination. It will be up to automatic delegates like you to help choose our party’s nominee, and I would like to tell you why I believe I am the stronger candidate against Senator McCain and would be the best President and Commander in Chief.

Voters in every state have made it clear that they want to be heard and counted as part of this historic race. And as we reach the end of the primary season, more than 17 million people have supported me in my effort to become the Democratic nominee – more people than have ever voted for a potential nominee in the history of our party. In the past two weeks alone, record numbers of voters participated in the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries. And with 40 and 35 point margins of victory, it is clear that even when voters are repeatedly told this race is over, they’re not giving up on me – and I am not giving up on them either.

After seven years of feeling invisible to the Bush administration, Americans are seeking a President who is strong, experienced, and ready to take on our toughest challenges, from serving as Commander in Chief and ending the war in Iraq to turning our economy around. They want a President who shares their core beliefs about our country and its future and “gets” what they go through every day to care for their families, pay the bills and try to put something away for the future.

We simply cannot afford another four – or eight – years in the wilderness. That is why, everywhere I go, people come up to me, grip my hand or arm, and urge me to keep on running. That is why I continue in this race: because I believe I am best prepared to lead this country as President – and best prepared to put together a broad coalition of voters to break the lock Republicans have had on the electoral map and beat Senator McCain in November.

Recent polls and election results show a clear trend: I am ahead in states that have been critical to victory in the past two elections. From Ohio, to Pennsylvania, to West Virginia and beyond, the results of recent primaries in battleground states show that I have strong support from the regions and demographics Democrats need to take back the White House. I am also currently ahead of Senator McCain in Gallup national tracking polls, while Senator Obama is behind him. And nearly all independent analyses show that I am in a stronger position to win the Electoral College, primarily because I lead Senator McCain in Florida and Ohio. I’ve enclosed a detailed analysis of recent electoral and polling information, and I hope you will take some time to review it carefully.

In addition, when the primaries are finished, I expect to lead in the popular vote and in delegates earned through primaries. Ultimately, the point of our primary process is to pick our strongest nominee – the one who would be the best President and Commander in Chief, who has the greatest support from members of our party, and who is most likely to win in November. So I hope you will consider not just the strength of the coalition backing me, but also that more people will have cast their votes for me.

I am in this race for them — for all the men and women I meet who wake up every day and work hard to make a difference for their families. People who deserve a shot at the American dream – the chance to save for college, a home and retirement; to afford quality health care for their families; to fill the gas tank and buy the groceries with a little left over each month.

I am in this race for all the women in their nineties who’ve told me they were born before women could vote, and they want to live to see a woman in the White House. For all the women who are energized for the first time, and voting for the first time. For the little girls – and little boys – whose parents lift them onto their shoulders at our rallies, and whisper in their ears, “See, you can be anything you want to be.” As the first woman ever to be in this position, I believe I have a responsibility to them.

Finally, I am in this race because I believe staying in this race will help unite the Democratic Party. I believe that if Senator Obama and I both make our case – and all Democrats have the chance to make their voices heard – everyone will be more likely to rally around the nominee.

In the end, I am committed to unifying this party. What Senator Obama and I share is so much greater than our differences; and no matter who wins this nomination, I will do everything I can to bring us together and move us forward.

But at this point, neither of us has crossed the finish line. I hope that in the time remaining, you will think hard about which candidate has the best chance to lead our party to victory in November. I hope you will consider the results of the recent primaries and what they tell us about the mindset of voters in the key battleground states. I hope you will think about the broad and winning coalition of voters I have built. And most important, I hope you will think about who is ready to stand on that stage with Senator McCain, fight for the deepest principles of our party, and lead our country forward into this new century.

Read the memo (11 pg pdf) and general election matchup (2 pg pdf) information.

Gallup Poll: Hillary Clinton’s Swing-State Advantage

Here’s the latest Gallup Poll and analysis, published yesterday, May 28, 2008. It’s been widely reported, but just in case you haven’t seen it, you can read a portion here, and go to their website for rest. The remainder of this post is courtesy of Gallup.

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Hillary Clinton’s Swing-State Advantage

Clinton says her primary wins are indicative of general-election results

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ — In the 20 states where Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and caucus elections (winning the popular vote), she has led John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily trial heats for the general election over the past two weeks of Gallup Poll Daily tracking by 50% to 43%. In those same states, Barack Obama is about tied with McCain among national registered voters, 45% to 46%.

In contrast, in the 28 states and the District of Columbia where Obama has won a higher share of the popular vote against Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries and caucuses, there is essentially no difference in how Obama and Clinton each fare against McCain. Both Democrats are statistically tied with him for the fall election.

All of this speaks to Sen. Clinton’s claim that her primary-state victories over Obama indicate her potential superiority in the general election.

The results are based on aggregated data from Gallup Poll Daily tracking from May 12-25, including interviews with more than 11,000 registered voters nationwide (including Alaska and Hawaii). Across this period, Gallup has found Clinton performing marginally better than Obama in separate trial heats for the general election against McCain. Clinton has led McCain by an average of three percentage points, 48% vs. 45%. Obama has trailed McCain by an average of one point, 45% vs. 46%.

Clinton’s popular-vote victories thus far include the three biggest Electoral College prizes: California (a solid Democratic state), New York (another sure bet for the Democrats), and Texas (a solid Republican state). (Although Obama won more delegates in Texas, Clinton’s vote total exceeded Obama’s by nearly 100,000 votes.) However, her victories also include several of the largest swing states that both parties will be battling to win in November: Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as wins in the disputed Florida and Michigan primaries. As a result, Clinton’s 20 states represent more than 300 Electoral College votes while Obama’s 28 states and the District of Columbia represent only 224 Electoral College votes.

(Note that the findings with Michigan and Florida data removed are virtually identical to those shown above. Clinton performs five percentage points better than Obama versus McCain in the states she has won (51% vs. 46%), excluding Michigan and Florida; Obama has virtually no advantage over Clinton versus McCain in the states he has won.)

The question is, do Clinton’s popular victories over Obama in states that encompass three-fifths of national voters mean Clinton has a better chance than Obama of winning electoral votes this fall? That’s the argument she and her campaign have been making, including at a campaign stop in Kentucky 10 days ago (prior to the Kentucky and Oregon primaries), where she was quoted as saying:

“The states I’ve won total 300 electoral votes. If we had the same rules as the Republicans, I would be the nominee right now. We have different rules, so what we’ve got to figure out is who can win 270 electoral votes. My opponent has won states totaling 217 electoral votes.”

As the Gallup analysis shows, Clinton is currently running ahead of McCain in the 20 states where she has prevailed in the popular vote, while Obama is tied with McCain in those same states. Thus, at this stage in the race (before the general-election campaigns have fully engaged), there is some support for her argument that her primary states indicate she would be stronger than Obama in the general election.

The same cannot be said for Obama in the 28 states and D.C. where he prevailed in the popular vote. As of now, in those states, he is performing no better than Clinton is in general-election trial heats versus McCain. Thus, the principle of greater primary strength translating into greater general-election strength — while apparently operative for the states Clinton has won — does not seem to apply at the moment to states Obama has won.

Read the rest here.

Ricky Martin Endorses Hillary, Reminds Me To Dance

Now we know how Ricky feels about Hillary! I’m glad she enjoyed a sway to the music last weekend while relaxing with a beer in sunny Puerto Rico. You go woman! Get charged up. Enjoy! We’ve all been working so hard, It’s time to dance, kick out the jams, debauch a little, let it loose and live La Vida Loca. (Sorry, I’m not able to embed it here, but enjoy yourself, take a minute and “shake your bon bon.”)

Rove’s Just Getting Started

May 29, 2008–Karl Rove’s op-ed piece, Obama’s Revisionist History, in today’s Wall Street Journal is a mini-appetizer, a teeny, tiny fraction of the vast “kitchen sink” that Republicans will throw at Barack Obama if he is the Democratic Presidential nominee. He covers Rev. Wright (that flap’s obviously not over), Obama’s backpedaling on his foreign policy gaffes about meetings he’d have unconditionally with rogue leaders, and his ever-changing family history.

By October, Mr. Obama was backpedaling, talking about needing “some progress or some indication of good faith,” and by April, “sufficient preparation.” It got so bad his foreign policy advisers were (falsely) denying he’d ever said he’d meet with Mr. Ahmadinejad – even as he still defended his original pledge to have meetings without precondition.

The list goes on. Mr. Obama’s problem is a campaign that’s personality-driven rather than idea-driven. Thus incidents calling into question his persona and character can have especially devastating consequences.

Stripped of his mystique as a different kind of office seeker, he could become just another liberal politician – only one who parses, evades, dissembles and condescends. That narrative is beginning to take hold. If those impressions harden into firm judgments, Mr. Obama will have a very difficult time in November.

Oy vey! It’s a very sad day in Boomerville when a (former?) lifelong Dem could agree with Karl Rove (or FOX News), but I’ll say it anyway: What he said. . . And more, but we know that’s coming.

Isn’t it clear that Democrats should choose (well, over 17 million already have) the “idea-driven” candidate?

Pelosi Prepares to Stop the Race Before Convention

In the May 29, 2008, SF Chronicle feature article, Pelosi Vows to Prevent Fight at Dem Convention, Carla Marinucci reports on Pelosi’s hour-long session with their editorial board:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will step in if necessary to make sure the presidential nomination fight between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama does not reach the Democratic National Convention – though she believes it could be resolved as early as next week.

Pelosi predicted Wednesday that a presidential nominee will emerge in the week after the final Democratic primaries on June 3, but she said “I will step in” if there is no resolution by late June regarding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan, the two states that defied party rules by holding early primaries.

“Because we cannot take this fight to the convention,” she said. “It must be over before then.”

—-Obama, according to the Associated Press, is within 45 delegates of winning the nomination, a number he could reach by Tuesday. Pelosi said she is confident the Democratic National Committee’s rules committee, which meets in Washington on Saturday, will resolve the issue of Florida and Michigan.

Oh, and how about the magic number?

“For now, 2,026 is the magic number” of pledged and unpledged delegates needed by a candidate to win the party’s presidential nomination, she said, but “if they decide to seat (Florida and Michigan) this weekend, there will be a new magic number.”

While saying she believes those two states’ delegates should be seated, Pelosi added that it must happen ”in a way that is not destructive to any sense of order in the party.”

“If you have no order and no discipline in terms of party rules, people will be having their primary in the year before the presidential election,” she said. “So there has to be some penalty.”

She said the party committee will come up with a formula that is “fair and accepted by both campaigns,” perhaps allowing the states 50 percent of their delegates. But “if the resolution is not appropriate, then it remains for the (Democratic National Convention) credentials committee to resolve it,” she said. Then, “it will have to happen by the end of June” or she will intervene, she said.

So, I had to write to her:

Speaker Pelosi,

As a lifelong Democrat, I’ve supported you throughout your career. You’re going to step in to resolve the campaign before the Convention? So, you’re going to choose our nominee like the DNC has? Millions of lifelong, committed Democrats will leave the Party if you do, and we will not vote for Obama. We are protesting the disgusting treatment that the only viable candidate has received at the hands of The Media, the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC, and the Obama campaign–treatment that has nothing to do with her policies and plans.

I’m ashamed that you as a leader and as a woman have stood by and let this happen, and that you haven’t spoken up to defend the rogue treatment of our first woman candidate and former First Lady. I’m ashamed that the Dem Party has thrown the Clintons, who have done so much for our country, under the bus. I’m ashamed that the Dem Party is going gaga over a completely unvetted, unqualified, candidate, with questionable policies and associations.

Why are Super Delegates being pushed to choose now? That’s not their job. Their job is to choose the most qualified candidate at the Convention who can win in November. All recent polls, and the popular and electoral votes (based on the primaries), show that the candidate who can beat McCain is Senator Clinton. It’s not the two candidate run that is destroying the Party, it’s the Party that’s destroying itself. It’s absolutely sexual discrimination to pass over the most qualified candidate with the most votes. Millions of lifelong Democrats won’t stand for it.

Sincerely,
LadyBoomerNYC
New York City
California Native

Here’s how Hillary Rapid Responders replied:

Someone should inform House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Clinton supporters don’t quit on their candidate. Also, that she should wait on coronating Obama because WE ARE TAKING this election to the convention. And we sincerely thank Speaker Pelosi for being so concerned with all American voters being truly heard at the Democratic Convention.

Make comments and send emails today.

Make Comments here.

Email Carla Marinucci: cmarinucci@sfchronicle.com
Email Nancy Pelosi: AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov

Why Even Have A Convention?

By Jay S. Jacobs, Nassau County, NY, Democratic Chairman, Pledged Hillary Delegate

I finally get it. After more than 33 million votes cast in 51 primaries and caucuses over five months of intense campaigning and media scrutiny, with 3167 delegates having been elected, apparently, no one ever intended for there to be a “nominating” convention. Not the politicians, not the pundits, not the press. Just the people – they thought that they were getting a nominating convention.

I always figured that the nominating convention was to actually nominate the candidate who garnered the most support among Democrats. A bonus would be if that candidate was, as well, able to get elected in the general election. Well, while we can argue about whether or not Hillary or Barack have the most popular votes (depending upon which states you chose to include or exclude), there is no question but that Hillary has garnered more Democratic votes. The exit polling in states with open primaries demonstrates that. But that is not what this contest has ever been about. From the beginning, at least with many in the press and politics, it’s been all about getting rid of Hillary Clinton – any way possible – as quickly as possible. Maximize and emphasize her short comings, minimize her assets and attributes. Overplay her failures, downplay her successes.

The reality has been getting clearer with each passing day but really crystallized with Hillary’s universally criticized reference to Robert Kennedy’s assassination in June of 1968. Hillary was using an example for historical reference, among others, in response to critics who want her to drop out (“this thing has been going on for way too long”). She pointed out that there were many examples of contested races continuing into the summer. The condemnation was loud and swift and, typical for this year’s primary season, equally ridiculous.

Hillary broke the cardinal rule of today’s politics. Even utter a phrase that can be remotely connected to something offensive and, presto, the press finds it offensive (with a little help from your opponent). While Hillary’s reference was merely historical, the anti-Clinton press and Obama campaign became hysterical. How dare she reference such a tragedy? The press and Obama campaign emphasized how offensive this was in light of the legitimate concerns over Obama’s safety, as if referencing an historical fact somehow increases that threat. How crass can they become in trying to run someone out of this race?

For months there has been a constant drum beat to get Hillary out of the race. It started after Iowa. It gets louder and then quieter depending upon the outcome of ongoing contests. When Hillary loses or doesn’t exceed the pundit’s expectations, the calls are deafening. When Hillary wins or exceeds expectations (oops, that has never happened) the “political experts” pipe down for a bit finding clever ways to minimize the success. “It’s too little, too late”, we’re constantly told. “There’s no clear path to victory” for her. “It’s a mathematical improbability.”

After Hillary won Indiana (by too small a margin) and Obama won North Carolina (“convincingly”) Tim Russert and others anointed Obama the “presumptive” nominee. With neither having obtained the requisite majority of total delegates, with hundreds of delegates yet to be elected or having not declared their intentions, with hundreds of other “Super Delegates” having chosen but free to reverse their choice, the pundits are telling the public that it was over. Yet, we had to wait until 1:15 AM for the Mayor of Gary, Indiana to release Lake County’s votes in order to be sure, unlikely, though it was, that those votes would not overturn what looked like a Clinton victory before CNN and others would “declare” Indiana for her. On that remote possibility we had to wait – but on the off chance that the remaining contests and remaining “Super Delegates” would turn smart pundits into not so smart pundits – for that there is a mad rush to end this thing and avoid that uncomfortable inconvenience.

Let’s not overlook Hillary’s 41 point landslide a week later in West Virginia followed the next week by a 36 point “thumping” in Kentucky. Oh, yes, of course, that’s just Appalachia – that shouldn’t really count, after all.

So, I would like to know from the real “deciders” if now is not the right circumstance to take a contest to a convention, under just what scenario is it the right circumstance? When you have two excellent candidates, divided by just a hundred thousand votes or so after 33 million have voted, with 150 delegates between them, more than 3600 having been decided, neither having attained the requisite number to declare a win, isn’t that what a convention is supposed to be for? And, if the answer is “no” than I’d like to hear when the answer would be “yes.”

And, if the answer is that there really isn’t ever a time that we would want to take a contest to a convention, might I suggest that we just dispense with the whole thing and save everybody a lot of time and money. If it’s a coronation we want, why not just plan a huge rally, say, on the waterfront on a hot day in Portand, Oregon. Maybe we can bring in a few rock bands – let’s get Bon Jovi and Springsteen and a couple of local bands to warm up the act. Even better, in keeping with the sophistication and spirit of how it seems we’re conducting our elections these days, why not ask Howard Dean to step aside for that event in favor of Ryan Seacrest?

Posted by permission of the author.