Puerto Rico Hot for Hillary

[splashcast VJRV8574DU]

Hillary in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Senator Hillary Clinton was carried to victory by the islands that love to love her, as Puerto Rico handed her a big win on Sunday and tossed Obama back. Through her win, she appealed to Puerto Ricans and Hispanics throughout the US, whose votes she’d easily win as the Democratic nominee in November.

Of course, you’d barely know she won, since the MSM covered it for about a second before they moved on to Obama’s impending win via Superdelegates. Clinton had just squashed Obama like a bug, beating him 263,120 to 121,458, that’s over 2 to 1 at 68% to 32%. Should I even waste my cells getting upset? Like I didn’t know they would: as the trouncing was taking place, one broadcaster commented that Hillary can save her reputation, but she only has a narrow window.

The video above is her victory speech, below is the written transcript. Notice her positive tone.

June 1, 2008

Hillary’s Remarks at the Victory Celebration in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Thank you so much. I have four words for you: Te quiero Puerto Rico!

Never before have these beautiful islands had such an important voice in a presidential election. And I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I cannot thank you all enough. Bill and Chelsea and I are so grateful to the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and your kindness, and I hope that we have helped to draw attention to the concerns of Puerto Rico and we have also helped to spotlight the beauty and the spirit of this wonderful place.

I am grateful for this show of overwhelming support. I came to Puerto Rico to listen to your voices because your voices deserve to be heard. And I hear you, and I see you, and I will always stand up for you.

I also want to recognize Senator Obama and his supporters. Our two campaigns have turned out record numbers of new voters, determined to chart a new course for America. Now, this primary election has been hard fought because there is so much at stake and we must elect a Democratic president.

I am I am overwhelmed by this vote today and I cannot complete this journey without your help. We have two contests left in South Dakota and Montana, and you can make the difference by visiting hillaryclinton.com and helping us make sure we go strong. Every contribution will help us make our case to the voters who are going to be heading to the polls.

And I want you to know that this election is really about your future. You voted even though some tried to tell you that your votes wouldn’t count. You voted for the person you believe will be the stronger nominee and the strongest president. And you are not alone. You are joining millions of people across the United States, more than 17.6 million, plus the votes that we’ve received today. People who don’t always make the headlines; who don’t always feel like your voices are being heard.

I think about these people all the time, because that’s who I care most about. The nurse on her second shift who still can’t pay her credit card bills; the worker who can’t afford the gas on the way to work, the waitress on her feet without health care. The small business owners saddled with rising energy bills; the college student who can’t afford to continue college; the farmer, the teacher, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran. The people yearning for a president who will rebuild the economy and a Commander-in-Chief who will restore our leadership and moral authority in the world.

I know that people face tough times. But what I’ve been impressed by is the resourcefulness and resilience that the people here and across the United States use to face whatever challenges they confront, because they believe they can keep working for a better tomorrow. The American Dream may bend under the weight of challenges we failed to meet and presidents who have failed to lead. It may bend, but it will never break, because that’s what keeps so many of us going; the thought of a better life tomorrow and a better future for our children.

I believe that the people of the United States need a champion in the White House, someone who will be a president in their corner and on their side. I believe you are voting because you want a president who will stand up for universal health care. Who will stand up for action to address the housing crisis, who will stand up for better jobs to protect Social Security. You want to cut through the speeches and the sound-bites to real solutions.

And so today you’ve come out strong. You have defied the skeptics. More people across the country have voted for our campaign, more people have voted for us than for any candidate in the history of presidential primaries.

We are winning the popular vote. Now, there can be no doubt, the people have spoken and you have chosen your candidate. And it’s important where we have won. We are winning these votes in swing states and among the very swing voters that Democrats must win to take back the White House and put this country back on the path to prosperity. Together, we’ve won the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, West Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, and, yes, Michigan and Florida.

And I hope by my second term, regardless of what the people of Puerto Rico decide about the status option you prefer, you too will be able to vote for the next president of the United States.

So, when the voting concludes on Tuesday, neither Senator Obama nor I will have the number of delegates to be the nominee. I will lead the popular vote. He will maintain a slight lead in the delegate count. The decision will fall on the shoulders of those leaders in our party empowered by the rules to vote at the Democratic Convention.

I do not envy the decision you must make, but a decision has to be made, and in the final assessment, I ask you to consider these questions: Which candidate best represents the will of the people who voted in this historic primary? Which candidate is best able to lead to us victory in November? And which candidate is best able to lead our nation as our president in the face of unprecedented challenges at home and abroad?

I am in this race because I believe I am that candidate, and I will be that president. We are winning the popular vote because we have stood for the core principle of our party, a party that believes in universal health care – no one left out. A party that believes hard working, middle-class families deserve a fair shot at the American Dream, a party that believes we must bring our troops home from Iraq safely, responsibly, and honorably. A party that cherishes every child, values every family, and counts every single vote.

We are winning against John McCain and beating him in the key states. We have what it takes to get the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the White House. And the majority of voters know who is ready on Day One to serve as our president. A president who will bring strength, knowledge, and experience to the White House to solve our toughest problems. A president who knows firsthand the challenges of the job, as well as its power to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

That’s why I’m in this race. Ultimately it’s not about Senator Obama or me. It’s about you – your hopes, your interests, your futures. It’s about the direction we choose as a nation. With two wars abroad and an economic crisis at home, we have to get this right. Our country cannot afford four more years of more of the same.

So, today Puerto Ricans across this beautiful place that I have come to enjoy so much made your voices heard and your votes counted, and for that, I want to thank my co-chairs, Senate President Kenneth McClintock and Puerto Rico Democratic Chair Roberto Prats, political directors Rafi Rodriguez Aguayo and Representative Jorge Colberg, Elections Representatives, Representative “Junior” Gonzalez and Rene Estades. Jose Hernandez Mayoral, Former Governor Carlos Romero, Miguel Lausell, Virgilio Ramos, and Luisette Cabanas. And special thank you to coordinator Ramon Luis Lugo, deputy coordinator Francisco Domenech, and advisor Jeffrey Farrow.

And I want to thank all of my volunteers, my staff, my supporters; everyone who waved at us as we caravanned all day yesterday. And I want to reiterate what I have said across Puerto Rico, together, in my first term, we will finally enable the status question to be resolved, based on the principles that government should be representative at all levels, and the people of Puerto Rico deserve the opportunity to choose from among all of the options.

Together we will work to ensure that Puerto Rico is treated equally when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, tax breaks for creating jobs, and more. I will be your champion. And I want to thank all of my friends in our labor unions, all of them who have done so much for us. It has been a joy to work with every single union that has been here supporting me. We would not be here without you tonight. And I want to say a special word of thanks to the Hispanic community, not just in Puerto Rico, but across the United States. I am so honored you have stood by me throughout this campaign. I am grateful for your love, your friendship, and your support.

What we have seen in this campaign and what we have always known is that Hispanic Americans, Latinos from every part of Latin America, care deeply about the future of the United States. You contribute so much to the greatness of this country, to business and academia, to labor, to the professions, to entertainment, to sports, to every part of society. And you have also contributed greatly to expanding the horizons and the diversity of our country. I am so grateful to you, and I am so proud of the support you have given me.

I also wish to thank my family for their incredible love and support, Bill and Chelsea, my mother, my brothers, Hugh and Tony, my sister-in-laws, Maria and Megan, and all who are helping here in Puerto Rico and South Dakota and Montana. Because we are in this to choose a candidate who we know will not only stand up for us but unite us. We will be strengthened by the enthusiasm of the millions of people who have voted and volunteered in all of these contests. We are propelled by this unique moment in history.

The campaign has been an extraordinary journey, and I am grateful for every day of it; every single day something happens which reinforces my commitment and lifts my spirits. It might be a young child who is introduced and says, “I want to grow up to be president.” It might be a young mother who says, “I have no health insurance. I hope you will help me.” It might be an older man, who says, “I am a veteran, but I cannot get the help I deserve.”

Every story like that reinforces my commitment to what we are doing together. People deserve better from their government. The people of Puerto Rico deserve better from the federal government. So, I call on you to travel this final stretch with me, to join me as we take America back and lead our country with confidence and optimism into this new century.

Let’s keep fighting for our dream. Let’s keep fighting for what we believe. Let’s keep fighting for one another. Let’s keep fighting for America. America is worth fighting for. Thank you, and God bless you and God bless America.

Delegate Hijack = Party Unity Path? (Ickes Video)

On May 31, 2008, and a stormy day in DC by all measures, Harold Ickes mounted an impassioned defense of Senator Clinton’s position at the DNC RBC Meeting. Asserting:

that we have one of the lowest voter turnouts in the world, and it’s hard to find an election in the US that isn’t flawed;

Ickes said those were:

not an excuse to overturn elections, nor to substitute their judgment for the voters. One election wouldn’t stand the test that’s been laid down here. Fair reflection: you cannot take delegates from one candidate and give to another. Not only will this motion hijack four delegates from Mrs. Clinton, it will take 55 delegates from uncommitted status, which is a recognized Presidential status under our Constitution and convert them to Barack Obama.

Finally, there’s been a lot of talk about Party Unity, not withstanding the flawed aspect of this, let’s all come together, wrap our arms around each other. I submit to you, ladies and gentleman, that hijacking four delegates, notwithstanding the flawed aspect of this, is not a good way to start down the path of party unity. One final word, Mrs. Clinton has instructed me to reserve her rights to take this to the Credentials Committee.

That evening, following the decision of the Committe, after months of grueling appeals in attempts by Florida and Michigan voters to have their votes counted and delegates seated, Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy (my heroes) made the following statement on behalf of the Clinton campaign:

The Committee awarded to Senator Obama not only the delegates won by Uncommitted, but four of the delegates won by Senator Clinton. This decision violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party.

We reserve the right to challenge this decision before the Credentials Committee and appeal for a fair allocation of Michigan’s delegates that actually reflect the votes as they were cast

Today’s results are a victory for the people of Florida who will have a voice in selecting our Party’s nominee and will see its delegates seated at our party’s convention. The decision by the Rules and Bylaws Committee honors the votes that were cast by the people of Florida and allocates the delegates accordingly.

We strongly object to the Committee’s decision to undercut its own rules in seating Michigan’s delegates without reflecting the votes of the people of Michigan.

So, now the DNC RBC is both a decider and a mind-reader for 2.3 million people?

Never Again Again Vows Hastings of Florida

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) issued the following statement on June 1, 2008 in response to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee’s ruling to seat Florida’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention with only 1/2 of a vote per person.

“It is with reluctance and disappointment that I accept the DNC’s decision today. I do so not because I agree with the decision but because it is time for us to move on and focus on winning in November.

“I applaud Karen Thurman and the Florida Democratic Party, Robert Wexler, Bill Nelson and others who represented our state and the candidates for doing the best they could with a bad situation.

“Florida Democrats have been serially abused and the DNC is the latest of offenders. How the DNC has the authority to ignore the votes of ‘Jack and Jane Lunch Bucket’ is beyond my understanding. The insiders who actively sought to disillusion and disenfranchise the more than 1.75 million Florida Democrats who voted on January 29 give new meaning to collective arrogance.

“The DNC’s decision today ignores the core principle of our great democracy: the right to vote. I know that the 1.75 million Democrats who voted on January 29 count and don’t give a damn what the DNC rules pronounce.

“Going to a party’s convention is a privilege. Courts have said that political parties have a right to make their rules. In this case, the DNC has chosen to take away that privilege from people who I believe have earned the right to participate in the National Convention in Denver with a full vote. As Americans, we should never insinuate or give vent to taking away the constitutional, time honored, died for, and cherished rights of voters from any state. Yet that is what today’s decision has done to the people of Florida and Michigan.

“I suppose the DNC has the right to block Democrats in Florida from attending the National Convention. They also have the right to be stupid, and stupid they are.

“At the beginning of our great country’s history my ancestors were counted as only 2/3 of a person. Until passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870, they weren’t allowed to vote. During that same time and until 1920, women could not vote. White men who did not own property could not vote at one point in our history as well.

“Now, on May 31, 2008, a group of elitist insiders of the DNC have effectively said that some of my ancestors’ progeny equal only 1/2 and that men and women in Florida who voted on January 29th are 1/2 also. For a Party which will crown its historic nominee on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, the DNC’s decision today is tragically ironic.

“As a matter of protest, I do not intend to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“Despite all of this, too much is at stake this November. I refuse to allow those who have done me and my constituents wrong to stop us from taking back our country. Together, we will do whatever it takes to increase our majority in the House and Senate and win the Presidency.

“While I cannot speak for others, I do not intend to take any further legal action against the DNC. If I believed that we could win, believe me, I would act and so would others. But based on case history, it is an uphill battle screaming for a change in federal law.

“I will, however, spend enormous energy on convincing my colleagues in Congress that we must create a rotating regional Presidential primary system. 30 political insiders – nearly all of whom ain’t ever been elected to a damn thing in their lives– must never again have the ability to reject the will of and unilaterally disenfranchise 1.75 million voters.

“This election is bigger than Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton. It is certainly bigger than the DNC. There are over 46 million Americans who are uninsured, gas and energy costs are spiraling out of control, America’s economy is faltering, and U.S. troops are dying nearly every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will take the energy and resources of all of us to fix these problems and the others facing our nation.

“As Florida voters have demonstrated time and time again, we will rise above those who have sought to silence our voices and vote big and win in November.”

Representative Hastings joined Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Representative Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) in suing the DNC in December 2007 on the grounds that the DNC’s decision to strip Florida Democrats of their votes at the DNC National Convention in Denver is a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. For the last six months, Representative Hastings has led efforts calling on the DNC to reinstate Florida’s 211 delegates to the National Convention. A leader in Congressional election reform efforts, Representative Hastings was the former Vice Chair of the Democratic Special Committee on Election Reform following the 2000 election debacle and recently authored bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation establishing a rotating regional Presidential primary system.

WomenCount, Count Every Vote, Slam RBC Decision

WomenCount and Committee to Count Every Vote ’08 released a statement on the RBC decision:

“Thirty members of the Rules & Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee came to Washington on Saturday, May 31, with a promise to fairly resolve a crisis that threatens the very legitimacy of our democratic electoral process. The Committee to Count Every Vote ’08 and its supporters came to Washington to ensure that the RBC lived up to that promise and its core democratic principle that every vote counts — and that every state’s delegate allocation accurately reflects the will of the voters.

“Count Every Vote ‘08 is particularly saddened for the 2.4 million voters in Michigan and Florida who went to the polls in good faith, in unprecedented numbers, to vote for whom they believed was the best candidate for President. Their votes have not been recognized and their voices have still not been heard. Counting every other vote falls far short of democracy.

“The RBC’s decision with respect to Michigan is especially egregious because the will of over 600,000 voters was intentionally thwarted by the RBC when it decided to ignore the actual vote count and instead re-allocate delegates won by Senator Clinton to Senator Obama, whose name did not even appear on the Michigan ballot. The basis of their decision to award Senator Obama four extra delegates—exit polls and uncounted write-in ballots—defies all reasonable logic and precedent. In so doing, the RBC has created a dangerous precedent that will most surely come back to haunt them.

“Senator Obama’s acceptance of this decision is especially troubling. How can a leader whose message is one of “unity” and “count every voice” agree to support a decision that strips Senator Clinton of delegates she rightfully earned at the ballot box? We wonder whether the price he will ultimately pay will be worth the four ill-gotten delegates.

“The RBC had a unique and historic opportunity this weekend to unite the Democratic Party. Instead, they deliberately chose to alienate the very people they claimed to appease, as well as millions of voters in Florida and Michigan.

“We applaud those members of the RBC who remained steadfast against enormous pressure to fight for the core principles of democracy and what we believed was the inalienable constitutional right of ‘one person, one vote’.

“Let us be clear on one more point. This decision does not change the fact that both of these states have already certified the popular vote of their primary elections. Despite this decision, the popular vote is irrefutable and stands as the truest reflection of the will of the people.

“WomenCount PAC was created to ensure that the 51 percent of American citizens who are women have their values and votes counted in the political process

“Count Every Vote ’08 Committee was founded in March 2008 by a group of politically active Democratic women who came together to advocate in support of the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton and other qualified women candidates across the country. They firmly believe in the core democratic principle that every vote should count.”

Join Over 17 Million of Us! She is NOT Quitting! (Updated)

June 2, 2008 — With speculation crawling around the meaning of Bill Clinton’s statement that this may be the last day he campaigns, Hillary Clinton is as strident and rebellious in victory as ever. According to FOX News, Hillary Clinton says she is *@#$@$^ (my swears) NOT DROPPING OUT. She says that the magic number has NOT been reached and that they are NOT ACCEPTING the new number of 2118.

Yesterday, in Puerto Rico upon her 68% to 32%* gigantico, humongo win over Obama, Senator Clinton said:

And I want you to know that this election is really about your future. You voted even though some tried to tell you that your votes wouldn’t count. You voted for the person you believe will be the stronger nominee and the strongest president. And you are not alone. You are joining millions of people across the United States, more than 17.6 million, plus the votes that we’ve received today. People who don’t always make the headlines; who don’t always feel like your voices are being heard.

I think about these people all the time, because that’s who I care most about. The nurse on her second shift who still can’t pay her credit card bills; the worker who can’t afford the gas on the way to work, the waitress on her feet without health care. The small business owners saddled with rising energy bills; the college student who can’t afford to continue college; the farmer, the teacher, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran. The people yearning for a president who will rebuild the economy and a Commander-in-Chief who will restore our leadership and moral authority in the world.

Make calls! Contribute! Hillary Clinton for President.

* I’ve updated this to reflect the will of the voters. I mistakenly gave Obama an extra two percentage points in the first published version of this post, which is now correctly amended. Well, at least I didn’t do it on purpose and at least it was only 2 instead the 4 delegates that the DNC RBC willfully “hijacked” from Clinton.