How Many Examples of Clinton Hypocrisy on Florida and Michigan Are There?:
Everybody's lining up with their favorite moments from back in the day when Hillary Clinton believed so very strongly that the votes in Michigan and Florida took a back seat to the agreement she and Barack Obama (and other candidates) made not to campaign or participate in any damn primaries in those states. Now that seating the delegates from those states at the Democratic convention is a civil rights fight akin to ending slavery (which is truly one of the most idiotic things said in an idiotic end of this primary season), here's one of the best golden oldies:
On January 21 of this year, the Clinton campaign held one of its many "you've offended our delicate sensibilities" press conferences (like the "look at this fuckin' flyer" one). The candidate was not there, but speaking for her were former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Kathy Sullivan, former Democratic chair of New Hampshire. They were in high dudgeon at what the Obama campaign had done, which, in our current context of bullshit hyperbole, was akin to genocide.
Obama's crime? Some of his national ads were playing in Florida, and, holy fuckin' shit, this was violating the pledge taken by the remaining candidates to give mad props to Iowa and New Hampshire (and Nevada and South Carolina) by ignoring the upstart states' primaries. But, really, truly, it's just best at this point to let others speak.
Said Vilsack: "In the heartland, words matter, promises matter, and pledges matter. That's why it was important to the people of Iowa that the candidates running for president sign a pledge that indicated that they would not campaign vigorously in states that violated the DNC rules. Clearly, the Obama campaign has decided not to fulfill that pledge by having advertising in Florida. I think this calls into question whether or not Senator Obama meant the pledge when he signed it or if losing three primaries and caucuses in a row compelled him and his campaign to sacrifice a part of their integrity. That's hardly the politics of a different kind that he's promised, and it raises the issue of what other pledges or promises he's making to Democrats across the country that he won't keep. You know, your word ought to be your bond, whether it's politically convenient or not, and it shouldn't just be your bond when it is politically convenient."
Said Sullivan: "This was all about honoring the rules that were adopted by the Democratic National Committee. And these were tough rules for some of the candidates to abide by, because, you know, it's always difficult just to say that, you know, we're agreeing not to campaign in other states. But all the candidates agreed that honoring the rules of the DNC were important and that they were going to do this. And so I'm disappointed that, now that Iowa and New Hampshire and Nevada are behind us, that the Obama campaign now feels that it can blithely just disregard the pledge and disregard the DNC rules...And so I'm very disappointed that this pledge is not being taken seriously. I'm disappointed that he's decided that there's nothing wrong with violating the rules of our party, you know, rules that were adopted after a lengthy process and adopted by the entire Democratic National Committee, and just feels that it is OK to ignore the wishes of the Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee. And so I'm disappointed, again, at the lack of seriousness with which the pledge apparently was made by Senator Obama and his campaign. And I would call upon him to honor the pledge and do what he said he was going to do."
Said Wasserman Schultz: "We have scrupulously abided by these rules because we respect them. We respect them even though in Florida we don't like them. And at the end of the day, when you're running for president of the United States, rules matter. Because you have to be the one that sets the example for the whole country. You can't just disregard or cast aside rules when they're no longer convenient for you."
Yeah, the press conference did lay some groundwork for Clinton's current declarations on Michigan and Florida (that she "won" them). But here's the bestest part of it. Vilsack said, "This is a serious violation, and it is deeply disappointing, I'm sure to the people of Iowa, particularly those who supported the senator because he was willing to make the pledge at the time he was participating in our caucus." Sullivan said, "I think a lot of people in the state of New Hampshire were very much aware of this pledge by Senator Obama and the other candidates, because it was certainly front page news in our state, that this was a pledge that was being made."
You got that? Clinton's surrogates are saying that the pledge she and Obama signed were factors in those states' contests, that perhaps those states would not have gone the way they did if the pledge hadn't been kept by the candidates. Now, think back on those halcyon days after the New Hampshire primary, when Clinton's surprise win of 39% of the vote to Obama's 36% was her big comeback, the thing that made her campaign survive those early weeks of the nomination process. Going by Sullivan's logic, one wonders how many votes Clinton would have lost had she said, "Fuck you, New Hampshire. I'm goin' to Disney World."