How the 2008 Nomination Was Rigged for ObamaPosted: February 23, 2012
Hillary never really had a chance in 2008. Politico has the story this morning, based on a new book by Jeff Berman, who was Obama’s “chief delegate counter” during the 2008 primaries. The self-published book, The Magic Number, can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The low-profile Berman, whose formal campaign title was national delegate director, was known for his obsessive attention to detail and preparation, and the book includes an unusually clear explanation of the complex, arbitrary process of selecting presidents. But its most striking moments, for those who followed the campaign closely, concern previously unreported battles, particularly around the primary calendar, the outcomes of which could have determined the nomination.
Unreported by the stupid corporate media who obviously could have investigated, but chose not to.
Florida and Michigan were key, and Berman describes how he tricked the Clinton operation into handing the nomination to Obama from the start.
“A January 29th Florida primary could completely blow up Obama’s winning path to the presidential nomination,” Berman writes. “This path requires him to win in Iowa, get through New Hampshire and Nevada and emerge, the week before Super Tuesday, as a leading candidate in South Carolina, whose large African-American population can carry him to a major victory one week before Super Tuesday. Moving the Florida primary to three days after South Carolina’s primary would block this strategy, as the election outcome in massive Florida would surely overshadow the results from smaller South Carolina.”
Berman quietly asked former Iran-Contra prosecutor John Nields and two other lawyers “to investigate exactly how the Florida primary legislation was enacted.” Their “authoritative legal report” showed that Florida Democrats — who were trying to blame the GOP — actually had a hand in the process; the Democratic National Committee used its findings as the basis for the move to sanction Florida, Berman writes.
According to Berman, Clinton aide Harold Icke, who was on the DNC Rules Committee, never questioned this fraudulent document, and signed on without any argument at all.
The Coup de grace, of course, came on May 31, 2008. Berman says that Howard Dean was worried about the outcome of the rules committee meeting that day, but not to worry. It worked out fine for The One. Of course we all recall how Obama’s nomination was secured by giving Obama some of Hillary’s Michigan primary votes, even though the Obama-obsessed corporate media ignored the whole slimy operation.
The uncertainty, though, lasted through the spring of 2008. Indeed, Berman writes, DNC Chairman Howard Dean was uncertain that he could persuade the Rules Committee members to enforce sanctions on Michigan and Florida in a May 31 meeting, and sought to cancel that session. Had the sanctions failed, the nomination fight could have blown wide open at the very last moment.
Berman also describes how he got help from the UAW to keep Obama and Edwards from being forced to keep their names on the ballot in Michigan, risking defeat by Clinton.
Berman called an official of the United Auto Workers, who had ties to Edwards, and persuaded the union to oppose the change.
“When the UAW makes a few calls in a political fight in Michigan, the political calculus of the fight changes,” he writes with satisfaction.
It’s all water under the bridge now, but I can still get angry about it. This is going to make it even harder for me to decide whether to vote the top of the ticket or leave it blank November.