How the 2008 Nomination Was Rigged for Obama

Obama acception the 2008 nomination among his Greek columns

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.

From Politico:

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.

34 Comments on “How the 2008 Nomination Was Rigged for Obama”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    From the book’s Amazon page:

    Jeff Berman served as the National Director of Delegate Operations for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. After the 2008 elections, he was elected to the Democratic National Committee and its Rules and Bylaws Committee, and appointed to the Democratic Change Commission to recommend changes to the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process. He previously served as an advisor to presidential candidates John Glenn in 1984 and Dick Gephardt in 1988 and 2004, and as counsel to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. He and his wife have four children and live in Washington, DC. He is an attorney and a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School.

    • janicen says:

      Ugh! You’re really making me despise the Democrats all over again.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I was pretty angry when I read that article, but it was the Clinton campaign’s mistakes that handed the nomination to Obama. It just makes me sick.

      • dakinikat says:

        We really need alternatives to the legacy parties. The Republicans have gone batshit crazy and the Democrats wouldn’t know how to stand up for what’s right if they got golden tablets with instructions from some God.

        We are SO royally screwed.

      • Valhalla says:

        The Clinton campaign made mistakes (every campaign does) but those mistakes were not particularly related to why Clinton didn’t win. The RBC meeting was an absolute crime — and all the shenanigans were to give Obama exactly the number he needed to win (and so obots could go around screaming “the math! the math”. Of course, the RBC didn’t do it alone. There was also gaming the caucuses, caucus fraud, the 100% support from the media for The One and outright lies about Clinton (the RFK smear, the “racist” fairy tale comment). I could go on an on. Clinton ended up with a higher popular vote count than Obama, and she rocked pretty much every big state primary — even after the media and the obots claimed (repeatedly) that she was dead in the water.

        I have no ambivalence about how I’m going to vote in 2012. I am not voting for a Democrat for top of the ticket, and probably not for much of anything else, until the Democrats give me my party back. NOT the one where Donna Brazile threw women, Hispanics, and non-hip non-urban non-shiny young people for. But the real one. The Democrats threw me under the bus in 2008 and have done not one single thing since to reverse that. So they can just go f*ck themselves. It’s their responsibility to be a party worth voting for, not my responsibility to vote for them. As madamab says “Never vote for people who hate you.”

      • foxyladi14 says:

        not all just those bad ones.. 😆

      • Fannie says:

        Let’s not forget Obama’s jolt to Geraldine Ferraro……….talk about discrimnation against her, and Lord, let’s not forget the Red telephone……….

  2. janicen says:

    The Obama supporters will be comforted that their people outsmarted the Clinton people, and maybe they did and we got stuck with the lesser of the two candidates. We know they cheated. We’ve known it all along. It’s not a game changer for me and it won’t get me to do anything, even withholding my vote, that will help the lunatic GOP.

    I wonder if the point of this book release is to kill any notion of a Clinton run in 2016? I wouldn’t be surprised, and I might be angry if I thought she was interested in running, but I don’t think she is.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s a self-published book, so apparently no publisher wanted it. We’ll have to wait and see if it gets much attention. I don’t think most people care at this point.

      • Woman Voter says:

        We all learned the media doesn’t want to say anything negative, do you remember the ‘nuclear bill he passed’ that turned out to have never been and the people they didn’t interview.

        You would think it was the President Bush Stupak Executive Order instead of President Obama Stupak Executive Order, as no media covers it or Nancy Pelosi’s cooperation in keeping it quiet, yet NOW she is the defender of women.

    • ralphb says:

      I don’t see any reason this book would hurt Hillary. If anything it’ll probably be helpful to her if she decides to run again. It doesn’t do Obama any favors, that’s for sure.

  3. peggysue22 says:

    Sickening, BB. We all knew the primary was rigged in Obama’s favor. This gives us an inside look at the details.

    There’s not much to love in either of the legacy parties. Neither represents the public’s interest. The GOP is wa-a-ay out there ideologically speaking; the Dems are filled with liars, cheats and plutocracy cheerleaders.

    Thanks for the heads up on the book. Of course, the question is Berman’s motive. Has he gotten burned by the Administration? Payback time? Or is this just more chest thumping because they beat the Clintons?


    • bostonboomer says:

      Maybe Berman just wants credit for what he did. It sounds like he thinks he was the key to the victory.

    • Woman Voter says:

      Did you all see it was Nancy Pelosi that made sure Hillary didn’t get a Roll Call Vote, for POTUS and VP? Wonder what deal Pelosi has with Biden, maybe one day we will learn why she took charges off the table for the Bush Administration. Hemmm….

      To think of all the work we went through to insure that Hillary Clinton would get a Roll Call Vote and the hardships of the delegates that signed on (300+) and she was denied the Roll Call Votes. One reason I can’t vote for Biden, nope won’t do it….the man who kept all the other women hidden in a hotel and kept from testifying in the Clarence Thomas hearings, making Anita Hill out to be a liar.

      • northwestrain says:

        Biden is a world class misogynist pig. He’s as crooked as 0bowma and in that sense they are well matched.

      • …the man who kept all the other women hidden in a hotel and kept from testifying in the Clarence Thomas hearings

        What are you talking about here?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Joe Biden was instrumental in getting Clarence Thomas confirmed and he prevented other women from testifying in support of Anita Hill. His treatment of Anita Hill was terrible. Maybe you didn’t see the hearings. From Wikipedia:

        Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, reporters for the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article for the May 1993 issue of The New Yorker…. The two authors would later conclude in an investigative book on Thomas that “the preponderance of the evidence suggests” that Thomas lied under oath when he told the committee he had not harassed Hill. Mayer and Abramson say Biden abdicated control of the Thomas confirmation hearings and did not call Angela Wright to the stand. They report that four women traveled to Washington DC to corroborate Anita Hill’s claims, including Wright and Jourdain.

        According to Mayer and Abramson, soon after Thomas was sworn in, three reporters for The Washington Post “burst into the newsroom almost simultaneously with information confirming that Thomas’ involvement with pornography far exceeded what the public had been led to believe.” These reporters had eyewitness testimony and video rental records showing Thomas’ interest in and use of pornography. However, according to Jeffrey Toobin, because Thomas was already sworn in by the time the video store evidence emerged, the Washington Post dropped the story. The book by Mayer and Abramson was subsequently made into a movie.

        Strange Justice was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1994 and received an extraordinary amount of media attention.

        Biden was in charge of the hearings.

  4. northwestrain says:

    The hate directed at Clinton and women by the Dem party during the 2008 campaign is why I will never ever vote for 0bowma!!! Since I’m in a primary caucus state I watched first hand how the caucus was gamed. Crooked — busing in outsiders to even tiny rural areas.

    The Clinton campaign made mistakes — one of the major ones was the Campaign manager who was a ringer for 0bowma and after she was fired she went straight to 0bowma for her pay off. She was a back stabbing bitch.

    0bowma should be in jail for his crimes in Chicago — along with his buddies who are already in jail.

    I don’t vote for people who hate me.

  5. Has this entire blog been confiscated by hate-filled Republicans? Of course I’m also disappointed in Obama — but all this name-calling (Obowma? Obamite?) and slurring is not the way grown-ups change things.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Helen,

      I’m sorry you’re offended. This is a blog, not a news site, and we aren’t journalists. Everyone has differing opinions and ways of communicating them. We don’t censor comments unless there is something really abusive or inappropriate in them.

      Most of us here supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and didn’t support Obama. Many of us still hold some resentment toward blogs that allowed abusive treatment of Hillary supporters and used misogynistic language to attack Hillary and any woman who supported her. We tend to use shorthand language in referring to these old feelings.

      I don’t particularly agree with calling the President names, but we all have free speech. I won’t apologize for my use of “Obamite” in referring to one of those blogs that went along with the misogyny in 2008. I sometimes still use “Obot” to refer to the specific abusive people.

      I personally think the anti-woman fervor that was unleashed by Obama supporters in 2008 has contributed to the anti-woman atmosphere we now have to live in. These blogger and “journalists” gave permission to right-wingers to be even more anti-woman than ever. If you want specific details about what happened, Joseph Cannon has catalogued a great deal of it. Here are some examples.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        BB, your post on this book about the 2008 steamroller and this link to Cannon’s catalog brings back such awful memories. All those times being abused, being called racist, being called cunt and all the other disgusting hateful misogynistic names when posting the truth about Obama in the comment sections of all those websites… It is still so painful, and I think you are right, all that anti woman shit from the dems and the journolist has helped this war on women situation we are in now.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Hi Minx,

        I know. I tried not to look at a lot of those examples Joseph Cannon reprinted.

      • Thanks for your explanation. Of course I do remember the horrible treatment of Anita Hill — it still makes me angry. I either didn’t know, or had forgotten, that Biden was in charge. I also wanted Hillary, but I went along and voted for Obama when Hillary was not a choice. Maybe Obama will ditch Biden and Hillary will be our VP — though I don’t know that she would accept such an offer.

      • northwestrain says:

        OBOWMA — because he bows to other heads of state — but NEVER to the Queen. He is a chauvinist pig — and I will always remember exactly how he behaved toward Hillary Clinton and to ALL women. I am as respectful to him as he was/is to all women.

        Why don’t you read a blog before you jump in and bad mouth what you obviously know nothing at all about.

        Obots can jump in a frozen lake. I really hate 0bots. . . . I remember how they were 4 years ago. Now we know that 0bowma is a lying stealing crooked misogynitic typical male politician. The first word he learned in Indonesia was “cheater” — which is what he is.

      • ralphb says:

        nwrain. Now that you put it that way, Helen has a point.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It was a bit harsh. Personally, I’m very glad you’re here, Helen and I hope you don’t take too much offense. This post has raised old bad feelings.

      • janicen says:

        northwestrain, I appreciate your passion. Probably because we had similar experiences in 08. We were Clinton delegates at the Washington State caucuses, we invested our money and many hours of our personal time working to get Clinton elected only to find out, first hand and to our horror and disgust, that our efforts and our votes, along with the votes of 18,000,000 other Democrats, didn’t count. It didn’t matter that we actually won, what mattered was the media onslaught of misogyny and the outright cheating at the caucuses. It was impossible for us to set those feelings aside and go along to get along and vote for the candidate propped up and presented by the Democratic party. Most of the people who post and comment here have similar stories and were unable to turn off their passions and turn a blind eye to the cheating that occurred in 08. I realize that some Democrats were able to do that, but I’m not one of them. Northwestrain’s choice to change the spelling of Obama’s name to create a caricature to emphasize her points do not constitute personal name calling of any other commenter on this blog. However saying that the tenor of the comments here is “…not the way grown-ups change things” could certainly be construed as a personal insult or name calling and that’s something that we’re not used to seeing here. It’s hard not to be protective of the people and places that have become our online family for the past several years.

        • dakinikat says:

          I think every one processes emotionally charged events differently. I don’t think any of us has particularly turned a blind eye. Unfortunately, the republicans have started a war on most everything we hold dear. At some point we have to realize that to fight a greater good you have to make some unlikely allies. l will say that any one that is new to the community will not know all the history and is just likely to see the festering anger. I think anger can create situations where we read see more than is probably there because strong emotions blur perceptions. I don’t think we should ever forget thd lessons of 2008 but I do wonder at this point if we need to think how much we can change or influence if we just have one angry ground hog day after another and if our anger stops us from communicating with people that are as worried about this onslaught of attacks on women’s rights. Doesn’t do a lot of good to fight amongst ourselves about something we can’t change. That is just my two cents.

    • Teresa says:

      Yes, but it might be how grownups vent. I suspect you didn’t follow the Democratic primaries very closely. They were a sludge of woman-hating venom.