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.
First, there is this series of telling polls by Rasmussen Reports.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows the race for the White House is tied with Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote. However, when “leaners” are included, it’s McCain 47% and Obama 46%.
This is because they also find:
It’s worth noting that there are far more uncommitted voters at this point in Election 2008 than there were four years ago. The Election 2004 Presidential Tracking Poll showed that 92% of voters were committed to either President Bush or Senator Kerry on July 24, 2004. Only 8% were uncommitted.
This year, 37% of the uncommitted voters plan to vote for a Democratic Congressional candidate while 22% say they’ll vote for the GOP. But, when asked which way they’re leaning in the race for the White House, 26% say McCain and 19% say Obama. Twenty percent (20%) say they still prefer a third-party candidate.
The first nationwide survey since Barack Obama returned from his highly publicized travels in Europe and the Middle East finds that the trip had little or no impact on the U.S. presidential race.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.
However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.
So, now we see another flip by the Obama campaign. I guess he’s decided that some of the voters he threw under the bus during the primary are necessary for an Obama win. He wants to seat the Florida and Michigan Delegation restored to one vote.
Obama Asks Panel to Restore Votes
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE AUG. 4, 2008
Senator Barack Obama has asked the credentials committee of the Democratic Party to give full voting rights to delegates from Florida and Michigan at the national convention in Denver.
The request is likely to be granted because it comes from Mr. Obama, the all-but-certain nominee, who now controls the party apparatus.
After Florida and Michigan held early primaries in violation of party rules, the party punished them by saying their delegations would not be seated at the convention. In May, the rules committee agreed to let the delegates have half a vote each.
Mr. Obama’s request is likely to cause consternation among party officials, who have struggled to maintain some authority over the primary calendar. Restoring full voting rights will essentially be giving a green light to other states to ignore the primary calendar next election.
The credentials committee is scheduled to meet Aug. 24, the day before the convention begins
I know I’m a cynic, but something tells me this move is not to restore the democratic party to its one man-one vote principle. They must have had time to restack the deck in these states and now feel secure enough to let them vote. Could this be part of the negotiations with Hillary? I would love to figure out what went in to this complete reversal. I’m sure he must feel secure in the nomination if he’s agreeing to this change at this point.
The bigger question, however, goes to Howard Dean and Donna Brazile and all those folks that were pushing the rules like they’d been handed down on stone tablets to Charlton Heston on movie set, how are you going to spin this?
I’ve spent the last day watching a hurricane develop south of me. If you look at the sky above my house you’ll see mostly blue sky. However there are some very low lying clouds with a hint of darkness spinning back towards the Southeast. These little spinning clouds are harbingers of something bigger picking up steam just out of sight of the little kathouse in the ninth ward. I’m wondering if folks in Colorado see something similar around Denver.