Even Clinton Supporters Now Believe She Looks Desperate

While the blogosphere is now treating Hillary Clinton in much the same way that Democrats have previously treated Richard Nixon and George Bush (and the way in which Republicans have long treated both Clintons), Hillary Clinton’s campaign continues to push on Florida and Michigan. The Clinton campaign is increasingly showing their unwillingness to compromise. The expectation outside of Michigan has been that the uncommitted delegates would go to Obama, but there have been Clinton supporters in Michigan who thought these should remain officially uncommitted as they hoped to pack the delegation with additional Clinton supporters. Harold Ickes is now taking this approach:

In a conference call with reporters, Clinton Senior Adviser Harold Ickes clarified their position on Michigan — they don’t want the 55 “uncommitted” delegates to go to Obama (his name did not appear on the ballot in Michigan). There have been reports that some of the uncommitted delegates in Michigan already selected are union supporters of Clinton. This solution, unsurprisingly, would make it much harder for Obama to clinch a pledged delegate majority.

This would be the ideal situation for Clinton. Clinton would receive the delegates from those who voted for her as well as those who voted for uncommitted, presumably because they opposed Clinton. Votes written in for other candidates such as Obama weren’t even counted. Hillary Clinton might have had a little difficulty answering the gotcha question at one of the debates on the last Russian election, but she seems to have gone to the same school on managing elections as Putin.

Even some Clinton supporters believe that she is going too far. Harold Patterson now sees “desperation.”

While he stressed that he continues to support Clinton and will do so until “she makes a different determination,” Paterson, a superdelegate, said he doesn’t believe the DNC should change the rules after the fact on Florida and Michigan and added that he’s not buying her claims about leading the popular vote if the ballots cast in those states were counted.

“I would say at this point we’re starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I’ll support until whatever time she makes a different determination,” Paterson said, adding: “I thought she was the best candidate and I thought she had the best chance of winning.”

Paterson, who is a DNC committee member and was present at the meeting when a vote was taken to penalize Florida and Michigan for moving their respective primaries ahead of the traditional starting contests in New Hampshire and Iowa, said he thought that decision was “a little unfair” and he “didn’t agree with it at the time.”

But he also noted “nobody was screaming” after that decision was made, although some people were unhappy with it, adding:

“There was a process. I thought at the time everybody agreed to it. I didn’t hear any objections from the candidates…So I would think the Democratic National Committee would leave it where it is.”

The Clinton campaign is rejecting a compromise supported by Barack Obama to cut the Florida delegation in half as a penalty for violating the party’s rules. Hillary Clinton rejects this, but Bill Clinton stated last week that this would be “appropriate penalty.”

In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Obama, D-Ill., called the idea of cutting Florida’s delegation in half “a very reasonable solution” to the party’s stand-off over how to treat a primary contest that was not sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee.

Sen. Clinton dismissed the suggestion, saying she would insist on 100 percent representation for Florida.

“I think that is disingenuous but it’s also insulting to the 1.7-million Floridians who actually turned out to vote,” Clinton, D-N.Y., said of Obama’s proposal, according to the newspaper.

But just last week, Bill Clinton called giving Florida half its delegates — similar to how the Republican National Committee penalized the state for holding an earlier-than-allowed contest — an “appropriate penalty.”

“The Republican Party said ‘OK, we’d like to win Florida in the fall so we are gonna invoke our rule, they got out of turn, we will seat their delegates as half a delegate and seat their superdelegates,’ ” Clinton said at a campaign event in Missoula, Mon. “That is an appropriate penalty.”

Later in the same speech, he pointed out that the same penalty was applied by the GOP to Michigan, which also held a primary earlier than the party allowed.

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