Hillary Clinton Wins Meaningless Victory in Puerto Rico

Hillary Clinton won big in Puerto Rico. Joe Klein puts it in perspective:

A Stockdale moment: What am I doing here? (Answer: I’m joining the Clinton traveling press for the last day of campaigning in South Dakota tomorrow.) But, really, what are we doing here? The Puerto Rico “primary” is a crypto-democatic act: We are selecting delegates who will be able to vote at the Democratic Convention even though they won’t be able to vote in the general. At last, a political event even more ridiculous the Iowa Republican straw poll–at least, Iowans can vote in November.

And yet, there’s Terry McAuliffe bloviating on CNN about how this adds to Clinton’s popular vote “victory”–a victory only if you count states that violated party rules (Florida), didn’t have Obama’s name on the ballot (Michigan) or aren’t even states (Puerto Rico).

This sort of thing is just plain annoying, and divisive. The impotent ferocity of the Clinton campaign over the past month has done neither herself or Barack Obama much good. I suspect the Clinton campaign will be over in a matter of days….and then, I believe, the onus will be on Clinton to initiate the reconciliation process. More on that later…

When Hillary Clinton’s argument to the superdelegates comes down to bragging about a victor in Puerto Rico, you know her campaign is really over.

Update: Andrew Sullivan posts this comment written by a someone from Puerto Rico:

I’m a Puerto Rican reader and I currently live in PR after living a good chunk of my adult life in the US. I’ve been following the primaries in the US closely. I studied in the States, have a masters degree. Out of my very highly educated friends, I’m the only one who’s paying attention to what’s going on in this election year in the US.

You cannot use Puerto Rico as a basis for explaining any phenomenon in the US.

We are a colony. We do not participate in any of the US political processes, really. There isn’t a general understanding of US national politics, nor of the “Republican” v. “Democrat” mentality. We are consumed by our local politics and whether we should become a state, an independent country or remain as we are.

Clinton’s victory here means nothing. There’s a lot of name recognition and her husband is a rock star here. That’s it. Don’t extrapolate the results into anything. We are not Latinos in the same way that Mexican Americans are Latinos. Our vote has nothing to do with Obama’s “problem” with Latinos. Anyone trying to frame the PR vote into anything other than name recognition, has no knowledge of PR at all and is, in short, full of it.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Ronnie Johnson says:

    Folks –

    I have a news flash for you all – of the democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton, and Hillary Clinton ONLY has even a CHANCE at beating John McCain in the general election.  For the record, I am registered “unaffilatated”, as there is no “Independent” category where I reside. 
    As such – I don’t know much about the “rules” of the democratic party – but how can y’all scream so loudly about the “popular vote” during the Bush-Gore election, and so cavalierly ignore it now?
     

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ronnie,

    There is absolutely no comparison between Clinton’s bogus claims and the Bush-Gore election.

    The dispute in 2000 was not about the popular vote. There was no question that the president would be the winner of the electoral college. The controversy was because of the blocking of the recount in Florida which would have given Gore a majority if there was a full state recount.

    As for Hillary’s claims, first of all Obama and not Clinton is leading in the popular vote, despite Clinton’s claims. Secondly a popular vote cannot be used in this situation since there is a combination of primaries and caucuses, with caucuses not having the same types of vote totals. We also cannot consider Michigan or Florida in any popular vote total as it was agreed by all, even Clinton, before the vote that they would not count. Of course Obama still leads in the popular vote even if these are counted.

    You also cannot change the rules after the fact. If the nomination was based upon the popular vote, Obama would have concentrated more on it and would probably have an even greater lead than he does now.

    As for electability, Clinton would be a disaster. She started out hated by half the country. Now she also has half the Democratic Party opposed to her. The vast majority of independents would vote for McCain over Clinton, while in contrast Obama is pulling in a tremendous number of people who never voted for Democrats in the past.

  3. 3
    bwswolf says:

    Once again Hillary Clinton and her supporter show their true colors. Like spoiled little brats they stomp, whine and complain when they don’t get their own ways. Most vote !!! Of course you can claim this when you run in one state unopposed, contrary to rules that you get changed later,  When she got a majority her and her supporters still whine and cry foul because they didn’t get it all.
    I hope that after Tuesday the uncommitted Super-delegates get off the fence and support one or the other. Hopefully if Obama wins, she will act like a good sport grownup (ya, right) and this will end.

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