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article imageOp-Ed: The Rise of Hillary Hysteria?

By Susan Duclos     Jul 16, 2008 in Politics
If anyone thought that Hillary Clinton would be allowed to fade quietly out of the spotlight they severely underestimated her supporters tenacity and drive. Three recent events have fueled their fire and given them a reason to continue fighting.
Fueling the fire and anger of dejected but motivated Hillary Clinton supporters are three recent developments. A Rasmussen report released yesterday, showing that Clinton fairs better against McCain than Obama does, a new group created that is lobbying the Democratic National Committee to list Clinton as a nominee and hold an open roll call vote on the convention floor where superdelegates would have to state who they would prefer, and last but not least rumors that 8 superdelegates would vote for Clinton if there was an open roll call vote on the Democratic convention floor and last but not least
The title comes from a high profile blogger, Taylor Marsh, that used to be called the "hub for everything Hillary" and now titles a piece saying "Hillary Hysteria Mounts" as she describes emails she is receiving which accuse her and others of trying to discount their vote by not backing their call to have an open roll call vote at the Democratic convention.
The Rasmussen Report.
A Rasmussen report released shows that while Barack Obama holds a a 4 percentage point lead over John McCain with 45 to 41 percent, when "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 48 percent and McCain 45 percent, but when McCain is matched up against Hillary Clinton, she would lead McCain by 8 percentage points.
However, McCain fares better against Obama than he does against two other prominent Democrats. New York Senator Hillary Clinton leads McCain by eight points, 50% to 42%. Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000, leads McCain 50% to 43%.
These numbers help explain why Election 2008 is competitive even though events so heavily favor the Democrats -- because the Republicans are on course to nominate their strongest possible general election candidate but the Democrats are not. Perhaps even more importantly, the data suggests that voters don’t see a potential McCain Administration as the third term of President Bush.
The portion emphasized has been the running theme throughout the Clinton supporting blogs since Barack Obama was named the presumptive nominee, and now many are citing this latest Rasmussen report to prove their point.
Clinton supporters and The Denver Group.
Congressional Quarterly, (CQ) politics ran an article on July 13, 2008, showing that a newly formed group called The Denver Group is actively lobbying Democratic officials to hold and open roll call vote at the Democratic convention which will be held in Denver in August.
What they want is Hillary Clinton's name to be listed as a nominee, which can be done since her campaign is suspended but was not ended.
The Denver group formed quietly but has gathered strength even before they were highlighted by CQ and other media outlets. One of the people that started the group is what is known as a "Hillraiser", which are contributors that contributed more than $100,000 to the Clinton campaign.
With donations for their efforts they have already run an ad in the Chicago Tribune and are preparing to launch a television campaign, all in an effort to force the Democratic National Committee, headed by Howard Dean, into assuring that Clinton's name be in the nomination at the Democratic convention.
“Senator Clinton’s name must be put in nomination. Her supporters must be allowed to make speeches on her behalf of her candidacy. There must be an honest roll call vote, not a symbolic one, so superdelegates can cast their votes honestly, for either candidate, as their judgment, conscience and democratic principles dictate.”
The reasoning behind forcing the superdelegates to stand up and have their open roll call vote be counted is a variety of reasons.
One major reason is that Barack Obama did not win enough pledged delegates to assure himself the nomination and it was the superdelegates that selected him.
The number that was needed to win the presumptive nominee status was 2,118 and Obama had received 1766.5 while Clinton received 1639.5 and the superdelegates put Obama over the magic number with 463 for Obama and 257 for Clinton.
Superdelegates have the option of changing their vote from now until the Democratic convention in August.
Another reason stated by a founder of The Denver Groups, Heidi Li Feldman, is, "What they have to do is make it possible for people to say to themselves that there was a fair and correct process."
Rumor spreading in Hillary Clinton blogs.
There is a fast spreading rumor within the Clinton bloggers, that when following link after link, seems to have started with a blog called Alegre's Corner, which claims that through unconfirmed sources, eight superdelegates have stated that if Clinton is given nomination at the Democratic convention, they will switch their votes from Obama to Clinton.
I heard about an interview Will Bower of PUMA did recently, where he said delegates are starting to say they'll vote for Hillary in Denver if the DNC did the right thing and ran an open and fair convention. That means a roll call vote with Hillary's name put into nomination, and on the ballot.
So I shot an email to Bower to ask him where he got that info from, and here's what he sent me regarding the efforts of a friend of his
"A large phone banking effort to the super d's combined with Obama's flips and poor presumptive nominee performance, etc have yielded doubts within the super delegates, enough that 3 elected and 5 DNC members have confided that should they have the opportunity to do so, they will vote for Hillary."
Clinton would need 100 superdelegates to switch in order to reach the number needed to obtain the official nomination as the Democratic candidate.
Illustration by
Illustration by
That hasn't stopped Clinton bloggers from writing about the claim made by Alegre's Corner though, which was written yesterday and by this morning the rumor had spread to a large number of other Clinton blogs.
The questions.
Simple questions arise from these recent developments.
Given the recent reports about Democrats on the Hill complaining about the Obama campaign, is it at all possible that enough of the superdelegates would switch their votes to Hillary Clinton if she was listed as a nomination and a roll call vote was taken?
Considering the growing movement within the Clinton supporter community with 22 percent of her supporters saying they will not vote at all and 17 percent of her supporters claiming they will vote for John McCain, can Obama and the Democrats win the presidential election in November without that large a number of their Democratic voters?
If the Obama campaign and the DNC are positive that in August the superdelegates will choose Obama, why not allay the concerns of millions of Clinton supporters and allow the process to play itself out?
Last but not least, is this Hillary Hysteria as Taylor Marsh calls it, or is this a legitimate attempt by Clinton supporters to have their voices heard at the Democratic convention, win, lose or draw?
You can read more about the history of the Democratic conventions, using wikipedia as just a loose reference point, but it bears noting that since 1972 the nature of conventions changed to being an event that officially ratifies the nominees instead of choosing them.
This eliminated the type of dissent that holding a roll call vote with Clinton listed as a nominee would potentially cause.
There are pros and cons, no matter what the Democratic National Committee decides to do and refusing to make a final decision and announce it promptly, either way, is simply prolonging the hopes, the anger and encouraging the growth of the Clinton movement at a time when many think the DNC should be helping Obama and Clinton unite the party.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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