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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

“Hell to Pay”

posted by on March 26 at 9:45 AM

A Southern governor is warning about “hell to pay” if there’s a certain outcome in the Democratic nomination fight. You might think that this worrisome outcome would be an Obama nomination that further erodes the Democrats’ standing among working class Southern whites.

No. The Southern governor, Democrat Phil Bredesen, is talking about “hell to pay” if superdelegates overturn the decisions of a majority of pledged delegates (who currently favor Obama). He’s talking, in other words, about infuriating the large number of Democratic-leaning African-American voters in the south. And he has a plan:

If Obama were denied the nomination by Democratic insiders after winning the party’s popular vote, Bredesen said, “There would be hell to pay in the party for a long time to come.”

Bredesen is doing something about his concerns. He was in Washington this week to promote his idea for holding a “superdelegate primary” in June, in which the 795 party bigwigs would gather to hear one last time from Clinton and Obama before casting a final vote.

Rather than allow the horse-trading and bloodletting go on all summer, he’d get it over with during a two-day business meeting in a neutral, easily reached city like Dallas.

“Invite the candidates to come and talk if they want, and then literally call the roll,” he explained. “We should not go through the summer and have a divided and exhausted Democratic Party. The inescapable conclusion is: OK, you’ve got to find some way to bookend and bring it to closure earlier. How do you do that? Do it in June rather than August.”

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It's not even as simple as superdelegates potentially overturning the decisions of pledged delegates. Clinton is now saying that there's no such thing as a pledged delegate and that they should each exercise their own independent judgment. Decoded: vote for me regardless of what your state's vote result was. What a horrible person Clinton is turning out to be.

Posted by Gabriel | March 26, 2008 9:58 AM

That's a really good idea. August is too far. At this point I doubt the rancor will die down even after the last primaries until we have an official candidate.

Posted by Beguine | March 26, 2008 9:59 AM

@1: You know, I'm starting to wonder if this is a tactic on the part of Clinton to *make* people loathe her. No politician worth their stripes could look at her behavior over the past few months and consider it to be anything but self-serving. Is she *really* this stupid, or does she have some other plan in mind?

I just hope that if Clinton wins, Bloomberg reconsiders. He'd decimate both her and McCain.

Posted by bma | March 26, 2008 10:14 AM

I'm glad Hillary is exposing herself for what she and her husband are: The US equivalent of Vladimir Putin- authoritarian, nasty and wanting to rig about anything to get it HIllary's way.

Why now this thing about pledged delegates. Just another day in Hillary's world of nasty complaint politics about something she had no problem with until it became a potential solution to change things up. Assuming that she had support in places Obama didn't, those people black and white are now being driven away. They may not vote R, but they may stay home. Either way it's shitty for the Dems.

I think she'd make a fabulous Secretary for Health and Human Services. At one point I thought she might be ok for VP if Obama took the top. After the shit she's pulled I trust Cheney more than her. And that's saying something.

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 26, 2008 10:17 AM

Sounds like a good idea to me. One way or another she's going to win the nomination. The superdelegates will definitely swing her way sooner or later.

Sounds like the easiest way for this to happen is to get all those involved in a room, have them agree to this, set up Obama as VP, declare victory and go home.

Then we can get down to the real work here: voting against MCain.

Posted by fluteprof | March 26, 2008 10:25 AM

@3 Are you kidding about Bloomberg? He would have no chance.

Posted by Gabriel | March 26, 2008 10:35 AM


No, she's not.

Keep dreaming.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 26, 2008 10:44 AM

i now WANT it to be a floor fight. just like in the olden times before marketing & TV.

mccain is going to have a stroke before november anyway.

Posted by max solomon | March 26, 2008 10:50 AM

Bloomberg would be fine with me. I'd vote for anyone over Hillary.

Posted by Independent Voter | March 26, 2008 11:01 AM

Fascinating that Bredeson is so concerned with the will of the people; Tennessee's Democratic primary was won by Clinton.

Posted by ~k | March 26, 2008 11:27 AM

Dave Coffman @4:

I'm glad Hillary is exposing herself for what she and her husband are: The US equivalent of Vladimir Putin- authoritarian, nasty and wanting to rig about anything to get it HIllary's way.

Hey Coffman, you compare Hills to Putin like it's an insult. I'll have you know, Russia's back in business thanks to Vladimir Vladimirovich. And Hillary has the toughness and ruthlessness to do for America what Putin did for Russia.

This Bredesen guy (never heard of him) talks about there being "hell to pay" for defying the will of the voters. Maybe this fellow should also consider the "hell to pay" for defying the will of Hill.

Posted by cressona | March 26, 2008 11:35 AM

Speaking of "hell to pay." I can't wait until Erica C. Barnett wakes up and reads the latest screed from self-hating female NYT columnist Maureen Dowd:

Even some Clinton loyalists are wondering aloud if the win-at-all-costs strategy of Hillary and Bill — which continued Tuesday when Hillary tried to drag Rev. Wright back into the spotlight — is designed to rough up Obama so badly and leave the party so riven that Obama will lose in November to John McCain.

If McCain only served one term, Hillary would have one last shot. On Election Day in 2012, she’d be 65.

Why else would Hillary suggest that McCain would be a better commander in chief than Obama, and why else would Bill imply that Obama was less patriotic — and attended by more static — than McCain?

I would not want to be "MoDo" today after ECB is through with her.

Posted by cressona | March 26, 2008 11:40 AM

Not a bad plan.

But in the end the problem is that Clinton voters are now telling pollsters 29% of them won't vote for Obama. But: he needs those votes to win.

Hmmm, what a to get Clinton supporters on board with Obama....gee what a mystery....gee how do we unite two wings of the same party....golly what a mystery.......someone finishing first, and someone lese finidshing second, and there are two slots on a ticket.....hmm what to do?

Posted by unPC | March 26, 2008 12:35 PM

I wonder if Hillary would consider making Obama a deal that she'll only serve one term if elected and then swap positions with him and run an Obama/Clinton ticket in 2012.

Posted by Jason | March 26, 2008 12:49 PM

~k @ 10: If you'd read the linked article, you would have found out that Bredesen is uncommitted. To wit: “In my case, Obama has a majority nationally and Hillary Clinton won Tennessee,” he said. “So who’s the majority for me?”

His point, which is totally uncontroversial and something every Hillary support should dwell on, is simply that if the superdelegates were to award the nomination to the candidate who lost the popular vote and pledged delegate count it would fragment the party base.

He didn't mention it explicitly in this story, but the subtext is pretty obvious: if the (mostly white) superdelegates are seen as overriding the voters in order to award the nomination to a white candidate at the expense of the first viable african-american candidate in the history of the republic, how's that gonna look? Think maybe there'd be a lot of (rightfully) pissed off African-American voters who would seriously consider witholding votes?

Posted by MplsKid | March 26, 2008 12:52 PM

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