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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Feb 29th 2008, 03:51 PM
When she once said the rules of the DNC were not the rules of her campaign.....I really did not believe she meant it. I guess I chose not believe it because the rules of the DNC have always governed primaries and delegates.

Hillary campaign says DNC delegates rules are not the rules of her campaign.

The rules the party has put in place to choose its nominee are not the rules of the Clinton campaign and, just like the Obama campaign, we are doing what we can under those rules to secure the requisite number of delegates for the nomination. One way to avoid the situation described above is to figure out some way to honor the votes of Michigan and Florida, where there was record turnout. Counting the delegates in Florida and Michigan is a civil rights issue, and a solution needs to be figured out before the convention.

Now that a lawsuit against the DNC is going to see the light of day appears to add fuel to the speculation. The hearing will be on March 17 to determine the seating of Florida's delegates. I don't know, but I hear she might question the Texas Democratic party via a lawsuit. Not sure about that.

An article at The Nation yesterday points out more. It has been speculation most have said, but now it appears to be becoming common knowledge.

The Dean Legacy

It points about the impact Howard Dean has had on the party, that he "does not want to hang around the building past 2009." But it brings up something that is showing now in different states. That her campaign was set up to operate outside the DNC.

On November 7, 2006, all the top Democrats graced the stage of the Hyatt Regency ballroom in Washington for a big election-night victory party. All of them, that is, except Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The party leadership had accused Dean of spending too much money on rebuilding moribund parties in red states and not enough on key Congressional races where Democratic pickups could strengthen their narrow majority. The results that night, as Democrats recaptured Congress, seemed to settle the argument in Dean's favor. But key Democrats, including Representative Rahm Emanuel, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, weren't satisfied, and Dean opted to stay away from the celebration, doing TV interviews instead. A week later, Democratic strategist James Carville, another prominent Clintonite, labeled the DNC leadership "Rumsfeldian in its competence," and called on Dean to resign. He floated the name of Harold Ford Jr., now chair of the right-leaning Democratic Leadership Council, as a replacement. There was rampant speculation inside the Beltway that Carville wasn't offering an unsolicited opinion but rather carrying water for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Forming a "shadow DNC".

A few months earlier, The New Republic had reported that Clinton's camp was "laying the groundwork to circumvent the DNC in the event that Clinton wins the nomination." This shadow DNC had a number of integral parts: adviser Harold Ickes would develop state-of-the-art technology to help Clinton reach prospective voters; EMILY's List and Clinton's allies in organized labor would launch an unprecedented effort to turn out supporters, especially women voters; former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe would raise untold sums from wealthy donors and the business community; and communications honcho Howard Wolfson would direct an unrelenting war room. Ever since 1992 the Clintons had used the DNC as an outpost for raising money from big donors, and funding candidates had taken precedence over nurturing progressive organizers. That model would continue into '08. Dean could remain at the DNC as a figurehead but only if he stayed in line.

And then the effort to marginalize Dean collapsed. Partly it's because the party's Congressional takeover--and a subsequent study by Harvard's Elaine Kamarck documenting Dean's contributions toward that end--eventually silenced the Carville-ites. Partly it's because Barack Obama forced the Clintons to devote all their resources to fending off his insurgent candidacy. But another reason the DNC-in-exile never got off the ground was Dean himself. Dean is no longer a marginalized figure, the butt of "Dean scream" jokes, but a man with a powerful constituency in regions where his fifty-state strategy has energized aging, ailing or previously nonexistent state parties. His support to these parties has not only strengthened them but has created an independent power base for Dean himself.

Whose rules are the right rules? Who makes them?

On a number of occasions during this cycle, the Clinton campaign has questioned the DNC's authority. The first split came during the Nevada caucuses, when Clinton allies challenged the DNC over the validity of caucus sites that they thought favored Obama. The courts ruled in the DNC's favor, but the showdown in Nevada looked like small potatoes compared with the growing debate over whether to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates. The Clinton campaign's PR blitz in favor of seating them was a clear affront to Dean's leadership. "The DNC rule is the rule, and it's not going to change just because Clinton says we're going to change it," says one Dean confidant.

I hope for all our sakes there is a clear definitive outcome this next month. To have otherwise is not a good thing for the party.

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