February 12th, 2008

Hillary Clinton Finally Achieves Absolute Clarity on Caucus System: It Doesn’t Count

by Philip Baruth

Hillary Clinton held a hastily arranged meeting with reporters earlier today and graciously credited the Obama campaign with dogged grass-roots organizing and a laser-like message. [Fumbles with note cards] Oh, right. She actually did the opposite, dismissing not only Obama’s campaign but the voters who have thus far propelled it.

“These are caucus states by and large,” Hillary pointed out, “or in the case of Louisiana, you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand.”

Let’s not even go to the very proud African-Americans. Suddenly Hillary eschews the entire notion of caucusing, as a singular facet of democracy?

You got it. “[Caucuses] don’t represent the electorate, we know that.”

In other words: I’m not losing, because I plan to win three large states next month, but even if I were losing it wouldn’t mean much of anything, because any state that chooses to caucus isn’t really participating in what might be called American democracy.

Put aside the simple bad grace of this sort of denial. Put aside the reflexive spin, the inability to admit publicly that her campaign has quite obviously underperformed, allowing a well-run campaign to run up a lead. Losing the last five contests by 2:1 margins tells the world that, and a strong candidate admits it, and moves on.

But after reading the quote above, does anyone doubt that Hillary would want to put aside popular vote (since it came substantially from caucusing), or pledged delegate counts (which stem partially from same) if the only way she could win was through convention deals with superdelegates?

hillary, having it both ways

Or through a court challenge over Michigan and Florida, primaries in which she took a pledge not to participate?

Dismissing half the Democratic voters who have weighed in on this primary season thus far is only the beginning, folks.

VDB hopes all you people in the great caucus state of Hawaii take careful note. Because you’re next.