More on Hillary and Florida

Ezra Klein does a much better job slamming Hillary for her little stunt in Florida last night and goes into some detail for why it is so fundamentally dishonest.  Some highlights:

In comments, many of you asked how I could be so dismissive of
Floridians who voted for Hillary Clinton. And the answer is, I'm not. I
didn't keep their vote from counting. Hillary Clinton did. When the
Democratic National Committee decided to impose order on an
out-of-control primary process by stripping Florida and Michigan of
their delegates if they refused to return their primaries to their
original dates, there were three individuals who could have restored
the franchise to those states. Howard Dean, the Chairman of the DNC,
could have changed his mind, or changed his proposed penalty. Even in
the face of his intransigence, however, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama
could have simply refused his entreaty to avoid the offending states. A
declaration by either that they disagreed with the DNC's decision and
would instruct their delegates to alter the rules at the convention and
seat Florida and Michigan would have forced all the other candidates to
do the same, and the DNC's prohibition would have collapsed. The voters
in Florida and Michigan would have attended speeches, and seen ads, and
hosted a debate, and been able to make an informed choice

That didn't happen. Clinton's campaign manager backing the
DNC, said, “We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina
play a unique and special role in the nominating process, and we
believe the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary
structure to respect and honor that role.” So Florida and Michigan
didn't get their primaries. They didn't get campaigns. They didn't have
serious Get Out The Vote efforts. And now, they're being cynically
used, the language of democracy revisited and dusted off in service of
a power play for additional delegates. Where, rightly or wrongly, the
campaigns agreed to deny them a primary, now Clinton's campaign, which
in Michigan won because they were the only campaign on the ballot and
in Florida won because no one contested their lead, is demanding they be seated.

Of course, Clinton's campaign has calculated that more will be gained from generally misinformed voters thinking she “won” Florida than from really annoying intelligent people following the campaign.  Its that kind of crass opportunism that makes me think Hillary certainly deserves a good deal of (though surely not all) of the negativity she gets. 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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