WASHINGTON-Coming off a big Mississippi primary win, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe in a Wednesday conference call said as “creative” as the Clinton campaign wants to be in “trying to create new paths for themselves to the nomination,” the delegate math is not there. And with that Plouffe resumes his math-as-destiny argument that was muted after Clinton won Texas and Ohio.
The Plouffe comment came in advance of an Obama press conference with retired admirals and generals in Chicago at the Chicago Historical Society in Lincoln Park.
And it comes as Democrats are searching for a solution to seating the Michigan and Florida delegations at the convention in Denver without prompting riots in the streets. Team Obama is not for a mail-in ballot re-do in Michigan and Florida but is open to finding other alternatives. “We do think that for the most part the people who have been promoting that (mail-in election) are Clinton supporters. We think there should be a fair and balanced situation. And so we think there are other remedies out there.”
Plouffe, in his conference call—the first of the day (another with Obama governors is coming at 11 central time)—was sarcastic as he pressed his case.
Arguing that Obama’s delegate lead was too strong to reverse, Plouffe said, “that doesn’t mean the Clinton campaign won’t move the goal posts again. I’m sure now they will say, ‘well, it’s really only popular voting states that begin with N, but not Nebraska, because that’s a caucus state and that shouldn’t count.”’
Plouffe seems delighted that Clinton—in his analysis—is putting so much focus on the April 22 contest in Pennsylvania. Once again, the Obama forces are scrambling in each state to get delegates wherever they can. There are in all 10 elections left with 566 pledged delegates remaining.
(In a memo issued just before the call Plouffe said: “Now that Mississippi is behind us, we move on to the next ten contests. The Clinton Campaign would like to focus your attention only on Pennsylvania – a state in which they have already declared that they are “unbeatable.” But Pennsylvania is only one of 10 remaining contests, each important in terms of allocating delegates and ultimately deciding who are nominee will be. Senator Obama campaigned in Pennsylvania yesterday and will do so again later this week, but he will also campaign aggressively in the other upcoming states – he will travel to other upcoming states in the very near future.”)
Said Plouffe, answering a question: “They are simply not going to put as many states in play so here we are, we are back where we have been the past couple of elections, where you literally have to run the table and what we have to do as a party is have a nominee who is going to put a large number of states in play and perform well even in states that are not battlegrounds so we have the best atmosphere possible for our House and Senate candidates and our state and local candidates.”
Clinton at the top of the ticket would provide “negative atmospherics.”
FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN...
To: Interested Parties
From: David Plouffe, Campaign Manager
Date: March 12, 2008
RE: Moving On to the Next 10 Contests
With his overwhelming victory in the Mississippi primary, Barack Obama’s lead in pledged delegates is now wider than it was on March 3, before the contests in Ohio and Texas. He netted more delegates in Mississippi and Wyoming than Senator Clinton netted on March 4. Obama now holds a pledged delegate lead of 161 with a total of 1411 pledged delegates, while Senator Clinton trails with 1250 pledged delegates. As the number of remaining pledged delegates dwindles, Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seems less and less plausible.
Barack Obama has now won nearly thirty contests, over half the states in the country, including critical battleground states like Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Missouri, Washington and Colorado.
Now that Mississippi is behind us, we move on to the next ten contests. The Clinton Campaign would like to focus your attention only on Pennsylvania – a state in which they have already declared that they are “unbeatable.” But Pennsylvania is only one of 10 remaining contests, each important in terms of allocating delegates and ultimately deciding who are nominee will be. Senator Obama campaigned in Pennsylvania yesterday and will do so again later this week, but he will also campaign aggressively in the other upcoming states – he will travel to other upcoming states in the very near future.
We have activated our volunteer networks, are putting staff on the ground, and building our organization in every one of the upcoming states. The key is not who wins the states that the Clinton campaign thinks are important. Throughout this entire process, they have cherry-picked states, diminished caucuses, and moved the goal posts to create a shifting, twisted rationale for why they should win the nomination despite winning fewer primaries, fewer states, fewer delegates, and fewer votes.
FROM THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN...
Hillary Clinton made the following statement at the Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce earlier this morning:
“If you are a voter from Florida or Michigan, you know that we should count your vote. The nearly two and a half million Americans in those two states who participated in the primary elections are in danger of being excluded from our democratic process and I think that’s wrong. The results of those primaries were fair and they should be honored. Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about what we should do to ensure that the voters in Florida and Michigan are counted.
“In my view there are two options: Honor the results or hold new primary elections. I don’t see any other solutions that are fair and honor the commitment that two and a half million voters made in the Democratic primaries in those two states. Whether voters are clamoring for solutions to the challenges that we face or not, or whether people are coming out in droves to be heard, we have a basic obligation to make sure that every vote in America counts.
I hope that Senator Obama’s campaign will join me in working to make that happen. I think that that is a non-partisan solution to make sure that we do count these votes.”