Clinton Trying to Steal Nomination?

Calvinball Hillary Clinton Just when it seemed that Barack Obama’s gaffes and the inevitable media swing away from the front-runner was breathing new life into Hillary Clinton’s campaign, she reminds us why half the country really, really hates her.

The Politico’s Roger Simon reports that she’s working back channel deals to subvert the will of Democratic primary voters if it comes to that.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.

This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides.

What? Isn’t that impossible? A pledged delegate is pledged to a particular candidate and cannot switch, right?


Pledged delegates are not really pledged at all, not even on the first ballot. This has been an open secret in the party for years, but it has never really mattered because there has almost always been a clear victor by the time the convention convened.

And, frankly, because previous contenders for the nomination behaved honorably and accepted the will of the nominating electorate. The Obama campaign, quite naturally, is pouncing:

Says Obama manager David Plouffe in statement: “As it becomes increasingly clear that Senator Clinton may not be able to secure the nomination by winning the support of actual voters, the Clinton campaign has once again floated a strategy that would essentially say that the preference of Democratic voters is a mere obstacle to their win-at-all-costs strategy.”

Kevin Drum observes that “a steady drumbeat of this kind of stuff can be deadly, especially for a candidate banking on her experience and party connections. She really needs to step up her game.” But maybe this is her game?

Calvinball Hillary Clinton

Many have already applied the “Calvinball” reference to Clinton’s machinations. Maybe it isn’t a just joke?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark Morris says:

    This is the most outrageously disgusting assault on our democracy I’ve seen! Karl Rove wouldn’t even sink this low. The Clinton’s don’t care about the voters, they don’t care about the Democratic Party, they don’t care about America, or even democracy. They actually feel we all owe them our allegiance! And if we refuse, they’ll do WHATEVER it takes to assume their rightful place in control of us! Obama has my vote, and if not him then McCain, I just pray my vote doesn’t get bought off by the Clintons.

  2. davod says:

    Don’t be silly. I read the other day that Obamma’s people were going after Hillary’s Black delegates (because they are Black and should support him – It’s working to).

    As with those who were critical at the outcry about what Mrs. President Elect said, it is about time some of you started to figure out where the journalist got his information. Just maybe from the Obamma camp. Whether true or not Obamma gets to look outraged.

  3. Triumph says:

    Stealing is the modus operandi for liberal Democrats. Obama steals words for his speeches because he is too lazy to write them himself.

    Just like she stole Vince Foster’s life and American taxpayer money during the Travelgate scandal, Clinton is a two-bit Arkansas thief.

    Both candidates have long track records to suggest that if they were to control the White House, they would instill a Ferdinand Marcos-style kleptocracy to line their pockets.