Oh Where, Oh Where Will Her Delegates Go?
In Washington on Saturday, June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and officially endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. (The campaign suspension allows her to keep her delegates and continue to receive donations to pay down her debt.) It was a complete endorsement. She didn’t hold anything back and urged her supporters to switch to Obama for the good of the Party and the country. Obama didn’t know just how complete an endorsement he would get and one guess is that he is happy and content at the way in which she went about it.
The problem is that many of her supporters see right through Clinton and know that she isn’t thrilled to be endorsing Obama and is still rather miffed at the way in which she (and her husband) were treated by the Democratic National Committee a couple of weeks ago when it decided to count but then halve primary delegate votes from Florida and Michigan. She was counting on those delegates to persuade more super delegates to vote her way and, at the very least, to create momentum for a showdown in Denver.
Although Barack Obama has clinched the nomination by amassing more than the needed 2,118 delegates, she still wields power and influence with her 1,919 delegates. What hasn’t been expected until recently, however, is the power her constituency holds over the election chances of Barack Obama.
So, how will Hillary Clinton’s constituency vote in the November Presidential General Election?
CNN polls report that about 25% of her supporters will not vote at all in November if Clinton is not on the Democratic Presidential ticket. About another 20% or so say they will vote, but not for the Democrats. Instead, they will cast their votes for John McCain, the Republican nominee for President. And McCain couldn’t be happier. He has already gone into action and begun speaking with her base of women, latinos and blue-collar voters with ridiculously political statements like “there is a genuine affection for her here at McCain HQ. During her speech there was no small amount of pleading with the TV: ‘Don’t do it, you can still win!'” and this beauty aimed right for the heart of the Obama campaign balloon: “Sen. Clinton has really grown on us over here in Crystal City over the past few months,” … [she is] an “impressive candidate” who “inspired a generation of women” but “fell victim to a vast left-wing conspiracy that resented her generally centrist foreign policy views.”
If you read CNN.com’s Rebecca Sinderbrand, she leads her story with: “While Sen. Hillary Clinton was endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, some of those weighing in on her campaign Web site were less willing to concede.” So, we went to her website and you can too – Blog.HillaryClinton.com – to read what supporters were writing on their way out the door:
- “I will donate for your web site if you separate your web site from Obama”
- “…many of us are, for now, UNDECIDED, on what we will do.”
- “I am a Obama supportor and hope and pray we can unite together to take back the White House.”
- “I too, along with you Hillary, will work my heart out for Obama.”
- “Thank you for your amazing speech, Hillary. I was moved and inspired by your sincerity. I thought I’d never be able to switch allegiance, but you made it easier by throwing your wholehearted support behind Obama. Once again, women will wait and a man will be in charge, but those ‘18,000,000 cracks’ in the ultimate glass ceiling will bring it crashing down some day soon. Thank you for taking a hammer to it for us Hillary. You – and we with you – have truly made history.”
- “I’m with Hillary. Let’s crack the VP ceiling.”
- “Together let’s work our hearts out for Senator Obama!”
- “I hope those who are crying out that they’d rather vote for McCain than Obama are reacting out of hurt and will come to their senses.”
- “I have not been so sure that I could vote Obama come November”…”Come November I will do what is right, for me, for her for the country..I’ll pull that lever for a Democrat.”
- “My vote in November will go to Barack Obama now.”
- “Hillary, we will always support you and be there for you! Please be Obama’s running-mate!”
- “Two people, one America. Hillary will work with Obama for America.”
- “I will listen to the issues and unite around Obama once my mind has completely absorbed all of the events recently.”
- “Wanting a Democrat in office, I will back Obama, as Hillary has asked.”
- It will take me a few days to get there, but I won’t vote for McCain! I will get there for Obama. If she can do it, how could we not.”
We went through about 75% of Clinton blog postings and didn’t find anything shattering to suggest that Clinton supporters were leaving the Democratic Party. It is true that Sinderbrand stated that “some…were less willing to concede” but she purposely led the article with it when 95% of comments support Clinton’s endorsement of Obama to one degree or another. The Sinderbrand article is creating a stir and one must wonder why? Perhaps CNN is trying to get Clinton on the Obama ticket, perhaps CNN is trying to undermine the Obama campaign. Who knows? Only CNN does.