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Obama Camp, Tongue in Cheek, Declares Fla. Tie

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Still in high spirits after the Obama campaign's landslide South Carolina victory, Barack Obama spokesman Bill Burton tonight appeared to mock his own campaign's frantic post-Nevada caucus delegate count focus, as well as the Clinton campaign's more recent focus on the state of Florida, which today held an unsanctioned Democratic Party primary.

At 6:42 p.m., Burton sent reporters a message with the subject line, "fyi... based on exit polling data our campaign is prepared to call the delgate count at 7 pm eastern" and one-word message body, "Developing..."

That reference to the delegates at stake in the contest was the Obama campaign's cue to e-mail literalists that it in fact was joking and had no plans to break an exit poll embargo while polls were still open, an act tantamount to voter-suppression, for there were no actual delegates at stake tonight. The Democratic National Committee stripped the state of its delegates last year as punishment for moving its primary so early in the calendar, in violation of DNC rules, and the candidates pledged not to campaign in Florida.

In case anyone missed that point, at 8:01 p.m., moments after CNN called Florida for Clinton, Burton followed up: "Breaking..." he wrote, "Obama and Clinton tie for delegates in Florida. 0 for Obama, 0 for Clinton."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 29, 2008; 9:05 PM ET
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