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Much Ado About Clinton's "Beauty Contest"

Sen. John McCain wins the delegate-rich Republican primary in Florida. Rudy Giuliani is toast. Boring. What an overwhelming number of our Readers Who Comment want to talk about today is commentary about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory party in Florida's Democratic noncontest in which she had pledged not to campaign, but did.

Dana Milbank, in his Washington Sketch, dropped by Clinton's event and called it "a political stunt worthy of the late Evel Knievel." Milbank's observations, quite predictably, have cheered those who dislike Sen. Clinton and brought approbation and scorn from those who see this entry as part of a continuing WaPo (Washington Post) effort to bring her down.

By way of background, it's important to note that the Democratic National Committee said that Florida would have no delegates to the Democratic National Convention because it had moved its primary to yesterday's date. That made the Florida Democratic election a "beauty contest," with nothing technically at stake. The Republican primary was winner-take-all, and McCain leaves with 57 delegates.

So kmccorma, the first to comment on Milbank and one of the most succinct, wrote in full, "The democrats disenfranchised their own voters!! Hillary and her fake victory. What a joke."

glclark4750 offered that "Hillary Clinton made the most of nothing - never underestimate her political skills - She claimed victory on national television - snookering Obama..."

But Nurse_Tabby wrote that "Now, of course had Obama won, OMG, what a different song they would sing, a song about momentum and how voters want "change." The bias against Clinton by Milbank and most of WaPo's political reporters is really distasteful."

WylieD added, "What would you be writing if Senator Obama had won? What would Obama be saying? And among other things, the results are an early indication of the fecklessness of Ted Kennedy [who has endorsed Obama, in case you missed it]."

TruthSeek said, "...It fits with what she tried to do to Obama in SC. I guess honesty isn't al that important in her experience for change message."

priusdriver said, "oh, dana... we all know you hate hillary, but a million voters in FL do matter... And if Obama becomes the nominee, he'll have to come back to FL tail between his legs to ask the democrats to ignore his "beauty contest" put down..."

darrren12000 said, "Obama supporters are soooo negative -- for all the positive change they espouse. I Obama had won -- he would have made a statement too... And honestly Florida is far more important for the Dems than Iowa and NH. Obama fans are YOUNG brats complaining about everything. And Dana is just a tired white sexist liberal dude."

rkreyn wrote, "All I know is Hillary has driven this ex-democrat to the Republican Party so all I have to say is congrats to John McCain."

And musselmanm321 said that "Desperation is not a pretty thing to watch coming from and ex- first lady with 8 years of experience."

rippermccord wrote, "...Maybe the Hellarag supporters who feel the news media are picking on their gal ought to take a break from sucking their thumbs in wide-eyed wonderment. The votes aren't supposed to count because that IS what the candidates agreed to...unless it depends on what the meaning of IS is."

But flaquijada said, "I do not agree one bit with this article. It is true there were no delegates at stake. But the votes counted there are from real people. At the end of the day they will count fro something. You seem to have the jumped the Clinton haters bandwagon; Dude"

xcrunner771 wrote, "So she won a game that no one else showed up to play? Boy, that has to inspirational to her supporters. Republicans at least are clever enough to steal elections. Hillary just pretends to win them."

cdierd1944 said, "You can say what you want but real Democratic voters went to the polls in large numbers and voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. She has every right to be pleased about that. Whether the DNC is stupid enough to disenfranchise a critical state at the convention this was a legitimate victory for Clinton."

crlchild said, "The Hillary fans seem to be getting rattled. Methinks they doth protest too much."

And we'll close with lexiec12000 who said, "Dana M. thank you for this realistic observation of the Clinton's continued desperate and underhanded tactics. There was a time that I did not understand the hostility of the Republican party towards Bill and Hillary but it is becoming blatenly obvious what they are capable of."

By Doug Feaver  |  January 30, 2008; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Presidential Politics  
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Help will never come for Veterans 2-03-08
Written by Peter Macdonald 465 Packersfalls rd Lee NH 03824 603-659-6217
I live in two worlds. The one life that I learned in the effort to survive back here in the "world" U.S. The other is the rent less belief's and acts from my memories serving this nation that continuously spin in my head. My ability to camouflage to protect society from ever learning what a dangerous person that I am. Am I dangerous or is that a title bestowed on me by society to limit my ability to do what I have learned is the obligation of every U.S. citizen. I was a teenager, high school drop out, young adult, it does not matter because only 11% of the U.S. citizens will serve in the Military. I went off to a conflict or war only to loose my innocents and my right to return to a society that does not want to understand. I am any U.S. military Veteran but this particular one is a United States Marine.
I have no memory of my life prior to Marine Corps Boot camp. I have a Traumatic Brain Injury. The pain in my head and body is a relentless reminder that I need to be punished for what my life has done to civilized society, for your freedom. I sit here today trying to believe that I could have been a better person if I did not leave high school at 17 to join the Marine Corps. For years it was drilled in to my head to kill with out mercy. To deflect caring or emotions to complete the mission. Lives were expendable as long as the mission was successful. Then one day I returned to the World (U.S.) and the MC dropped me into society with no support.
Years after discharge only because I mailed a copy of my medical records home did the Veterans Administration label me a 100% disabled Veteran. I have three separate injuries, two from separate combat support missions. Substandard medical care has allowed me to drift through the years. I can not be sorry for my life because the VA has provided me with money to live on. I have had a great life compared to what the VA has done to other Veterans.
I sit here today alone crying. Yes a U.S. Marine with tears in his eyes. I have no reason to be this way. It has continuously happen in the recent months. I ask my self is the people that call themselves my mother, father, brothers and sister really related to me. Did I really grow up in New Hampshire. Am I a test case to see if the military can develop people with no memory to think to their standards. I have to wonder if I will even remember what I do today. I write this letter because writing helps me tolerate being in a world that I do not belong. I remember some events and others I forget.
My VA medical was stopped because NH elected officials wanted to control my free speech. What the hell are we fighting for? These are the words I remember from my days over there. Don't feel sorry for me. It is not necessary. I never quite under stood what reality is or if reality even exists. I live in two worlds. I am one of the lucky ones. I came back alive. Is it to late? Which world is real?
Peter Macdonald Sgt USMC Semper Fi

Posted by: Peter | February 4, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

this query is not to the blog but to the Post. why do you credit Clinton with the Floriday and Michigan delegates in your delegate count? you surely should respect the wishes of the Democratic National Committee and not impose your pro-Clinton bias upon us.

Posted by: rjs | February 3, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder when Obama and his campaign wonks are going to grown up-probably about the same time as the Media. This will, of course, be when hell freezes over or the end of the world. ( Why don't the the big four(ABC,NBC,PBS, and CNN) hand big banners behind the anchors heads and proclaim "I'm for Obama". I left out CBS because Katie actually seems to try to be
evenhanded.) Hillary is an adult and shows it in her campaigning, whereas Obama seems to be in a perpetual snit, and when he's not saying he didn't mean that, say that, do that, or its old Bill making him seem like something he isn't, he seems like a child about to have a tantrum, but knows the consequences if he does. He looks like a pouty child(and I know what those look like being both a mother and grandmother).
I wonder when the great and powerful media(are they really Oz?)
intend to to "really" investigate the smelly real estate transactions between the felon and the Obamas and stop trying to shove it under the rug as explainable. Who are they kidding?
The other thing that give me the biggest chill this week is the Ted Kennedy endorsement of Obama. When "runaway "Teddy i.e. Chappaquiddick(co-opted Hillary's line about being ready on day one) along with that evil smirk, it all came flooding back why I dislike everything about him. Thank god he didn't endorse Hillary.
Hillary won Florida, kept her word, and still did the gracious thing by thanking her supporters there, AFTER THE POLLS CLOSED. Classy lady.
I look forward to being represented by someone that has intelligence, class, and the ability to grasp what needs to be done to get the USA back on point at home and abroad.

Posted by: kavanaugh1 | January 31, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse


Despite the media, despite the DNC, despite Obama's loss, Florida voters DO matter and they WILL vote in the general election, no matter what the above mentioned say or try to tell you. At least Hillary showed common decency and respect for the voters of Florida.

Regardless of the reasons, I respect anyone who shows such respect to my face over someone who uses the press to deliver a snub while looking for votes for his own personal gain elsewhere. And snubs are something Obama seems to do often and with remarkable vindictiveness.

Fact: although Obama DID campaign in Florida - via TV ads, web/internet solicitation, phone solicitation, and 'appearances', he did not pull off another victory and then, later claimed that he didn't campaign at all in Florida (check where he spent money) in an attempt to distort Hillary.

Fact: Although Hillary followed the rules of the DNC, she had the guts, the sensibility and the decency to go in person to show respect to all Floridians. Yes, all Floridians, who, despite their defiance and punishment, chose to go to the polls and chose to vote. They voted for candidates (plus other items on the ballot) even though their delegates won't be recognized at the convention.

I have to re-post one of the other comments that someone wrote. It's perfect and says the truth so simply. I re-post this:

priusdriver said, "oh, dana... we all know you hate hillary, but a million voters in FL do matter... And if Obama becomes the nominee, he'll have to come back to FL tail between his legs to ask the democrats to ignore his "beauty contest" put down..."

------- as for the hate in other posts on here -------
As evident in the remarks, everyone knows the Wash Post and other major media outlets are clearly, obviously and blatantly sexist or racist or both. There is only one reason they all try to make Obama look like an angel of peace, and to distort Hillary's experience, her record and her personality. They know for a fact that the truth lies in the opposite, for both. They do it to try their best to assure the Republicans have someone they are convinced they can beat in the general election. Nothing in politics is as it appears on the cover of magazines or newspapers.

Dana hates Hillary. No fair reporting by Dana. No surprise there. His articles of hate are at the forefront of the Post. Also, no surprise there.

Why the hate, or why the hate from anyone? It's as illogical as every Democrat saying they hate Laura Bush. It's preposterous, unless your hate is grounded in evil and fear. It's clear that this hate of Hillary is rooted in fear and based on evil intentions. Fear that a woman might get the top job of the entire world. Fear their male empire might somehow crumble. I have to wonder why these people, mostly men, have so much hate and fear directed at women. Maybe they're own gender identity doubt fills their head (Dana isn't exactly a masculine name, ya know what I mean).

Remember the hate spread about Ms. Geraldine Ferraro when she ran for VP? It was horrific, relentless and truly vulgar. The evil is their attempt to split the Democrats to get a Republican in office. No mystery there.

The hate goes so far that they have volunteer groups writing on these blogs. They sit in political offices and church offices, spreading their venom. Have you noticed the same cut-paste text over and over in the same blog from different people. It's a blog bank - like a phone bank. They all paste their hate on any blog to voice hate of Hillary. They don't read them, just paste to them; hence, repeat postings. That is what they will do in the general election to either candidate who gets the nomination.

For now, they believe they can fight Obama easier than they can fight Hillary in the general election. These are the ones who say they'll vote republican in the general election, they're the ones who voice hate but are totally incoherent. So, the real battle wages and the Democrats sit around talking about vicious attacks between Hillary and Obama, when in fact, their campaign is very light weight. Distraction - all of that. It's what the conservatives want. After all, no real Democrat would ever say they hate the Clintons - they might say they're Democrat but it's not true.

Wait till the real election folks. The hate and fear will hit you in the face at every TV commercial. You think Hillary and Obama were tough with one another? You haven't seen anything yet.

Posted by: Tommy | January 31, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Fundraising = campaigning before people who pay a lot more than the rest of the voters.
The election has now turned into a money slinging contest consisting of excessively priced sound bites and meaninglessly spun rhetorical flourishes. None of the most publicized remainder has a clue about what most of America needs. All of them are party to the foreign policy disaster of the last eight years. Sticking a wino who mumbles to himself in front of a camera for the next four years would be a lot less expensive, with the same results.

Posted by: bong_jamesbong2001 | January 31, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think the DNC is inane, and I send their emails to me directly to junk mail, because I got a snide, dismissive reply from them months ago when I complained about disenfrachising Michigan and Florida. They pretty much said Hell would freeze over before Michigan and Florida could vote at the Convention. The idea that Michigan and Florida cannot participate and VOTE in the nominating convention is absurd.

But, Dana Milbank is even more inane and inside-the-beltway than the DNC.

He must have redeeming qualities that I don't know about, or Keith Obermann would not give him the time of day. I hope I encounter those qualities in Milbank soon.

Over 1.7 million Democrats in Florida bothered to vote. Their opinions count as much as anyone else's in my book.

Posted by: pointpetre | January 31, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Senator Hillary Clinton in the Florida primary. Over 850,000 Democrats voted for her...more than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat. I was also at her victory celebration in Davie, Florida, which she attended AFTER the polls had closed. She did NOT campaign, only held closed-door fundraisers. (Obama had ads running on cable in Florida). I am happy Senator Clinton came and thanked her supporters.

Senator Clinton is more than qualified to be president. She is strong and will be able to stand up to her opponents in November. As a Florida voter, I want my vote to count now and in November. DNC ARE YOU LISTENING? Florida is too important a state to ignore and penalize. Democrats will need Florida to win in November.

I am a 50 year old female....don't know when again we'll have another viable female presidential candidate. A female President will be CHANGE.

Hillary, you have my support all the way to the White House !!!

Posted by: Florida voter | January 31, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Here are interesting statistics that the Post readers would like to know:

Democratic total votes by state in recent primaries/caucuses:
New Hampshire (284,000), Michigan (593,000), Nevada (10,500), South Carolina (~530,000) and Iowa (220,000). The total comes to nearly 1.638 million votes. Which is still 30,000 less votes than 1.684 million votes cast in Florida Democratic primary.

Does that still make Florida's primary vote a "Much Ado about Clinton's Beauty Contest"?

Source for the statistics:
CNN (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/) for all states except Iowa.
Iowa Democratic Caucus attendance is from NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/03/us/politics/03cnd-campaign.html?hp)

Posted by: Aark | January 31, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

" What an overwhelming number of our Readers Who Comment want to talk about today is commentary about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory party in Florida's Democratic noncontest in which she had pledged not to campaign, but did."
says who? Clinton didnt campaign nor did Obama- he ran TV ads and held fund raisers and she held fund raisers-all within the limits of the pledges they signed with the DNC-yet you are claiming that she specifically violated her pledge? -geez
I expect politicans to bend the truth but I thought the Washington Post had higher journalistic standards than this

Posted by: truth or dare | January 30, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you read these comments? I teach young children that don't sound as petty as the lot of you.

Posted by: Mary | January 30, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

In reference to post quoted below,all the candidates were on the ballot. I could have voted, but didn't for Obama, Edwards, Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Gravel, and I'm sure, others. Also, the only ads I saw were on cable tv for Obama. Clinton sure didn't campaign in my area. And, yes, I am well aware of all the endorsements. I, and almost a million other Floridians, voted for Clinton because we support her. I knew that it was a beauty contest, but I certainly could have voted for Obama if I'd wanted to. Don't treat Florida voters with contempt just because your guy didn't win.

Me said: "Why should Hillary get credit for a great victory if her name was the only name on the ballot? If no other names were on the ballot, then it doesn't seem that complicated to me. Anyone trying to claim this as some great victory for Hillary, when the only other option on the ballot was "undecided" is seriously deluded."

Posted by: Barry | January 30, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad state of affairs, when we have such an awful climate in Washington DC which has been manifested by Bush for almost 8 years. Now, for team Obama to have been grasping for racial straws and playing politics while unfairly slamming the leading presidential contender in the democratic party, ie, Hillary is ridiculous. I am seeing alot of hatred coming from the Obama side and even him lacking humility. The first thing that Barack should starting doing is to lower his hateful rhetoric because its only going to hurt the democrates in the long run. Remember, the enemy in this country has been the Bushies and their friends who have been running the government for two presidential terms. STOP the hate and play fairly. The Obama clan are playing way to rough.

Posted by: Cali | January 30, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I AM FULL BLOOD DEMOCRATIC HOWEVER I SPEAK TO FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN IF YOU ARE NOT GRANTED THE DELEGATES IN YOUR TOWN I HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT WHEN IT COMES TO THE GENERAL ELECTION AND OBAMA IS THE NOMINEE TO BOYCOT VOTING OR VOTE FOR REPUBLICAN SO I SUGGEST DNC NEEDS TO GIVE THESE STATES THEIR OWN DEKLEGATES WHO ARE THEY TO DICTATE AND DEFRANCVHISED YOUR OBLIGATIONS FIGHT BACK DEMOCRATICS.

Posted by: SSSALAZA@AOL.COM | January 30, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the DNC was wrong in the way they penalized Florida and Michigan. They would have done better to just trim their delegates, like the Republicans did, and let all the candidates compete as usual. But they made their decision, and Hillary Clinton agreed to abide by it like everyone else. The time to demand that the delegates be seated was months ago, not now.

All this vote tells us about Florida's voters is that they knew Hillary better than the other candidates. She's been in public political life for many more years than her opponents, and the name recognition paid off. Who knows what the results would have been if it had been a real contest? In every other state, once people got a chance to listen to Barack Obama and learn about his positions, they moved to support him in great numbers, narrowing the gap with Hillary, or even surpassing her. Maybe she would have pulled even further ahead -- who knows?

All we know for certain is that Hillary and some of her supporters will say and do anything to win, and will change nothing about our broken, dysfunctional status quo.

Posted by: psyberdawg | January 30, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Everyones name was on the ballot, however obama Hussein the muslim advertised on national cablw , which other candidates did not. Electing a muslim in this country for president will belittle the white and latinos because look the way Hussein snub Hillary WHAT HAPPEN TO CHANGE ANOTHER BLACK MAN HUNGRY FOR POWER. I PRAY THAT ALL WHITE AND OTHER CULTURES KICK THIS MAN OUT OF THE RUN AND SEND HIM BACK TO HIA UNCLE SADDAM

Posted by: sssalaza@aol.com | January 30, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I'M FROM FLORIDA AND A REGISTERED REPUBLICAN, SO I VOTED FOR MY CANDIDATE FROM THE REPUBLICAN CHOICES. HOWEVER, THE ONLY AD CAMPAIGNS I WAS EXPOSED TO FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WERE TELEVISION ADS FEATURING OBAMA. PEOPLE HERE WANTED THEIR VOICES HEARD AND THE DEMOCRATIC VOICES CHOSE HILLARY. OBAMA/EDWARDS SUPPORTERS CAST THEIR VOTES, TOO, SO IT WASN'T A 'ONE PERSON' RACE.

Posted by: FLORIDIAN | January 30, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Since when did the Clintons follow the rules? Not a victory speech....Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
The big game for the big prize continues and the sheeple follow as the band plays on.

Posted by: KHR | January 30, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

>>darrren12000 said, "Obama supporters are soooo negative -- for all the positive change they espouse. ... Obama fans are YOUNG brats complaining about everything. And Dana is just a tired white sexist liberal dude."

hmm

Posted by: Kyle | January 30, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

McCain is good for head of army but not head of states ...

He is a straightforward looking man and honest ..but think a person who served in military for so long will have tendency to be aggrassive and authorative ... such thing is bad for a country ....

The GDP of India is inreaseing at a rate of 10 compared to 3 in USA only reason is India's PM is a ecconomist who served in IMF and reserve bank Head... If India had a PM from millitary background there wud have been a war with Pakistan ... McCain is great soldier but not a great leader to lead a country in social, cultural and economical areas ...

Posted by: McCain is good for head of army but not head of states | January 30, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually the media blasting Mrs. Clinton is a possitive, making her apear to be the underdog..its exactly what she wants and shows how savvy she is. I dont want a "sweet" president, I want a president who can be as harsh as is needed to protect our country.

Posted by: redwoods | January 30, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Why should Hillary get credit for a great victory if her name was the only name on the ballot? If no other names were on the ballot, then it doesn't seem that complicated to me. Anyone trying to claim this as some great victory for Hillary, when the only other option on the ballot was "undecided" is seriously deluded.

Posted by: me | January 30, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Please. Hillary didn't campaign there, she went to a closed-door fundraiser. That was allowed under the terms of the pledge. Obama bought an ad package on cable that he claims couldn't be helped but be shown in FL. Neither Edwards nor Clinton had ads running in FL. So either Obama is an idiot for not realizing that his cable ad buy would violate his pledge, or he's as underhanded as Clinton by doing it. I don't like either option, or Clinton for that matter.

McCain works across the aisle. This Democrat will help him by voting across the aisle.

Posted by: Oh Come On... | January 30, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

dumb and dumber you must have been inspired by Bill to tell lie...

Didn't hill stop for a stump-speach in florida?

Didn't she give victory speach?

If you dont like obama vote Romney .....


bush-clinton for 28 years ..my entre life ...I will never vote Bill-hill to run family dynasty ... Its sad that these establishment have suppresses Edwards ..may suppress Obama ... if bill-bush-hiil get elected it would be right to sya " we underestimate ourselves and common man likes Edwarrds and Obama" ...

If Hill was so experinced why she was wrong in iraq war that cost 3 thousand americans and 5 laks Iraqies......

If Hill elected I hate myself..

May white don;t like blacks and black dislike white but a former president openly dividing country into black nad white for the shake of their family benefit .. ... I you are a sensible person would not mind to take a calculated risk towards Change ( obama ) rather Liars like bill-hill .... Bill clinton never be close to JFK legacy .... closely watch what C. Keneddy attracted towards OBAMA.. ??

Posted by: hate Bill - and hate Hill but love Monica | January 30, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Look all you demos need to take a deep breath. You must stop thinking with all this emotion. Look John McCain will wipe the floor with the Clintons. They have so much baggage until you people really need to investigate them closer. First, I'm a indie voter. S. C. is not the first time the Clintons have used race to sway votes, that's how Bill won the White House. Did you Clinton supporters know that he executed a brain damaged black man to win white votes in Ark. The guy had no clue that he was going to be executed. The night of his last meal, the man wrapped a piece of pie or something in a napkin and told the guard to keep it so he could eat it later.
Stop thinking about these people as some kind of righteous people. There is so much that people don't know about them. But,I guarantee the repubs do and are just waiting for you all to nominate her-she'll will be ripped apart. Obama's only public misstep is his 20 yr friendship with Rezko, but nothing unethical or illegal. Repubs will have so much dirt on the Clintons until it's unreal. Why do you think top tier Demo leaders are running to embrace a "clean candidate" You might not like Obama, but he's the "cleanest" demo running! You best go with a sure winner!

Posted by: blpesq10 | January 30, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering why Obama supporters are so ignorant, see one example below (really don't know who is crazy:)

--------------------------
Posted by: KEVIN

Not bad for Obama, I mean he didnt even step a foot in FL.
Clinton won due to her name.

If Obama set foot in FL.
It would have been a different ballgame for sure.

No one in FL knows who he is.

Crazy that we could elect a President off of her name.

Crazy america for sure.


Posted by: YD | January 30, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Please give Sen. Clinton the credit she deserves for winning such a decisive victory among the voters in Florida. This is a state where no one campaigned. This is a state where general elections have been decided. Her resounding support in Florida is very important as a gauge toward November. She is highly qualified and highly regarded across the country for her experience and readiness to lead. These are critical qualities for the next President. Enough talk of Martin Luther King, JFK, and the past. The future is what is at stake. If these delegates do count in the end, you will eat crow.

Posted by: Susie | January 30, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the resolution to change the date of the primary passed unanimously in the Florida House and had only two dissenting votes in the Florida Senate. So you see? The FL Democratic Party DID have a say in the matter. What was that about people being gullible?

Posted by: stevieb | January 30, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

dumb and dumber you must have been inspired by Bill to tell lie...

Didn't hill stop for a stump-speach in florida?

Didn't she give victory speach?

If you dont like obama vote Romney .....


bush-clinton for 28 years ..my entre life ...I will never vote Bill-hill to run family dynasty ... Its sad that these establishment have suppresses Edwards ..may suppress Obama ... if bill-bush-hiil get elected it would be right to sya " we underestimate ourselves and common man like Edwarrds and Obama" ...

If Hill was so experinced why she was wrong in iraq war that cost 3 thousand americans and 5 laks Iraqies......

If Hill elected I hate myself..

Posted by: heleo | January 30, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Clinton's win still has significance, and frankly think Obama might have publicized it too. However the issue is not the win. She won by breaking her own PLEDGE NOT TO campaign there and played a one-person game while nobody else was even competing, and tried tell everyone she's a big winner. Imagine you made a mutual gentleman's agreement with your rival team to both skip a football match. Then you showed up on an empty field, scored heavily, then go tell the nation you won by large.

I would be against any candidate who does this. Yes, I am an Obama supporter; but I don't think anybody, support Clinton or not, could reasonably say at least this particular play is less than classy.

Come one nation, it's not about picking a side and let any tactics get away - no matter which side you are on. Let's be for constructive, trustworthy politics that gets things done, and against politics of just winning a game or scoring a cheap point.

Posted by: bing | January 30, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Im sorry but my understanding was that NONE of the Dems campaigned in FL and but yet this post states specifically that Clinton did? someone please explain the truth to me?

Posted by: dumb and dumber | January 30, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hillary...did not respect her onw NDC parties decission..Instead shamelessly camigned and given voctory speach in FL...

its pure status-quo they brought RACE into the tightly fought contest... Billay is just desparate to win WH...

Bill 1000time proved he is a liar .... now Hillary shown by contesting in florida undermining her own democratic pary ... The win is a Huge loss for her ... I wud never vote Bill-hill ... and regret Bill uas wearing a mask as black president where he dislikes black and openly told on the media...hate hate hate bill

Posted by: How can u trust Hill-bill | January 30, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Im sorry but my understanding was that NONE of the Dems campaigned in FL and but yet this post states specifically that Clinton did? someone please explain the truth to me?

Posted by: dumb and dumber | January 30, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I used to think it was only Republicans that could be easily sold lies. Now, I see that a lot of Democrats around the nation who think we in Florida "broke the rules" are just as gullible.

Here's a newsflash for you: It was the Republican-controlled legislature and Governor who changed the date, not the Democrats. The FL Democratic Party had NO SAY in the matter. The DNC threatened sanctions against FL Dems and the FL Republican party couldn't believe their good fortune.

Still think it's fair to punish those who didn't change the date and "break the rules?" I can't for the life of me understand why the DNC exists to sabotage itself.

Posted by: Nope | January 30, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

A Democrat, I'll be happy with any of the 3 leading candidates, including McCain, as my president. I wish we could morph all 3: John McCain's normal honest guyness, Hillary Clinton's drive and vision, and Obama's ability to do a better John Edwards than John Edwards can.

I would not want any of them as vice president, though. Waaay too much ego.

Posted by: Gorgeous George | January 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Not bad for Obama, I mean he didnt even step a foot in FL.
Clinton won due to her name.

If Obama set foot in FL.
It would have been a different ballgame for sure.

No one in FL knows who he is.

Crazy that we could elect a President off of her name.

Crazy america for sure.

Posted by: KEVIN | January 30, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Now we hear all the high sounding complaints about Florida voters being "disenfranchised". Give me a break. The Dems in Florida had no business and no reason to change the date of their primary. If they had followed the rules set out by the DNC, they wouldn't have been "disenfranchised." This is what's wrong with America these days. Everyone wants the freedom to break the rules as they see fit, but then don't think that they should suffer the consequences.

Posted by: me | January 30, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

One point that is not being brought up here is in regards to Michigan. Hillary is asking for the delegates to be seated (along with Florida)so as to represent her "win". Why is no one addressing the issue that when you are the only name on the ballot (as was the case in Michigan) because both Edwards and Obama were honorable to their word and kept their names off, it is not a fair election nor is it even a "win". The voters weren't even given the option to choose another name. There only other choice was to vote "uncommitted" - which more than 40% of the democratic voters did. 40%. Quite a few people who were so turned off by her that they would rather vote uncommitted than to check the only box available. To then have her underhandedly request to seat these delegates for such a false win only shows that she does not truly want the voices of the people to count. Why she is even being listed in national news as a winner in a state that did not hold a fair election with all the candidates listed on the ballot is beyond all civil comprehension. Is this what democracy in America is about? Why are no journalists asking the hard questions as to why she didn't keep her pledge to the Party and keep her name off the ballot? The only fair way to seat those delegates to represent the people of Michigan would be to hold a fair election. Anything else is false and a serious discredit to the Democratic Party.

Posted by: laura | January 30, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Those claiming that Hillary's Florida "victory" is meaningful fail to acknowledge that Obama did not campaign there. He played by the rules. The Clintons never do. The larger electorate despises the Clintons, and will never choose them over McCain. Obama will have a tough time against McCain, but at least he's a plausible opponent to him. The Clintons? It will never happen.

Posted by: FromTheWings | January 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Florida voters, make sure your votes count. Hillary is with you all the way and will fight for your votes and delegates to be seated at the DNC Convention in August but she needs your help. Lobby the Florida and National DNC and tell them you want your votes to count and Florida's delegates to be seated. If they won't budge you ask for a new caucus or primary date! the Florida DNC can set a new polling date for after Feb 5th by DNC rules and your votes and delegates will then have to be counted, that will do it! Contact the DNC today, don't wait! Hillary all the way!

Posted by: Hillary For REAL Change | January 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This isn't about who's bad and who's good. This is about the lack of wisdom in disenfranchising MILLIONS of FL Democrats without thinking of the lingering repercussions in November.

I certainly can't speak for all, but mistake #1, made by ALL, was agreeing not to campaign here before the primary by signing that pledge meant to placate 4 small states.

Number 2A, made by Clinton was to appear in public immediately following the primary - sort of a, "You weren't good enough to talk to before the election but since you picked me, it's OK" speech.

Obama doesn't get a free pass, either. Number 2B, I saw his first commercial air during the returns which, again, appeared to be a "not good enough to talk to you before the election, but here's an ad for November, just in case."

Again, I know some in Democrats in FL are OK with this or will forgive and forget, but remember, it only takes 537 to change an election's outcome. That's about 8 per county. And, if I, a strong Democratic supporter feel this way, I can only imagine what the less committed feel. I just know that I have no longer have any plans on November 4th... Was it worth the risk????

Posted by: Nope | January 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Very selective section of comments Mr. Feaver. I read and wrote a few and was amazed by the amount of Hillary support in them and the disgust with Wapo. How about Dana Millbank's own comments on video about how the media will savage Hillary no matter what? is that a conspiracy? Isn't that reason for censure from his reporting on this topic? What about the reader that noted there were 5 negative opinion pieces in Wapo that day. What about the excellence for journalism's study on the overwhelming negative coverage of Hillary and the conversely positive coverage of Obama. Wapo has lost any credibility with me. Sad to think this Fox news affiliate was once the beacon of truth.

Posted by: Sandra | January 30, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Incredible! Mr. Milbank last week hailed and glorified an EXPECTED win in South Carolina for Senator Obama. It was a sensation, it was a rout. A seminal event.

Well over a million and a half people turned out in the Democratic primary in Florida. These were people who were determined to have their voices heard. Does Mr. Milbank really think they did so for no reason? Mr. Milbank has turned this into a sophomoric hit piece defaming Senator Clinton. This is par for the course for a Chablis-sipping palace dweller. He is a member of that cohort of very serious people who sold you George Bush Jr., and a needless war.

This is far from just a beauty contest. Many in the press and the Obama campaign are trying to spin it as that. However, with a record turnout of voters, it's hard to see this as trivial. Demographically, this can be seen as a dry run for Super Tuesday. Clinton's performance bettered the poll predictions, she got over half the votes in a three-way race. Again, given that similar demographic constraints apply to most of the large states that will be voting on Feb. 5, this augurs spectacularly well for Clinton and portends disaster for senator Obama. That's the truth of it. As it is, in place of considered analysis we are given a dancing monkey. This article is painfully stupid.

Mr. Milbank never has been the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, and I suppose I should not be surprised he would seek to trivialize this result. Still I am very disappointed, I don't think he is WaPo material. Perhaps he could quit the Post and seek employment at the third-rate Weekly Standard (thereby raising the average IQ at both newspapers).

On MSNBC the ever vapid Mika Brezinski has been reading out loud Mr. Milbank's column, and every now and then enjoying a group chortle with Joe Scarborough, all at Hillary Clinton's expense. Mr. Milbank's article and Brezinski's follow-up are a textbook example of how the Village hunts in packs. Mr. Milbank had dutifully absorbed the new meme of the trivial nature of the Florida Democratic election.. He new the rules APPLY THE MEME TO THE VILLAGE'S GOVERNING ETHOS. Since the ethos is to destroy the Clinton's by any means, he added the "trivia", and there you have it. Rip the Clinton's using trivia as the foil. File the story and wait for your fellow palace-dwellers to pat you on the back and tell you how smart and funny you are.

It is worth emphasizing that NO article, news report, or opinion, emanating from the Village, and involving the Clintons has been produced to inform you or educate you. It's not about you, it's about them.


Posted by: jd-winterbottom | January 30, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I get it. NOW she wants to honor the people who voted. Listen, I'm not an Obama supporter per se, but to me, her position would have been much more believable and honorable if she had held it along, and stated it all along, rather then waiting for the outcome of the Florida vote to suddenly realize that she wants to "honor" the people who voted. Please....I was born at night, but I wasn't born last night.

Posted by: stevieb | January 30, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

You have to respect 2 million voters who voted democratic. The number is same as republican number. HILLARY WON ! OBAMA LOST ! PERIOD.

SHE WAS TRUE TO HER PLEDGE BUT WANTS TO HONOR THE PEOPLE ( MIND YOU 2 MILLION OF THEM ) WHO VOTED. DON'T INSULT FLORIDIANS. THEY ARE THE GATEKEEPERS.

Posted by: Shawn, IL | January 30, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Hillary receieved more votes than any other candidate in Florida last night Democrat or Republican and that fact cannot be ignored.

Posted by: patty | January 30, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question for all Hillary supporters who are complaining about Hillary being treated unfairly. Didn't she sign a pledge to boycott Florida? And didn't her campaign manager say the pledge was justified to be sure that the DMC's rules and calendar are honored? So why is her camp turning around now and saying that the Florida delegates should be seated? If she didn't agree with the pledge, why did she sign it and why did her campaign speak out in favor of it in the first place? For her to flip flop on this seems to be mere political expediency reminicent of the Bush administration. Why would any reasonable and ethical person think differently?

Posted by: stevieb | January 30, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps all you idiots that claim Hillary Cliton did not keep her word, should realize that Obama also held events in Florida. But don't bother with the truth.

After all there are no voters in Florida anyway.

Posted by: Best for US | January 30, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question for all Hillary supporters who are complaining about Hillary being treated unfairly. Didn't she sign a pledge to boycott Florida? And didn't her campaign manager say the pledge was justified to be sure that the DMC's rules and calendar must be honored? If she didn't agree with the pledge, why did she sign it and why did her campain speak out in favor of it? For her to flip flop on this seems to be mere political expediency reminicent of the Bush administration. Why should any reasonable and ethical person think any differently?

Posted by: stevieb | January 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes a sledgehammer is required to reverse the affects of rectal-cranial syndrome. We have to understand that "eating our own" will only help put another repub in charge. We also have to focus on the fact that we need to nominate a candidate that will not "embolden" (I hate the fact that I just used a word that bush uses in every public speaking engagement, but it fits) the repubs by further polarizing the country. For the dems to take full advantage of this opportunity to regain the WH, we MUST change how we do business and we must find a candidate that can unite the entire country not divide it even further. I think the only one that can truly do that is Obama. Otherwise, we will likely be saying hello to President McCain!

Posted by: mikeL | January 30, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

As a former Florida resident, I can tell you that many voters of both parties came out to vote for or against the property tax amendment that was NOT a "primary" vote but a full vote to change the state constitution.

So, here's my take: If democratic voters really acknowleged that a vote for Hillary, Barack, or John, was meaningless, then why not leave the boxes blank? Obviously, at least 1.4 million did NOT leave the box blank, and more than 800K of them voted for Hillary, and nearly 600K for Barack.

More than a beauty contest in my book, don't you think?

Posted by: wxdancer | January 30, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I think that the FL Democratic party reps should just explain to the DNC how it will ask voters to stay home in the fall if its delegates don't get seated in the convention.

From what I've heard, FL voters are pretty angry about being stripped of delegates and are getting angrier. Now that the Democratic primary race has become so heated and divided along demographic lines, huge chunks of the party have become disenfranchised in this competitive contest.

Posted by: Alarmed Female | January 30, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Another media know-it-all telling the millions of voters in FL that their votes are meaningless? The fact that the republicans let FL keep half their votes to make the contest meaningful says as much about the DNC's wisdom or lack thereof. How would the DNC and John Kerry feel if FL disenfranchised and turned off democrats decide to sit out the general election and hand the state to the other side? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

And please don't give us this wisdom that since there was no campaign in FL the vote there is meaningless. How much campaign will there be in the twenty four states that have their primaries in six short days? Will their votes be meaningless too? Ask the wise Kerry that also. By forcing almost half the country to wait causing a huge backlog of votes on the same day the two central committees essentially guarantee there will be no meaningful campaign anywhere after the four early states. So four states with roughly two thirds the population of FL is more important than all the rest?

A fair minded reporter would call if for what it is, a win for Clinton as much as SC is a win for Obama. A wise reporter would say FL will be an even better indicator of the coming Super Tuesday than the four early states due to the compressed schedule and lack of meaningful and realistic campaigns by the remaining candidates, with the advantage perhaps tilting toward the ones with the most money to spend on TV ads. But then again fairness and wisdom and national reporters don't seem to come by much these days...

Posted by: helibeni | January 30, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

These are the facts. Hillary, along with all the other candidates, agreed that the Florida primary would yield no delegates. She and her campaign manager made it clear that they supported this position and stated their reasons for supporting it. However, now they want to sing a different tune, and expect that people are simply supposed to overlook this cynical flip flop. Why don't Hillary supporters address this?

Posted by: stevieb | January 30, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

obama supporters need to get a life and just come to terms with the fact that hillary won florida. yes, no delegates, but geez - people count for something in this process, don't they?

Obama had national ads airing in Florida, which was by the rules, but it gave him an advantage that didn't translate into votes. If Obama can't win Florida, he won't be able to win the presidency.

Conventional wisdom would tell anyone that with the SC victory, he should've had some momentum, but there was none. That frames what is to come in 2/5.

Posted by: jose | January 30, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Beiruti | January 30, 2008 10:55 AM

BRAVO. You hit every nail on its head. I could not have said it better.

Go Hillary!

Posted by: mtrav | January 30, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Come'on! By definition she kept her word. It's that simple. If Obama's spinners (yes, everyone has them) can't see into the future a few months and realize that it's foolish not to show FL they matter to you, we Dems are gonna be screwed by the swing state vote again.

Posted by: Jak | January 30, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

WOW! What pandering on the part of the Clinton's last night. How staged and scripted can you get??!! And the media sucked it up like a baby on the bottle. Pathetic!

The "stage show" last night was a fine example of politics as usual, the old fashioned way from the Clintons. They even have the Republican shout down tactics down to a fine art.

Don't we want something better this time? Obama offers that and truly projects the leadership qualities that are needed and the hope and vision that I trust everyone desires after 8 LONG years of Bush. Think about it, as I heard earlier today from a republican strategist, the repubs will "rally around a ham sandwich" if Hillary is the Democratic nominee. Do we really want to risk another 4 years of republican tyranny by nominating such a polorizing candidate?

We can and we must do better!

Posted by: mikeL | January 30, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I could not care less about the drivel of paid MSNBC ho Dana Milbank, Tweety Matthews, or any of the rest of the truth-incontinent, vulgar harpies crowding my visage on cable TV news. Eff em all, I say.

I just wanted to see my name in print again.

Posted by: Lamb Cannon | January 30, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

No one is discounting the essence and importance of the electorates in florida. What is being discussed is the core value of a person. If you pledge to do something, as a person of honor, the pledge must be honored. A person who cannot honor a pledge is not worth a thing. Hillary has shown her true colors. If its in her favor, its ok. If its against her then its bad.

Posted by: Siam Erzuah | January 30, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

beruiti protests too much, methinks. i'm a 55 year old female, democrat, who had been undecided who to support until the south carolina debacle. it almost seemed as if a curtain was drawn and we were allowed to see the truth about the clintons. their behavior was very disheartening. i decided then and there to support sen. barack obama. and now, w/these shenanigans in florida, i know i made the right decision. who does she think she is? there was no campaigning, the candidates agreed not to campaign and then she turns up not only to campaign in a disguised style but then celebrates her alleged victory. is she deranged or that much of a self-absorbed narcissist? hard to say. she did say thank you florida for this victory, thus trying to cement in the minds of the public who didn't know the facts that somehow she had won. if obama doesn't get the nomination, i will not vote for her.

Posted by: janisr | January 30, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

>>The reporting of this contest on MSNBC I find to be offensive, and I am a male. It is a distortion to say that she campaigned in the State of Florida. She did not, she said so.

All of the reporting about the Democratic Primary has been blatantly anti-Clinton and pro-Obama. Even to the point of implying false stories. Not only did Clinton not campaign in the Florida primary, but Obama ran TV ads in the state prior to the vote, claiming they were for the general election in the Fall. He's the one who cheated -- and lost.

I've not decided which candidate (or which party) to vote for. But I do want to say that the media is pushing fake stories about the Democratic Primaries and how the respective candidates are behaving onto the public, like how Obama is so nice and Hillary is so negative.

That picture of Obama turning his back on Hillary's outstretched hand and smiling face on the Senate floor, and ignoring her, wouldn't have even made the news yesterday has it not been such a stark image of his meanness.

Posted by: "Experience" voter | January 30, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Many of you who deride the "media" as saying that FL votes don't count forget that Hillary herself said that MI and FL votes wouldn't count (before the SC primary of course). You also forget that all of the Dem nominees had an agreement not to campaign in the state - what is a fundraiser if not to raise money to campaign? The votes in MI and FL do not count - it was those states' decisions to move up their primaries against the national party's will and they knew their delegates would be stripped, as did the candidates. Now that Hillary has "won" both states she wants them to count?? If she's showing in the primary she can't play by the rules, then there really will be no change at all from the current regime if she is elected President. Finally, should it be decided that those two states be eventually "counted," the primary will take place all over again, putting a final nail in the coffin that, yes, these votes will not count (and based on the non-absentee votes and on the votes of those who had voted within the last month in FL, it would be an even match btw Obama and Clinton). It's beyond tawdry. On a different but related note, Hillary still trumpets her "win" in Nevada even though Obama won more delegates in that state. I used to admire Bill and Hillary, but their lowly tactics (highlighted in SC) have disgusted me. As an Independent (who's always voted for the Democrat) and a woman, I would have an extremely difficult time voting for Hillary. I feel, confirmed by demonstrations like these, that she does not have the character nor the bearing to hold this office and I would seriously consider the Republican candidate, especially if the nominee is McCain. And if she says she has 35 years of experience one more time....!!

Posted by: Audrey | January 30, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I think it's unbelievable that this "dot.comment" article misrepresents the overwhelmingly critical postings that disapproved of Dana Millbank's article as being Clinton-bashing. If you look at the comments, this reporter is unbalanced in choosing those that are negative to Clinton and puts only a couple of the ones that are positive to her. In picking out reader comments to represent here, the reporter even quotes this "rippermccord" guy who, if you look at his comments got mostly zero recommendations from other bloggers and he skips the reader comments who were overwhelmingly "recommended" by other posters that were online last night.

The WaPo is responding to reader criticism of its misrepresentative coverage of the Democratic Primary race by misrepresenting its readers' angry comments about its misrepresentations of the Democratic Primary race. It's stooped to spinning its own readers' angry criticisms on blogs on its websites.

The pro-Obama bias in the left-wing liberal media outlets is audacious and blatant, especially at the Washington Post. It's about as bad as the media's belittling, sexist coverage of Hillary Clinton, calling her victories "Beauty Contests", "Crying" for votes in New Hampshire and so on. It's about as bad as what I saw on Saturday night on Fox News channel after the South Carolina vote, where Obama supporters and conservative commentators were taking turns laughing at and bashing the Clintons.

The media's blatantly pro-Obama-biased coverage of the Democratic primary race continues to be the most bizarre story of this contest. On the right, the conservative media would love to see underqualified Obama win the Democratic nomination and on the left, liberal media continues to undermine the centrist Clintons as it always has. The two polarizing media cultures have effectively teamed together to turn the Democratic Primary coverage into a biased, pro-Obama, Clinton-bashing.

As Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has asked, "When did the media turn into Don King?" I'd like to ask, When did the Washington Post become the Republican Party's best friend?

Posted by: Alarmed Female | January 30, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama just made the most foolish mistake that has been made in this election so far. Dismissing the votes in Florida and Michigan just because he lost handily in both states is unbelievably shortsighted given the pivotal nature of these states in the upcoming general election shows a general lack of understanding.

Hilary is right, we need those votes if we are going to win the general election. The people in these states will remember who spoke out for them and who didn't. This sort of savvy is what the democrats need in this election.

Posted by: DCDave | January 30, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The big question is what will the Edwards Factor bring and of course Super Tuesday:

Super Tuesday Analysis -
The Democrats Web Battle
Google Trend & Web Hits Reports

Mr. Barack Obama vs. Mrs. Hillary Clinton:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=43

Posted by: davidmwe | January 30, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton received over 850,000 votes in Florida yesterday without even campaigning, more than 300,00 MORE THAN MCCAIN! Wow, Hillary is impressive.That's the real story getting no media coverage as usual. All media is anti-Hillary, yet she still kicks ass. She will make a great President. The Clintons are WINNERS!

Hillary was absolutely correct to go to Florida and thank the voters. Their votes should count, delegates should be awarded to Hillary and they should have full participation in the Dem Nat'l Convention.

Howard Dean, the Chair of the Dem Nat'l Committee should resign. If he had been doing his job properly, this mess in Florida & Michigan would not have happened.
He should take Joe Trippi with him, Trippi ran his losing campaign in 04 and Trippi has now run John Edwards 08 campaign into the ground. I wish John Edwards the best, he was all but ignored by the media, while all the media has obsessed about Sen. Obama who's completely unqualified to be President of the United States. A good speech now and then does not a President make.

Rock on Hillary! I hope John Edwards endorses you!

Posted by: John | January 30, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I am a Joe Biden supporter and of course my candidate folded his tent long ago, it seems, but it was only earlier this month after Iowa.

So now I am looking at Hillary or Obama. Edwards ended his campaign today.

The reporting of this contest on MSNBC I find to be offensive, and I am a male. It is a distortion to say that she campaigned in the State of Florida. She did not, she said so. She went there for fund raising and I have been to fundraisers and believe me, what she did was not campaigning, where you have rallys or "town hall meetings" or "in the round" type gatherings. No other candidate accused her of breaking her word, only the Washington Post, and Tim Russert, by implication last night saying it was a "character issue" not to campaign there and the fact is that she did not, despite the distortion of MSNBC where Mr. Milbank is a contributor.

She simply thanked the people who voted for her, over 750,000. Does that vote mean nothing? Well, we will see this summer when it comes time to select a candidate and maybe no one candidate comes to convention with enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Florida, by the rules, can caucus and present the national party with a slate of delegates. Why not, if you won down there and AFTER the polls close go to Florida to thank the voters. That is not slick or calculated, but just smart politics to help out in a later caucus process.

Obama is an attractive candidate. He is an inspirational speaker. He will get many more people involved in the process who would not otherwise be in the process. But if he is getting them into the Obama Party and not into the Democratic Party, to be turned out in November regardless of who the nominee is, then he is doing nothing. He said last night that the new voters would only turn out for him if he is the nominee and for no one else. That may be how politics is done in Indonesia or Kenya, but not in the US.

The Kennedy endorsement is a blessing and a curse, as is the Kennedy name. I am a JFK and RFK Democrat. I have their pictures on my wall. I campaigned for Teddy in 1980. But I know that in some parts of the country, the only Democratic politician hated more than Bill Clinton is Ted Kennedy. This will hurt Obama with the white vote. Particularly in the South.

And by trying to fit Obama with the Camalot Mantel will only make Obama look small by comparison. He is smart and knows this and so resists the comparison to JFK because no one can carry the JFK Mantel. Since the assassination many have tried, but none succeeded. Trying to make Obama out to be Arthur to pull the sword out of the stone is putting way too much on the Senator and he will look poor by comparison.

As a Democrat, I am looking to see who can win in he Fall election. Presidential politics is not patty cake, it is Hard Ball. If Obama has thin skin when it comes to the Clinton campaign and their going over of his record, the Clinton machine is nothing when compared to the Republican Attack Machine and Echo Chamber of Limbaugh, Fox News, Washington Times, etc.
The Politics of Hope is not something new. Remember the Man from Hope in 1992. Bill was as Obama is now. An inspirational speaker, brilliant wanting to change the world and going to Washington relatively inexperienced. The Republican attack machine was on him from day one through the end of his term. The permanent campaign was invented then, not by the Clintons, who had shut down the War Room when the campaign ended, but by the Republican attack machine who wanted to continue to campaign against him and so the War Room had to go back into business. The Clinton Machine was created to fight back the Republican Attack machine and it has beaten it time and time again.

For Obama to wander into the fall election preaching hope is admirable and across the aisle politics is great, however, disarmament only works when both sides disarm. Unilateral disarmament is an invitation to be put into the meat grinder and come out as an Obama Burger. I see no signs that the Republicans are ready to end the politics of destruction, they are gearing up for their Swift Boat type of campaign. Sure, they know Hillary and how to fight her. Obama was a problem for them, but now that Kennedy has come on board, then the whole campaign will be against Teddy, not against Obama.

In such a fight, will Obama be able to energize the other 50% of the American voters who have not bothered to vote since 1960? If he can't then he can't win.

At least with Hillary, we know that the Clinton Machine is up to the task when facing off with Republicans and they know how to beat them at their own game.

If Mr. Milbank keeps up this sort of reporting on the race, he will make my choice easier and easier to make. I always take up for the underdog and this is what you are making of Hillary.

Posted by: Beiruti | January 30, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama should chill about dismissing the intentions of 850,000 Democrats who took ballots and indicated that they preferred Hillary Clinton as president. He should especially chill about discounting the 550,000 who voted for him. Elections are beauty contests.

Posted by: Bob | January 30, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Billary will say ANYTHING...do ANYTHING to get back in the Whitehouse for Bill's third term. Hillary is still trying to wipe away the world embarassement of Monica Lewinsky and Bill is looking for a chance to reinvent the past. This move by Hillary PROVES SHE CANNOT BE TRUSTED AND HER WORD MEANS NOTHING. Call it a win if you like...I call it HRC backroom, under the table, in the gutter as usual.

Posted by: TJFRMLA | January 30, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

With nearly half of the voters not turning up to vote in elections why does the media want to tell 1.3 million people in Florida that there was no purpose in voting? Would they be happier if they stayed home? It is not those 1.3 million people that decided on the primary schedule, it was the Florida govt. It was the DNC that decided to disenfrachise them for the benefit of a small number of people in Iowa and NH.

It seems that the media, Obama and the US Supreme Court in 2000 all agree, Florida democratic votes should not count, and should not be counted!

Posted by: dave | January 30, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Hillary has a Rovian like spin machine who comes up with such ideas! Also, it shows how little she worries about keeping her word. If she cared so much about the voice of Floridians why didn't she take it up with DNC when they decided to boycott Florida??

Posted by: Reba | January 30, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I've been a Democrat all my voting life (4 prezidentials I'd say). I know nothing about delegates, super delegates, slaps on the wrist for when the primary is held, etc. etc. I do know that I vote and, as DC is always wont to cry, want my vote to count. Since the overwhelming majority of voters are not privy to the inner workings of this primary process, I think it fair to say they believe as I do. Therefore, 50% is a pretty good haul. I'm sure whoever "won", be it HRC, OB or JE, would have touted their "mandate".

Posted by: JerryM | January 30, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Billary are so deeply invested in this process -- really, to an unhealthy degree, it seems -- that they either don't realize how cheesy and slimy they look, or they just don't care. Say anything, do anything, no matter how low or dishonorable.

Posted by: ched | January 30, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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