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Posted by on Jun 3, 2008 in Politics | 2 comments

…Or not? Ickes says ixnay on the concessionay

With Harold Ickes of Hillary Clinton’s campaign getting all in red and uppercase letters at TIME:

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Justin Sullivan/Getty
Top adviser Ickes also tells MSNBC the report is inaccurate.

No doubt – more to come. So – who do you believe? Why or why not? The AP? TIME magazine? Oy.

Likewise, Ben Smith at Politico has this:

Clinton aide Howard Wolfson is denying the Associated Press report that she will concede tonight and begin shutting down her campaign.

The key point, my colleague Mike Allen points out, may be in the details here: Clinton said yesterday that Obama would win the delegate majority. But Clinton said she’d won the popular vote, and would campaign on making that case.

More to come.

UPDATE: Here’s the campaign statement: “The AP story is incorrect. Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening.”

UPDATE 2: And, from Chris Cillizza at WaPo’s The Fix:

A senior Clinton adviser told The Fix moments ago that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) will “recognize the reality of where we are” during her remarks tonight in New York City.

The adviser warned that the language of Clinton’s speech was not yet set and offered no comment about reports that the New York senator is planning to admit tonight that Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has the 2,118 delegates necessary to formally clinch the party’s nomination. Other high-ranking Clinton aides professed no knowledge that a decision had been made to acknowledge Obama as the nominee tonight.

The Clinton campaign, in fact, released a statement insisting that the Associated Press story that fueled this maelstrom was not correct; “Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening,” the statement asserted.

Language is important here. An acknowledgment of Obama securing the delegates he needs to formally become the party’s nominee is NOT the same thing as a concession by Clinton.

Cillizza notes the delegate total versus the popular vote total. The problem still being, no matter which candidate you support, the winner could have been the other one. It’s that close, which makes these kinds of arguments capable of being flip-flopped endlessly. And why so many want Clinton to actually concede and why she is so resistant to do so.

Hattip to Andy Carvin and his tweets.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • GeorgeSorwell

    I have to take some issue with your final point.

    Nominees are selected by the vote of delegates, not by the popular vote–just as Presidents are elected by the electoral college vote, not the popular vote. You can complain about this. You can make reasonable arguments about this being unfair. You can work to change the system for the next election.

    But the rules were in place before the primaries started. And they were known–or should have been known by well-paid political professionals–before the primaries began.

    Since March, the delegate math has always been tough for Clinton. It has always been unlikely that she would gather more delegates by votes. It has, in short, always been unlikely that she would win the nomination.

    I do understand that she has a devoted following. I do understand that this is an unusually good year for an–um–unconventional Democrat to win the election, even though there are plenty of people who would never vote for a woman or someone whose last name is Clinton. I do understand that she feels sandbagged. And I certainly understand that she was poorly served by the well-paid political professionals who worked for her.

    If the deus ex machina were to descend from the heavens and grant her the nomination, I would gladly vote for Hillary Clinton to be the President of the United States.

    But however close, she lost.

    She should concede.

    She should use her now well-honed campaign skills to elect the other unconventional Democrat, even though there are plenty of people who would never vote for a black person or someone whose middle name is Hussein.

    I feel for her.

    But I also think she has the wonderful example of Sen. Kennedy, who lost another hard-fought campaign for the Democratic nomination (and who, surely, must have felt a sense of entitlement when he ran) and who went on to become one of the most effective senators in our history.

    JFK and RFK were poetic figures. Teddy was always the prosaic brother.

    Certainly it might have been otherwise for Sen Clinton. But who can say what might have been?

  • I understand and respect what you’re saying, honest. My point was that regardless of the measure, it’s close and it could have gone the other way but for different “ifs.” Plus, you and I both know that the popular vote number in no way is settled either due to the MI and FL situations. And last but not least, the point of the popular vote goes to Clinton’s possible arguments to superdelegates – there are some whom people say lean or declared for Obama but are in Clinton-won areas. Just as I live in a district that went Obama but is occupied by a superdel who is in Clinton’s column.

    Really not arguing the argument – just raising it. Hope that’s clearer.

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