Clinton's "win-at-all-costs strategy"

In a memo, Obama's campaign attacks its opponent's positions on delegates.

Published February 19, 2008 4:21PM (EST)

The fight over which delegates will be seated at the Democratic convention this summer, and for whom they will vote once seated, is getting more contentious by the day. A report that Hillary Clinton's campaign will seek to swing the votes of Barack Obama's pledged delegates to Clinton has not helped matters, and Obama's campaign has now responded, attacking the Clinton campaign and its various delegate strategies in a memo released to reporters.

The memo touches on the pledged delegate issue, as well as the question of who superdelegates should vote for -- whether they should vote their conscience and preference or support the pledged delegate winner -- and the debate over whether Michigan and Florida, which were punished for breaking party rules about primary scheduling, should get a vote at the convention. And it rounds up quotes from prominent Democrats, including Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Clinton supporter and former Sen. Bob Kerrey and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the speaker of the House.

Here's the Obama memo, minus the quote roundup:

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.

First, they said they'll try to seat the non-existent delegates in Florida and Michigan, something that neutral party leaders have roundly criticized. Then, they suggested that superdelegates should consider subverting the will of the voters and the pledged delegates, which has also been strongly objected to.

Their new strategy will be to convince delegates that were pledged by actual Democratic voters to switch sides. In their own words, "all the rules will be going out the window."

"Voters are already rejecting the Clinton campaign's say-or-do-anything-to-win tactics, and this is the latest example that it's time to turn the page on this type of politics that could severely harm our party's chances to win the general election," said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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