Power, pop, and probings from ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper
Jake Tapper is ABC News' Senior National Correspondent based in the network's Washington bureau. He writes about politics and popular culture and covers a range of national stories.
Hillary Wants to Flip Pledged Delegates?
March 25, 2008
In Monday's ed board meeting with the Philadelphia Daily News, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., was asked about the basic math obstructing her path to the nomination.
Specifically, she was asked her plans if, come June, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., remains in the lead with pledged delegates, how she would try to convince superdelegates to give her the nomination if Obama does end up the choice of primary voters and caucus goers?
"I just don't think this is over yet," she said, "and I don't think that it is smart for us to take a position that might disadvantage us in November. And also remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They're just like superdelegates."
This notion that the Clinton campaign will try to flip pledged delegates has been floated and knocked down before, but I'm failing to arrive at any other interpretation for what she means here other than: we will convince pledged delegates to vote for us, as is perfectly within Democratic party rules, despite the voters who elected them to support Obama.
The Clinton campaign was just asked about this in a conference call.
Clinton senior adviser Harold Ickes said, "No delegate is required by party rule to vote for the candidate for which they're pledged. Obviously circumstances can change and people's minds can change about the viability of a candidate."
Clinton campaign deputy communications director Phil Singer then added: "We are not seeking or asking pledged delegates for Sen. Obama to flip over . . . We are not engaged in any efforts (to flip Obama delegates)."
Is the Clinton campaign's continual reminder to voters (and delegates) that they're allowed to flip not an effort?
It all seems to feed into some negative memes for Sen. Clinton out there -- fairly or unfairly -- of ruthlessness, at the very least.