Senator Hillary Clinton, responding to some calls for her withdrawal, stated that she is in the race until the convention, and renewed her call for a resolution to the issue of seating the Michigan and Florida delegations. From the Washington Post:
“I know there are some people who want to shut this down and I think they are wrong,” Clinton said in an interview during a campaign stop here Saturday. “I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we don’t resolve it, we’ll resolve it at the convention — that’s what credentials committees are for.
“We cannot go forward until Florida and Michigan are taken care of, otherwise the eventual nominee will not have the legitimacy that I think will haunt us,” said the senator from New York. “I can imagine the ads the Republican Party and John McCain will run if we don’t figure out how we can count the votes in Michigan and Florida.”
The reference to the credential committee should be considered a Clinton call to arms on the Michigan and Florida issue. It means to me that she is intent on bringing this fight to the convention floor, and is not going to allow the Obama political effort to squash re-vote efforts in both states to go unchallenged. It could also create an ugly situation at the convention. President Bill Clinton weighed in with an email:
Bill Clinton sent out an e-mail, titled “Not big on quitting,” on Saturday that reminded supporters that his wife is behind in the popular vote by less than one percentage point and that she trails by 130 delegates.
“With the race this close, it sure doesn’t make sense to me that she’d leave now — does it make sense to you?” the former president’s e-mail read.
Clinton has dismissed concerns by some in the Party that the protracted struggle will hurt the Democratic nominee in November:
In the interview, Hillary Clinton brushed aside concerns from party leaders that the campaign will hurt the party’s chances against McCain, who launched his first general-election television ad last week and who has spent the month raising money and attacking the Democrats.
“General elections start where there is a nominee or a putative nominee,” Clinton said. “They think they have theirs, we don’t yet have ours. . . . We have frozen this election.”
Asked whether Obama could win in November, Clinton deflected the question. “I’m saying I have a better chance,” she said. “You cannot as a Democrat win the White House without a very big women’s vote. What I believe is that women will turn out for me.”
The battle is continuing, and a string of Clinton victories in the upcoming April primaries will only fuel the continuing fight. Do the Obama surrogates calling for Clinton’s withdrawal have a point? Or is the call for a Clinton withdrawal simply part of the Obama playbook?