Monday, March 17, 2008

Clinton Campaign Stalling For Time

The Clinton camp has threatened legal action if Texas Democrats don't act to verify all of the signatures obtained on the precinct convention sign-in sheets that were used to allocate delegates at the March 4th caucuses:

As final results from the Texas Democratic caucus remain unknown, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign wants signatures from the March 4 contest verified before party conventions are held around the state later this month.

In a letter sent to the state Democratic Party late Friday, the Clinton campaign requests the March 29 count and state Senate district conventions be postponed until the eligibility of an estimated 1 million caucus-goers are double checked.

he Clinton campaign wrote they received more than 2,000 complaints of violations following the historic Texas turnout, which was perhaps the nation's largest caucus ever.

With about 41 percent of precinct caucuses reported, rival Barack Obama was ahead with 56 percent to Clinton's 44 percent.

"It is the Party's responsibility to ensure the integrity of the precinct convention process by making sure that the Rules were followed," the letter states.

Well, yes. However, it would be silly and naive to assume that Clinton is interested in simply assuring that the rules were followed. Clearly, this is part of an effort to undermine Obama's delegate tally in Texas, where he holds a slender lead over Clinton. I have seen no allegations that the chaos that ensued at a tiny minority of precinct conventions benefited Obama over Clinton, but this is less about reversing Obama's win and more about undermining the legitimacy of the results and muddying the waters even further. These are hard-nosed tactics that nobody should be surprised to see, but neither should anyone think that this has anything to do with ensuring democracy for Texas Democrats.

UPDATE: Clinton's strategy, explained more thoroughly.

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