Obama Memo to Press: Florida Doesn't Count
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Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is encouraging the national media not to fall for a Clinton campaign declaration of victory in Florida's Primary election today, because the state cannot award delegates to the Democratic Party's national nominating convention. Florida and Michigan both were penalized after scheduling early votes without national party approval.
"The Clinton campaign had a (media conference) call that Florida should be covered by all you folks in a serious fashion," said Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, and an Obama supporter. "What this race is about right now is delegates. The bottom line is that Florida does not offer any delegates. It should not be a spin race, a fabricated race."
Kerry said Florida is a state where Obama, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, signed pledges not to campaign after the Democratic National Committee stripped it of delegates for moving its primary date up without national party approval.
Yet Clinton campaign allies, notably the AFSCME labor union has been "spending tons of money" there, Kerry said, to create a symbolic Clinton victory before Feb. 5 elections in 22 states. Moreover, Hillary Clinton will be in Florida tonight, to thank supporters after today's votes are tallied.
While the Clinton campaign may not win any delegates, it no doubt seeks to project a media image of restored momentum after losing to Obama by a two-to-one margin in South Carolina on Saturday.
"We think it is a very political move and voters will see it as too cute by half," said Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe, who also noted that his main opponent, Hillary Clinton, appears to be changing her position on whether Michigan's delegates ought to be seated at the Democratic Convention.
The campaign officials also said Obama was well-organized in the 22 states voting a week from today with 500 staffers and 75,000 active volunteers. He said the campaign has raised $5 million online since winning Saturday's South Carolina Primary. He said the campaign had 13,000 volunteers in that state, a figure slightly less than what the campaign said last weekend.
Steven Rosenfeld is a senior fellow at Alternet.org and co-author of " What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election ," with Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (The New Press, 2006).