Friday, February 29, 2008

Clinton threatens lawsuit to stop Texas caucus

This is a really startling confession of weakness on the part of the Clinton campaign. As you may or may not know, Texas has a dual primary and caucus system.
Texas has 228 delegates, the biggest single cache remaining. But only 126 delegates are doled out based on the selection voters make at the ballot box. Another 67 delegates — more than in many states — are to be apportioned based on the number of people who participate in the caucuses that begin in over 8,000 precincts once the polls close at 7 p.m. (The remaining 35 are so-called "superdelegates'' free to support whomever they choose).[1]
Shortly after it became clear that Texas would be critically important, members of the Clinton campaign confessed that they had no understanding of the Texas system. Obama has shown greater organizational skill in coordinating caucus voters and he is assumed to have an edge in a caucus situation.
Another Democratic official who was privvy to the discussions confirmed that Clinton representatives made veiled threats in a telephone call this week.

"Officials from Sen. Clinton's campaign at several times throughout the call raised the specter of 'challenging the process,' the official said. "The call consisted of representatives from both campaigns and the Democratic Party.''

The source, who asked not to identified by name because he did not have authorization to speak about the matter, said Clinton 's political director, Guy Cecil, had forcefully raised the possibility of a courtroom battle.

But Adrienne Elrod, Clinton's top Texas spokeswoman, said campaign and party officials had merely discussed election night procedures and that the campaign was merely seeking a written agreement in advance. She could not elaborate on the details of the agreement the Clinton campaign is seeking.[2]
This is potentially a significant blunder for the Clinton campaign. It's a confession of weakness just days before an important contest. Worse, it points to lack of organization and preparation on the Clinton campaign's part. If this story gains legs, it could impact the election on Tuesday.

Hat Tip: Poblano at Daily Kos

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