Clinton Plans Rally After Unsanctioned Fla. Primary
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
In a bit of a reverse campaigning, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will appear in Florida after the polls close Tuesday night -- abiding by a pledge not to actively pursue a victory in the state in accordance with Democratic National Committee rules.
But Clinton expects to win. Her campaign has been running a below-the-radar effort to capture Florida even though the state's delegates are not going to be seated at the Democratic convention this summer, punishment for the state's decision to move its primary to an earlier date than allowed by the DNC. Clinton (N.Y.) attended fundraisers in Florida on Sunday, received the endorsement Monday of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and was the beneficiary of mailings sent by union organizers into the state.
Clinton's victory rally is scheduled for 8 p.m. at a ballroom in Davie, Fla. Officials in the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) dismissed the maneuver as "too cute by half," and said they were glad that Clinton would be spending time in a state whose primary had already ended rather than campaigning in a state that will vote on Feb. 5, when Democrats in 22 states will go to the polls.
Privately, several Clinton supporters acknowledged that she had openly embraced the votes in Florida and in Michigan, another state that violated DNC rules, only after the first two contests, in Iowa and New Hampshire, were over. Campaigning in banned states any earlier would have been certain to infuriate voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, who jealously guard their early status.
Obama officials said they would welcome an additional, DNC-sanctioned caucus or primary in March or April and would compete in such a contest.