McAuliffe Has Flip-Flopped On Counting Florida, Michigan

McAuliffe Has Flip-Flopped On Counting Florida, Michigan

If you cast your mind back to the evening of the Pennsylvania primary, you'll remember that the Clinton campaign began to develop a pretext for the superdelegates to rubberstamp in support of her candidacy: namely, that she was winning in the popular vote. That case is not without a certain amount of speciousness (at the moment, it requires one to count Florida and Michigan, and accept the premise that NOBODY in Michigan would vote for Obama), but it's her best case to make, so she might as well give it a try.

That said, she might be well-served if some of her supporters refrained from doing the same. Perhaps you remember this moment from that evening, where former DNC Chair and Fox News Cheerleader Terry McAuliffe told Chris Matthews that he "always" counts the votes from Florida, and that Michigan counts among her big wins.


As it turns out, McAuliffe's definition of the word "always" is pretty unconventional, for it was not too long ago, he thought something entirely different. In fact, the entirely different thought he thought was something he thought so hard that he even put in a book of his other thoughts, entitled What A Party! And what a party it was! When Michigan Senator Carl Levin wanted to move up the Michigan primary in 2004, McAuliffe shot him down with swagger, belittlement, and the sorts of words he's not using these days, now that he finds himself on the other side of the fence. Via Mark Nickolas' well-chosen excerpt:

"I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.

"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I said. "We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost."

He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.

"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.

"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it."

We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it.

That's on page 325, by the way, so, if you want a refund, that's the page you want to tear out and send to McAuliffe.

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