Hillary Clinton issued a statement today in which she, for the first time, openly said she will ask her delegates to support seating delegates from Florida and Michigan, in opposition to the DNC's delegate penalties.
"I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision," Clinton said in the statement. "But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention."
The DNC stripped Florida and Michigan of all of their delegates after the two states violated the national party's calendar that placed Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina first.
"I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this," Clinton challenged her rivals.
But Obama campaign manager David Plouffe responded:
When Senator Clinton was campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, she made it clear that states like Michigan and Florida that wouldn't produce any delegates, `don't count for anything.' Now that Senator Clinton's worried about losing the first Southern primary (in South Carolina Saturday), she's using Florida for her own political gain by trying to assign meaning to a contest that awards zero delegates and where no campaigning has occurred.
"No one is more disappointed that Florida Democrats will have no role in selecting delegates for the nomination of the party's standard bearer than Senator Obama," Plouffe added.
Clinton won Michigan handily on Jan. 15, after most other candidates took their names off the ballot. She would stand to gain 73 of Michigan's 128 delegates, while "Uncommitted" would win 55. Florida votes next Tuesday, and Clinton leads polling there.
She says she'll still abide by the early state pledge not to campaign in Florida, but at MyDD, Trickster has a suggestion for Clinton:
In case you still don't think the Florida Democratic primary is going to get play, there's something Hillary Clinton can do to ensure that it gets publicity, and it's something that is explicitly permitted by the (early state) agreement and the DNC rules...
She can hold a big ole victory party in the ballroom of the fanciest hotel in downtown Miami. If the polls close at 8:00, her jet can touch down on the tarmac at 8:05 and she can arrive at the party at the appropriate time for a victory speech.
Nothing Obama can do about it except whine...
Even an Iowan would have to admire that kind of nerve.