by Jordan Zakarin
Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton’s campaign, on life support in its battle against Illinois Senator Barack Obama after Tuesday’s substantial loss in the North Carolina primary and closer than expected result in Indiana, today issued a new memo detailing the New York Senator’s path to the nomination. That path, becoming narrower and narrower as superdelegates, the elected officials and party leaders seated at the Democratic Convention, flock to Obama, is predicated on what the campaign termed respect for American tradition.
In the memo, titled “The Framers’ Nominee”, Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s chief spokesperson, wrote that under Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution, black slaves are valued at 3/5ths of a person for purposes of representation. As such, Wolfson argued that their descendants should be counted in the same way and urged that Obama agree to apply that standard to the 48 primaries and caucuses already held.
Obama holds a lead of 157.5 pledged delegates, is ahead by more than 820,000 in the popular vote and recently took the lead in superdelegates, making Clinton’s chances to earn the nomination near zero.
The Illinois Senator, the first African American to be the likely nominee for his party’s nomination for President, has generated palpable excitement amongst black voters and has received unprecedented support from that demographic, about 80 percent in the primaries and caucuses thus far. In some states, such as Mississippi, where black voters made up about 50% of the Democratic primary electorate, the Illinois Senator earned 90 percent of their vote.
While at a rally in West Virginia, Clinton said that, “we are simply calling on Senator Obama to acknowledge and agree to follow the best judgment of those hard working white American patriots, who fought for this God Damn country’s freedom, which our men and women serving in the military will continue to do, protecting us from people named Hussein and Obsama.”
The Obama campaign fired back in a conference call with reporters, branding the Clinton operation a “desperate campaign willing to do anything to win.” In remarks to supporters in Lexington, Kentucky, Senator Obama urged voters to reject the Clinton campaign’s “offensive” new strategy, as he described what a world without black voters would be like. The Senator visibly shivered as he contemplated a world without starting lineups for the NBA All-Star game.
David Axelrod, Obama’s chief media strategist, also noted that women, who have made up a bulk of Clinton’s support, were not able to vote until the 1920’s, so the New York Senator would be best served buckling herself into the passenger seat of the campaign bus and not asking for directions.
For his part, Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain came out in support of Clinton’s proposal, much like their tag-team effort on the gas tax summer vacation a number of weeks ago. In fact, McCain said that in the handful of times he had the pleasure of meeting Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, they had made it clear that the black voice should be secondary, at best, in American politics.
The Arizona Republican told reporters that he was “proud that America has carried on this proud tradition,” and vowed to continue it should he be elected.