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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Clinton and Obama Talking Points

One of the interesting facets of the grueling Democratic Primary is that the electability arguments put forth by both campaigns are completely interchangeable. For example, any candidate in Clinton's position, even if it were Obama, would say that the superdelegates can do whatever they want and should factor in Florida and Michigan. Meanwhile, any candidate in Obama's position, Clinton included, would argue that superdelegates should not overturn the decision made by pledged delegates.

Yet, it has come to the point where each side is completely sure that they should be the nominee and they have enough evidence to support this.

These are called talking points and every campaign has them. Luckily, Presidential Politics for America has received a first look at upcoming press releases, each with five general talking points, from the headquarters of both remaining Democrats. (Yes, I'm quite fortunate.) As always, my priority is objectivity, so I will share both memos with you, then I'm taking the rest of the week off to concentrate on my work and rest up for the Indiana and North Carolina primaries next week.

Upcoming Clinton Press Release
Date: April 29
To: Camp Clinton
From: Maggie Williams
Subject: How we win

Okay, team. The media thinks we're still in this so let's run down our talking points just to make sure we all know how to capitalize on their desire for a brokered convention.

1. Florida and Michigan should have counted. Remember this, it becomes really important. Hillary won both of them, yet the national committee has chosen to ignore those states. This, of course, is a horrific move for the party heading into the general election, as disenfranchising voters in sizeable states, one of them battleground, might be suicide against John McCain.

2. Speaking of John McCain, we obviously match up best with him. Should Democrats really send a newcomer to national politics to debate and run against an experienced mind like John McCain with? Of course not. Let's nominate someone who's been around the block and who has faced the Republican attack machine.

3. Let's remember that to beat McCain, we must win the crucial swing-states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida... all won by us.

4. We're up in the popular vote by an 11,000 vote margin. What makes pledged delegates any more representative of the people's desires than the popular vote?

5. If we can get these first four points across, we have a chance. Superdelegates will ultimately push one of the two candidates over the top in total delegates. Neither candidate can win without enough superdelegate support. If one can look past the early results of the primary, it's clear to see that we are the campaign that best matches up with John McCain. The superdelegates were created with the purpose of using discretion in cases like this, and they should do what's best of the Democratic Party's chances in November.

Upcoming Obama Press Release

Date: April 29
To: Obamaniacs
From: David Plouffe
Subject: We are still winning

All right, guys, we're almost there. Stick to these talking points and we're the nominee by the 2nd week of June.

1. We cannot possibly go back and count Michigan and Florida. They were warned that moving up their primary would result in their delegates getting stripped. They did it anyway. What kind of signal would it send for future primaries if we allowed them delegates?

Besides, no one (but Mike Gravel) campaigned in Florida and most of us took our names off the ballot in Michigan! How could we count the states knowing that? We can't. End of story.

And surely everyone realizes that allowing states to vote whenever they want would result in primaries and caucuses leapfrogging each other until the first primary was six months too soon. The DNC tried to keep order and delivered promised consequences.

2. Make no mistake, we are the campaign most prepared to do battle with McCain and the Republicans. Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq just like John McCain did. Both supported George Bush's war and neither should follow in his footsteps as President. No debate or attack ad will ever change that.

3. It's time to ditch the 50% plus one strategy that didn't work for Al Gore of John Kerry. We are confident that all Democrats will vote Democrat this November and we are in danger of losing no blue states. No red swing state is better off than they were four years ago and we are the campaign that can attract new voters. With our ability to inspire new voting demographics, we could become competitive in states that a Democrat could only dream of otherwise.

4. As long as one does not count Florida and Michigan, as all candidates agreed would be the case before the primary results, we are still comfortably ahead in states, pledged delegates, and the popular vote.

5. Therefore, for the superdelegates to overturn such unanimity would be undemocratic and unacceptable to voters of all parties and demographics.
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