Thursday, June 05, 2008

Clinton to end campaign, endorse Obama on Saturday

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

It's over:

On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.

I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.

And on the terminology:
Some news outlets will report that Clinton will "suspend" her campaign; others may report that she will "concede" to Obama; other will report that she is "dropping out."

It's ok to use "dropping out."

She doesn't officially lose her delegates until they vote for someone else at the convention, so she could always jump back in. There's no paper you sign that magically waives away your delegates, and there will be plenty of them, I'd bet, who, if you ask them next week, insist they'll vote for Hillary.

But there's no need to parse ... aides and advisers say that she's conceding the race and endorsing Obama.

Remember that she can't "release" her delegates officially even if she wanted to. As we wrote about John Edwards' delegates back in January:
Therefore, there is no such thing as a "legal" release of delegates. There is a political "release" - almost all delegates will vote for their candidate unless their candidate tells them they don't have to. But from a Rules point of view, a "release" of delegates mean nothing.


DocJess said...

However, I'm pretty sure that "suspend" means that she can still raise money -- which she needs to try to do.

If I recall correctly, any part of the loan she and Bill made to her campaign becomes a "gift" on the last day of the convention.

Amot said...

that is exactly the case.
And from what I have heard she is only allowed to raise money and pay herself back if she suspends. If she drops out she will be allowed to repay herself only 250K out of 20M or more... She has time untill August and she will focus on getting her own money back. So the vendors and other people she owes will have to wait till September.

BTW Edwards suspended his campaign too in January and he still has control over his delegates... no matter he endorsed Obama!

Matt said...


Edwards only had "control" over his delegates to the extent they gave him that control. They could have chosen to suppport Clinton or anyone else if they wanted.

Amot said...

Matt, did he [Edwards] lose the right to vet delegates? If he has that right, he has control. They are pledged to vote for him if he is on the ballot so if he decides to reappear, he should be able to get them vote for him... And as Clinton said - there is no such thing as "pledged" delegate.

After all this is a legal discussion that will have no influence at least 4 more years ;)

Amot said...

And, finally, I believe Obama will be nominated by applause :)

Unknown said...

would you PLEASE take off the picture of that iranian Amadinehjad!! It gives a wrong impression (subliminal) that this website somehow supports him --- worse yet, that OBAMA somehow has a relationship with him. Anyone not knowing much will assume such thing quickly. PLEASE take that picture off this site before doing more damage.

Truth teller, and SO for OBAMA

Unknown said...

There is one significant difference between suspending and dropping out. It relates to states like Minnesota where delegation allocations have been set but all the individual pledged delegates have not yet been chosen. If she suspends, the previously established allocations will be honored. If she drops out, they will be re-allocated to Obama. This will not effect the result, but will certainly effect some peoples summer vacation plans.

Siroco said...

The right to vet is not perminate. It coontrols who can compete to be a delegate. Once vetted and choisen that's it, per the current rules: the delegate can then jump ship and no one can do anything about it.

The RBC specifically gave vetting rights over the MI and FL, but it works the same way -- once you pass vetting, no more control.

btw dont you think you should post changes through this weekend? ;) Well anyway thanks for your mighty efforts.

Unknown said...

Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton will become Obama-endorsing superdelegates :)

p smith said...

Ziggurat makes an excellent point.

How can Matt and Oreo resist not posting the following:

Sen Hillary Clinton (NY) endorses Obama:

"Over the course of the campaign I have reached the conclusion that Barack Obama is the best candidate to lead this party and our country."

How do you like them apples?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I can't help but parse - after all, these are the "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" Clintons.

That first statement does not use the word "concede." It also does not use the word "nominee." It seems carefully worded to avoid both of these.

Anonymous said...
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scrooner said...

She owes $40K to Oregon public schools.

Carrie said...

I know delegates also vote on the party's platform. To what extent does suspending, rather than withdrawing, impact Clinton's and Edwards' ability to influence the platform?

I'm not sure how all of that works. Sorry if I missed an earlier post...

smith girl 44 said...

June 5, 2:45 P.M.
Matt, I wish you would continue to show superdelegate endorsements. I have avidly watched them for months and have immensely enjoyed this site. smith girl 44

The Numantine said...

Tsongas has endorsed Obama:

"I am today pleased to announce my enthusiastic support for our presumptive nominee for president, Barack Obama," Tsongas said, in a conference call with reporters earlier today.

tmess2 said...


All states have a number of representatives on the "standing committees" -- rules, platform, and credentials. These representatives are allocated to the candidates based on the results of the state-wide results in that state (state primary or state convention results). For example, in my state, we have 3 representatives on each committee. Since Obama had a narrow win, he gets two representatives on each of the committees and Clinton gets 1. In a similar sized state like Indiana that Clinton narrowly won, the situation would be reversed. My understanding is that by merely suspsending Clinton will still get these representatives in the remaining states that have not yet picked their representatives (but I could be wrong). In states that have already picked (a little over 50% of them), those people would stay the same even if she withdrew or abandoned the campaign. (In other words, the rules for these people are the same as the delegates).

In addition, the chair of the DNC gets to appoint a number of at-large members to each committee.

The bottom line is that Clinton will have some supporters on these committees. However, for the most part, the platform reflects the wishes of the nominee (since the nominee and the DNC control the majority of votes on the committee). Normally, the nominee will work with the other major candidates on language that will satisfy the supporters of that candidate.

As with credentials, a report with a proposed platform will be submitted by the platform committee to the convention. For there to be a contested vote at the convention, there would need to be a minority report supported by 20% of the committee with alternative language.

Unknown said...
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Dink Singer said...

She certainly can legally release her Connecticut pledged delegates and unless she does, in writing to the Connecticut Secretary of State, they are bound by law to vote for her on the first ballot.

As far as I know, the Clinton campaign also still owes money to a public school here in Hartford as well.d

Matt said...

Amot - What frstan wrote above is correct. Vetting rights are before delegates are selected. After their selected, the candidate can't do anything if the delegate changes their mind. FL and MI are special cases, since Obama's delegates were never vetted in either state.

Dink - where were you a month ago when we were looking for state 1st ballot rules? Anyway, I don't think Connecticut's law is enforceable on the floor of the convention. If a delegate decides to vote for someone else, the DNC will accept the vote. What is Connecticut going to do. Throw the delegate in jail after the convention?

Dink Singer said...


I was in the thick of it and provided links to the Connecticut law for you-all. You and I have had this running disagreement about whether folks only obey laws when there is a cop on the corner (or convention floor). I believe most Democrats are law-abiding. Judging by the series of Presidents who have considered themselves above the law, I'm not so sure about Republicans.