March 27th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton backers don't sway Pelosi

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Pelosi is sticking to her superdelegate argument."](CNN) - A recent letter from several Hillary Clinton fundraisers to Nancy Pelosi seeking she step back from her contention that superdelegates should support the pledged-delegate leader appears to have had little effect on the House Speaker.

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said late Wednesday the California Democrat stands by her argument that the party's superdelegates would do damage if they go against the will of voters and hand the nomination to the candidate who finished second among those delegates awarded from the round of caucuses and primaries.

"The speaker believes it would do great harm to the Democratic Party if superdelegates are perceived to overturn the will of the voters," Daly said. "This has been her position throughout this primary season, regardless of who was ahead at any particular point in delegates or votes.”

The statement comes a day after nearly 20 high-profile Clinton fundraisers strongly criticized Pelosi for that position, arguing instead that the superdelegates "have an obligation to make an informed, individual decision about whom to support and who would be the party’s strongest nominee."

The fundraisers, who reminded Pelosi in the letter they have been strong contributors to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, also urged the House Speaker to "clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August."

"Speaker Pelosi is confident that superdelegates will choose between Sens. Clinton or Obama — our two strong candidates — before the convention in August," Daly also said. "That choice will be based on many considerations, including respecting the decisions of millions of Americans who have voted in primaries and participated in caucuses."

Pelosi first expressed her stance in an ABC News interview earlier this month - one that benefits Barack Obama, whose current pledged delegate lead of 171 is virtually insurmountable given the party's proportional delegation allocations, even if Clinton were to win each of the remaining 10 primary contests.

An Obama spokesman called the Clinton fundraiser's letter "inappropriate."

Meanwhile, CNN's Ted Barrett reports some Democrats on the Hill are privately complaining the letter was a bad idea.

One senior aide, whose boss actually supports Clinton, said there are “grumblings that pressuring Pelosi was a stupid thing to do,” largely because it appears the donors were “bullying” the speaker.

Another top aide, who works for a senator who is neutral in the race, predicted, “if the misguided effort hasn’t already blown up in their face, mark my words it will. For the life of me how they think they can win this argument with the Speaker is beyond me.”

(Updates with Capitol Hill Democrats' reaction)

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Jdona

    Pelosi can't have it both ways. In one interview she says the role of the superdelegates was to be independent, and exercise judgement on the who had the best chance to defeat the Republicans, now she is saying the exact opposite. She is a disaster as a Speaker, and she needs to step down and let someone else lead the House, because she has lost her marbles.

    March 27, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Sue, Michigan

    I support Hillary in this. When folks voted back in January, they did not have all the information now available about Obama and even Hillary. You have to wonder if some voters would vote differently now. If it comes down to superdels, they HAVE to choose the person who would be most electable, and that is Clinton.

    March 27, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Alonzo Demetrius, FL, USA


    March 27, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Alice

    Go Nancy! Don't let those thugs intimidate you.

    March 27, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Marc

    I agree with Pelosi and I am very glad that she is standing by her statement. She has been in the game for many years, much longer then Hillary and I think that we should really listen to what she has to say.

    March 27, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. barry

    Nancy Palosi, Harry Reid, & Howard Dean will regrett choosing Senator Obama and not letting the people of FL and MI votes count.
    These leaders are the reason the democratic race is where it is.
    The candidates and the votes have the right to have all votes counted and these 3 so called leaders kicked to the curb....

    March 27, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Black N White Cookie

    Pelosi is ego a democrat I have not been impressed with her regin at all she comes off as arrogant and self serving. She has done very little. Did she forget the purpose of the super delegates. They are allowed to vote how ever they chose. If she doesn't like it too bad.

    March 27, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Trev

    So will that count FL and MI. Should the superdelegates ignore those votes just like the DNC? Pelosi has been Pro Obama from the beginning. I think it is fine that she has take a stand, but find it funny that she does not have the fortitude to come out and endorse Obama. Nobody thinks she can be an honest broker at the convention, so she should just do it if she wants to.

    March 27, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Sean

    The nerve of these deep-pocketed Clinton donors is astounding. Having read the entire letter, I find the veiled threat aspect of it to be one of the most arrogant, inappropriate, disgusting things that's happened in this campaign. They basically say that since they give lots of money to the Democratic party, Pelosi should rethink her stance, which runs counter to theirs, that the will of the voters should be the priority of the party. I'm absolutely floored at the arrogant, self-serving nature of this letter.

    March 27, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Bob Stephens

    Stick to your guns Nancy, Don't let Hitlarry push her way around the Democratic party anymore. We have had enough..

    March 27, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Lostfigs

    Pelosi is right! Richardson and Kennedy should retract their support for Obama and vote for Hillary.

    March 27, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Manuel TX

    So given Nancy's logic, Ted Kennedy, Bill Richardson, John Kerry, Janet Napolitano, and even old Nancy herself need to immediately change their support to Hillary since their constituents prefer Hillary.

    Is that going to happen?


    Because Nancy is a hypocrite. 🙂

    March 27, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    It is too bad that other "confused" Democrats do not follow Pelosi's lead and denounce Hillary's tactics. She has really shown herself with her all or nothing attitude that she will destroy the Democrats validity of supplying a candidate who will replace the mean spirited, deceitful Bush agenda. She is just like Bush, but of a different color and let us hope that more will come to this realization before it is too late.

    Survey says?

    March 27, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Kimberly in Texas

    You go Nancy....stand by your commets, no "misstatements" here!!
    BTW, Bill and Hill, you and your fat cats cannot buy this election!

    March 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Nancy would do well to heed this warning

    Many in the democratic party have enjoyed the benefits for years of fund raising, organization, and volunteers that have helped elect democrats around the country.
    Nancy would do well to heed this warning, as the chair of the convention, she has a responsibility to remain neutral and to state the rules of the party as they are, that all are allowed to exercise their own discretion.

    In order for her to remain the Majority Leader, she will once again need us to help support and elect democrats.

    And remember, John McCain is not George Bush. There are many of us who can easily see our way clear to trust McCain with our vote.

    March 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Dan, Washington DC

    So...where are all the Obama supporters who were screaming "follow the rules!" about Florida and Michigan? I guess it's ok to ignore this particular rule because it will "maintain part unity". You know what will keep the party together? Not having this horrible, horrible nomination process. All of the voting should happen in the course of a month at most, and whomever gets the most votes wins. None of this delegate junk.

    March 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Rick in Florida

    Hillary's 20 big-money supporters "reminded Pelosi they have been strong contributors to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee".... in other words, "Hey lady, you guys are bought and paid for, so listen to what we say!"

    ENOUGH of this big-money pressure from Washington heavyweights and Lobbyists who support Hillary. Let the PEOPLE decide....the Super delegates should go to the one who has the most number of PLEDGED delegates (and DON'T allow Hillary to steal a single one of Obama's, as her staffers are actively trying to in Nevada, Iowa and Texas even as I write this today).

    March 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. jj

    Pelosi does not want to relinguish her title as the most powerful woman in Washington! What a joke!!

    March 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Nobillary Andobama

    All this bickering amongst the bleedin’ hearts is nauseating.
    This is your Democratic party America…

    While Islamic terrorists in far off corners of the world plot the next attack on American soil, liberals bicker about superdelegates and Reverend Wrights and supposed sniper attacks.

    While covert Madrasas operate in places like Pakistan and the Sudan; teaching hatred and vengance to a new wave of terrorists in waiting, liberals want to spend more resources on pork barrel social programs and a national health care system which doesn't have a chance of working.

    While the nascent Iraqi Security Force and National Police are finally starting to turn the corner and be self sufficient, risk averse liberals want to call it quits and turn our backs on the Iraqis. Too afraid of taking more casualties.

    While Osama bin Laden talks of the destruction of western society and the formation of a great Islamic caliphate, a liberal candidate for President talks superficially of hope and change to wild eyed audiences enamored by his good looks and charm....but never bothering to look closely at whether he has the relevant National Security and foreign policy experience required to be the Commander in Chief.


    March 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Roger

    I think that according to the will of the voters that Obama isn't leading by too many delegates. In some states, the will of the voters are for Obama. In some states the will of the voters are for Clinton. How can you really tell what the will of the voters are in a race this tight. Sounds like Pelosi is trying to pressure the superdelagates to vote for Obama because he is a little bit ahead. According to the will of the people, Obama won several states and as more was known about him, he began losing states. It looks like the will of the voters are changing course and Hillary is starting to look more electable than Obama. But if the supers vote according to the will of the media, then that would harm the Democratic Party because the media is always easy on Obama and hard on Hillary.

    March 27, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. C.Lo

    Lear how to read..she did not said that – please read the text with your brain, not your heart.

    March 27, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. jim

    nancy is right-– pennsylvania voters see this as just another of many of the clintons dirty tactics ............
    i am a strong democrat supporter as well as the ones who wrote that
    letter to nancy.... i see this as just another one of the fat ladys attempts to CHANGE THE RULES AGAIN...
    OBAMA IN 09

    March 27, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Will in Seattle

    "A recent letter from several Hillary Clinton fundraisers to Nancy Pelosi seeking she step back from" ... Guys, please, use proper grammar. Fundraisers seeking she step back from?

    That said, Senator Obama will make a great President.

    March 27, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. RJL for the USA

    It seems that the Clinton campaign is engaging in a little arm twisting at higher levels in order to get what they want. It seems that it wasn't necessary when HilLIARy thought that she had the nomination sewed up. The King and Queen of the Democratic party are starting to turn on the royal subjects. LOL!!

    March 27, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Allen in NC

    Gonna try some bulling tatics on the speaker of the house... Oh how Al Caponenish of the clintons.... Old school politics at it's finest.... Sweet work madame speaker... Kudos to you.... I see the clinton machine doesn't intimidate some folks..

    March 27, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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