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. James

    That is what you get for dis-respecting Madam Speaker! I wouldn't push it with Pelosi, she will put the beat-down on you.

    Oh I forgot, it's "Madam Speaker" to you , Hillary

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. lip

    This Super Delegate situation reminds me of the English Monarchy several hundred years ago.
    It was a contentious time and it wasn't always cut and dried as to who was going to be King or Queen. As a result, a prospect had his or her supporters that stood to benefit financially if there nominee was appointed King or Queen.
    Sound familiar.?
    Do you think these Super Delegates are being told they will have their wildest dreams $$$$$$ fulfilled by the Clintons if they can overthrow the will of the people?
    You can bet they are and Nancy Pelosi knows this, just like all those fat cat Democrats out there.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Travis

    If the superdelegates turn over the will of the people I for one will vote for Mccain just to make sure that Hillary's dirty tricks dont earn her a ticket to the White House. She talks about the disenfranchisement, well she will have succeeded in disenfranchising one more democrat.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. luckydj

    The point is the audacity of trying to strong arm the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This is the same old politics. We call a Governor of a State a Judas and thats ok? No its not Hillary. What is that? It certainly does not help relationship building. But I guess Hill doesn't really care about this bringing people together just attacking and divisive tactics here she goes again!!!

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Roxanne NY

    This, from the woman who took impeaching Bush off the table and had been more or less ran over by Bush on every aspect of the war. Nice. what a portrait of courage. What did she think she was doing to the party then?

    Anyhow, I agree with her, the will of the voters stand, including those in Florida and Michigan. Don;t forget Nansi. Let's get some consistency going here.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. La Raza

    Good for her for standing her ground. Again, I do not trust Hillary or her people.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Eileen from Portland, Maine

    Well, many people who would know, have long been saying that the
    Clintons will do or say anything to win. I guess now, if threatening and bribery weren't already on the list, you can add them. Mrs. Clinton is right to say she is a fighter as she clearly is that. Unfortunately many of us have a strong preference for a Leader (an honest one). Somebody who can use smarts rather than force.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Vincent

    concede hillary. you are done.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Andrew

    I agree with The Speaker of the House.

    If the Democratic Party is not carefull, The GOP will when the election. Also if Clinton should win the
    nomination, then the GOP will be sure to win the general election.

    March 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Siddig, NE

    Thanks, Pelosi for standing for the justice and the unity of the party.

    March 27, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. DD, New York

    The Democratic Party, as we now know it, is finished after the general election in November. There is a veritable civil war within the democratic party, and I would not be surprised to see some sort of faction splintering off from it. I am disappointed in Pelosi and Reid (even though he has nothing to do with Pelosi's superdelegates comment). I am disappointed with the state officials of Michigan and Florida who pushed up their states votes thus disenfranchising their state citizens' right to vote. I am disappointed in Howard Dean and the DNC for not trying to prevent this from happening. When Hillary was trying to get Michigan and Florida votes to count, she was accused of changing the rules and Obama was the was accused of holding up in finding a resolution to those votes. Now Obama is trying to find the resolution while accusing Hillary of doing nothing. (Obama is a copy cat and distrustful person.) Now Pelosi is trying to change the rules in telling the superdelegates how to vote. I think I may change my political party to Independent. What a disgraceful mess.

    March 27, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Martin (Bolivia)

    "Inappropriate" is a rather too polite way to describe a letter that could have been part of a Sopranos' script.
    It's a crude attempt at blackmail, and really shows HRC Inc. "corkscrewing" out of control.
    The sooner HRC forgoes her fantasies, returns to real life, and drops out, the better.

    March 27, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Donna, NC

    Kudos to Pelosi for not giving in to the Corleones. Oops! I mean Clintons. Their bully tactics are completely see-through. "Go our way or we'll pull financial backing." Another case of money trumping the people. Any Dem who defies the mighty Clinton family (and their backers) might wake up with a horse head in their bed. Let's get rid of these crooks and thugs once and for all.

    March 27, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Windbag

    This woman is all talk. She hasn't done A THING in Congress that she said she would do. She's full of wind, just like Obama. And she expects people to listen to her and obey her, just like Obama. Get rid of both of them. They have no business in politics.

    March 27, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Richard Colon, New York, USA

    If this is true then do something to let the voters of Florida and Michigan have their voices heard.

    March 27, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Nancy Pelosi is "respectfully" Speaker of the House and Clinton supporters are way out of line on this one. Clinton has ran all over the DNC and this mess needs to come to an end now. If Hillary doesn't understand why her ratings are so low in the polls now she hasn't seen anything. The Clintons personal ambition for power over the will of the people has proven to be very dangerous.

    March 27, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Bill

    Guys, Pelosi is not right! Go back and look up the rules for the Superdeligates. Don't make unintelligent comments if you don't know what you're talking about. There have been set rules for years and that is for each superdeligate to vote their own conscience – their own way. Who they each think will make a better president. If you vote Obama you will get the Reverand Hatemonger too. A muslim and a White American hater will be running our country. Is this what we want for America? I don't think so.

    March 27, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Nadeem

    Who the heck are these 'fundraisers' sounds like a new word for lobbyiests.

    Who party is this anyway, one that belongs to the people or one that bleongs to fundrainser (lobbyists) whe know who owns the Clinton Campaign.

    March 27, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Susan

    Good for Pelosi for standing tough on her position! I believe she is correct. If she surrendered to the Clinton supporters on this issue, the Democratic Party would suffer immeasurable damage. This tactic of intimidation and veiled threat by the Clinton campaign is not a trait I want in my next President. Hillary Clinton just lost my vote with her heavy handed tactics. I have been wavering in the last two weeks, but now Obama will get my vote! I have children who I like to think I am a role model for. I can't condone supporting the behavior I see from Hillary Clinton and telling them that her behavior is acceptable. Shame on you Hillary!
    Susan, Paducah, KY

    March 27, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. isaac

    good job nancy pelosi-the democratic party was founded for the voice of the majority to preside over the voice of the minority..protecting from big government-obviosuly hilary and her friends needs to apoligize for making a defaming statement in degrading the importance of what democratic party was built on-that statment would be expected of republicans but not democrats

    March 27, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. John Moczulski

    What a fine mess you've gotten us into !!!!

    All by themselves with no GOP to blame, these fools can't even nominate a candidate.

    Let them try to get it right and maybe they can unite and defeat Bill O'Reilly in 2016.

    March 27, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. barry

    DD in New York, I am right with you....

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    All of us need to Contact the superdelegates and tell them they need to support Obama and put a end to this thing now. Or they may not get re-elected.

    Who cares if these people take there money away. Obama can raise more money than they can even dream of. What they forget is he has the people behind him. He can also help Pelosi with her re-election bid. We all need to tell the Democratic superdelegates to end this thing ASAP. It's time for New and Improved Democratic Party to take charge.

    Obama 08

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Slap Stick, Florida

    PROUD TO BE DEM WITH LEADERS LIKE PELOSI. Stand up to the Hillary Camp an their goons. Strong Arm Tactics have no more place in our politics!!!

    Yes We Can & We Will
    Obama 08

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Shane

    Nancy is righ becouse she knows if superdelagetes choose hillary who is far behind Obama , the Democraty paty will pay the price in November, so four more years of Bushes and Roves will come. Mcain = bush and bush = mcain
    Go NANCY you are right 100%.

    OBAMA 08 = Good economy, Good forien policy, dept releif of many American and lower tution for students.
    OBAMA 08

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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