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. ralph

    Hey, here's an idea.

    Let the superdelegates vote as they wish. But, have them vote before or right after the Penn. primary. It's time for them to put this fire, with the potential to become an inferno.

    I am confident that they have more than enough samples of character to make a sane decision – hopefully.

    Camp Clinton is on the verge of ruining the party. I don't see it, but others see Obama doing the same.

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. molly

    GO HILLARY !!!
    Too late for Miss Nancy to step in now – should of spoken up back in January – before FL & MI voted – Now those votes Must be counted!
    Obama cannot control the votes of those states – Hillary will win!
    The superdelegates will and should go with who they feel will WIN in November – that is all they really care about – to WIN!

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Allen in Oklahoma

    The Clintons are so shady. Hillary is even now suggesting that "pledged" delegates consider switching sides and voting against the wishes of their constituents (i.e. that Obama pledged delegates completely disregard the wishes of those who elected them and vote any way they want to). There's a good article on this in March 24, 2008 edition of Newsweek.

    Always trying to change the rules. I believe this woman would sell her soul to become president.

    March 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. tina, NJ

    you should all listen to DARRYL T!

    he is speaking true facts!!!!

    HILLARY has LIED About BOSNIA on 3 sperate occacions, and you still want to elect her as your President, why do you want to continue to hold our country back?

    I sure wished that i could take back my vote for Hillary, she has made me look like a sad face clown!!

    We hve a chance to make a sound decision in November!

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Ryan

    Pelosi is an Extreme Hypocrite, i mean why do people like her cjange their position from one thing to the next?

    i mean i really dont understand, but i suppose we all know NOW who she'll be endorsing as a Super Delegate. My god she's already taking a position BEFORE the race is even over.....

    I think she's done NOTHING for Democrats when we voted her into office and shes just made the Majority Leader Position within the House ANOTHER SAN FRANSICO political statement for whatever ambitions she has

    Yes, she has definitely Lost Her Marbles

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Michael

    Go Nancy, Go!

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. for freedom

    We love Hillary more than we like your rule-changing election rigging pro-Obama hypocritical stances.

    We will back Hillary to the end.

    Some of us will leave the Democratic Party over the corruption that you and Howard Dean have wrought on the party.

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. NYC Native

    Shame on the fat cat donors! Pelosi finally shows some backbone. Who knew?

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. barry

    jack you just continue to spout the obama praises......agree jack lets poll your negatives to Hillary' guess she will fair much better than jack cafferty..

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. READ WILL YOU!!!

    You gfuys are a bunch of dolts!!! READ THE ARTICLE!!! in no way has Pelosi ever shown, or proclaimed support for either candidate. You Clinton supporters show that you are dumb as doorknobs! She does not support bama, she is replying, specifically to a letter sent in by the Clinton camp. Yeesh! ANd hers is a suggestion. Either way I hope superdelgates are not as stupid as to be led by the nose where is they will vote as they are told to vote. They can make their own decision as to whether to vote as the state did or as they feel. This is HER OPIBNION of what should be done.

    Doesn't anybody know how to read anymore! No child left behind my hiney, all these people are morons!

    March 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Tex'un

    More obscure fat cats using their checkbooks as political weapons.

    March 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Hope LV,NV

    I think Nancy is right. If the superdelegates ignore the voters, whether it be Clinton or Obama, it would cause great turmoil in the Democratic party. Who wants another Bush/Gore fiasco? What's with the bullying anyways is this the Sopranos?

    March 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Scott in Maine

    Oh, this is just too rich!

    While the Clinton camp takes sophistry to new lengths to justify their sense of entitlement to the nomination, their contributors are now trying to bludgeon the Speaker with thinly-veiled threats of withdrawing their financial support for her conference???

    Methinks the Dems are headed the way of the Whigs if they continue on this path.

    March 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Don Fitzgerald

    Speaker Pelosi, once again, has proven her mettle, in her comment , concerning the notion of " superdelegates"! She is a credit to the Office of Speaker of the House, as well as, a credit to our great Democratic Party.
    What I hope our good party does, is to get rid of this nonsensical and very undemocratic idea of the " superdelegate ". How and who ever snuck this idea by the Democratic voters should be severely reprimanded. It goes against everything democratic, including what our Party tries to represent. Get rid of a bad idea! Vote Democratic and get rid of a senseless war and a Recession!!!

    March 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Ron Seattle

    The letter from the Clinton supporters continue to show the underbelly of her campaign. Clinton has repeated NUMEROUS times not to disenfranchise the voters but swaying the superdelegates to vote against the majority of voters is hypocritical. Clinton will try to win the nomination by any means possible.

    March 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. John C

    When will Hillary realize – in the words of Roy Orbison:

    It's over, it's over, it's over

    March 27, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. BIG JOHN Lancaster

    Unfortunately kids, Pelosi is using the 'Animal Farm' model which says that all voters (animals) are equal but some voters (superdelegates) are more equal than others. In other words the Florida and Michigan voters shouldn't count for much but the superdelegates votes should count as long as they go for Obama who seems to be Pelosi's darling of the moment. What ever happened to power to the people and one voter, one vote? Voters no longer control the election process it all special interests now. Look at what happened in Florida when George Bush (jr.) got elected by default.

    March 27, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Tyler D.

    Obama will WIN the nomination and lose in November, guaranteed! Hillary probably wouldn't fare that much better but she does have a chance at this point. Nominating Obama will give the White House to the Republicans for at least another 4 years and most likely hurt the Democratic party in the House and Senate as well. It may even cost Pelosi her job (wouldn't that be nice). Us Democrats will do it anyway though and set the party back another 4-8 years!
    Obama/Wright 08!!!

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. rig rig rig

    Change the rules to benefit Obama and to disadvantage Clinton.

    But do so at the peril of the future of the democratic party.

    I will no longer belong to the democratic party if it resorts to rigging elecions and disenfranchising states and suppressing the votes.

    Enough already!

    Let the people vote, let the people decide. Your job is to protect the people's RIGHT to vote and to count those votes and to be fair. Respect the people who exercise their right to vote.

    Stop changing the rules to suit your purpose.

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. hrao

    Obama – backers "jump in the Sanfrancisco bay?"

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. JA Cook

    Just who does Nancy Pelosi think she is to go against what the Hillary camp decrees?

    She must think this is a free country or something.

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Its True

    There you have it, Hillary's "Big 20" cronies, special interest and lobbyists trying to strong-arm their way into the election by using monetary blackmail to try and boss the Speaker of the House into changing her opinion.

    Not this time. Take your $$ and shove it!

    Stand Tall Nancy! We support your you.

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. anthony

    How exactly should the super delegates vote? If, as some say, they should honor the will of the people then it seems logical to me that they should vote as the people of their state voted and honor the will of their own constituents. This might give the edge to Hillary Clinton since she has won most of the bigger states, but I doubt anyone in the media would report it that way.

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Shane, NY

    Clinton supporters need to stop complaining about what she said. It's Obvious that you have to pick the candidate that's leading in pledge delegates and popular vote. Clinton doesn't have a chance. She is just trying to tear Obama down because if she can't win no else in the democrat party should win.

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Obama can raise his own money for the election by the time we get to November we will be praying for Obama. Bush is destroying the country he is on track so do not worry about Novemeber.

    March 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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