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. No Hillary

    I admire your courage Madam Speaker.

    March 27, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    If she is concerned about how the voters feel, why bother at all with delegates and just go with the total popular vote? While we are at it let's do away with the Electoral vote in the General Election.

    March 27, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. karen

    my lady you will reap what you sow. how about she goes by the constituents of her state? eh?

    March 27, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. jo

    McCain said he will continue with Iraq, and Liberman on his side, he may go attack Iran. Then what about the Supreme court judges? 4 are waiting to retire all leaft leaning. Hmmm.. do the right thing Either Hillary or Obama will be better even though McCain has been moderate, but Right will pull him to the right.

    March 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |

    Obama people know that Clinton will win handily among superdelegates..Its very simple..

    Obama savants are caught up in the rhetoric of speeches..The guy cannot deliever anything..

    HILLARY 08!! Hands down.

    March 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Eki Ehizele

    All I can manage is a deep-throated "HAHAHAHAHA". and then I ask, how did I love this unscrupulous and roguish family for so long? I see your true colours, Billary, and I want to puke.

    March 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Slept in Church for 20 years

    Nancy wants to be Vice President. Who does she think she is fooling?

    March 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Ugh

    – Both candidates seem to pick and choose which rules they want the party to follow. The simple fact that the DNC is disenfranchising two possible swing states is beyond all comprehension. Neither candidate campaigned in the two states but Obama took his name off the ballot in Michigan. In my opinion, the voters of these two states need to weigh in and have their voices heard. I don’t know how that is possible in Michigan but the DNC needs to figure it out. This entire mess is the fault of the Party leaders – NOT the candidates. Then we have the Superdelegate issue – These people have their “power” for cases such as this. If the superdelegates are FORCED/EXPECTED to vote either way, what is the point? Nancy Pelosi needs to remain quiet – she is just fueling the fire and, if majority needs to be the only factor – someone tell Richardson, Kerry and Kennedy to endorse Hillary. Their states voted for her yet they support Obama. Besides, all the promise Nancy Pelosi once had pretty much evaporated because our Democrat controlled House HASN’T DONE ANYTHING!

    March 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. RH

    Nancy's hair looks fantastic!

    March 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. CHUCK

    Nancy Pelosi would make a great proxy for the village idiot. After doing significant damage to the Democrat cause since she became speaker, she now throws her considerable weight (pun unintended) to something she should stay out of completely–the Democratic presidential candidate. Given Congress's 21% approval rating and the growing chasm between the general public and congressional perception, why is she voicing her opinion? The WSJ recently reported that members of congress enjoyed an 84% increase in net worth, while ordinary Americans are trying to cope with fuel bills and job uncertainty. In November WE WILL VOTE, and Democrats and Republicans will feel the sting!

    March 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Kentucky

    Since neither candidate with have enough delegates to get the nomination, why is it that only the Obama supporters will be upset?

    The party has bigger problems than that. They are not going to count 2 of the largest states in the Union. That will haunt the democrats come November. Obama should be ashamed for not wanting a revote! That is incredibly unpresidential.

    March 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    These Cinton contributor's creed reads; It's my way or the highway"
    Well, your way is not going to work this time. Better stick your thumbs out boys. You're about to go on a road trip.

    Thanks NP.

    March 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Will

    Some of you Clinton supporters commenting sound like your trying to do what you claim Obama is trying to do by being in the lead. Destroy the Democratic Party.

    Doesn't it bother anyone if it becomes a regular thing that party insiders overturn the rules and the popular vote? Apparently not if it's the candidate you voted for. What happened to the ideals of Democracy?

    March 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Asian American Voter

    I am a democrat. I am an immigrant from a third world country. I am a college graduate (still paying my student loan) BUT my greatest accomplishment was becoming a United States Citizen. I studied the United States history and constitution because I don't know what kind of questions the immigration officer will ask. It was a great feeling when I voted the first time. At the moment, I am so discouraged to see all the negativities from all the candidates.

    Voters should bear in mind that no politicians are perfect. Sometimes they have to lie to get elected and that's the truth! This election are full of surprises. Who knew that a woman and multi race candidate will beat the odds? They are in both in the race because voters cast their support. The democrats are not finish with their process until June and neither candidates have the 2024(5) delegates. It's unbelievable how people express their hatred especially to Hillary. This is America and that's why soldiers (love them) are dying to protect us and to preserve our FREEDOM.

    I LOVE THIS COUNTRY! One word of advice for those who say otherwise. You can always go back to the COUNTRY OF YOUR ORIGIN IF YOU DON'T LOVE AMERICA. It's up to individuals who they want to pick as their president and who they think can do the job both domestic and foreign.

    CNN, please post this comment. It seems like you only want to post
    nasty comments. Thanks!

    March 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Mike

    Say what you want about Obama but he would not (nor would anybody besides Hillary) be claiming that they should be the democratic nominee while sitting in SECOND place in pledged delegates and the popular vote.

    March 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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