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Hillary Clinton: Pledged Delegates Can Switch Candidates

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In an interview with Newsweek, Hillary Clinton raised the specter of pledged delegates, nominated by voters, switching their votes at the Democratic Convention.

How can you win the nomination when the math looks so bleak for you?

It doesn't look bleak at all. I have a very close race with Senator Obama. There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates, all for different reasons, and they're all equal in their ability to cast their vote for whomever they choose. Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to. This is a very carefully constructed process that goes back years, and we're going to follow the process.

It was only a few weeks ago that the Clinton camp was accused of seeking the vote of pledged delegates. A Politico article in mid February suggested the camp was thinking about the strategy down as the convention drew closer:

"I swear it is not happening now, but as we get closer to the convention, if it is a stalemate, everybody will be going after everybody's delegates," a senior Clinton official told me Monday afternoon. "All the rules will be going out the window."

That article prompted the unequivocal response from the campaign:

We have not, are not and will not pursue the pledged delegates of Barack Obama. It's now time for the Obama campaign to be clear about their intentions.

UPDATE: Ben Smith is reporting that the Clinton's statements do not represent a change in stance on pledged delegates, according to a campaign aide.