Sen. Hillary Clinton is making a full-court, last-ditch effort to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida at the Democratic convention.
Campaigning in Florida today, Clinton compared the fight to have those two states seated to no less than four other historic events: the U.S. Civil Rights movement, the struggle for women's suffrage, the contested Bush v. Gore election in 2000, and even the recent violent elections in Zimbabwe. An overview:
FLORIDA/MICHIGAN = CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT?
Hillary Clinton compared her effort to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to epic American struggles, including those to free the slaves and win the right to vote for blacks and women...
"This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic party," she said. "From signing the Voting Rights Act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their commander in chief, to fighting for multi-lingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak."
FLORIDA/MICHIGAN = SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT?
Jettisoning her standard stump speech, Clinton gave a 25-minute sermon on the sacred place voting holds in American history, invoking women's suffrage and the long struggle for minorities to gain voting rights.
"Each vote you cast is a prayer for our nation," she said. "Each vote is a tool, one used throughout history, to break barriers, open doors and widen the circle of opportunity."
FLORIDA/MICHIGAN = BUSH V. GORE?
Invoking the controversial dispute over electoral results in Florida in 2000, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in areas where Democrats felt their votes were not counted fairly then and demanding that this year's results of primaries both in the Sunshine State and Michigan be counted, even though they violated Democratic Party rules.
"We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000 when, right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren't counted and a candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner," Clinton told a crowd at retirement home in Boca Raton. "The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: if any votes aren't counted, the will of the people isn't realized and our democracy is diminished."
FLORIDA/MICHIGAN = ZIMBABWE?
Desperate to get attention for her cause to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, Hillary Clinton compared the plight of Zimbabweans in their recent fraudulent election to the uncounted votes of Michigan and Florida voters saying it is wrong when "people go through the motions of an election only to have them discarded and disregarded."
"We're seeing that right now in Zimbabwe," Clinton explained. "Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people," Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida.
"So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote. It is the single most important, privilege and right any of us have, because in that ballot box we are all equal. You're equal to a billionaire. You're equal to the president, every single one of us."
Meanwhile, in an interview with NPR today, Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod seemed open to a deal on Michigan and Florida:
"We are open to comprise [sic]. We are willing to go more than half way. We're willing to work to make sure that we can achieve a compromise. And I guess the question is: is Senator Clinton's campaign willing to do the same?"
Axelrod continues: "Well, obviously, any compromise is going to involve some give, and that means if there's something on the table, we're willing to consider it. That may include us yielding more delegates than perhaps we would have, simply on the basis of the rules."