So Senator Hillary Clinton won ZERO delegates in Florida tonight but she is ubiquitous on the cable networks extolling her "victory" as evidence that grassroots Democrats want her to be the nominee for president over Senator Barack Obama.
This move on Senator Clinton's part is the most weasel-like posture she's taken this entire campaign. The Democratic National Committee ruled months ago that Florida's Democratic delegates would not be recognized as punishment for the Florida Republican legislature's decision to move up the primary. Senator Obama and Senator John Edwards honored the party's ruling and did not openly campaign in the state. Why waste money on winning a primary that the DNC does not see as legitimate?
Yet tonight I saw Hillary Clinton on Fox News and on MSNBC running a victory lap and crowing to all and sundry that Florida has shown that she is the candidate that most Democrats prefer. This disingenuous and opportunistic display on Ms. Clinton's part shows the depths to which the Clinton camp will sink. It is disgraceful for her to declare herself the "victor" over Obama in an election that the DNC has already ruled illegitimate. But Ms. Clinton milked it for all of the publicity it was worth tonight. Shameless.
What's more, MSNBC reported that Clinton broke evenly with Obama in the tally of voters who have made their decision most recently (and Obama didn't even campaign in Florida).
So Ms. Clinton's dishonorable display tonight raises all of the old questions about the James Carville-style underhanded campaign tactics for which the Clintons are legends. These techniques might be colossal attributes when taking on Republicans, but they reek of foul play when directed against fellow Democrats as she did tonight. Undecided Democrats, as well as Obama and Edwards supporters, should call out Ms. Clinton on her stagecraft. This opportunistic stance should become a campaign issue and I hope Obama and Edwards put it to good use.