Marc Ambinder reports today that “multiple Democratic sources” say Hillary Clinton, “in a series of private conversations and conference calls, continues to urge her pledged delegates to vote for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.”
Clinton plans a series of calls with superdelegates, interest groups and state delegations over the next few days. (One of them took place last night, according to this report from Iowa’s Quad Cities-Globe-Gazette.)
“She’s doing calls with supports and delegates and various other groups of supporters,” said Mo Elliethee, a spokesperson. “What she did was reiterate what she said on Saturday. She thanked them for their hard work and their dedication and all that they did for her and celebrated some of the accomplishments of her campaign…. And she urged them to get behind Sen. Obama and to work just as hard to elect him president.”
A Clinton spokesman said that Clinton is not technically releasing her delegates — doing so would cause many of them to be dropped from the slate — but noted that both Bill Bradley and Howard Dean did not formally release their slates until their conventions.
This news no doubt will be disappointing to some Clinton supporters. But the reality is, it’s time for everyone to get behind our nominee.
Still, Clinton’s moves this week suggest that she opposes grassroots efforts by some of her supporters to hang on until the convention and submit Clinton’s name for president or vice president. It also suggests that her campaign does not intend to challenge the DNC rules and bylaws committee decision to award Obama some of Clinton’s delegates from Michigan. Pledged delegates and superdelegates can vote for whomever they want, but a split convention — even if the split was lopsided — would no doubt embarrass Obama.
Obama has received quite a bounce since Hillary endorsed him on Saturday. The latest Gallup daily shows Obama with a 7 point lead over McCain in the general election forecasts.
UPDATE: To be clear on this post, as stated above Hillary Clinton “urged them [delegates] to get behind Sen. Obama and to work just as hard to elect him president.” The post clearly quotes that “A Clinton spokesman said that Clinton is not technically releasing her delegates.”
Ben Smith adds more on Politico:
Clinton has not formally released her delegates.
Harold Ickes started the call, a Clinton aide said, saying they weren’t being released, citing historical precedence we discussed and saying we wanted everyone to stay united to keep fighting for the issues.
A pledged delegate from San Francisco who was on the call, David Serrano Sewall, emails while Clinton expressed her support for Obama, Ickes said “delegates can do what they want, any delegate can, but wanted us to hang with Hillary for now.”
The Clinton aide said there’s no power play here: Clinton just wants to make sure her supporters are slated in state delegates and sent to Denver. Her camp pointed to precedent: Bradley in 2000 and Dean in 2004 didn’t formally release their delegates until the convention itself.