(Video) Clinton to Obama: Not so fast!

Clinton, speaking earlier today in Kentucky, said Obama is getting a bit ahead of himself trying to claim the nomination before the primaries are over.

Video from the Associated Press:

A report from Fox News:

MAYSVILLE, Ky. — Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday said her opponent Barack Obama may be getting a little ahead of himself in acting like the party’s nominee before the final contests of the primary season are over.

Clinton and Obama are still set to face off in several more primaries, including two in Kentucky and Oregon on Tuesday, but Obama has been increasingly portraying himself as the nominee already facing Republican John McCain. Obama has scheduled appearances later this week in Iowa and Florida as he looks ahead to the swing states in the general election.

“You can declare yourself anything, but if you don’t have the votes, it doesn’t matter,” Clinton said Monday in a satellite interview with an Oregon television station before a campaign appearance in Kentucky.

The former first lady trails Obama in the delegate count by such a margin that it is mathematically unlikely for her to overtake him in the remaining primaries, which end June 3 with Montana and South Dakota.

But both candidates have been angling to win over the party leaders and elected officials known as superdelegates, whose support will likely determine the nominee.

Clinton has been making her case to the superdelegates by casting herself as the more tested and experienced Democrat with a better chance of beating McCain in November.

I think she still has a little leverage in persuading Obama not to claim the nomination so fast. The argument of “every vote should count” usually holds a lot of water in Democratic circles.

  • Sam

    Hillary is like the fox news of delegate counting – ‘fair and balanced’!

  • Melvin

    I swear with all of those trees in her way no wonder she can’t find the forest.

  • jack

    I don’t believe what I’m hearing. Claiming to have the most votes while counting out Caucus states and counting Michigan and Florida in while Obama wasn’t even on the list! From a republican I can understand this evil childish way of thinking, but as a democrat, shame on her! Worst thing is, how can people buy this nonsense!

  • HG

    @jack

    Funny. I read what the Obama machine says about their candidate and about Hillary and think the same thing: how can people buy this nonsense?

  • IndiMinded

    There really should have been revotes… it makes me so angry that the DNC let FL and MI sit and rot, and now at the last minute, after the candidate is obviously decided, they’ll try and figure something out. It’s not Obama’s or Hillary’s fault – it’s not the players place to establish new rules mid-game, Howard Dean needs a good talking to.

  • Michel

    I think the DNC is just crumbling over the pressure that Clinton’s camp have been building. That’s not right. And I am mad as well because of this situation. But these states leaderships broke the rules. Should they go umpunished? I can see the Florida delegates being seated, but not the delegates from Michigan. And she needs BOTH to stay on the race.

    Would she be making the same pressure if things were the other way around? Would she be battling to restore delegates that would make her advantage go away? Really? Because she was among the ones who wanted to strip Michigan out their delegates in the first place, before she even knew how things were going to turn out. After all, she wasn’t completely popular in the state. We’re talking about a state where roughly 55% of the voters voted “Uncommited” in a ballot where she was the only major player. And her senior adviser Harold Ickes clarified their position on this matter… they don’t want the 55 “uncommitted” delegates to go to Obama. So, any solution with the Michigan delegates would be either 1. an arbitrary favoritism to Clinton, or even, or 2. a revote at this stage of the race that would cost significant funds to the DNC and the Democratic Campaing in the general Election.

    No wonder why Limbaugh wanted Republicans to vote for her. The RNC needs this to go on so they can buy time and fix their crisis.
    I don’t Clinton for president. And the fact that HER politics are better than McCain’s is even sadder.

  • IndiMinded

    I think Hillary is obviously arguing with a political motive. But that doesn’t change this fact: voting is a fundamental right of the American citizen.

    Reach into your pocket, and bring out a coin if you have one. Read the phrase there, “E pluribus unum” – “out of many, one”. Coins across the united states all reveal this same phrase, from California to Florida. Voting is not something that a bureaucrat has the right to take away from us: We elect the bureaucrats, WE grant THEM power, THEY do not grant US power, nor should they be allowed to take it away.

    Our political leaders serve by the will of the people. As soon as they forget that (or as soon as we forget that), we’re in a lot of trouble. To forget that is to forget the most basic principals of democracy.

  • Babs

    “Our political leaders serve by the will of the people. As soon as they forget that (or as soon as we forget that), we’re in a lot of trouble.”

    IndiMinded, could you entertain the idea that what you’ve said might be the basis for Hillary’s fighting so hard here? Just playing devil’s advocate, but somewhere beneath the politics of it all, could it be that she really wants ALL the people to be heard and counted because it’s the right way and the American way to do it?

  • IndiMinded

    I might be able to, if she hadn’t also told the pledged delegates from the primaries and caucuses that they ought to consider breaking their pledges and switching sides. Obviously that goes against the democratic fundamentals of the process.

    And she’s also attempting to claim the popular vote by counting all the votes in Michigan and giving none of those votes to Obama – even though she has previously made the argument that the 40% uncommitted in MI ought to, by rights, go to his campaign because he actively asked people to vote uncommitted.

    Of course when she made that argument it was because she was trying to seat the delegates, and she thought that argument was going to help her do it. But now that she’s counting the popular vote it’s not so helpful for her…

    And she would like to count Puerto Rico’s votes toward the popular vote too, even though they cannot vote in the general election.

    Basically, when she finds a way to tilt a situation in her favor, she argues for it. Every time.

    Arguing that pledged delegates should break their pledges was particularly nasty – that could really muck things up. Ironically only one delegate listened, and he changed from Hillary to Obama. Which I still hate, but it’s hard not to appreciate the irony of it.

  • Babs

    Well, the delegate situation is another matter. What I found on that score was that even though the superdelegates were supposedly bound (ethically)to vote their constinuency, some big ones didn’t. Example, Mass. said Hillary, Gov. Patrick and Sen. Kennedy said Obama. Arizona said Hillary, Gov. Napolitano said Obama. New Mexico said Hillary, Gov. Richardson ate Obama up. Oklahoma said Hillary, Gov. Henry said Obama. I don’t see the democracy of the superdelegates in that, none of those Govenors voted their constinuency. But neverthless, should she not argue for the right because the argument slants in her favor? Could it not be that even though it would favor her, it’s still the right argument to make?

  • IndiMinded

    Well the superdelegates shouldn’t really be bound to their constituency, although that’s one way they can vote. But if that’s how they ought to be bound, why not just give those states additional pledged delegates instead of superdelegates?

    No, I think superdelegates are a means for democratic leaders to ensure themselves a certain amount of inner party unity and control. The nominee can appeal to the people all he wants, but at the end of the day he won’t get far without also having the blessing of the party elites. So the new nominee ideally enters office owing (or having bought) some favors and having built up relationships within the party that will ensure unity within the next administration. That’s my take on it anyway.

    That being said, I really wish they didn’t exist, I’d much rather the primaries better mimic the general election. It may be an effective way to keep unity, but it seems undemocratic and dirty to me.

    Anyway, what I meant about Hillary wooing delegates is that she was actually trying to convince not the superdelegates, but the pledged delegates – the ones who are won through the primaries and caucuses – to shrug off the will of the people and go maverick in her favor.

    So obviously she doesn’t care much about anyone’s vote being counted, in Michigan, Florida, or anywhere else, because she has told delegates not to feel bound by the votes. By Hillary’s estimate, voting is purely for show, it shouldn’t determine who gets elected.

  • Babs

    I think we’re pretty much in agreement here, IndiMinded. I don’t think that the powers that be in the party like Jimmy Carter should make the statement that the superdelegates should vote their continuency (which he did) when they really don’t have to and many times don’t.

    The pledged delegates, I agree with. They actually are not bound by the continuency either, remember the culling out in California by Obama and Hillary in fear the delegates had changed sides. I think that Hillary’s attempt to woo the delegates is self serving, and that her reasoning – right or wrong – is based on what I think is her belief that buyer’s remorse really is an issue.

    I think several primaries have already been tainted with this these types of tactics, as in the Texas vote/caucus uproar in Texas. I think the system is very flawed, and its the american voters who are at the short end of the stick. I’m on the edge of renaming it the Undemocratic Party.

  • Michel

    A little side-note to Babs: It’s actually more democratic than the Republican winner-takes-all system, where minor states ore mostly overlooked. Don’t you agree?