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Hillary Supporters Are Mad and They’re Not Going to Take It Anymore!

The Obama team is playing hardball with supporters of his former rival.

by
Jennifer Rubin

Bio

August 4, 2008 - 12:00 am
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If further evidence was needed, a report by Politico’s Ben Smith confirmed that all is not well within the Democratic Party. It seems that Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton are attempting to secure her right to a roll call at the Convention by emailing members of the DNC. The hostile and sometimes threatening emails these Democrats have received back from DNC officials have been posted at the blog of Puma PAC.

And they are not alone in feeling the wrath of the Obama contingent. Susan Estrich, life long Democrat and former Michael Dukakis campaign manager, described the vicious hate mail she received when she warned in a recent column of the “hubris” phenomenon in the Obama camp.

As for the Puma PAC, this is a group founded by former Hillary Clinton supporters who declare as their goals:

  • support Clinton “throughout this election cycle”
  • lobby and organize for changes in leadership in the DNC
  • critique and oppose the misogyny, discrimination, and disinformation in the mainstream media, including mainstream blogs and other outlets of new media
  • support the efforts of those political figures who have allied themselves with Hillary Clinton and who have demonstrated commitment to our first three goals.

I spoke with the founder of Puma PAC, Darragh Murphy. She’s not, as Obama supporters have claimed, a closet Republican or a John McCain plant. She’s a 39-year-old, mother of three from Massachusetts who was a small Hillary Clinton donor and who knocked on doors for Hillary in Philadelphia with her then 16-year-old daughter. She acknowledges that she did give money to John McCain in the 2000 primary because she “wanted him to beat George Bush.”

She started the blog on June 3, 2008 and got 35,000 hits in eight hours, As of now she has had over 1.2 million hits and 65,500 comments. The PAC raised $23,000 in June and she estimates an equal number in July. The PAC has approximately 5000 members.

What does her group want? She replies: “We have short term goals and long term goals. Our short, short term goal is to do everything we can to make sure the process is respected for Hillary at the Convention.” Murphy explained that just as Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson had the chance, they are making sure Hillary’s supporters get a chance to show their support. She says, “We are phoning and emailing and lobbying to make sure there is an open roll call and vote and her name is placed in nomination.”

One of Murphy’s members, William Kronert, is a Democrat from California. He tells me, “Never in the entire history have any two candidates come to what amounts to a tie in the primaries yet Senator Clinton has been ask over and over to drop out of the race. Surely others have taken their case to the convention and with far less pledged delegates as Senator Clinton.”

Murphy also believes that Hillary’s delegates need to “get a chance to shape the platform. They are being shut out of the process which is run by an official of the Obama campaign.”

On this score, Estrich confirms that the Obama team is playing hardball with supporters of his former rival. She confides:

There are stories kicking around about how African-Americans in at least two states (South Carolina and New York itself) who supported Hillary Clinton ended up with primary opponents in their own races for re-election to punish them for being pro-Clinton. This is not the way to win. There are stories kicking around that the reason (or one of them) that the highly effective Hillraisers are not raising the kind of money for Obama that they raised for Clinton is because they have been told that no matter what they do, they will never be the “equal” of the Obama fundraisers.

And what will the Puma members do after the Convention? Murphy concedes, “We’re realists. … We know the DNC is committed to the path of nominating their chosen candidate.” In November she explains, “We are protesting the election.” Members will sit home, write in Hillary’s name or vote for John McCain. She explains, “That up to them. That’s part of our whole philosophy.”

Kronert says that he won’t be voting for Obama and thinks “Obama is running his campaign on the ‘Change, Hope, a new kind of Politics’ marketing gimmick.” He also is one voter who thinks experience matters (“Obama is a two year senator with one year of that being on the campaign trail.”)

Shanon from Maryland, another Puma member who donated to Hillary and voted Democratic in five straight past elections won’t vote for Obama, listing his lack of experience, qualifications and track record among her concerns. She says, “I will vote McCain, third-party, stay home or write Hillary Clinton in. At this point, Ichabod Crane is looking better than the choices I have. But make no mistake, I have a choice.” Eli, a self-described “Clinton Democrat” from Massachusetts, says he’s not voting for Obama because “Quite simply, he is not qualified.”

Particularly galling to Murphy’s members is the treatment of the Florida and Michigan Democratic primary votes and the conduct of caucuses in Iowa, Texas and Nevada. As for the disputed primaries, Murphy explains, “You expect your vote will be counted. You expect your vote will matter.” And in the caucuses, she contends there are ample instances (documented in the case of Texas caucus for the Dallas election office) of “astonishing” instances of chaos, fraud and intimidation.

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