The primary wars have gotten ugly, but when we look back, the beauty of the 2007/2008 primary cycle is going to be the battle of the small and large donor, the 50 States strategy and the DLC focus-on-the-states-you-can-win strategy, and the old politics versus the progressive people-powered politics.
Yet in another shining example that the Clinton crowd just doesn't get it, we have big Clinton donors threatening to withdraw their sizable donations to the DNC if they don't get their way: Seat Florida and Michigan for Clinton or WHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! We will take our money and go home.
I don't want to hit too hard on the old versus new theme, but as has been made very apparent this this cycle **NEWSFLASH**: it's the small donors, stupid!
Michigan and Florida and politics, OH MY!
We have by now seen numerous suggestions for resolving the Michigan/Florida debacle, but this is the first time I am aware of that big donors have demanded publicly that the DNC seat their way or else. And it seems to be an orchestrated effort on Clinton's behalf:
Delegate Battles Snarl Democrats in Two States
New York Times, March 15, 2008
Reflecting how tense the situation has become, influential fund-raisers for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton have stepped up their behind-the-scenes pressure on national party leaders to resolve the matter, with some even threatening to withhold their donations to the Democratic National Committee unless it seats the delegates from the two states or holds new primaries there.
And because their strategy involved threatening the DNC by way of the press, we can even see how cheaply they think they can buy their preferred outcome: $168,500
Pushing to seat the Florida delegates, at least one top Clinton fund-raiser, Paul Cejas, a Miami businessman who has given the Democratic National Committee $63,500 since 2003, has demanded Democratic officials return his 2007 contribution of $28,500, which they have agreed to do.
"If you’re not going to count my vote, I’m not going to give you my money," said Mr. Cejas, who was the United States ambassador to Belgium from 1998 to 2001.
Christopher Korge, a Florida real estate developer who is another top fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton, held an event last year in his home that brought in about $140,000 for the national party, which was set aside in a special account for the general election battle in Florida. But he told committee officials this week that if Florida’s delegate conundrum was not settled satisfactorily he would be asking for the money back.
"If we do not resolve this issue," Mr. Korge said, "I think it’s safe to say there will be a request for a return of $140,000."
I understand that they are upset but last I checked, Florida and Michigan voted in 2008. Shouldn't they be demanding their money that they haven't yet donated for 2008 back? I mean, really, Florida and Michigan may have gone early, but they didn't go 2007 early.
If these donors are so serious about making sure that Florida and Michigan have a say, maybe they can take the money they would have donated for 2008 and set up a fund to defray part of the cost. But they way they are approaching this just looks the cheap, backroom politics we've come to expect from the Clinton campaign.
update: I see this has already been diaried, but I wanted to give my take on this story in any case.