Lanny J. Davis
Former special counsel to President Clinton, and supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign
After the votes are in from Puerto Rico tomorrow and South Dakota and Montana on Tuesday, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton will be able to make a facts-based case that they represent a significant majority of grass-roots Democrats. Chances are Sens. Obama and Clinton will virtually split the more than 4,400 delegates—including Florida and Michigan—elected by more than 34 million people over the past five months.
Sen. Clinton has already won the most votes, but there is controversy over including the over 300,000 votes from Michigan, since Sen. Obama was not on the ballot (by his own choice). But if Sen. Clinton wins a substantial victory in Puerto Rico tomorrow—with an expected record turnout exceeding two million voters—she could well end up with more popular votes than Sen. Obama, even if Michigan’s primary votes are excluded.
Worst case, she could come out with a 2% deficit in elected pledged delegates. But that gap can be made up, if most of the remaining 200 or so unpledged superdelegates decide to support Sen. Clinton as the strongest candidate against John McCain—or if others committed to Sen. Obama decide to change their minds for the same reason. A number of superdelegates previously committed to Sen. Clinton later announced support for Sen. Obama, so it’s certainly possible that, when confronted with growing evidence that Sen. Clinton is stronger than Sen. McCain, they might switch back.
The final argument for Hillary comes down to three points—with points one and two leading to the third.
Tonight, you'll hear former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan in his own words. He'll answer his critics and explain how his book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" came to be.
READ ANDERSON'S POST
What's going to happen to the delegates in Michigan and Florida? The democratic party's Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting to figure that out. You'll remember that both Florida and Michigan defied party rules and held primaries earlier than allowed. As punishment, both state parties were told they would not be represented at all when the party officially nominates its presidential candidate in Denver in August, and they are challenging those sanctions. Will there be a compromise?
David Mattingly has the latest on the FLDS. What's next for the state and the kids? Take a look at David's blog about possible payback.
And be sure to check out our live web camera from the 360° studio. It shows Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on the set. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET.
LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA
We'll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Editor's note: Tonight on AC360° we have Anderson's interview with Scott McClellan. You can read the entire transcript here, but note: this is a rush transcript, there are typos and abbreviations. No need to point each one out!
Anderson Cooper: TODAY THE WHITE HOUSE SEEMS TO HAVE A NEW TALKING POINT OUT ABOUT YOU. FOR DAYS IT'S JUST KINDA BEEN.. WE'RE PUZZLED, SCRATCHING OUR HEADS, THIS IS NOT THE SCOTT WE KNEW. TODAY, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON DANA PERINO HAD SOMETHING ELSE TO SAY LET'S LISTEN...
"And our central objection to the book is that it is not based in fact and I think that one of ther reasons we are puzzled and surprised and saddened by it is because...the...charge, the loaded charge in the book...is that the president and his senior advisors purposefully misled people in to war and we sent our young men and women knowing something we weren't telling the american people. That is not true."
Anderson Cooper: HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT IT IS TRUE?
Scott McClellan: Uh..First of all I have a lot of fineness for Dana Perino. I actually hired her and brought her on the staff when she was deputy press secretary. Returning to the comments she made today the White House is now suggesting that they deliberately misled the American people, and that is actually not what i say in the book. I said that it was not deliberate or conscious.
AC: SO THEY'RE ACTUALLY ATTACKING YOU FOR SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SAID IN THE BOOK.
So how does the state give the kids back?
This morning Judge Barbara Walther asked for all the players to join in court today. A 2pm "conference" to decide how the court will abide by the Texas Supreme Court's decision to essentially give the FLDS kids back to their families.
The court was packed this afternoon as attorneys, FLDS mothers, and media filled the seats. All waiting to hear how this would all be resolved.
The state drafted up some language on how to return the children, with guidelines. Some of those proposals:
Ismael Estrada and David Mattingly
AC360° Producer and Correspondent
ELDORADO, Texas - Schleicher County, Texas is the kind of small community where everyone knows your name. This tiny town has two traffic lights and gas stations, a few restaurants, a small, local weekly paper and now - possibly hundreds of new voters.
A few years ago, when the FLDS polygamist sect set up camp on their new 1,700-acre property, they told local officials they wanted nothing to do with local government. They say they just wanted to stay to themselves in their secluded YFZ ranch, where they were building massive homes and a temple as more FLDS members moved in.
But their promise to stay out of local government has changed since Texas authorities raided their property on April 3. FULL POST
I just got done interviewing Scott McCellan. He’s been interviewed on a couple of other programs already, but I think you will find the interview we are going to air on 360 tonight is much different.
I was up until about 4am last night reading the book, and I finished it earlier today. I believe in holding people accountable for their words and actions, and not taking political sides, and I think you will see my effort to do all those things in the interview tonight.
I wanted to give McClellan the opportunity to directly address some of the specific attacks being made against him by the White House and its surrogates, but I also wanted to directly address some of the things that are vague in his book.
He blames being stuck in the White House “bubble” but is that really a valid excuse for his actions? He says he was caught up in the Washington game, but does that justify making what he now admits were misleading statements?
Anyway, I think you will be interested in the interview tonight. It’s tough, but fair. I hope you tune it.
AC360° Senior Producer
Scott McClellan says it took time for his "partisan blinders" to come down. Ok...but why? Is this White House really as unreflective as critics have claimed?
I know... it can take us all a while to see the other guy's perspective, or the "truth," as McClellan put it. But if the White House has been so caught up in "permanent campaign" mode that it missed "the value of truth and honesty," as McClellan said, well... those are pretty big elephants in the room to miss… are they not?
What's your view?
Anderson interviews McClellan for tonight’s show. We hope you’ll join us at 10p ET.
AC360° CorrespondentAnderson just did a smart, fascinating interview with Scott McClellan. So many questions - I wanted to ask a him a few myself when I rode in the elevator with him this afternoon, but 5 floors wasn’t enough time. It was a crazy way to start my Friday, though! You never know who you’ll see in this building.
OK, let’s get down to business!
Can you imagine a woman living in your closet for a year without you knowing? I know, that last sentence has a few things that are tough to imagine, but it happened in Japan. Somehow, this woman was able to not only move in, she got herself a mattress, and even showered! Her one slip-up? Taking food from the guy who’s closet she was living in. In tech-savvy Japan, all it took was a webcam and cell phone to solve the mystery of the missing munchies.
It's time for 'Beat 360°"
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.
Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?
Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic of the day: Former President Bill CLinton, left, introduces former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the announcement of the formation of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, in New York Friday May 30, 2008.
Have fun with it.
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David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer
UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° winners!
Superdelegate supporting Sen. Obama
President of The Indigenous Democratic Network
On Tuesday, tribal voters in South Dakota and Montana have an historic opportunity to help secure the presidential nomination for Senator Barack Obama. This is an unprecedented election year for Indian Country. Senator Obama, as well as Senator Hillary Clinton, has been to Indian Country during this primary. I commend them both for putting tribal issues on their national platforms.
Indian voters have been more and more visible on the national landscape in the last two election cycles. 2008 will prove even more important as the "New West" will be a pivotal battleground for determining the presidency and the make-up of congress. In the "New West" tribal communities have concentrated populations and the ability to swing an election in favor of either party. In 2006, Senator Jon Tester of Montana beat incumbent Conrad Burns due to increased turn out on Indian reservations in Montana and in 2002, the Indian vote helped secure a victory for Senator Tim Johnson in South Dakota, who won by 524 votes.