Remember how there was once the (quaint, antique) Constitution and then there was the law of Bush? Well, we may be electing another fantasist. First there is The Math and then (just as with Karl Rove) we have Clinton's math.
“I’m very proud that as of today, I have received more votes by the people who have voted than anyone else,” Clinton said the day after her victory in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary.
But has she really? No. Not really. Not unless you throw out the existing rules of the Democratic Party and invent a new set of Hillary Rules.
Under Hillary Rules, Clinton counts the popular vote in Michigan, where she was the only major candidate on the ballot. The Democratic Party does not recognize those votes.
Under Hillary Rules, Clinton also counts the popular vote in Florida, where candidates were forbidden to campaign. The Democratic Party does not recognize the results of the Florida primary, either.
Under Hillary Rules, Clinton throws out the “votes by the people who have voted” in the states of Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington, because those were caucus states, where popular vote tallies were not officially kept and where, by the way, Obama won three out of the four contests.
Under Hillary Rules, Clinton gets to choose the contests that help her, throw out the contests that do not and declare herself the winner.
Steve Kornacki of The New York Observer did an excellent, detailed story last week on Clinton and the popular vote, going through a number of different scenarios and projections for the contests that remain.
His conclusion: “The point is that under the most basic and probably the fairest criteria — simply counting every state and U.S. possession where there was a legitimate primary or a caucus where popular votes were tallied — Obama will finish the primary season hundreds of thousands of votes ahead of Clinton.”
Oh, okay. But after all, a campaign is a campaign and, you know, politicians do these things...
Yeah, we know. They do. And then they go on doing it. In case anyone's forgotten, there's always the example of the Bush campaign followed by the Bush push in Florida followed by the Bush presidency.
We rest our case.