Clinton supporters want floor vote

It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. — Dan Cook

Operation Chaos may not yet have finished, according to CQ Politics.   While Hillary Clinton negotiates for a place of honor at the convention, some of her followers have a more important role in mind for her.  They want an open floor vote for the nomination — and think that Hillary could win it:

She may have given up, but a few of Hillary Rodham Clinton ’s people haven’t.

The senator from New York is said to be negotiating a respectful presence followed by a graceful exit from next month’s Democratic convention, and last week the party announced that Barack Obama would formally accept the party’s nomination in the stadium built for the Denver Broncos. But there are Clinton supporters clinging to the hope that if her name is placed in nomination and the roll call of the states is conducted, she might — might — still win.

Heidi Li Feldman, a Georgetown University law professor, insists there’s still “no way of predicting” the outcome should there be a fair vote. That’s because Obama has not secured enough pledged delegates to ensure the magic number of 2,118 needed to claim victory; the Illinois senator has gone past that benchmark only with the pledges of about 390 superdelegates — and they can change their minds at any time up to the moment they cast their ballots.

Feldman plans to put her money where her mouth is.  She raised $100,000 for Clinton in the primaries, and now she wants to raise more to run ads demanding a free vote on the nomination.  She and Marc Rubin have formed the Denver Group to pressure the DNC to meet their demands — and says she will not vote for Obama in the general election without a floor vote in Denver.

There could be danger for Obama in a floor vote, albeit rather microscopic.  His long series of flip-flops have damaged his credibility and taken the enthusiasm for his candidacy out of the base.  The FISA vote particularly enraged the activist base of the party, and Hillary’s opposition may have rekindled respect for her among former Obama enthusiasts.  As Feldman and CQ point out, the superdelegates could conceivably still vote for Hillary in an open ballot, and the netroots might find that a pleasant alternative to the Gaffemaster.

At least it would guarantee network coverage, now at risk thanks to the DNCC’s last-minute change for the final night’s festivities.   A floor vote would make Denver much more interesting — perhaps more interesting than the DNC would like.  And if the unthinkable happens and Hillary wins the nomination on the floor vote, the meltdown that would follow would ensure wall-to-wall coverage.

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