Monday, January 21, 2008

Will the Florida No Campaign Pledge Be Lifted (or Broken)?

cn1044 has a diary up on DailyKos titled Florida might be getting interesting detailing how Senator Barack Obama has purchased national cable ads that are now running in Florida. Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign calls this
a clear and blatant violation of the early state pledge that Sen. Obama and the other leading Democratic candidates signed last year.
Meanwhile, Florida State Senator Ted Deutch has written a letter to the four early state Democratic Party Chairs asking them to release the leading Democratic candidates from their pledge not to campaign in Florida.

Could Florida become more relevant all of a sudden? And what can all this mean?

On Thursday, Florida State Senator Ted Deutch sent a letter to the Democratic Party Chairs of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The letter asks the Chairs of the four early states to release the Democratic candidates from their pledge not to campaign in Florida before February 5th. Florida's primary is scheduled for January 29th, 3 days after the last of the four early primaries in South Carolina on the 26th. Senator Deutch's letter states
On January 26th when the polls close in South Carolina, the goals you established in September when you asked the candidates to sign the Pledge will have been fully satisfied, and there will be no compelling reason for you to ask the candidates to continue to abide by the Pledge.

For five months, the candidates will have concentrated their attention on your four states. Allow Florida to have two days.
No word yet if Senator Deutch has received any responses from the four state party chairs.

Today, the St. Petersburg Times Buzz Blog is reporting here that the Clinton campaign is criticizing the Obama campaign because
CNN viewers in Florida today are seeing a Barack Obama campaign ad, which is part of a national cable TV buy.
The Clinton campaign is quoted as saying
Sen. Obama’s flagrant disregard for the pledge that he signed is disturbing and calls the integrity of the pledge into question.
Obama's campaign tell the Times:
We asked the cable channels if we could prevent the ad from airing in Florida and we were told that would be impossible.
Meanwhile,'s Ben Smith is reporting this:
“Both national cable networks told us it would be impossible for us to run advertising nationally that excluded only Florida. For that reason we consulted with the South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler who told us unequivocally she did not consider this to be in violation of pledge made to the early states,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.
So, is this a sign that the early states might look favorably upon Senator Deutch's request to release the candidates from the pledge after South Carolina's primary? Will the Clinton campaign consider the pledge broken and launch their own national cable ads that will air in Florida?

Stay tuned.


Politico is now reporting this form Clinton campaign spokesperson Mo Elleithee:
“We have honored the pledge in every way possible,” Elleithee said. “Now … we’re going to review all the options that are available to us moving forward.”

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