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GOP Lawyer Offers to Help Obama Defeat Clinton in Florida

ted_olson.jpgThis one is straight out of the "Politics makes for strange bedfellows" department. It seems that Theodore (Ted) Olson, former solicitor general of the United States and the lawyer who represented George W. Bush before the Supreme Court in 2000 in Bush v. Gore, is offering to assist Barack Obama in beating back Hillary Clinton's attempts to have the Democratic Convention recognize her victory in Florida and seat the Florida delegates.

The reason why Olson would go to such lengths to assist Obama should be obvious to thinking Democrats, but who am I to give away the ending... let's let Olson lead us to the payoff instead.

Olson seems almost giddy as he muses over the predicament which Floridian Democrats find themselves, in this Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece published February 11th, noting that a potential virtual tie in delegates this year, with neither Obama nor Cinton having enough pledged delegates to win the election, will put the superdelegates into play and that Hillary Clinton's effort to seat the Florida delegates will intensify as a result:

Surely no one familiar with her history would doubt that her take-no-prisoners campaign team would do whatever it took to capture the nomination, including all manner of challenges to Obama delegates and tidal waves of litigation.[...]

Her campaign is arguing that the delegates she won in each state be recognized despite party rules and notwithstanding her commitment not to compete in those primaries. Of course. "Count every vote."

Olson postulates that Clinton might prevail in Florida courts, a conclusion I find doubtful but, again, Olson is running with a fantasy he obviously relishes:

As the convention nears, with Sen. Clinton trailing slightly in the delegate count, the next step might well be a suit in the Florida courts challenging her party's refusal to seat Florida's delegation at the convention. And the Florida courts, as they did twice in 2000, might find some ostensible legal basis for overturning the pre-election rules and order the party to recognize the Clinton Florida delegates. That might tip the balance to Sen. Clinton.

I think there is a snowball's chance in hell of that happening - principally because we're dealing with internal Democratic party rules which determine delegate seatings, and not with a federal election regulations as was the case in 2000, but let's watch Olson as he licks his lips over the prospects:

We all know full well what could happen next. The array of battle-tested Democratic lawyers who fought for recounts, changes in ballot counting procedures, and even re-votes in Florida courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 would separate into two camps. Half of them would be relying on the suddenly-respectable Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision that overturned the Florida courts' post-hoc election rules changes. The other half would be preaching a new-found respect for "federalism" and demanding that the high court leave the Florida court decisions alone.

Would the U.S. Supreme Court even take the case after having been excoriated for years by liberals for daring to restore order in the Florida vote-counting in 2000?

I'm not sure if Olson intended to refer to the conservatives among the Supreme Court Justices as nothing better than a bunch of partisan hacks who accept cases based on their own political leanings, but it sure appears to me as if he's suggesting exactly that.

And, would Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, the dissenters in Bush v. Gore, feel as strongly about not intervening if Sen. Obama was fighting against an effort to change a presidential election by changing the rules after the fact? Will there be a brief filed by Floridians who didn't vote in their state's primary because the party had decided, and the candidates had agreed, that the results wouldn't count?

In short, the way things are going so far, Sens. Obama and Clinton will probably be so close to one another in delegate count by the time of the convention that all those primary votes may be tabulated, but will turn out to be irrelevant to the outcome. Those 796 superdelegate politicians will decide who the candidate will be. Maybe no cigar or cigarette smoke this time, but back-room politics all the same. All those primary voters and millions in campaign expenses locked out of the room.

Olson now appears to sober up briefly, in deference to any WSJ readers who aren't buying his orgasmic flights of fantasy envisioning Democrats in peril:

This may be one of those déjà vu fantasies that won't happen. But it did happen before. And Florida has a quirky habit of popping up again and again in close presidential elections, having been a factor not only in 2000, but also the epic presidential election controversy of 1876. And Democratic lawyers have undoubtedly kept copies of the legal briefs they filed for Al Gore in 2000 into which their computers can easily substitute the name Clinton for Gore.

And finally the payoff. GOP/George W. Bush lawyer Ted Olson, who lead the Republicans in their successful bid to steal the 2000 Presidential election, finally shows who who he'd like ot see as the Democratic nominee running in opposition to John McCain:

If it does happen, I'd be more than happy to loan Sen. Obama the winning briefs that helped secure the election of the legitimate winner of the 2000 election, George W. Bush.

Fascinating. The lawyer who represented George W. Bush in his Supreme Court bid to steal the 2000 election away from Al Gore stands ready to assist Barack Obama in keeping Clinton out of the nomination.

Why? Why is this Republican lawyer so determined to not have Hillary Clinton running against John McCain that he's willing to go to such great lengths to insure that McCain gets to run against Obama instead?


It seems that Ted Olson was Giuliani's choice as US Attorney General. Obviously he must feel that if Barack Obama succeeds in nailing the Democratic nomination that he, Olson, stands a better chance of attaining the AG slot. This is a Republican who aspires to the highest legal post in the United States of America, and he wants Obama to be the Democratic nominee.... hmmm.

Giuliani defended Ted Olson today as a choice for U.S. attorney general.

"Having Ted Olson as Attorney General wouldn't just be good for Republicans, it would be good for Democrats," Giuliani told San Francisco radio station KFSO. [...]

Giuliani said Olson was ethical and knew how to separate his political views from professional responsibilities.

"He believes passionately in the Republican Party," Giuliani said.

A prominent Republican heir apparent to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who believes passionately in the Republican Party now stands ready and eager to assist Barack Obama in winning the Democratic nomination?


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (1)


Ooo-boy! The "dumb nigger test"! (Don't do it!!!!)


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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