Now Clinton is trying to change the rules mid-game. She's arguing that her delegates from Michigan should count after all. (Running essentially unopposed, she still got only 55% of the vote, since 40% voted "uncommitted" and Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel--and Chris Dodd, who'd already dropped out--split the remaining 5%.) She's campaigning in Florida with a wink and a nod (doing closed talks and photo ops, not public rallies), while trying to get those delegates to count too. She seems to be banking on the hope that a Florida win, even if only symbolic, will erase Obama's momentum from his massive South Carolina victory.
We actually saw the same pattern in 2006. In a season when Democratic candidates were scrambling to raise enough to finance an ever-expanding array of competitive races, Clinton made a conscious decision to raise $52 million for a Senate campaign that she could have won in her pajamas, spent $40.8 million (to beat a token opponent who spent less than $6 million), and transferred the rest to her presidential campaign. Only the self-funded Jon Corzine has ever spent more for a Senate race in our history.
You could say she was just playing the game, but Barack Obama and John Edwards, in comparison, campaigned throughout the country to support worthy Democratic candidates, while doing negligible fundraising for themselves. Obama emerged with less than a million in the bank and the Edwards campaign ended up still in debt from 2004. Their top priorities really did seem to be helping other Democrats win a critical election, instead of subordinating all other goals to their own personal futures.
Imagine if Hillary had transferred $20 million into the dozen Congressional campaigns that Democrats lost by margins as close as a few hundred votes. Or into Harold Ford's Senatorial campaign, to help close a $5-million gap with Republican Bob Corker. A few extra ads or mailings might well have tipped the balance But Hillary made different decisions. Much as may have been true with her support of a recent Iran vote so reckless that Senator James Webb called it "Dick Cheney's pipe dream," her priority was election-year positioning.