ABC News' Teddy Davis and Talal Al-Khatib Report: In one of the most bizarre moments of the 2008 campaign, Obama campaign lawyer Bob Bauer called into a Tuesday night Clinton campaign conference call with reporters. The four and a half minute exchange led to a series of antagonistic questions painting the former first lady's charges of caucus vote tampering as baseless.
"I'd be interested to know," said Bauer, "how is this any different from the series of complaints that you've registered against every caucus that you lose?"
The purpose of the Clinton campaign conference call was to accuse Obama's Texas backers of improperly padding the Illinois Democrat's caucus vote total. The improper padding was allegedly done earlier in the day on Tuesday by getting primary voters who support Obama to fill out sign-in sheets all day long rather than waiting until the primary polls close and the caucus process formally gets underway. Part of the challenge of the Lone Star State's hybrid primary-caucus system is getting one's backers to vote once in the primary (either in person or through early voting) and once in the caucus.
Allegations of sign-in sheets being filled out before the primary polls close is a serious allegation because the sign-in sheets are the equivalent of caucus votes. The Texas Democratic Party rules only require someone to sign their name and state their presidential preference; caucus participants are not required to attend the entire caucus meeting.
So not only did the Obama campaign get caught stuffing the ballot box metaphorically speaking, but they hijacked a Clinton conference call to preempt her complaint.
I'm pretty sure both of those are no no's and in the case of the conference call I remember reading one time that authorized interference with telephonic communication is a crime.
In reality this just shows that the Obama campaign is feeling the heat. They aren't able to skate on his stunning good looks and dulcet tones so much now that he is the front runner and they are panicking, I would think especially now that his winning streak has been broken and it looks like Ohio broke against him by 17 points.
Election 2008, Barack Obama