This article from the FT is pretty typical at the moment: “Clinton seeks profit from a Florida win”
[F]ollowing her heavy defeat to Barack Obama in South Carolina last weekend, Mrs Clinton hopes to derive favourable publicity from her expected victory in Florida’s straw poll on Tuesday.
Almost 400,000 Floridians have already cast postal votes in the Democratic race, even though all of the candidates stuck to their pledge not to campaign there or run local advertising [after Florida had all of its Democratic delegates stripped for bringing the date of its primary forward].
Mr Obama’s camp has accused Mrs Clinton of cynicism for signalling she will ask the party to restore Florida’s delegates to the convention. Florida would have more delegates than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina combined.
Why does everyone play this as Hillary the cynical and faintly desperate candidate backing down on her pledge? I understand why Obama’s staff are playing it that way, but why are the commentators agreeing with that view?
If she wins the nomination – and the best bet right now is that she will – then it will prove enormously valuable that she went to Florida, no matter whether their delegates get to vote for that nomination or not. If she hadn’t gone but still won the nomination, then come November the Republican candidate would be speaking endlessly about her absence in such a key state while waxing lyrical about the democratic right of people to have their say.
Whoever the Democratic front-runner was at this stage was always going to be forced to go to Florida because of the attention that the Republicans are giving to it. Hillary is simply making the most of it. Barack Obama, who is behind in both the primary polls and the betting markets in most of the super-Tuesday states, cannot afford to think of November yet; if he’s looking at anything past the 5th of February, I’d be stunned.