Operation chaos at the Texas Democrat conventions

Houston Chronicle:

Traffic jams, long lines, crowds, confusion and chaos marked Texas Democratic regional conventions Saturday as an unprecedented number of political activists turned out to help elect presidential nominating delegates for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

There are 67 at-large delegates at stake, depending mostly on the results of the state senatorial district and county conventions.

Obama was the caucus winner on primary night, and an Associated Press delegate count showed he might be holding his ground.

Obama's campaign late Saturday said he would win, claiming he would receive 38 delegates to Clinton's 29. Clinton's campaign says Obama should wait for the official results before declaring victory.

If the Obama campaign prediction is accurate, that would give Obama a total five-delegate advantage over Clinton in the Texas primary/caucus contest.


"It's going very good," state Senate District 17 Chairman Bert Anson said in the midst of the convention in Elsik High School's gymnasium. "I've only been yelled at and cursed twice. I've only lost my temper once. No, I've lost my temper twice."

Delegates statewide also had to suffer through long sign-in lines to declare their allegiance to a candidate. Some arrived at 7 a.m. and did not make it into their convention halls for hours. The delegates were elected at the March 4 precinct caucuses.


One of the wildest conventions was Senate District 19 held at a San Antonio warehouse.

When there was a fight over the list and credentials of registered delegates, the warehouse owner threatened to expel the convention.


If Democrats were not so comfortable with hypocrisy these conventions would not work. Obama and many Democrat leaders have been saying for weeks that delegates should go toward the winner of the popular vote, but when the selection began in Texas, Obama and his team changed their tune and worked hard to deny Clinton a delegate lead her popular vote would suggest. Don't worry. They will be back to arguing the other side when the get on the other side of the border.

The LA Times captures the bedlam an chaos in Texas.


Across the state this weekend, tense confrontations -- even shoving matches -- erupted as partisans for Clinton and Obama battled over how to interpret the March 4 election results and how to choose delegates to the Texas Democratic convention.

This is just a prelude to the state convention where you can expect sharp elbows and credentials challenges.


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