MEMO: A Significant Victory in Florida
To: Interested Parties
From: Mark Penn, Chief Strategist
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Re: A Significant Victory in Florida
Hillary Clinton won a significant victory today in the Florida primary with biggest turnout in Florida Democratic primary history. She will end up with more votes than John McCain, the winner of the Republican primary. And Floridians cast more votes than were cast in Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire combined.
A large, broad, and diverse group of voters came out and voted for Hillary in Florida. She won women, men, and just about every age category. She won nearly 6 in 10 Latinos and nearly 3 in 10 African American voters.
The vote turned out to be far more than symbolic. Well over 1.5 million Democrats cast their ballots, more than twice the number of voters who came out to vote in the 2004 primary.
Most of the voters in Florida fully expect that their votes will not be wasted again -- they too have a voice at the convention, and Hillary has asked her delegates to support their being seated.
This result comes after Senator Obama ran TV commercials that reached Florida homes and after the enormous publicity he received for South Carolina and for the Ted Kennedy endorsement. The exit polls show widespread recognition of the endorsement -- but even so among those who decided on Election Day, a plurality of those chose Hillary.
But any momentum seemed to run out today -- among those who decided
on Election Day, a plurality of those chose Hillary.
Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at Florida
Hillary Clinton delivered the following remarks after her victory in tonight’s Florida primary:
"Thank you, Florida. Thank you, Florida Democrats.
"I could not come here to ask in person for your votes, but I am here to thank you for your votes today. This has been a record turnout because Floridians wanted their voices to be heard on the great issues that affect our country and the world. I am thrilled to have had this vote of confidence that you have given me today, and I promise you I will do everything I can to make sure not only are Florida’s Democratic delegates seated, but Florida is in the winning column for the Democrats in 2008.
"I want to thank my friends Congresswoman Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and Congressman Alcee Hastings, Mayor Manny Diaz, and my great friend of so many years, Senator Bill Nelson.
"This has been an intense election because people really care about what’s happening to our country. So many of the people who talk to me every single day are worried about the economy. They are worried about their health care. They are worried about their college education for their children. They are worried about whether we can restore our leadership and standing in the world. I am convinced that with this resounding vote, with the millions of Americans who will vote next Tuesday, we will send a clear message that America is back and we’re going to take charge of our destiny again.
"I am so grateful to the countless Floridians who, on their own, organized, worked hard, talked to your friends and your neighbors. You made a very big difference and we know that as we move forward in this campaign all of your voices will go with me, because I am not only going to take my 35 years of experience to the White House, I am going to take your voices, your concerns, your hopes, your dreams.
"We have a lot of tough decisions to make, but we are Americans. We can make these decisions. We can meet our challenges and seize our opportunities if we start acting like Americans again - we roll up our sleeves, we set about solving our problems. I want to ask you, do you agree with me, because here is what I believe.
"I believe everyone who works full time in America should bring home an income that lifts that person out of poverty and gives them and their children a better chance.
"I believe that every man, woman and child has a right to quality, affordable health care.
"I believe that every child has a God-given potential that we can help to develop if we have universal prekindergarten and we have a school system that is not so worried about giving tests as in making sure our kids can learn.
"I believe that our tax system should be fair for everyone. It is wrong that people making $50 million a year on Wall Street pay a lower percentage of their taxes than as teacher making $50 thousand dollars in Florida.
"I believe it is time for us to begin to bring our troops home from Iraq as carefully and responsibly as we can.
"I believe it is important we do everything to promote better relations in our hemisphere with all of our neighbors and that we continue to support democracy in Cuba.
"And I believe that we can, working together, feel pride and progress in our country again. You are giving me a tremendous gift, not only with your votes, but with your trust, because I believe that public office is a trust, and I will get up every single day, worrying about you, your families, your future. I think it is time we again have a president who put the American people first and that is what I will try to do.
"So thank you, thank you for this tremendous victory tonight. Thank
you for all you did to make it possible. Stay with us, because starting
tomorrow, we’re going to sweep through the states across our country to
February 5th, and we will together not only take back the White House,
but take back our country. Thank you all, and God bless you."