Hillary has known all along what the rules were and her campaign strategist, Harold Ickes, and her operatives on the DNC rules committee, were directly involved in the stripping of Michigan and Florida's delegates:
On Aug. 25, when the DNC's rules panel declared Florida's primary date out of order, it agreed by a near-unanimous majority to exceed the 50 percent penalty called for under party rules. Instead, the group stripped Florida of all 210 delegates to underscore its displeasure with Florida's defiance and to discourage other states from following suit. In doing so, the DNC essentially committed itself, for fairness' sake, to strip the similarly defiant Michigan of all 156 of its delegates three months later. Clinton held tremendous potential leverage over this decision, and not only because she was then widely judged the likely nominee. Of the committee's 30 members, a near-majority of 12 were Clinton supporters. All of them—most notably strategist Harold Ickes—voted for Florida's full disenfranchisement. (The only dissenting vote was cast by a Tallahassee, Fla., city commissioner who supported Obama.)
After ignoring Florida and Michigan for months, the Clinton campaign soon couldn't say enough nice things about them. "Tonight Michigan Democrats spoke loudly for a new beginning," then-campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle exulted over Clinton's victory there on Jan. 15. "Your voices matter. And as president, Hillary Clinton will not only keep listening, but will make sure your voice is always heard."
HELLO? FLORIDA? DID YOU SEE THIS PART: Of the committee's 30 members, a near-majority of 12 were Clinton supporters. All of them—most notably strategist Harold Ickes—voted for Florida's full disenfranchisement.
September 1, 2007 press release from the Clinton campaign:
Clinton Campaign Statement on the Four State Pledge
The following is a statement by Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle.
"We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process.
And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.
Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar.
Now look at how Clinton deliberately tried to distort and mislead regarding the pledge she signed, in this January 2008 press release:
Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Seating of Delegates at the Democratic National Convention
"I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.
"I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.
"I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.
"I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well."
IT WAS NOT A "NO CAMPAIGNING" PLEDGE. IT WAS A NO PARTICIPATING AND NO CAMPAIGNING PLEDGE.
I will say that again. IT WAS NOT A "NO CAMPAIGNING" PLEDGE. IT WAS A NO PARTICIPATING AND NO CAMPAIGNING PLEDGE.
The relevant part of the pledge:
THEREFORE, I (Hillary Clinton), Democratic Candidate for President, pledge
I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential
election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by
rules and regulations of the DNC.
v. to invest and then receive a part or share, as in business profits, payments on a promissory note, title to land, or as one of the beneficiaries of the estate of a person who has died.
"...and then receive a part or share." Is Hillary now trying to "receive a part or share"?
HELLO? HILLARY? DID YOU SEE THIS?
"I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.
"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I [McAuliffe] said. "We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost."
He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.
"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.
"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it."
We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it.
[Source: McAuliffe, Terry. What A Party!, p. 325.]
Hillary said in October, 2007 before the Michigan primary:
"It's clear this election they are having is not going to count for anything":
We cannot allow Hillary to steal the nomination. Let's make sure Florida media starts focusing on the fact that it was Harold Ickes and other Clinton operatives at the DNC who stripped FL of its delegates.
UPDATE: Florida State Sen. Geller mocks the DNC rules when coordinating with the congressional Republicans to move up the Florida primary date:
Geller: "...So the Democratic leader and the Democratic leader pro tem are jointly making this motion, which we will duly show them later, that we tried not to have the election on, um, before (Feb. 5).
President: "And so Sen. Geller are you urging a negative vote or would you like us to pass this vote?"
Geller: "Oh no sir. We really, really want this. Don't we senator? (sarcasm and audible laughter in chamber).
UPDATE 2: Keep in mind that, while Ickes may try to say that he was acting for the DNC at the time he voted to strip Florida of its delegates, he was in fact acting for Hillary, according to their plan:
The crocodile tears that are now being shed about Florida and Michigan are the latest and most disingenuous of the Clinton campaign. The fact is that the idea of drawing a line in the sand so that you would end up with a de facto national primary was from page one of the Clinton playbook.
Having twenty or thirty states vote on the same day, the theory went, would favor the candidate with the most money, the most experience and the most organizational support with connections with many local governors and mayors already on board.
Super Tuesday was tailor-made for Hillary, by her operatives and loyalists at the DNC. They stacked the deck for her.
Hillary's interview on Fox and Friends, 12/17/07. Way back in December, she had no question in her mind that Super Tuesday was the "end of the campaign":
MR. DOOCY: Would you be "the comeback senator"? Would you be "the comeback gal"? Have you thought about that yet?
SEN. CLINTON: I'm going to leave that to you. You all have a great way with a turn of phrase. But what I'm going to do is to just keep working hard every day, knocking on doors, making phone calls, talking to people.
I feel very good about where we were. This has always been a challenge. I'm going to start on January 3rd with the caucuses in Iowa and go all the way until February 5th, because at the end of the campaign what you need are enough delegates to actually get you the nomination. And I believe that I will get the nomination and that I will be the next president.