ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: On a conference call held by Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign to discuss the state of the race and Saturday’s DNC Rules and Bylaws meeting, advisers to the Illinois senator looked ahead to November using the phrase "general election" 17 times, a point highly indicative of the tone of the campaign and the mood of the conference call.
Campaign manager David Plouffe said repeatedly that they are looking forward to Saturday’s decision to close the nominating chapter and move on to the general election, "I think the attention of both the voters and the party is quickly turning towards the general election. So we’re hoping that there can be some reasonable resolution on Saturday that allows us to move now firmly to the general election."
Despite reports, Plouffe said they are "not encouraging" Obama supporters to gather in Washington, D.C. to protest Saturday’s meeting, "We are not encouraging our people to gather and protest on Saturday — obviously with the click of a mouse it would be pretty easy for us to get thousands of people there but we don’t think it’s a helpful dynamic to create chaos and, in the interest of party unity, we’re encouraging our supporters not to protest. We don’t think a scene, as we wind down the primary season here, is helpful to bringing the party together."
The campaign, as they have in the past, indicated that they would be willing to compromise on the decision to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations beyond their original demand of a 50/50 split of the delegates.
The campaign repeatedly gave themselves a large pat on the back for this compromise and giving what they categorized as "concessions" on this issue in the best interest of the party, and doing it realizing they may be handing delegates over to Clinton.
"I think the Clinton campaign is out there saying ‘no compromise, only 100%’ – we’re willing to compromise and I think that’s where most of the party is." Plouffe said, "We have fought hard all throughout the country for delegates and the fact that we are willing to essentially seat her delegates we do not think is an insignificant gesture on our part."
Plouffe said the popular vote argument the Clinton campaign is making has not been effective, "We do not think the popular vote is a true metric of the race, it’s about delegates. Now that being said, we have a significant popular vote lead," Plouffe continued, "They have been making this argument for weeks, I think you can tell by the superdelegate tally how effective it is."
Plouffe concluded, "At some point we’re the nominee, and at some point and I think the folks in Florida and Michigan can speak to this, what they’re interested is to stop arguing about this and start winning general election."