My San Jose Mercury News colleague Mary Anne Ostrom just blogged this explanation about why California passed on the roll call vote:
State Democratic Party Chair Art Torres said he had to declare “pass” in the roll call of states, because, well, he wasn’t ready.
In the end, the California delegates voted 273 to 166 for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. He said by the time he rounded up all the votes of the massive 441-member delegation, made more difficult because alternates had to fill in for state legislators called back to Sacramento, the roll call was well under way. He counted 439 votes. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (broken foot) and State Sen. Carole Migden (in Sacramento because there is no state budget) were absent, and because they are superdelegates, alternates cannot vote in their place.
And by the time he called the convention secretary to report California’s vote, he was informed it was too late. They were moving on to Illinois in a choreographed dance that ended up allowing Clinton to “declare together right here, right now Barack Obama our next candidate.”
“I missed my day in the sun,” Torres feigned. He denied California’s pass was part of any plan not to announce the California vote. For what started as a pro-Clinton delegation, he said Obama’s large majority vote tally from the delegation was a “strong showing.”
In what appeared to be stage craft designed for East Coast television viewers. Clinton took over the microphone just after the start of the East Coast broadcasts of the network news.
The roll call was halted and Obama was nominated by acclamation after an agreement was reached between the Obama and Clinton camps.
Hillary Clinton herself moved that the roll call be stopped and that the convention nominate Barack Obama.
“With eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity and with the goal of victory…let’s declare together right here, right now Barack Obama our next candidate.”
And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi informed the convention, Obama has accepted the nomination.
And then “Love Train” was blasted through the hall.
“Don’t you know that it’s time to get on board
And let this train keep on riding, riding on through”
Yes, the third night of the convention is a good time to get on board.