Why Did Clinton Not Fight For Florida And Michigan In 2007?

By Big Tent Democrat

While I think it is pretty clear that the DNC did not follow its rules regarding Florida and Michigan, I think Obama supporters make a compelling argument: why didn't Clinton fight for Florida in 2007? It does require a response.

I think the short answer is the DNC used the leverage of possible backlash in Iowa and NH to get the candidates to go along with its wrongheaded and harmful actions. Given the strength Clinton had and I believe would have in a revote in Florida, it seems they miscalculated. Clinton should have fought for Florida at least, since the Florida date change was forced by a Republican controlled legislature (see Rule 21 of the DNC Delegate Selection rules which seem to provide Florida a safe harbor to protect its delegates.)

That said, that still does not address the Obama argument that he did not get to compete for the votes in Florida and Michigan by campaigning in Florida and Michigan. A very fair point. But what are we to do? I go back to my original solution:

I have the solution for the Florida/Michigan disaster. Seat half of the Michigan and Florida delegations based on the existing results. Then schedule a Florida primary and a Michigan caucus in mid-May. If there is no need because Obama has already locked up the nomination in April, then, seat all the delegation based on the existing results and cancel the May contests.

This enfranchises those voters who voted previously AND ensures that Obama gets a fair shot at winning those two states. And it would be a great tiebreaker for deciding the nominee if we are still deadlocked come May. No one could complain could they? Someone will win this thing fair and square and then we can unify.

What am I missing? Is that not a brilliant solution?

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    OMG: here we go again and again. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:59:10 PM EST

    yep it is like a record that is stuck (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:01:06 PM EST
    Get real (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:58:26 PM EST
    I reject the argument that Obama didn't get to compete in Florida. Neither did Hillary. In fact, he actually did more campaigning than she did in Florida, since his national ad ran constantly. Nor would he pull it when told it was violating his pledge. So I have absolutely no sympathy for his whine that he didn't get to compete. Does he really expect us to believe that he would have done better if both had been allowed to compete in Florida? I don't think so!

    Let's get real. An awful lot of states never get to see a candidate in their state, going back many election cycles. Has that stopped us from watching the national news or reading the newspapers? No, it hasn't. We've struggled along in spite of it, and managed to decide who to vote for. This continued assertion that he would have won if he had actually campaigned actively there is just another Obama fairy tale. People in Florida voted in record numbers, despite the DNC. And when it was happening, all the blogs were saying that they expected those delegates to be seated. Even Kos said that at the time, about both Florida and Michigan. There wouldn't have been a controversy at all if Obama had won. But since Hillary won, suddenly there is all this whining and gnashing of teeth about seating their delegates. Give her the damn delegates already! How is it going to be a win for anyone worth having if those 2 states are not counted? And let's don't throw in the silly idea of doing caucuses. We all know who goes to caucuses and how they behave.

    Right on. Here in Texas, we haven't seen a (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:02:08 PM EST
    live candidate in 30 years, until this cycle.  never stopped the votes from being counted though.

    Trust me, you can (none / 0) (#96)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:25:42 PM EST
    tell voters over and over again that their votes won't be counted, and the education campaign never quite gets through.

    Washington State has caucuses and a primary.  For Democrats, only the caucuses count.  It's been this way since 1989.  However, a recent SurveyUSA poll showed that only 30% of Washington voters would be voting in the caucuses, while a whopping 80% of voters would be voting in the primary.

    Now you could joke and say the 80% of voters  are Republicans and that's why they all plan on voting in the primary.  But this is Washington, a blue-violet state if I ever saw one, and getting bluer all the time!  Why in God's name would such a huge number of Washington voters vote in the primary, while such a low number vote in the caucuses?

    Because the voters don't know that the primary doesn't count.  I didn't know myself until 2004.

    I'm sure that since this Florida debacle was a one-time thing, the Florida voters were even more poorly educated about the non-counting vote than the Washington voters have been.

    That is why they'd vote when their vote won't be counted.  

    And for those who voted while knowing their vote wouldn't be counted, you have to ask yourself, "why would they vote anyway, knowing that their vote wouldn't be counted?"

    My own speculation about the answer to that question leads me to believe in no uncertain terms that those votes should count.

    All of them, not half, not a do-over, all of them.


    I doubt there were (none / 0) (#102)
    by independent voter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:31:12 PM EST
    front page articles for weeks leading up to the election in WA that the votes would not count.
    That was the case in Florida. It was discussed ad nauseum on every TV staion and in every news paper.
    The only people unaware that the Dem vote would not count, would not bother showing up to vote in the first place.

    Yeah, actually (none / 0) (#158)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:40:19 PM EST
    many nights on the local evening news (I live in Washington) there were primers about which votes counted, how to vote in caucuses, etc. etc.

    The newspapers in the Seattle area at least, also had front page articles

    There was plenty of opportunity to learn this system, but it obviously wasn't well-learned.


    Why hold an election.... (none / 0) (#150)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:06:06 PM EST
    that doesn't count?  Seriously....what in sam hill is going on around here?  It's like thetwilight zone....

    Carlin is looking more like a genius everyday....elections are an illusion of choice.  There's always a loophole for the powerful to seize power from the people.  More of the con is being revealed everyday.


    Well, I fully disagree with you. (5.00 / 0) (#144)
    by Maggie on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:00:03 PM EST
    The election was billed as a beauty contest.  And as others have said, that fact was well-known in Florida.

    But let's say, for the sake of argument, that you are right.  Why wouldn't HRC be pushing for a re-vote?  On this theory, she's going to win again, right?  Campaigning isn't going to change the result.  The fact that this is now a real primary isn't going to change the result.  So she should still get all those delegates in the new contest.  PLUS, she gets the huge momentum from a big win late in the game.  

    But somehow, she's not pushing for this.  Am open to explanations.  But left to my own devices, I tend to conclue she doesn't really think she'll get the same results in a genuinely contested primary.  She should still opt for this because it is the only solution at this point that respects genuine democracy.  But her position on MI, which is utterly indefensible, suggests that she has no interest in that.


    Sorry Maggie (none / 0) (#159)
    by Polkan on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:47:14 PM EST
    but someone called The Boss here was posting a link to an NPR interview from October where supposedly Clinton confirmed she agreed with the rules.

    I'm listening to that right now. So far, MI came up. And she said that she followed the rules but she didn't get the name off because didn't think it was the right thing to do in the context of November. Not the exact words but the gist of it.

    I know you'll accuse me of parsing, but following the rules of not campaigning and urging to reconsider the seating decisions are two very different things.


    What I find indefensible (none / 0) (#163)
    by Maggie on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:24:42 PM EST
    about Hillary's position on MI is the notion that delegates should be seated based on a primary in which effectively only one candidate was on the ballot.  Nobody should want to seat a delegation based on a vote like that.  Yet, as I understand it, that's exactly what her campaign wants to do. Don't much care about the rest of it.  All that matters now is how we handle the situation we inherited.  And for me it's either hold a re-vote or don't seat the delegates at all.  Seating improperly elected delegates makes a mockery of the political process.  And we've had all too much of that of late.  

    I reject (none / 0) (#81)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:03:33 PM EST
    that the current improperly held votes are even close to what Obama would have recieved if he was allowed to run in those states.

    And I think Hillary does too, as she does not want to face him in FL and MI in a properly held election.


    Will the DNC pay for a primary (none / 0) (#130)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:51:04 PM EST
    don't even talk about caucuses in Fl you may get lynched :-)

    I can tell you that any kind of solution the DNC tries to force on Fl Democrats will just anger them.  I don't know about Mi but I do know a lot of Fl democrats of all ages race sex and credo I happen to be married to one..  


    Yes, it's unfortunate that so many (none / 0) (#153)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:19:36 PM EST
    Yes, it's unfortunate that so many think this is a popularity contest.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#165)
    by tek on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:10:49 PM EST
    Obama did run commercials in Florida. Clinton did the same. If Obama had won FL and MI MoveOn.Org would be staging sit-ins at the DNC offices to get those delegates seated, make no mistake.

    I imagine you're getting deleted (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:00:07 PM EST
    because you're posting the same thing over and over and over again ad nauseum.

    I was with you until the end (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by goldberry on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:01:07 PM EST
    Obama might have an argument to make about MI where Clinton won by default.  But he doesn't have anything to complain about in Florida.  Neither one of them "campaigned", though, if you count the cable ad buys he made and the few fundraising appearances she made, you might say they both did minimal campaigning.  What Florida did have access to was more than a dozen nationally televised debates and slavishly positive national media coverage of Obama from the South Carolina primary only a few days before Florida.  It seems that that was enough to send more than a million to the polls to cast their votes for Clinton and, this is the telling part, Floridians voted for her over Obama by the same wide margin that she got in the other Big D states.  
    I'm turning this over and over in my head and I simply don't buy the argument that he needs a do-over in Florida.  It sounds like the voters knew exactly what they were doing.  
    He may have a case for a mail-in primary in MI but at this point in time, I fail to see a compelling reason why the delegates from Florida shouldn't be seated exactly as they are.  No additional primary.  No caucus.  

    No many of the caucus states (none / 0) (#109)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:35:38 PM EST
    that Obama won will ultimately go to the republicans...

    which means that Obama isnt carrying the (none / 0) (#148)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:04:43 PM EST
    traditional democratic base and that should worry you...

    I must say (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by talkingpoint on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:29:22 PM EST
     That if The democratic party do not let the Florida delegates seat at the convention and this cost Hillary the nomination, then I will not have any choice but to loose confidence in the democratic party and become an independent.

    and if they seat them (none / 0) (#105)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:32:38 PM EST
    after having said they wouldn't count i will do the same

    I agree completely (none / 0) (#111)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:39:06 PM EST
    I literally cannot put into words the rage I would feel.  I cannot even imagine what the African American community would feel.

    If Hillary wins the nomination this way I will disassociate myself from the democratic party completely.  I will never donate any money to a democratic party candidate.  And I will only ever vote for independents.


    false hope (none / 0) (#140)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:56:54 PM EST
    I think Obama will continue to pull ahead enought that FL and MI can be seated any way Hillary would like and he would still be ahead in pop vote and pledged delegates.

    I would like to assume if that did turn out to be the case, everyone would be happy to see the super delegates back the leader.


    so break the rules (none / 0) (#106)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:34:03 PM EST
    mid game or else?

    The Political Solution (5.00 / 0) (#113)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:40:31 PM EST
    What are we looking for?  The best politician.  I will be fine with a completely political solution.  By any means necessary.  Lets see who has the gumption and the guts to get this done.

    If they do it, they will be able to get a Health Plan through.  No whining, no moaning, no do overs, no caucuses, no rules.  Go for it.  Put them in a room, with the Superdelegates and the DNC for 48 hours. Lock the room, no , no Penn, no Axelrod, not consultants.  And until we see the white smoke from the chimney, no one comes out.  

    When and if they come out we will have a solution and a winner.  The only directive, they must win in November 08.  If not, we throw out the whole DNC and get Clinton and Obama recalled.  

    Yes... (none / 0) (#120)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:44:17 PM EST
    I am tired of the whining. Go for it. Fight it out. He is not the clear one the people want. There is no such thing as the clear one. I want to win in Nov, I don't care how.

    what did Hillary really mean? (5.00 / 0) (#125)
    by dwightkschrute on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:46:54 PM EST
    NHPR's Laura Knoy: "So, if you value the DNC calendar, why not just pull out of Michigan? Why not just say, Hey Michigan, I'm off the ballot?"

    Hillary Clinton: "Well, you know, It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything"
    - Hillary Clinton New Hampshire Public Radio interview October 10, 2007

    "The votes of the people of Florida and of course Michigan really matter to me. I am running to the president of our entire country."
    - Hillary Clinton January 27, 2008

    careful dwight (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:49:46 PM EST
    you just put up facts.  Some folks round here don't like those very much.

    Yes (none / 0) (#142)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:58:36 PM EST
    It sucks to see quotes showing Hillary Clinton to be a good democrat.  Because god knows we should never nominate a good democrat.  

    And, I'm sure, that in the spirit of fairness and comity that has been a hallmark of the Obama campaign if Clinton had said the DNC was wrong and that those states should be seated that the Obama campaign would not have said anything about how Hillary was going against the party or painting her then the same way they do now.

    Because Obama never does anything for purely political reasons.  He is just so damned pure.  You know, I think we'd be doing him a great disservice to nominate him because politics is a dirty job and clearly, in his supporters' eyes, beneath him.


    you are dishonest in your quote (none / 0) (#164)
    by Polkan on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:27:50 PM EST
    please listen to the full interview. I did. She explains why she didn't pull out.

    Where is the censor? (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:53:06 PM EST

    Well (none / 0) (#1)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:57:42 PM EST
    but I'm not sure who will pay for the Florida primaries.  

    Come to think of it, I don't think that Hillary should be given half the delegates in Michigan.  She  was the only one on the ballot.  It would be wholly unfair to Obama to give Hillary 40 or so delegates because he followed the rules.

    Yes. i agree. But I think she should be (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by derridog on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:06:40 PM EST
    given the Florida delegates.  The two situations are different.  All the names were on the Florida ballot. Honestly, it's not like Floridians were living in a bubble. They knew who they were voting for and 1.7 million people had an equal opportunity to vote for all three candidates and they chose Hillary.  

    So they should just let that election stand.

    Michigan is a different story, because Edwards and Obama, willingly took their names off the ballot, while Hillary left hers on. Thus voters who wanted E or O, could conceivably have been discouraged from coming out to vote.

    In that case, i think, to make it fair, let there be a caucus. Caucus' favor Obama, so he should be happy with that.  Hillary could get her Florida voters, so she should be happy with that. They can both then  be a little happy. It's a good compromise and won't cost a fortune and might be perceived as fair.


    This is a compromise (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:02:46 PM EST
    FL and MI compromise (none / 0) (#31)
    by PennProgressive on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:21:22 PM EST
    I happen to think that the Florida results should  stand. Who says that you must have to see the candidates in person before you vote? FL (and MI) voters  had all the opportunities to know about the issues and the positions of the candidates. I think that they made  informed choices. Also, candidates could have put up national commercial in those states as Obama did. That may be construed as de facto campaigning. On the day of the Florida Primary Craig Crawford reported that on that day he had seen Obama ad in Florida six times! So Florida election results can stand. MI can be  a different story since Obama had removed his name. There may be a new primary there. But  as much as I like to think that FL result should stand and MI should have a new election, I don't think that is likely. None of the campaigns, the states or DNC will go for it. So in final analysis I think BTD  has proposed the best compromise. For the  sake of party unity DNC and the campaigns and all of us should accept it. For us to have any chance in November, we must have the  support from MI and FL.

    Well, Senator Clinton (none / 0) (#40)
    by independent voter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:27:54 PM EST
    thinks it's unfair for Wisconsin voters to have to choose without a debate just for them. Surely, she would agree it's unfair for anyone to vote without the benefit of each candidate campaigning. Right?

    That's Not Her Argument (none / 0) (#48)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:41:21 PM EST
    I believe her argument is that Obama doesn't want to debate her because he would lose, like he has so many time before. ;-)  

    I've never heard her say that the Wisconsin primary results won't count because there is no debate.  Which is this argument - that because neither candidate campaigned, then the votes can't possible count.  I would be sympathetic to this argument if the vote had occurred last October.  But as Obama has pointed out, there have already been a ton of debates and that was true before Florida.  So why on earth would the Florida voters need to see more of the candidates to make a decision?

    Seriously, I think this is one of the weaker arguments, Florida voters were well aware of who Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton were when they went to the polls.  Argue about scheduling and the rules, if you must, but this is just insulting to Obama.


    I disagree that he lost (none / 0) (#70)
    by independent voter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:57:04 PM EST
    a debate, but clearly, that is a matter of opinion.
    I think the real reason the Clinton camp does not want to entertain a re vote is that they are worried Obama will win.

    the reality is (none / 0) (#74)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:59:34 PM EST
    she low on cash and far behind. If either of those things were reversed she wouldn't be looking to debate at all.

    She doesn't even show up at half of these states.


    Obama won the SC and CA debates? (none / 0) (#147)
    by PennProgressive on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:04:28 PM EST
    Really? I understand you are an Obama supporter. But do you have to delude yourself? Or did you watch some debates that the rest of the nation did not see? Try to be objective. Otherwise  your comments cannot be taken seriously.

    It is a compromise (none / 0) (#32)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:21:53 PM EST
    in which Obama gives up a lot and Clinton gives up almost nothing.  

    Hillary gets about 40 free delegates that she wouldn't otherwise.  Obama gets....  a caucus in Michigan for half the delegates of that state?

    I call them free because, as it stands, those delegates won't unless both parties agree to a compromise.


    yeah but, (none / 0) (#41)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:28:03 PM EST
    there is the very HIGH RISK situation of Hillary getting ALL the delegates from MI and FL.  see my note below to BTD.  I really think this is the best thing both sides can ask for.

    Again, think what COULD happen with MI and FL.  It is POSSIBLE that she gets them all - which would be really really bad for Obama.


    Unlikely (none / 0) (#44)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:32:29 PM EST
    The DNC is not going play kingmaker at the cost of half the Democratic Party, in either direction.

    Don't be so sure. (none / 0) (#47)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:39:15 PM EST
    Here is the situation that keeps me up at night:
     1. Obama leads with elected delegates.
     2. Hillary doesn't want to be seen as taking the nomination away from Obama with super delegates.
     3. Hillary and Obama have about the same number of people on the credentialing committee
     4. The committee votes to allow the delegates at large (committed's plus supers) to decide whether to seat MI and FL
     5. Supers cross to Hillary's side, but only to seat these delegates
     6. Hillary now has more "elected delegates" than Obama.
     7. Hillary no longer needs a majority of supers, just enough to reach the magic number.

    This scenario is very realistic and scares the crap out of me.

    Besides, if they rematch and Hillary wins then she should get the delegates.  And if Obama wins, he'll be considered the winner and get the nomination.


    A rematch (none / 0) (#49)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:42:59 PM EST
    seams to be the truly fair solution. If Hillary can win these states in a real contest the votes and delegetes should be hers.

    I'd be all for (none / 0) (#53)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:45:41 PM EST
    a rematch as well.  But it seems Hillary's side wouldn't go for it since they think they already "won" and will somehow get the seated.

    Thus the genius of BTD's solution.  And I'm not just blowing smoke here - I disagree with BTD a number of times - but this is just a great compromise that no side can credibly oppose.


    well lets just revote till your side wins then / (none / 0) (#57)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:48:02 PM EST
    And the horse you rode in on.... (none / 0) (#87)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:13:12 PM EST
    You could try to have some intelligent conversation here and understand there are legitimate concerns on both sides.  


    What we are talking about here is BTD's proposed compromise that would prevent the party from fracturing.  You and I are exhibit A.


    You assume (none / 0) (#56)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:47:36 PM EST
    that the people on the credentials committee would be willing to take the political backlash of siding with either candidate.

    It's kinda like the instant replay rule in football.  Unless there is clear and unmistakable evidence supporting a rule change they will stick with the status quo.

    The committee members will be on every news network in the country.  They will have a LOT of pressure on them.  And for them to ignore the ruling of the DNC would smack of inside baseball.  


    not to sound like BTD (none / 0) (#88)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:16:38 PM EST
    But the "rules" allow the credentialing committee to do this.  They are spelled out clearly.  And before you give these people too much credit, understand they are the same people that:

    1. Voted for Iraq war
    2. Voted to give telco's immunity
    3. Keep funding the war
    4. Can't make torture illegal
    5. Gave bush free reign after 9/11
    6. Have generally shown no spine to do anything

    Why does this scare you? (none / 0) (#63)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:51:45 PM EST
    It may not be the outcome you want, but it is part of the process. There are many other scenarios that lead to Sen Obama getting nominated. As long as its done in some form of rational format why should it frightening?

    doesn't scare me, it just (none / 0) (#66)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:53:34 PM EST
    sounds like "lets revote till we win" syndrome

    there has not been (none / 0) (#69)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:56:55 PM EST
    a proper election there yet. So it is not a revote as much as the first proper vote.

    no, it's that (none / 0) (#85)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:10:18 PM EST
    I don't believe the MI and FL results should count.  I believe they were unfair and in the absence of allowing Obama to challenge hillary she would win.

    But, I go out of my way on this posting to comment that the beauty of BTD's proposal is that it gives Hillary the abiity to win the delegates fair and square.  

    I also understand why Hillary supporters would be upset if they didn't count at all - albeit less understandable since everyone was told the results would never count.

    The point is, the DNC, Hillary, and Obama should be smart enough to work out a solution that will create a winner and not fracture the party.

    I'm not revolting until we win.  I just want fair elections.  I don't think having the former first lady winning in a state where campaigning was essentially not allowed is fair.  


    Followed the rules? (none / 0) (#62)
    by wasabi on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:51:45 PM EST
    What do you mean, "He followed the rules"?

    Obama's poor planning (none / 0) (#129)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:50:31 PM EST
    Obama had the option of staying on the ballot just as Hillary did. There were no rules regarding that.  He simply made a poor choice.

    Clinton didn't win all of Michigan's delegates (none / 0) (#169)
    by slr51 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:11:31 AM EST

    237,762 people, or 40% of all primary voters selected "uncommitted" over her and another 27,924 voters went for third tier candidates.

    She was only able to get 55% of the votes, with  Obama and Edwards not even on the ballot!

    It doesn't seem to me that she would have necessarily won at all in a head to head race.


    You really believe that? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:02:27 PM EST
    then you are quite foolish.

    this is politics.

    Frankly I hope you do not believe what you wrote.

    For the same reason (none / 0) (#6)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:02:43 PM EST
    she didn't vote against the war.  She didn't feel it was politically viable at the time.  I understand this is a snarky response - but it's true.

    I completely agree with your comment (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:03:10 PM EST
    And the reason (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:04:50 PM EST
    Obama hinted that he'd seat Florida if he won was because, much like the war, he likes to have it both ways.

    Another snarky comment, but I think this one is also true.


    to be fair (none / 0) (#26)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:13:21 PM EST
    I believe Obama's comment about this has been taken totally out of context.  He seemed to be saying that if he was the presumptive nominee he would want to seat them.  I also think everyone would want to seat them if there were a clear winner right now.  I don't think this is quite the same as seating them as deciding factors.

    But, I hear your point on the war.  I would really like to have heard him speak out more loudly in the senate and to have voted against any funding.  


    What Obama Meant (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:22:46 PM EST
    oh jeez (none / 0) (#42)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:29:29 PM EST
    taking something from an incorrect context and putting it in it's proper context is not "what obama meant"

    Thanks (none / 0) (#55)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:47:02 PM EST
    I mean that really, it's nice to see we can agree on some things.  Because I think Clinton and Obama have been very disappointing on the war in the Senate.  I loved Obama's speech and if he'd have followed it up with leadership in the Senate, he'd have my vote.

    I hope it's not lost on either candidate that the reason neither has been able to put the other one away is because of their lack of leadership and cautiousness on Iraq, FISA and other issues.  If Clinton hadn't voted for the AUMF, she'd have run away with this thing, IMO.  If Obama had led on getting us out of Iraq after he reached the Senate, he'd be crushing her.  So, if they are paying attention, this could be a really good thing for whoever the nominee is.


    Hey BTD - by the way (none / 0) (#35)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:23:19 PM EST
    I've been meaning to comment on your proposed solution.  I saw it after it had been up for a while but since it's here again I figured I would share my thoughts.  First, I agree with your solution and I think it's quite good.  But here's why:

    1. It doesn't disenfranchise anyone
    2. It eliminates the possibly of Hillary getting all the delegates based on what I view as "false results"
    3. It allows a way for hillary to legitimately earn the delegates of FL and MI
    4. If Obama were to win, even if only by a very slim margin, he could still potentially have less total delegates from MI and FL than Hillary since here initial "wins" would have had larger margins.  This concerned me initially with your proposal - but the reality is that if Obama were to win MI and/or FL by any margin along with having a delegate lead otherwise he'd get the supers.

    So, while not perfect for either side, I don't see how a better compromise could exist.  It's no secret I'm not neutral - but I for one like it.

    I Tend To Think (none / 0) (#107)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:34:12 PM EST
    It's pretty fair, too, although I don't particularly like having a Michigan caucus.  If it were primaries in both places, then I'd have no complaints in terms of fairness (as for the Michigan caucus idea - why take a primary state and make the process worse and, second, because Michigan is a primary state and I think we can assume it doesn't know jack about holding a caucus).

    As a practical matter, I don't think either state will agree to the solution because of costs.  Even a caucus would be expensive in Michigan. And then there's the fact that the Florida legislature is controlled by Republicans and I don't see the DNC or the Florida Dems having the ability or resources to put on another primary and the Republicans are not going to help the Dems sort this out (I don't blame them, btw, I wouldn't help the Republicans if it was them).

    So while all of these re-votes have a certain appeal, I think they are non-starters because they aren't going to happen, even if somehow you could get the campaigns to agree on it.

    I've said it before, but Dean and the DNC really screwed this one up.  If they'd just cut the delegates by 50% (and treated all pre-2/5 states equally), there wouldn't be nearly this outcry.  But once it looks like you're practicing favoritism and completely disenfranchising voters in 2 critical swingstates, there's no way it's not going to be a festering issue.  And, of course, it's virtually impossible to retroactively do this because now the results are known and the race is close and so Clinton is understandably determined to get all of the delegates and Obama is understandably determined to count none of them.  


    Hillary did not vote to go to war (none / 0) (#139)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:56:03 PM EST
    The vote was for sanctions, not for war. It was easy for Obama to say he didn't want the war, he didn't have to vote.  Obama has been flip-flopping ever since about the war.  At least, Hillary admitted that if she knew then what she knows now (all the Bush-Cheney-Rice lies) she wouldn't have voted as she did.

    Authorization for Use of Military Force (none / 0) (#170)
    by slr51 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:26:57 AM EST
    42% of  Democratic Senators voted against the resolution:

    If you haven't done so already, every voter should read the whole thing: http://www.c-span.org/resources/pdf/hjres114.pdf

    Both sides do some spinning on this, but my reading of it says it did give Bush full authority to go to war.

    The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002,

    (a) AUTHORIZATION.--The President is authorized to use the
    Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary
    and appropriate in order to--
    (1) defend the national security of the United States against
    the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council
    resolutions regarding Iraq.

    section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress
    declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory
    authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the
    War Powers Resolution.

    other sections deal with requirements that the President report to congress and defend his actions - but only requires this AFTER the attack begins.


    No Question (none / 0) (#10)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    They used NH and Iowa to scare everyone in going along.  It's why Obama thought he could get Clintont to go farther and pull her name off the ballot in Michigan.  

    In retrospect it's clear that Clinton should've fought, but I can understand the appeal of trying to win early and end this thing fast. It avoids a lot of the divisiveness that we're getting now.  Furthermore, there was a hell of a lot of winking and nodding going on at the time.  I don't care what people say now, what most said at the time was that the DNC would find a way to seat Michigan and Florida.

    And the entire thing just makes me angrier with the DNC - much more than either candidate - because it used the primacy of Iowa and NH, which is a legitimate problem that the other states were protesting, to ensure those states are disenfranchised.  So basically, instead of trying to resolve the matter by addressing the other states' legitimate complaints', it exacerbated the disenfranchisement.

    I don't see Iowa or NH Dems. (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:13:05 PM EST
    just not showing up out of spite at the Dems. because another state's primary/caucus turns out to earlier than theirs.  

    Not the Voters (none / 0) (#60)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:49:55 PM EST
    The activists and elites, the newspapers, the Super Delegates - these people can have a lot of pull, particularly in a caucus state like Iowa and all guard Iowa's "first in the nation" status like it was their child.  And why not, it makes the local party a ton of money.

    So what, I say. (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:16:40 PM EST
    Because (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:10:33 PM EST
    unity is good for a Party going into an election.

    I repeat, stop assuming your legal analysis is right in every answer .

    I disagree with you and we will not rehash it here.

    This is about political compromise.

    we don't all agree (none / 0) (#54)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:46:30 PM EST
    a compromise on the rules is needed yet.

    eek (none / 0) (#59)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:49:00 PM EST
    I don't know....this seems to be a ticking bomb within our party.  We don't know how big the blast would be, but better to take care if it now than risk alienating half the party.

    If one side legitimately feels the election was stolen from them, they will not easily forgive the other side.  I include myself in this.  Compromise is needed on this really badly.


    Your first sentence is absolute nonsense. (none / 0) (#154)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:28:39 PM EST
    you may not post the same comment (none / 0) (#156)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:31:53 PM EST
    on multiple threads.

    Why didn't Obama fight for Fl/Mi (none / 0) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:11:16 PM EST
    Why didn't ANYONE fight for Florida/Michigan?  Because at the time, no one thought it was going to matter as much as it does.

    In the last 2 elections the nominee always won Florida and Michigan by good margins.   They likely figured it would be a moot point.

    There is some (none / 0) (#22)
    by standingup on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:11:39 PM EST
    evidence that contradicts the state party fighting the DNC to have the primary moved up.  I can't recant it here as well as it is covered in dhonig's post on Florida Law, DNC Rules, Punishments, and Primaries.  

    He/she also covers in detail the problems with the way that the Rules Committee applied Rule 20(c)(5.    

    I love your idea! (none / 0) (#29)
    by independent voter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:18:05 PM EST
    That sounds extremely fair. I hope some of your common sense rubs off on the DNC, and all Clinton and Obama supporters

    But you realize she's fighting it now (none / 0) (#30)
    by independent voter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:20:23 PM EST
    So what makes it OK to fight it now (when she would claim the lion share of delegates) and not before the vote when no one knew what the outcome would be?

    nothing makes it okay (none / 0) (#86)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:13:03 PM EST
    nothing makes it okay

    From what I heard (none / 0) (#33)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:22:13 PM EST
    Dean and the DNC made a mistake. They thought it would all work out with a clear winner and it would be irrelevant. Heard on the radio the Michigan Dem rep and it was sort of a gentlemen's agreement. But things did not work out. Hillary hedged her bets and put her name on the ballots. This is where Dean and the DNC messed up, they were not expecting this to happen. If the assumption by everyone at the time was that there would be a clear winner why start a fight? I don't think it was conceivable.

    FL and MI (none / 0) (#126)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:49:36 PM EST
    made a big mistake as well.

    If Dems. overseas could vote by (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:24:44 PM EST
    Internet this primary season, why couldn't MI and FL Dems. do the same?  A rerun, but Internet primary in each state.  Count all the delegates.  

    I would go for that (none / 0) (#46)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:36:36 PM EST
    why not a re-vote?

    Michigan has already said no to a revote (none / 0) (#50)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:44:24 PM EST
    MI and FL (none / 0) (#58)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:48:04 PM EST
    may have to compromise as well.

    They Won't (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:52:12 PM EST
    The optics are much worse and the stakes much higher for Dean and the DNC than they are for MI and FL officials.  The Democrats need MI and FL in November much more than they need to be seated at the convention.

    MI and FL (none / 0) (#71)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:57:05 PM EST
    aren't just big blog entities that "revote".

    We're talking about voters here, who might get really pissed at having their ballots thrown out and having a do-over.


    So anger two big states (none / 0) (#90)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:18:02 PM EST
    or half of the democratic party. The optics for Hillary and a split party would kill her in the general. Does anyone think sitting FL and MI as is would smooth things out?

    I hope Obama can take TX and shut this whole thing down.


    Two points (none / 0) (#93)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:21:12 PM EST
    1. It would only anger partisans of one side, not "half the democratic part." I still hope majority of the democratic party still remembers who we are supposedly battling against, and the correct answer is "not each other."

    2. Even if Sen Obama wins Texas it won't "shut this whole thing down." Even if Senator Clinton wins all three major states it wont "shut this whole thing down." I think we all have to take a deep breath, step back from the brink and realize we are in a big mess. No one will win this outright.

    So now what?

    I thought (none / 0) (#132)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:51:45 PM EST
    TX is a firewall state for Clinton.

    According to whom? (none / 0) (#167)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:23:41 PM EST
    The general non partisan consensus seems to be the last three major states may tip the balance. There is no singular firewall.

    that's why (none / 0) (#92)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:18:50 PM EST
    i like btd's compromise.

    See how easy that was? (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:44:37 PM EST
    It disenfranchises the older (none / 0) (#52)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:45:33 PM EST
    voters.  Simple as that.

    I think those who can get to a primary (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:51:42 PM EST
    can also get to a computer at a public location (public library, or retirement home rec. center for example)if they don't have access at home.  

    Many of these folks (none / 0) (#160)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:50:24 PM EST
    don't even use computers.

    Yeah, absentee ballots.


    use absentee ballots as well (none / 0) (#67)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:54:16 PM EST
    would something like that work?

    But what does that have to do with... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:54:53 PM EST
    ...the proposed solution out of this mess? From what I gather the proposed solution is a political solution to a mess we are in, not a legalistic one. You are raising a legal point to answer a non legal question.

    If you don't like the proposed solution do you care to offer one of your own that would be acceptable to both sides?

    There is a lot of spin and opinion... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:18:27 PM EST
    ...in your post that I will just ignore (no point).

    Rules were made. Rules were followed. There is now a situation in which said rules look very stupid in 20/20 hindsite. 2 reasons:

    1. Highly likely there will be no clear winner by convention, so every vote matters, and
    2. Don't want to have 2 important states ignored in a primary election that actually didn't just result in anyone winning.

    I think intelligent honest people will try to come up with fair and correct compromises to remedy this. Partisans will just shout and spin. I personally believe that the compromise proposed by BTD is one of the unbiased solutions. Care to offer one of your own?

    I'm partisan (none / 0) (#97)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:26:21 PM EST
    And I still like BTD's compromise.  Why? Because it's fair and democratic.  Why do Hillary supporters seem to be against it?  Because it takes away the ace up their sleeve they know they might be able to use to capture (steal) the election regardless of the consequences to the party or the country - and regardless of whether she's democratically elected.

    They've been in the white house.  They want the power back.  They will do whatever is necessary to get back the power.


    That's Unfair (none / 0) (#114)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:40:32 PM EST
    After listening to Obama's Super Delegates argue themselves in a circle about the standards they should follow in deciding their vote, I don't think it's only Hillary's supporters who may have consistency problems or are looking for any angle that leads her to win.

    As I said above, I think it's a perfectly fine plan, but will never happen. It's simply too expensive and the state's have no reason to go along even if you could get the campaign's to agree.  

    I've almost come to the point of believing this issue alone is enough reason to get rid of Howard Dean.  Whatever his other strengths, it is simply unacceptable that he set up a system where two important swing states could be disenfranchised and however it's worked out, could lead to half the party seeing the nominee as illegitimate and have no plan on how to get out of it other than to cross your fingers and hope the voters save us all by decisively picking a winner in the next few months.  


    right (none / 0) (#119)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:43:45 PM EST
    which brings up BTD's point - why didn't Hillary fight about this in 2007?

    I agree on the Dean comments.  Critical errors should have consequences.  In this case, his job.


    Suck Up to Iowa (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:49:53 PM EST
    That was Dean's enforcement mechanism.  That and nobody in a democratic primary wants to be seen as violating the DNC rules right out of the box.  Can you imagine the hue and cry about how Hillary was undermining the Democratic party!  She'll do anything to win!  

    Both candidates were in a no win situation here, Dean had them.  It just turns out in retrospect that it hurt Clinton because she won those states.  At the time, I think both candidates were looking to try for an early knockout by sweeping the early states and starting a war with the DNC and the people running the early states was not a good idea.

    That's why ultimately I don't blame either candidate for this.  I think there has to be some resolution that lets MI and FL be counted, at least to some extent, but I don't blame Obama for fighting it.  I don't blame Clinton for wanting to seat them.  That's in both their political interests and I don't blame candidates for following their interests.

    The people who are supposed to look out for the party first and foremost are the DNC and they're the ones who set up this Clusterf@$k.  Blaming either candidate is letting them off the hook, IMO.


    Hillary did the right thing. (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:29:04 PM EST
    She looked at the options and saw what the various scenarios were and hedged her bets.  This is a politician.  What did the others do?  Did not look at the possibilities, did not plan for the worst case and just followed the DNC's bad policies.  Just based on that and how I want my government to be run, I want Hillary.  Someone who can look in the future and cover the bases.  Remember, back then, she was the alleged obvious winner.  

    You can call it unfair, you can whine, you can try to change the rules, but she planned ahead for the worst case scenario.  


    That's a good point (none / 0) (#133)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:51:48 PM EST
    I will be sure to keep a good amount of my anger directed at the DNC.

    Who said Hillary supporters are against it (none / 0) (#168)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:25:26 PM EST
    I haven't seen a pattern like that. Maybe my reading comprehension is failing me.

    I have agreed that... (none / 0) (#103)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:31:47 PM EST
    if the rules are to be changed mid game for the sake of unity, that the only truly fair solution is to hold proper voting for both FL and MI.

    Counting votes in uncontested elections will not reflect what either canidate would have likely recieved if the rules had been followed.


    Keeping the states happy should be easy (none / 0) (#162)
    by Knocienz on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:18:40 PM EST
    Super-delegates from other states could 'donate' their spot at the convention to pledged delegates in proportion to how they would have been awarded had the election held.

    Everybody should be happy. The states get their say, the donating super-delegates look like heros and are invited as honored guests at the convention. As a bonus, the DNC officials are the ones sacrificing to clear up DNC related issues.

    Of course, it doesn't really change the electoral math as those super-delegates would likely be made up of Clinton and Obama supporters in the same proportion, but if unity and keeping the states happy is really what this is about...


    not flattering in the least (none / 0) (#94)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:21:24 PM EST
    would split the party as bad or worse than currently on the right.

    Rules were not followed fairly... (none / 0) (#146)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:03:17 PM EST
    Rule 11.A specifically set the date for the primaries & caucuses for those three states as ,"no earlier than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February" (Iowa), "no earlier than 14 days before the first Tuesday in February" (New Hampshire), and "no earlier than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February" (South Carolina).
    Iowa held their caucuses on January 3rd. That's more than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February. New Hampshire held their primary on January 8th. That's more than 17 days before the first Tuesday in February. And South Carolina held their primary on January 26th. That's more than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February.

    The fact is that "the rules of the game" were changed to continue to give Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina preferential treatment in the Democratic Party's presidential nomination process. Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, all violated Rule 11.A., but only Florida and Michigan were punished for it.

    If you're going to enforce the rules, then the rules need to be applied equally and fairly.


    Lawsuit? (none / 0) (#99)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:29:07 PM EST
    Could voters in Fl and MI file a lawsuit against the DNC to count the votes?  Could delegates?  Could any party in FL or MI validly sue?

    Please, I'm a layperson, so make the answer in English ;-).

    And if you've already answered above, please forgive, since the legal wonkishness above makes my eyes glaze over (sorry) and I stop reading.

    I'm pretty sure (none / 0) (#101)
    by andreww on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:30:45 PM EST
    anyone can sue anyone for anything  :)

    Yes, anyone can sue for anything, but, (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:51:21 PM EST
    I sssume the court would conclude it has no jurisdiction in this political matter.  Unless, of course, the court wanted to game the choice of the Dem. nominee.

    Ok...now you did it (none / 0) (#116)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:41:57 PM EST
    "same cloth as the Bushes", first do you know any history?

    No one thought (none / 0) (#152)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:14:04 PM EST
    the election would be so divided right down the line. Why argue for something that doesn't seem important a year in advance?

    It reminds me about 20/20 hindsight after Katrina and 9/11. There were warning signs, stats and what not to warn the population. But folks sat on it as it wasn't deemed important -- until tragedy struck.

    Same applies to super-delegates and this punishment deal, that may cost the Dems the election again -- over yet another technicality!

    Yep and not just cost (none / 0) (#157)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:36:00 PM EST
    THIS ELECTION, but cost the Dems the Florida electoral votes for many elections to come.

    As I said in a previous post, it's the folks who KNEW that their votes wouldn't count, but who went out and voted ANYWAY that are the concern.  Those are the activists, the ones who won't forget. (and they have a right to be pissed off).

    And out of almost 2 million voters, come likely many of this type of activist.  And in a swing state like Florida, the Dems can't afford to lose them.


    That's the sad part... (none / 0) (#161)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:52:32 PM EST
    If it happened in GA, I'd protest vote elsewhere, as the party let me down.

    A little respect goes a long way. Diss the voter and they'll look elsewhere -- majority of the voters aren't party members, and will leave.

    Heck, it would've been better if they fined Florida's Democrat party, and left the delegates out of it all together.

    The GOP is punishing FL with a 50% delegate seating, they're not fussing. It's the compromise that can smooth this all over, without the logistical headace of another primary (or worse, a caucaus for a state that doesn't use that system. Granny is going to get confused, and it'll be the Hanging Chad deal all over again).


    maybe you should pull your foot out of your mouth (none / 0) (#166)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:26:33 PM EST
    before you eat it.