The Florida Revote Plan

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only.

I have the utmost respect for Jeralyn's opposition to a Florida revote. But I think Jeralyn does not ask herself the real question we face now. To wit, the choice is between a revote and not seating the Florida delegation. The original Florida primary vote result will not be honored by the DNC. That is a fact. The choice now is between no Florida delegation and a Florida delegation chosen by a revote.

The plan submitted by the Florida Democratic Party is the only one being offered, the only one viable. It must be supported. Not seating a representative Florida (and Michigan) delegation will be disastrous for the Democratic Party's chances in those two states come November.

In my view, there is no choice. We must support the Florida revote plan.

NOTE- Comments closed.

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    Either option will be opposed (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:24:45 AM EST
    by the Obama campaign.

    I've said from the start that they will try to block seating the delegates or revoting while trying to look like they are trying to resolve the issue fairly.

    Good thing Obama has "transcended" politics.

    Obama has 'transcended' politics (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:30:08 AM EST
    And declared himself King.

    He's not, though, in any sense of the word.


    I knew Elvis (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:34:42 AM EST
    Elvis was a friend of mine.
    Senator, you are no Elvis.

    Do you have a quote where he did so? (none / 0) (#14)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:39:48 AM EST
    Or are you just blinded by Obama-hate?

    If Obama quoted me, I'd be thrilled (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    But if you can find a quote of him quoting me be my guest!

    Or are we not, as individuals, allowed to have opinions under Obama rules now?

    I was undecided and either HRC or BO were excellent Dem candidates. Then Team Obama started this scorched earth policy of blowing up Dem chances unless he was annointed.

    It's made it clearer to me why HRC is a better choice to win in November and, more importantly, to govern.

    Oh, and do your own homework. I've done mine and don't have to explain my vote.


    You made a statement (none / 0) (#82)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:17:30 AM EST
    that was inflammatory, and now you can't back it up.  telling.

    Why do I need to 'back up' my vote or opinion? (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:29:18 AM EST
    It's not inflammatory to have an opinion / position that either the FL and MI votes should count as is, or have a revote.

    I didn't like TeamO's threats that they wouldn't back HRC if she was chosen, during the fair primary process, to be the Dem candidate (as publicly stated by Michelle Obama and other TeamO spokespeople.)

    It tells me he's not the second coming of Dr. King, who was about REAL change. Obama is revealing himself to be a bad choice to beat McCain (and the Republicans Obama wants to unite with, which is the centerpiece of his campaign) -- after taking down the "Monster" Hillary, of course.

    I think he'll lose the Dems the election because he's too divisive, in the active-verb sense that he's intentionally dividing people unless he wins.

    (I'm still allowed an opinion under Obama rules, right?)


    You're certainly allowed to have an opinion (none / 0) (#184)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:55:51 AM EST
    but if you can't provide any substantive support for it, you shouldn't expect anyone to take it seriously.

    Obama's speeches are peppered with MLK bites (none / 0) (#215)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:13:42 PM EST
    His position on ONLY counting FL and MI votes as benefits him is abundantly on the public record. (You can catch up and do your own homework and read the past threads here.)

    His spokespersons' message, such as Michelle Obama saying during her appearance on Larry King Live, that Obama supporters would not back HRC in a general election, will deeply damage the Dems in the election, which is becoming harder to win with or without Obama's blessing as the media turn more to John McCain.

    Obama's candidacy and flighty public positions are damaging now and will be even more so down the road as he plays Nu Skool Politics with those swell Repugs who can't WAIT for him to come on over and unite with them!


    And I'm allowed a vote too, which I want to count (none / 0) (#243)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:28:30 PM EST
    Team Obama only wants to count the votes that benefit him and brush aside the ones that don't.

    "Agreeing" to just take those HRC ones because BO made a strategic campaign error isn't my idea of democracy, old, new, or whatever nouvelle bizarro version TeamObama is trying to push on people.


    Falsehoods don't help either (none / 0) (#196)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:00:37 PM EST
    Michelle Obama never said she wouldn't back Hillary.  She said she was unsure.  Lies don't help your credibility, especially when they're so easily disproven.

    Obama's falsehood about counting MI and FL votes (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:21:11 PM EST
    Casting aside the votes and declaring he'll take half isn't respecting the process is what a FALSEHOOD is.

    I didn't misrepresent the ugly nature of his campaign to unite with Repugs once Monster Lady was taken out.

    I didn't misrepresent Michelle Obama's statement about not supporting HRC and other appalling things Ms. Obama said on Larry King Live.

    Calling me a liar -- or whatever juvenile charge Team Obama's slinging this week -- doesn't alter facts.

    Do the Monster Mash to your hearts content, Team Obama's lost it.


    Calling a vote FAIR is a FALSEHOOD, too (none / 0) (#234)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:25:19 PM EST
    When Sen. Clinton said the Michigan and Florida primaries were "fair" and "should be respected", she took a position that is so implausible any court would direct a verdict against her on that one.

    So, it's a falsehood, as "fair" is determined by our legal system and by our sense of conscience.


    These emotional ravings (none / 0) (#246)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    Don't make any substantive points.  I've tried to engage you with logic and facts to no avail, so I'm done arguing with you.

    The 'ravings' are TeamO's OWN POSITIONS (none / 0) (#253)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:38:51 PM EST
    This ludicrous stance that citing well-known public stances are my irrational imaginings or emotional ravings is ridiculous.

    Flail away ... TeamO is not ready for prime time and the more I see, the more evident it is to me that Obama and his team aren't capable of winning the election or, after that, governing.


    Right she was unsure and that (none / 0) (#199)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:02:14 PM EST
    such an improvement coming from the wife of a candidate.

    it is not the same thing, but i refer you (none / 0) (#52)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:06:13 AM EST
    to obama's promise that he will play by chicago political rules. that is not anything to brag about considering the history of chicago politics.

    and as to whether someone thinks of himself as royalty, well that is inferred by their attitude and manner don't you think? isn't that the position that michelle took about hillary? she won't support her if her attiutde isn't just right? right?


    Well, the Chicago rules worked well for him when (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by derridog on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    he first ran for office against Alice Palmer, who was a community activist and who held the office and who had supported him in his run for a different job.  When he couldn't win that  office (for a reason I no longer remember), he decided to run against her, even though she had been his staunch advocate.  Then, instead of actually running against her, he challenged the signatures that she had given the voting office to allow her to run, along with the signatures of three or four other people running.  He knocked them all off the ballot, so he could run unopposed.  Those are the "Chicago Rules."

    It seems to me that Obama has been using the Chicago Rules all along, accusing the Clintons of racism in order to inflame racial hostility in Blacks to demonize the Clintons just so he could win, his use of the Harry and Louise ads to attack her Health Care Plan so that the Republicans can now use that to attack his own Health Care Plan, which will not work without mandates anyway (which he has now made it impossible for him to propose).  

    He seems like a really nice guy, until you look under the surface. I gave him money until I realized that I couldn't actually support him.  He lets his surrogates do his dirty work, but he's been doing dirty work since he started running for office back in his Rezko days.  

     If people would just do a little homework on the man, instead of reacting emotionally, it would be better for the country and for progressive values, which supposedly we in the "Reality-based Communitiy" espouse.   We have a lot of serious problems in this country, starting with the fact that the economy may be in meltdown, we have dire environmental problems, not to mention the war (which in spite of Obama's speech of 2002, he has voted for every time he's had the chance -that is, he's voted for  Bush's position every time since he's been in the Senate except when he's ducked the vote).

    So, I can hardly wait to see what else the Chicago Rules will bring us. We all know how honest Chicago politics are.


    i see (none / 0) (#88)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:19:36 AM EST
    so now we're inferring that he thinks he's king, not because he said anything of the sort, but because of our subjective views on his "attitude."  Not much rationality in that.

    really? (none / 0) (#93)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:23:33 AM EST
    Someone can't feel like a candidate's attitude reflects an air of superiority and royalty?  It can't possibly be a surprise to you that politics is personal, subjective, and emotional.

    People who don't understand simple declarations (none / 0) (#140)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:41:16 AM EST
    ... that hold true both literally and figuratively should take a breather.

    Otherwise, they're just papering the thread with clutter to make a meaningful discussion frustrating if impossible.

    Demanding that I "quote" where Obama said, um, my opinion SLASH play on words is cluttering.

    In case it wasn't, though, KING = Dr. King, whom Obama frequently cites, without attribution, in speeches and small-k king, a self-appointed ruler who's allergic to counting votes. (THAT was clutter, but minimally useful!)

    Astro-turfing minions are particularly thick today.


    Not to mention that he takes on King's religious (none / 0) (#167)
    by derridog on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:50:58 AM EST
    cadence when he speaks. He is a good mimic and he is a great copier of the words and ideas of other people. But I'd like to know that there is something genuine in the rhetoric.  I don't believe there is. I think it's all about him.

    People who can't back up their claims (none / 0) (#177)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:53:52 AM EST
    should take a breather.  They certainly shouldn't imply people who disagree with their emotive rants are just astroturfing.

    Obama probably believes (none / 0) (#45)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:04:06 AM EST
    and probably correctly, in my view, that he would have done far better in Florida and in Michigan had he engaged in those states with the same grassroots tenacity he's engaged in the others, and campaigned hard in order to overcome what was, at that time, Clinton's superior name recognition.

    Holding a primary by the rules would have been much better for Obama's campaign. Florida broke the rules and the DNC disenfranchised it. Now the Clinton campaign is doing everything it can to get the delegates in through the back door. If Clinton was in a commanding delegate lead, do you think she'd be pursuing this with the same ardor? Ha!

    Nobody wants to see Florida or Michigan voters disenfranchises. But let's face facts here. Clinton went into the primary season heavily favored as the presumptive candidate. The Florida and Michigan results certainly reflect that. But the landscape has now drastically changed. Obama's substantial delegate lead now makes him the presumptive candidate. Seating the Florida and Michigan delegates, as is, is extremely unfair not only to Obama but to those across the nation who've thrown their support toward him. Florida voters did not have the benefit of a hard fought campaign in the state to help them make their choice. Seating them as is would be more unfair to Obama and his nationwide supporters than not seating them at all. It gives Clinton a boon she did not earn by campaigning but possessed as the presumptive candidate at the time.


    3 days before the FL primary (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:31:42 AM EST
    Obama had received much positive media attention by winning the SC primary.
    And yet - voters in Florida deciding on Primary day - voted for Hillary.

    That's correct (none / 0) (#163)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:49:31 AM EST
    without any in-state campaigning or in-state GOTV efforts. Because of that, Clinton's presumptive nominee status and name recognition probably counted for much more.

    Obama ran ads in Florida and Clinton didn't. (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by derridog on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:54:40 AM EST
    It's about disenfranchisement (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by SandyS on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:32:26 AM EST
    Honestly, no, Clinton would not be pushing to resolve Florida and Michigan.  But, neither would she be in favor of disenfranchising voters in the fall and would accept a plan to address this issue.  Because she is truly a democrat, unlike Obama, who only cares about his own campaign - otherwise, why try to block a revote?  It is clear to me that Obama would not expect to do well in either state, otherwise why would he be in favor of disenfranchising the state most damaged by the election in 2000?  This is disgraceful on his campaign's part.

    Your faith in Senator Clinton's willingness to do (none / 0) (#170)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:51:35 AM EST
    the right thing is, in my view, misplaced, judging from her argument on NPR today why the Michigan delegates should be seated. Anybody who makes the argument she made this morning can't be trusted.

    Honestly, I am much less concerned (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:36:36 AM EST
    about anything being "fair" for either of these candidates than I am about making sure that all of the states get fair representation in this primary process.

    Running for President is a rough and tumble process which is rarely "fair" - the candidates knew that when they got into it and they'll deal with many more "unfair" situations on a given day in the White House than this primary could ever produce.  So they need to cope and adjust.

    But the people of Florida and Michigan got clipped in a battle they had no control over which is something we need to address with their best interests in mind first - the candidates need to adjust to their needs and their will - not the other way around.

    Remember that the candidates are vying for the honor of becoming public servants.  We in the Democratic Party need to demonstrate that we understand the relationship between elected officials and electorate as it was meant to be.  If we fail to deal with Michigan or Florida our position on that front will be much, much weaker and Obama's in particular could suffer significantly.

    The goal in this primary is to nominate a candidate to win the general election in November.  We have to look beyond these two candidates and their needs and start examining what we will need in November - I don't care what anyone says about the electoral map - giving up Florida and Michigan from the outset is just nuts.


    Rarely fair? (none / 0) (#174)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:53:22 AM EST
    I disagree. It's rarely nice, and sometimes very dirty. But as far as fair goes, if people follow the rules that everybody agrees upon then the process itself is fair.

    Rules & Process (none / 0) (#203)
    by corn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:05:04 PM EST
    When the process puts an innocent man to death, the process is flawed (Herrera).  When voters' votes don't count, the process is flawed.  Rules and process shouldn't be placed above fairness.

    Different issues (none / 0) (#214)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:11:52 PM EST
    An innocent man who is executed didn't agree, beforehand, to a process whereby he could be executed for a crime he did not commit.

    A candidate, on the other hand, who agrees to abide DNC rules about the process of primaries and caucuses cannot hardly complain that those rules aren't fair, later. So far as the voters themselves are concerned, no, it's not fair to them, but there are competing national interests involved that cannot be ignored, either. One obvious solution for the disenfranchised voters is to replace their state democratic leadership.


    The voters concerns are paramount. (none / 0) (#235)
    by corn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:25:21 PM EST
    And they didn't agree to the rules either.  The DNC's needs don't compare.

    Everyone knows the DNC screwed up.  They should walk this back.


    It's also about the voters (none / 0) (#240)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:28:01 PM EST
    in every other state. In a representational democracy, the voters agreed to the rules via their elected representatives. They may not be happy with the choices their elected representatives made. But that is the fiction of consent upon which our system of government rests. There's no reason to disavow that fiction in this case only.

    That makes no sense. (none / 0) (#249)
    by corn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:34:50 PM EST
    I get your point about the 'fiction of consent' but when we follow a trail down to a point where rational minds realize we're doing something unfair, you walk it back.  You can make all your same arguments about Herrera, but in the end an innocent man was killed.  That makes no sense.

    Your argument is opportunistic.  An objective observer would no doubt agree to make the votes count.


    what is fair about (none / 0) (#222)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:18:45 PM EST
    the disproportional representation of small states in the nominating process?

    That is why I wouldn't even (none / 0) (#242)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:28:22 PM EST
    call another primary in MI and FL a "re-vote" - while they each state held an election - opening polling stations and handing out ballots etc. - neither election met the criteria of the rules originally set forth by all of the states - therefore they didn't really do anything but hold glorified straw polls.

    Seems to me that if either candidate perceives new elections that are conducted within the rules as they were set up in 2006 as "unfair", then they really aren't talking about rules at all.

    Writing off FL and MI as it stands now makes no sense.  I think the only choice we have is to hold elections in whatever fashion that meet the criteria set forth by the bylaws.  It is not like either camaign is hurting for money or that they have spent money of any significant amount in either state - why not run real contests now?  Both will benefit in November if they do and both will suffer in November if they don't.  It is a worthwhile investment imo.


    I agree (none / 0) (#247)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:30:11 PM EST
    Thanks for your comment.

    Rarely fair? (none / 0) (#176)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:53:41 AM EST
    I disagree. It's rarely nice, and sometimes very dirty. But as far as fair goes, if people follow the rules that everybody agrees upon then the process itself is fair.

    Okay. Let's just say that fairness is in the (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by derridog on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:07:46 PM EST
    eye of the observer. Is it fair that Obama gets more delegates in Caucus states where a tiny fraction of the population actually gets to vote and it disenfranchises Clinton's base because poor people, rural people, young mothers, old people, people who work on Saturdays or can't afford four or five hours on the weekend to go to a caucus, or who might even be intimidated by the idea -can't vote?  Is it fair that Wyoming's 5000 people voting count while Florida's 1.7 million voters don't? Is it fair that Obama wants the Superdelegates to vote for him if he has the most pledged delegates even though he might end up with less than the popular vote? Is it fair that he wants them to vote for him even though the RULES say that they can vote their conscience or for what they think is the good of the party? Is it fair that he intends to make a big deal out of this by further inflaming his followers who are already acting like thugs, threatening everyone who doesn't agree with them?

    Just look at Howard Dean and how he behaved when he was accused in an ad paid for by his fellow candidates of being like Osama bin Laden and then had his candidacy killed by the Dean scream nonsense.  He turned around and told his supporters not to be angry but to give Kerry everything they had to try to win against Bush because that was more important than his winning. He took a much lesser joh as the DNC chair to try to install a 50 state strategy and did that in spite of getting grief from his own party about it.  There's a man I can respect, unlike Senator Obama who will stop at nothing to get elected, including killing off the Democratic Party's chances in November.


    But fair to who? (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:07:50 PM EST
    You seem to think that fair to Obama is the ultimate test. I would submit that fair to the voters, then fair to the party, then fair to the candidates, is the preferred fairness hierarchy.

    The 'rules are rules' argument doesn't address fairness to the voters at all.


    Stop putting words in my mouth, please (none / 0) (#224)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:19:56 PM EST
    There are a lot of competing interests involved in setting up a process as complicated as a party nomination process. Florida's state democratic leadership broke the rules. Florida voters' gripes should mainly be with them.

    I said in a different comment that what I favor is the right of each candidate to campaign and organize in Florida as they would have done so had Florida not jumped the gun. If, after that effort, Clinton's victory in Florida is every bit as substantial as it was in January, I'm satisfied that the process was fair, not just for the candidates, but for voters throughout the nation as well as Florida.


    Clinton is ahead in Florida polls (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by tree on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:36:37 AM EST
    RIGHT NOW, with a 17% point lead. The "landscape" has not changed in the minds of the Florida voters despite the fact that Obama is the national frontrunner now, and Floridians have had a chance to see him for six additional weeks.

    As for the rest of your argument, it really amounts to little more than claiming that seating them rather than not seating them is more unfair TO OBAMA
    because he lost. If that's your argument,then why bother to seat any state's delegates, if its going to be "unfair" to the loser to seat them?


    That's not my argument (none / 0) (#185)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:57:27 AM EST
    My argument is that all candidates should have the chance to campaign and compete in every state in accordance with the rules set up by the DNC. Yes, I believe Obama would have done better than the current polls suggest if he had been given the chance to organize and campaign, but that's just informed speculation. If the vote were to come out identical with the current polls, I'm fine with that, so long as Obama and Clinton have a fair opportunity to ask Florida voters for support, just as they were able to do so in ever other state (save Michigan).

    The Florida state party may have (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:37:24 AM EST
    "broken" the rules, but the voters of Florida certainly did not.  The DNC rules have always included a provision for FLA to submit an "alternative plan" for choosing and seating delegates, and therefore it is perfectly permissible under the "rules" for the FLA state party to conduct another vote that would permit FLA voters' voices not only to be heard, but to count.

    The FLA and MI delegate issues are not a question of fairness to one candidate or another. They are a matter of fairness to the voters. I think Obama will pay a price if he is seen by the Democratic voters in those states as having been unwilling to agree to a procedure that would permit them to have a say in which candidate is the nominee -- and whoever the nominee is in the fall will also pay a price for his reluctance. Which means the whole country will pay a price.


    No, it's not just about fairness to Obama and (none / 0) (#192)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:59:38 AM EST
    Clinton. It's about fairness to voters, but not just those voters in Florida and Michigan, but also to the voters in every other state who have pledged their time and money to one candidate or the other. What Obama, Clinton, and the DNC owe to them is a fair process that guarantees a secure vote and opportunity to compaign.

    Nothing is fair to Obama (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by ineedalife on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:43:58 AM EST
    You are moaning that Obama did not get the chance to outspend Hillary 4:1 in FL. Oh, the unfairness of it all!!

    How can we have a president (5.00 / 1) (#269)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 01:57:29 PM EST
    who is against having all votes count?

    I want a president who is a candidate who is working -- working hard, and speaking for it NOW, when it matters -- to have all votes count.  Somehow.

    That's because I believe in democracy.  How 'bout you?


    I disagree (none / 0) (#99)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:26:54 AM EST
    Obama was coming off a big win in South Carolina and had just won 1 caucus and 1 primary to HRC's win in New Hampshire.  Are you saying the record number of people who voted in Florida and Michigan don't watch the news, or read the newspapers, or have internet access, or listen to the radio?  

    Since Obama wants to benefit for a tactical decision he made in Michigan by removing his name from the ballot, do you then think HRC should get a do-over in, say, Colorado?  And since Obama actually held a press conference and aired a national ad (that could have been blocked in the Florida markets), against the rules, does HRC get a do-over in Georgia?


    No, I'm not saying that (none / 0) (#158)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:47:47 AM EST
    I'm saying this. Obama is a great campaigner and his campaign has left the Clinton campaign far behind in its organizational and GOTV efforts. Obama's position in this campaign is due in large part to those facts. Holding a vote in Florida that deprives the Obama campaign of the opportunity to work for voter support in the same way it worked for voter support in other states, coupled with Senator Clinton's frontrunner status at the time of the Florida primary, makes it difficult to credit the Florida vote as a reflection of the support each candidate might achieve by campaigning in Florida.

    Your argument about Michigan and Colorado doesn't make much sense. The DNC did not disqualify Colorado from the primary season. It disqualified Michigan, and each candidate signed a pledge acknowledging that. Senator Clinton, despite signing that pledge, is now trying to sneak the delegates in. That's outrageous, frankly.


    Not sure this is dispositive (none / 0) (#172)
    by lambert on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:52:49 AM EST
    digdugboy writes:

    Clinton went into the primary season heavily favored as the presumptive candidate. The Florida and Michigan results certainly reflect that. But the landscape has now drastically changed. Obama's substantial delegate lead now makes him the presumptive candidate.

    1. When Clinton was heavily favored, that was because she had been annointed as the front runner, just like somebody always is. And now IMNSHO they're in the tank for Obama. Who cares? I'm not sure why the desire of our famously free press to manipulate the Presidential nomination process  should trump the right of Florida voters to have their votes counted.

    2. Obama's "substantial lead" is all of a 100 delegates, and both candidates are approximately equal in the popular vote, with many races yet to run. I understand why Obama supporters would want to bootstrap any lead at all into a victory, but I have a hard time seeing how the numbers support this -- and in any case, I don't see why such game-playing should trump the rights of Florida voters.

    Finally, how does it make sense, at the end of the day, to disenfranchise FL and MI when it comes to the general? It doesn't. Check the polling:

    Another finding, which pollster Jim Kitchens called "stunning," was that a quarter of the respondents - all Democrats who voted in the Jan. 29 primary - said they were upset enough over the issue to consider not voting or voting Republican in November's presidential race.

    These voters think they're being treated unfairly, and they're right.

    So, with the Carville offer of $15 million still on the table, why is Obama not only lawyering up, but appealing to the Bush Justice [cough] Department, instead of looking for a solution that's best for the voters? I don't have a problem with Obama looking worse and worse on this issue -- unless he ekes out the victory and becomes the nominee, in which case a perceived lack of legitimacy from a broken primary voting system could cause him, and the party, real problems.

    The whole episode looks a lot how Obama knocked off Alice Palmer in Chicago by challenging signatures. Yes, politics ain't beanbag, but what it takes to gain legitimacy in a national election isn't the same as what it takes at the state level in Illinois, either.

    So, it seems to me -- with legitimacy the #1 priority, whoever wins -- that the revote is the best solution (which isn't the same as saying it's good...)


    I support a revote too (none / 0) (#206)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:07:26 PM EST
    so long as the revote is secure and allows each candidate to campaign in Florida as he or she wishes and can afford. I agree that disenfranchising Florida and MIchigan voters is not good for our nation's process. I also agree with you on your point about our famously free press.

    Our opinions of the candidate's character obviously differs. I cannot credit Senator Clinton with any good faith whatsoever, especially after her transparently disingenuous comments about Michigan today. I'm willing to give Obama a little leeway, still, to demonstrate that his objection in Florida are about fairness and not merely about tactical advantage.

    I suppose that's as good a reason why people choose one candidate over another.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment.


    Incorrect (none / 0) (#221)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:18:44 PM EST
    He's preparing for a vote.

    Does logic apply to politics? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Joike on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:31:36 AM EST
    I think Obama will eventually embrace the revote.  If it is the only viable plan and the DNC backs it, he's stuck by his past comments.

    If he tries to weasle out of that previous committment, Clinton can bash him effectively in other states that haven't voted yet and with S-Ds.

    Plus, as has been pointed out elsewhere, if he seems to be blocking FL and MI representation, the GOP will trumpet the issue in the GE.

    It would be stupid to be seen as the stumbling block.  He's given himself wiggle room by promising to abide by the DNC's decision, but once the DNC makes a decision, he can't be seen as being obstructionist.  That would be dangerous.

    Obama will abide by anything the DNC backs. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:33:17 AM EST
    Getting the DNC to back it is the problem.

    are these people elected? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:47:28 AM EST
    how exactly did Donna Brazil et al get so much freaking power?

    No kidding (none / 0) (#25)
    by corn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:51:06 AM EST
    She ran a bad campaign and now we listen to her?

    can (none / 0) (#38)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:00:17 AM EST
    they be impeached? fired? marginalized?

    They are running out of time (none / 0) (#16)
    by Joike on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:42:02 AM EST
    so they need to fish or cut bait pretty quickly so both states and the campaigns can get on with the process.

    Obama never pays a price. (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ivs814 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    He took his name of the MI ballot in a successful effort to minimize Hillary's predictable win there.  He ran campaign adds in FL and explained it away by saying that the Democratic Chair in SC told him it was okay.  No cries of "Not Fair" or DNC punishment to him for a flagrant violation of the agreement not to do so.  By now everyone should know that he is always given a pass.  

    Didn't the other candidates remove their names (none / 0) (#127)
    by Joike on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:36:37 AM EST
    except Clinton in deference to DNC wishes?


    Could you link to the story you referenc in your post?


    No, JE and BO removed their (none / 0) (#138)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:40:34 AM EST
    names from the MI ballot in order to demonstrate to IA and NH voters that they were committed to the primacy of those two states' contests. It was a strategic decision on their parts. The DNC never said that there could not be a "beauty contest" in MI and FLA, just that the results of those contests would not result in the seating of delegates.

    None of the candidates could remove their names from the FLA ballots under FLA law.


    they could have removed them in Fl (none / 0) (#144)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:43:29 AM EST
    had they done it before the Florida Democratic Party turned in the candidate list.  It was only after certification that they would have been required to sign an affidavit stating that did not plan to run for president.

    If you read the article I linked to (none / 0) (#205)
    by Joike on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:05:37 PM EST
    it clearly states that the DNC asked all the candidates to withdraw their name from the ballot.

    I think it's fair to say that trying to appeal to Iowa and NH was a motivating factor for all the candidates, but the cynic in me isn't going to give any candidate for being the last one in the pool.  By staying on the ballot, Clinton assured a "beauty contest" victory making her pledge not to campaign in MI meaningless since it would only be her and Dodd on the ballot.

    So if Obama's decison to take his name off the ballot was strategic, Clinton's decision to stay on must be considered strategic as well.


    I'm not arguing that the MI vote should (none / 0) (#219)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:18:14 PM EST
    be counted as is. Some people are, perhaps, but I am not. I'm assuming that if the DNC had required all candidates to remove their names, Clinton would have done so. But if the January vote is not being counted, the question of whether what any of the candidates did was "strategic" is a moot point.  The question is how does the DNC now permit MI voters to have their say in the nomination process?  I'm assuming that you agree that a 50/50 split of the total delegate count does not achieve this goal.

    People are starting to talk (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by katiebird on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:35:10 AM EST
    And it's not good for the DNC or Obama.  

    I live in Kansas and it's head-shaking time here. Even my Obama supporting friends are more worried about the possibility of not seating FL & MI than whether Obama wins.

    I've been reading today that Obama's trying to run-down-the-clock (is this a sports phrase?) -- if that's true, it might be a bad strategy.  Because (here in Kansas) they want FL & MI seated and they want a revote.  And they aren't sure Obama does.

    This plan looks good to me.  Why (at this point in time) is it even an issue?

    Because actions can have unintended consequences (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by zzyzx on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:02:23 AM EST
    This plan looks good to me.  Why (at this point in time) is it even an issue?

    As a programmer, I've learned over the years that you can do something that seems cool and makes sense, but if you're not very careful, you open up the door for malicious people to abuse the system.  

    The Voting Rights Act was passed for a reason.  The regions affected have a history of taking innocuous looking loopholes and using them to disenfranchise people.  I can see multiple ways a mail in program could have that effect.  Mailboxes in some neighborhoods might not be secure leading to ballot stealing or destroying.  Poorer populations are more likely to not have their latest address on record and are less likely to have proper forwarding information.  When you know people are voting by mail, you can put additional pressure on them to vote in a particular way because you can watch them vote.  These are just off the top of my head.

    Will any or all of these happen?  Probably not.  However, people want to have a chance to look at the final plan and make sure that subtle inequities aren't built into the system before saying it's OK.  That's why the law was passed and it's why you can't just say, "Hey let's just line up and count."

    Odds are that this will fine, but the deadlines are such that there's no time to look at the plan and people don't have that much faith in the ability of Florida to hold smooth elections.  That's the problem.


    Been there (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:13:32 AM EST
    They already use mail-in.  If they already found the mail-in system legitimate for the original vote, why is it all of a sudden unacceptable today.  No one is proposing the creation of a new system or plan.

    There are numerous exceptions to enable people to vote.


    You're confusing FL and OR (none / 0) (#87)
    by zzyzx on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:19:32 AM EST
    OR does all mail in ballots.  This would be the first time FL (or MI) would be doing that.  If it were the same method they've always used, there wouldn't be an objection.

    It would be the first time (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by spit on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:29:22 AM EST
    they'd be doing it for the whole election, but FL in particular has very high rates of absentee voting -- not sure about MI.

    It's not like the wheel has to be reinvented. OR provides a model, and it's not like there is no history in either state of dealing with the issues around mail-in ballots.


    We don't have a lot of options (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by dianem on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:28:11 AM EST
    The choices are essentidally: re-vote with a regular election, caucus, or mail-in. A regular election can't be set up in a few weeks. You need polling locations, poll workers, machines, counting equiptment, and voter notifications. They spend months setting it up, and it's incredibly expensive. We've seen how well caucuses work, especially for older and disabled voters.

    Any system can be gamed, but there is a history of voting by mail already. A lot of states encourage absentee voting, and Oregon does it's entire election that way. Can somebody pressure others to vote a certain way? Probably. But that applies just as much to absentee voting as to mail-in voting. People can also be pressured in a caucus, and neither the DNC or the federal govt. seem to worry too much about that. If ballots are stolen, that can be rectified - ballots have names, numbers and addresses on them. People who don't get ballots will complain, and the ballots can be identified and not counted. Anonymity can be maintained by not linking the numbers directly with a voter on the card they send back.

    If we're not going to seat the delegates from the original election, I think that mail in is the only good option we have available to us.


    I think these are not trivial concerns (none / 0) (#153)
    by fuzzyone on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:46:14 AM EST
    I don't know how it works in Oregon, but in CA vote by mail is an option for all, but you can also vote in person.

    I have studied the jury selection process and one of the problems you see there is that racial minorities are often underrepresented.  One of the reasons for this is that they tend to be poorer and the poorer you are the less stable your residence tends to be.  Moving more often means that your address information, whether for a jury summons or a mail in ballot, is less likely to be correct.  There are also issues about mailbox security in low income neighborhoods.  

    I'm not saying that this means a mail-in ballot is not the best solution to the terrible problem created by the Democratic Nitwit Committee.  I would just love to see an intelligent discussion of the issues by either side.

    I totally disagree with Hillary's insistence on seating the delegates based on clearly flawed elections.  I thought this quote from the Times today summed it up nicely:  

    "From the viewpoint of legitimacy of elections, this is a mess," said Rick Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and an expert on election law and administration.

    "Yes, we had a contest, but it was a contest run under unusual rules," said Professor Hasen, who is politically neutral. "Candidates were not allowed to campaign, and voters were told by the D.N.C. their votes wouldn't count. That kind of election doesn't comport with our usual democratic norms."

    I have no doubt that a) there are people who did not vote because it was not supposed to count and b) that had Obama campaigned the way he did in other states he would have at least narrowed the gap as he did in other states.  I also find it awesomely hypocritical that Hillary did not object to not seating those delegates at the time the DNC was screwing this up.

    At the same time I think Obama (who I support) should drop his obstructionism, admit that the DNC has screwed this up, and work for a way to have a fair revote.  A mail-in vote may not be perfect but I'm not sure what would be better.  I agree that caucuses suck and should be eliminated.  I full scale primary seems impractical given both time and money constraints.  I think that both campaigns have the resources to get out there and make sure that all of the voters get ballots despite the problems I mentioned above.  I think now is the time to starting the serious discussion about how to do the revote right and drop all the rest of the nonsense.  I continue to support Obama but I do not like his approach on this


    You should read the pdf that Jeralyn posted (none / 0) (#223)
    by tree on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:19:10 PM EST
    earlier detailing the proposed plan. The Florida plan is a hybrid of sorts. There are provisions for voters to go to various election offices set up throughout the state, both to receive their ballot and to vote on site if desired. Essentially, anyone who is eligible to vote can vote any day during the two week period. It gives maximum flexibility for those who want to vote by mail or in person. I think it adequately deals with enfranchisement issues for poorer voters. The way t deals with them actually makes it more equitable than current election practices. Its a great plan.

    This is getting to the point of absurdity, (5.00 / 5) (#78)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:16:10 AM EST
    where we may all be feeling like we're seeing people's lips move, but the words they are saying make no sense.

    The most important thing is not which plan benefits which candidate, but that the people have their say, that they can cast a vote that counts, that regardless of the outcome, the people who take voting seriously can fulfill their desire to be heard.

    That does not happen with any plan that unilaterally splits delegates 50-50; this is not the last piece of blueberry pie in the pan to be painstakingly cut so that each person receives exactly half.  No.  These are people's votes.  Obama can pout and stamp his feet and continue to act like a brat, but he cannot set aside the actual vote and take half the delegates.  No.  If he wants the Michigan vote to stand, then he gets no delegates, since he wasn't on the ballot, and there is no way to know how many of those votes for "uncommitted" were really for him.  If he wants the vote to stand, the delegates allocable to the uncommitted vote go into the convention uncommitted - or let him lobby to convince them to commit to him.  If that's not acceptable, then he needs to suck it up and get behind a re-vote.

    As for Florida, since there seems to be no way the existing vote will be able to be used to award delegates, there must be a re-vote.  For those who whine that the rules are the rules, and the punishment must stand, try looking at it this way: they were denied delegates because of the early date.  If it is as if the vote never happened, then consider the re-vote the "real" primary, which, coming well after the February 5 line-in-the-sand, meets the DNC's original rules.

    And let's get on with it.

    People are watching and listening.  They remember Florida, 2000.  They remember Ohio in 2000 and 2004.  They remember listening to some squeaky-voiced DOJ officials describing voter suppression efforts in the name of eliminating voter fraud, and they were outraged.  Anyone who thinks that there will not be repercussions from excluding the voters of Florida and Michigan from this process is not paying attention.

    As for the issue of who should get the nomination, I would love it if all states held closed primaries - no caucuses ever again -  so that only registered Democrats were voting to decide the nominee.  Delegates should be allocated the same in every state.  If this is a one person - one vote country, then pick a ratio and deal with it.  Decide on a minimum for the state with the smallest population - 1 delegate per 1,000 votes, for example - and deal with it.  But no more vote-dilution that results in California votes being of lesser value than Wyoming votes.  Yeah - a huge number of delegates would result, but there are ways to deal with that.

    What little respect I had for Barack Obama has vaporized as, with each passing day, he appears to be less and less interested in the people, and more and more interested in himself; I do not find that to be a quality that will translate to good governance.  At this stage, his intransigence imperils not just his candidacy, but the future direction of this country and I am having a very hard time coming to terms with the magnitude of ego one needs in order to be blinded to that reality.

    I know this is long - thanks for reading.


    Because there a billion byzantine rules (none / 0) (#17)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:44:10 AM EST
    and regulations, and ton of local politicians with various agendas to try and navigate through. Obama isn't the problem...the Florida legislators providing most the resistance are Hillary supporters, for example...the problem is time. There are all kinds of deadlines, some codified into law, some not, and time is almost gone. And now that it's the very last minute and a crisis, everyone involved is trying to push their personal agenda to the very top.

    $15 million is on the table... (none / 0) (#190)
    by lambert on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:58:57 AM EST
    ... from Carville. Surely a lot of these problems ca be solved with money?

    Of which both candidates have been able to raise staggering amounts?


    Oregon voter weighing in (5.00 / 9) (#18)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:47:11 AM EST
    Since there have been some questions raised by the Obama campaign as to the feasibility of mail in voting, I thought I'd share my experiences as a former Oregonian:

    I was registered to vote in Oregon up until very recently.  I voted by mail from 2000 onwards and in 2000 I worked as a volunteer with the Gore/Lieberman race in Oregon so I'm pretty familiar with the process.

    Basically, mail in voting is fantastic.  It is convienent, easy to figure out and encourages greater participation.  In Oregon, ballots are mailed out about 6 weeks before election day.  You can mail them back (secrecy envelope, then an outer envelope that you sign - signatures checked against what is on your file) or you can drop them off at one of many drop boxes.  These are typically located at government buildings, ie schools and libraries.  They are secure and very visible.  

    Ballots cannot be forwarded.  So if you want to vote and don't receive your ballot by mail, you go to your local county elections office and ask for a new ballot.  Your ID is checked against the voter list and you are given a new ballot.

    Campaigns regularly ask for and receive lists of which voters have not turned in ballots, which they check against their "target" lists.  Makes GOTV much easier because you have an idea of how many of your targeted voters have turned in ballots and you can focus your efforts on those who have not.  Of course, all campaigns also inform voters on what do if they haven't received a ballot or if they have questions.  Campaigns will regularly provide transportation to voters who need to pick up a new ballot.

    There were a lot of concerns about secrecy and disenfranchisement in the beginning, but there's never really been an issue with either.  The first probably because Oregonians are so nice :) and the second because turnout speaks for itself.

    Basically, if a state has absentee ballots now, I don't see why it would be hard for them to do mail-in.  The issues raised by the Obama people, to me, are lame.  Finally, Oregon took awhile to develop the program because we are trailblazers :), the trail's been blazed - I think FL and MI can follow our lead.

    And one last thought - it seems a bit disingenious to me for the Obama camp to be saying that they'll respect whatever the DNC decides while making very clear noises that they won't accept this option.  Either they have an opinion or not - they can't have it both ways.

    California Voter (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:05:05 AM EST
    weighing in.  I agree with you.  We have the same procedures here.  We haven't had any fraud problems.  If there are any issues with any of the states, I imagine they would be presenting that evidence to support their argument.  It is not just a bit disingenuous.  It is getting ever the top.  I just can't figure out what anyone thinks they are gaining by delaying.

    I'm a permanent absentee voter (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by sonya on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:27:59 AM EST
    here in California, and I love it.  Everyone has equal access to the polling place and ample time to vote.  Any objections to mail-in ballots is based upon placing self-interests before the interests of voters.

    That's incorrect. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:44:21 AM EST
    Oregon's mail - in system took years to produce.  And they check signatures with an electronic record of the signatures of the registered voters.

    There is no such system in Florida today, and the Democratic party doesn't even have a reliable database of Democratic voter's addresses.  The plan is to mail out ballots, then have them mailed back in.  Doesn't that seem rife with fraud-potential?

    I think it's a bit disingenuous, at the least, to say that this would be the best solution when clearly it wouldn't.

    I'm in favor of seating the delegation as it was determined in the Jan. Primary.  


    Thanks for the incites (none / 0) (#69)
    by Christopher MN Lib on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:12:53 AM EST
    Sounds like a good way to go for FL and MI revotes to me, though I understand some of the concerns for a state not used to the system. A redue primary would still be the best way to go, but I don't see how the Obama campaign can be against this mail in revote plan.

    Again (none / 0) (#152)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:46:14 AM EST
    Do some homework.  There is a lot of problems with creating  a mail-in vote in a month or so time.  His concerns are understandable, and they are concerns that the system will not get ballots to all voters; that ballots may be lost, stolen, fraudulently sent back; and that Republicans who voted in the primary earlier will vote in this primary and thus have two primary votes even though that was against the rules.  

    Hello Florida has Closed Primaries (none / 0) (#183)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:55:38 AM EST
    secondly why do I keep hearing this voting fraud mantra I thought that was a Republican ruse to disenfranchise voters.

    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#241)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:28:10 PM EST
    What?  One can change their registration status easily enough to allow for double voting to occur.  No coordinated ruse going on, by a systematic failure of this mail-in primary.

    Whatever happened to "Yes We Can" (none / 0) (#262)
    by tree on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:52:25 PM EST
    All of the concerns you mentioned can be addressed, and most of them have been addressed in the plan. There is signature verification, there are provisions forvoters who don't get their ballots in the mail to pick up their ballots instead, or to even vote in person at election offices. Most of this is already dealt with. The items that haven't can be ironed out over the 30 day discussion period.

    Obama has been given a perfect opportunity to prove that he can bring people together and get things done yet all he's doing is finding excuses for non-action.  "No We Won't" seems like a more apt slogan these days.


    Not likely to vote again... (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Richard in Jax on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:52:13 AM EST
    Not me. I voted in the first Primary and have lost interest in the joke this thing has become since. Most folks here in Florida feel the way I do. A re-vote will not represent the population of voters that voted the first time.

    Just listen to Randi Rhodes (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by chemoelectric on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:00:29 AM EST
    Randi Rhodes on Air America often talks about how her family didn't vote because it wasn't supposed to count. Floridians have had enough of this kind of stuff. For this reason, too, there needs to be a re-vote.

    These are empirical facts, which no theoretical considerations, of what is fair or what is the rules, can eliminate.

    So does Randi (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Lil on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:03:19 AM EST
    think there should be a re-vote? She's another one I've had to scale back from listening to, so I'm not sure what she's advocating these days.

    Randi Rhodes (none / 0) (#266)
    by mm on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 01:02:26 PM EST
    Randi Rhodes spent the entire 3 hours of her show on the day of FL primary begging her listeners to go vote in the primary, "with their heart".  It was a blatant appeal to her listeners to vote for Obama.  

    I've stopped listening to her show.


    So I guess her family didn't care about (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:35:51 AM EST
    amendment one either.  Hmm funny since it was something that concerned everyone who owned property in Fl.  It was one of the reasons I went to my polling place.  Did Randy say if they went and only voted on one side of the ballot or just did not go to vote?  Just curious cause most people I know went mostly because of both.

    And then again I live in a county (none / 0) (#135)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:38:52 AM EST
    where Obama won and I have yet to have anyone tell me that they did not go to vote because it would not count.  I know a lot of people who didn't vote but they usually don't vote in anything but the GE anyway if anytime.

    Then why didn't (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:04:08 AM EST
    Obama take his name of the FL ballot too? Because he couldn't do that and stay in the race. It takes a lot of parsing to read the pledge as requiring him to take his name off the ballot in MI while leaving it on the FL ballot, but Obama supporters like to ignore that obvious point.

    I read today (none / 0) (#54)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:06:36 AM EST
    that he tried to do so, but some rule prevented him from taking it off. I don't have a source for that, but it makes sense, inasmuch as he did take it off in Michigan, honoring his pledge.

    He couldn't take his name off the ballot (none / 0) (#60)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:08:14 AM EST
    It violated a rule there.  

    I said in my comment (none / 0) (#67)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:12:09 AM EST
    WHY he didn't take his name off the ballot. I said it. Why do you tell me this as if I didn't say why?

    My point is that if you read the pledge as saying you must take your name off the MI ballot but you can keep it on the FL ballot that is one helluva parsing. And yet it is always Clinton who is accused of bad parsing.


    FLorida (none / 0) (#118)
    by deminma on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:34:27 AM EST
    If they (obama/edwards)  took their names off florida primary ballot,  they could not be on the general election ballot according to Florida law  -   I think BTD wrote this here in Jan.

    Dear Mr. Obama, (none / 0) (#210)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:08:38 PM EST
    The DNC ignores us.

    Dean and Donna ignore us.

    The media ignores us.

    Obama bloggers blow us off.

    Nevertheless, there's a massive movement in Florida quietly uniting, and it's resolute.

    If our January vote isn't counted,
    we won't return to the polls
    in November.

    And, guess what, Mr. Obama?

    The vote you
    never made
    against the
    Iraq war
    because you
    weren't a Senator
    at that time
    and had no power,
    and no say?

    That wannabe vote is your hook.

    But it won't be your legacy.

    Your vote AGAINST
    counting the millions of ballots
    cast in Florida and Michigan,
    will be your legacy.

    It will be recorded as the
    downfall of your dream.

    It is the proof
    and the personification
    of poor judgment.


    Jeralyn's option is still there... (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by kredwyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:18:39 AM EST
    Folks have been trying to take it off the table. But it's still an option.

    is there a post about this somewhere (none / 0) (#108)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:29:22 AM EST
    you could direct me to.
    I do not know what her option was and I would be interested.
    havent seen many rational ones opposing a revote.

    There is no post... (none / 0) (#189)
    by kredwyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:58:56 AM EST
    My point is that because people have tried to take it off the table...that doesn't make it go away.

    Even if no one's looking at it...it's still there.


    Oh...oops... (none / 0) (#195)
    by kredwyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:00:17 PM EST
    Misread. I'm not sure where that post it. But I think her position, as of last night is that there doesn't need to be a re-vote...that Fla should be accepted as is.

    the writing is on the wall (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:26:59 AM EST
    A great number of Democrats in Fl will not vote in November if the Delegates are not counted.  You can talk about the rules you can talk about was fair you can talk about whatever you want.  But if the delegates from Florida are not counted during that convention you loose Florida.  If, you have not already.  At the pace and the way the DNC is handling this and the discontent that this campaign has created in a large portion of the base of the Democratic Party you may loose more than that.  So my hope would be that somebody start talking sense or we are facing more disastrous Republican Administration in the future.

    Getting lost in all this talk... (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Arachnae on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:54:20 AM EST
    ... about letting the votes stand or doing a revote, is the bill that moved the primary forward in the first place.

    The primary move was appended (by the GOP legislature) onto a bill that required Florida to move from (hackable, no papertrail) touchscreens to voting machines that leave a papertrail. The Florida dems in the legislature could either a.) vote AGAINST a papertrail or b.) vote FOR moving the primary.

    This is what's known as a rock and a hard place.

    And I'm simply baffled by the supposed-democrats suggesting the delegates be split 50/50 between the candidates. How are they proposing to do that? By requiring Hillary delegates to vote for Obama? Or by replacing them with unelected Obama delegates?

    I agree with you about Florida (3.00 / 1) (#22)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:47:57 AM EST
    I'm hoping you might write about Michigan pretty soon. This morning on NPR Senator Clinton said that Michigan delegates should be seated in accordance with their disqualified vote, even though Obama (consistent with his pledge to the DNC) took his name off the ballot. I'm wondering now anybody can look at Senator Clinton's position as anything other than shameless dissembling.

    Please (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:54:21 AM EST
    stop repeating the lie that the pledge required Obama to take his name off the Michigan ballot. It did not.

    The Michigan ballot (none / 0) (#42)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:02:19 AM EST
    He took his name off the ballot in response to a request by New Hampshire.  Some have maligned him by saying that this was "pandering", but since he was told, as were the voters, that this primary would not award delegates to the convention, I don't see how this is pandering.  If anything, New Hampshire was requiring the pledge that they signed have teeth to it--so that he could not later argue that the delegates would be seated.

    Since Hillary Clinton did not remove her name, she now can make the argument that it would.  She did not acquiesce to New Hampshire's request, and stated that she was certain the primary wouldn't count when asked why she didn't remove her name from the ballot.

    So, I'm not sure how the argument is being made that he is in the wrong on this one.  And conversely, it's patently ridiculous that the Michigan primary was "fair" and "should be respected".  No court would uphold the primary results, and the campaigns both know this.


    The question before us (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:51:07 AM EST
    is not whether Obama was right or wrong to take his name off the MI ballot, or why he did so. The question is not even whether the DNC should seat the MI delegation according to the January vote. The only question right now is whether the voters of MI, assuming that the first vote will not count, are going to be permitted to have their votes have an impact on who wins the Democratic nomination.

    A 50/50 split does not enfranchise MI voters, it does not permit their voices to be heard; to the contrary, it silences them in an arbitrary way  in the supposed name of "fairness" to the candidates. Fairness to the candidates is irrelevant here.  Fairness to the voters IS relevant. Why isn't Obama willing to permit MI voters to choose their delegates instead of having their delegates arbitrarily assigned?


    Are you the usenet poster known as Jade? (none / 0) (#58)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:07:48 AM EST
    No -nt- (none / 0) (#63)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:09:48 AM EST
    Stop calling me a liar, please (none / 0) (#81)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:17:19 AM EST
    I said he removed it "consistent with his pledge." I did not say that the pledge required him to do so.

    Then there was no point (none / 0) (#94)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:23:37 AM EST
    in mentioning the pledge at all, other than to insinuate that Clinton violated the pledge. Staying on the ballot was 'consistent with the pledge' if the pledge permitted it, which you admit it did permit.

    The difference is significant (none / 0) (#134)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:38:46 AM EST
    when you examine what Senator Clinton is now trying to do with the Michigan vote. She's arguing it should be counted. Staying on the ballot and then arguing for counting the delegates after signing a pledge acknowledging that Michigan was disqualified is breaking her word.

    You know (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:45:10 AM EST
    when the Obama camp said they favored a 50/50 split I was told repeatedly by his supporters that that was fair, or at the very least just a bargaining position.

    Can you at least give Clinton the same courtesy and just say it's a bargaining position instead of calling her shameless? In fact it's not much of a bargaining position, because she also said she supports a revote. Is that shameless too?


    Both are bargaining (none / 0) (#161)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:48:49 AM EST
    And both are delaying.

    There are incentives and disincentives on both sides for both options.  That's plain, and I think neither knows exactly what is the best solution, to maximize their delegate totals.  Clearly not seating either of them is the best solution for Obama, but politically it's not very viable.  Clinton has been against a re-vote in Florida, you may recall, and it's clear she would probably not garner as many delegates in a re-vote as she would if the delegates were seated as they are today.


    So you decry (none / 0) (#182)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:55:09 AM EST
    calling Clinton's behavior in this shameless. Thank you.

    Her behavior is shameless (none / 0) (#216)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:14:55 PM EST
    because her argument is so transparently disingenuous. "The results should be counted because [despite the pledge] I was wise to leave my name on the ballot."

    That kind of argument is that? Shameless.


    No more shameless (none / 0) (#220)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:18:29 PM EST
    than saying the voters must be disenfranchised because 'rules are rules', or calling 50/50 a solution, or saying 'whatever the DNC decides is fine' while offering no solutions and criticizing every proposal in the hope that the DNC will decide nothing.

    Yes, far more shameless (none / 0) (#228)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:22:05 PM EST
    are you attributing each of those positions to the Obama campaign? Do you have source material to support your attributions?

    You've lost the (none / 0) (#229)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:23:05 PM EST
    shameless argument. Give it up.

    No, you implicitly conceded her argument (none / 0) (#236)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:25:21 PM EST
    was shameless. You just argued that Obama was equally shameless. I ask you for supporting citations. You don't provide any. It's difficult to see how I lose the argument when it's you who conceded that Clinton's argument was shameless.

    Stop being silly ... (none / 0) (#244)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:29:02 PM EST
    the Obama campaign did support those ideas, the evidence is in diaries on this very site. It's there for you to see.

    I haven't seen it (none / 0) (#248)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:32:15 PM EST
    If Warren Terrer wants to point me to it, I'll be happy to take a look.

    Click bact through the diaries .... (none / 0) (#252)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:38:45 PM EST
    search the site or use google.

    Become an informed voter.


    Tupac Hunter on 50/50 (none / 0) (#260)
    by kredwyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:46:39 PM EST
    link who apparently spoke "on behalf of the Obama campaign" only to be undercut by the campaign in the same article.

    oddly as it may seem... (none / 0) (#255)
    by kredwyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:40:09 PM EST
    kos pointed out at the time that the fact she kept her name on the ballot showed she was a fighter.

    The actual pledge ... (none / 0) (#175)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:53:25 AM EST
    was posted here a few days back as a diary.  It said nothing about taking names off the ballot.  Nor did it say anything about the votes or delegates not counting.

    They merely agreed not to campaign in those states.


    Here's the wording of the last (none / 0) (#231)
    by kenoshaMarge on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    part of the pledge...

    THEREFORE, I _____, 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.

    Says nothing about taking their name off.

    I (none / 0) (#37)
    by Claw on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:59:42 AM EST
    Look at it differently.  She, like Obama, is trying to win.  Just seating Michigan probably helps her more since Obama (with name on ballot) will probably do better than he did the first time around.
    To stay on topic, though, we have to find a way to revote unless the delegates AND pop. vote from FLA become meaningless as far as the nominee.  This will never happen of course, but if Hillary were to win through an as-is seating of FLA we'd have some big problems on our hands.  Bigger even than losing FLA in November.

    I sadly (in sorrow?) agree with you, BTD (none / 0) (#1)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    I think that as a matter of logic, Jeralyn is right. But the DNC is not going to deal with this as a matter of logic.

    It seems like, in the uproar surrounding the "Luv Guv" (NY Daily News headline) and Geraldine Ferraro's comments, the MSM is not paying much attention to the Obama campaign's foot-dragging on the re-vote issue. This is convenient for Obama, but hopefully the MSM will pick it up soon. I am told from someone who knows someone in the FLA state party that the Florida DNC representatives are also foot-dragging, but it is not clear to me whether that is because they are still holding out for counting the original vote, or because they are trying to stall the re-vote.  From what I am told, there is at this point no way to mount a full-fledged primary, quite apart from the funding issue, because there are no longer 120 days prior to the time the DNC wants all primaries to be concluded.  

    What a mess.

    I sadly (in sorrow?) (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:51:01 AM EST
    I just had a flashback to Ms Hathaway doing his "Hillary Special Comment" last night.

    Anne Hathaway? (none / 0) (#90)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:21:15 AM EST
    Keith Olbermann wears Prada?

    The "sadly (in sorrow)" was meant (none / 0) (#187)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    to be snark. Not very effective snark, evidently!

    I do not understand the reference to Ms. Hathaway. Are you talking about the Princess Diaries actress, or the character from the Beverly Hillbillies?


    I don't see how that works with the timeframes (none / 0) (#2)
    by zzyzx on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:12:02 AM EST
    The proposal itself assumes that the Voting Rights Act applies, "The plan can be submitted to the Justice Department for approval under Section 5."  The problem is that the plan won't be finalized until April 12.  They then will submit it to the DNC on the following Monday and need to start mailing out ballots by the following Friday.

    I keep reading section 5 and it keeps saying to me that there has to be a 60 day window before it is approved; even if the DoJ says that it's approved on Tuesday, they could change their mind 57 days later or so.

    With that in mind, there's no way this can possibly meet the deadline and they need to go to the sane solution - revote using the same plan that the original vote was under.  Yes it would cost a little more, but Florida can actually run an election (well more or less).

    I thought that federal stayed out of primaries (none / 0) (#75)
    by dianem on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:14:49 AM EST
    I seem to remember some rulings that said that the federal government had no say in how party primaries were run. They can govern general elections, but the parties can choose which candidate to run any way they want. Or did I confuse some state ruling with a federal one?

    No (none / 0) (#237)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:26:53 PM EST
    This is established Constitutional law.  The 14th Amendment applies to primaries, as do the federal government's parrallel enforcements of constitutional rights in the VRA.  

    Why won't the DNC give in? (none / 0) (#3)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:24:08 AM EST
    Is it Donna trying to help Obama? Is is Dean? I have a check on the table for them that is not getting mailed until they resolve this problem.  

    And if they do not seat Florida, then people will be mad and Florida will be lost for Obama even if he is the nominee. Doesn't he understand that?

    They aren't giving in (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by digdugboy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:54:10 AM EST
    because to do so sets a bad precedent for their future ability to enforce primary and caucus schedules among the 50 states.

    yeah (none / 0) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:58:27 AM EST
    they have done such a bang up job so far

    But they HAVE enforced DNC rules (none / 0) (#198)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:01:16 PM EST
    if they refuse to seat delegates based on the January vote and seat them instead based on a re-vote.  The DNC didn't say that FLA and MI couldn't send delegates to the convention under any circumstances -- it said those states couldn't send delegates based on primaries in January.

    I don't understand the invocation of the rules at this point. The integrity of the rules is vindicated if FLA and MI have to conduct a re-vote to get delegates allocated and seated.


    The trump card (none / 0) (#5)
    by corn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:26:58 AM EST
    in this are the super delegates.  I agree that seating the FL/MI delegates in proportion to the vote is the best outcome, but the fall back for Clinton, and to a degree the will of the voters in those states, is the ability of the supers to take this situation into account.  If the FL & MI supers are seated there's likely a few more in her camp.

    How about a compromise? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:30:02 AM EST

    How about a compromise?  Seat the voted delegations as is but with a 50% penalty.  That is each delegate gets 1/2 vote instead of 1 vote.  

    I've been suggesting this for a while (none / 0) (#30)
    by JoeA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:55:41 AM EST
    and I think it's probably a sensible solution for Obama.

    As I understand it this is a penalty provided for in the DNC byelaws, and it was the penalty applied to Florida by the Republicans too.

    Unfortunately nobody seems to have predicted that the election could be this close as it was assumed that one candidate would have it locked up by now and that they would magnanimously agree to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations anyway to avoid the embarassment and disaster that this nomination contest has become.


    We need to get past (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:59:01 AM EST
    the 'punishment' idea and let the votes of FL and MI count as much as any other state. A re-vote is the answer.

    Why Re-vote Fl? (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by flashman on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:12:02 AM EST
    Seems to me the Fl primary was fair.  If the delagates should be seated, then let the first vote stand.  I don't think a re-vote will dramatically change the outcome anyway.

    MI is another story, and should be re-voted.


    I agree (none / 0) (#73)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:14:23 AM EST
    but everything I've seen and read says that seating the FL delegation based on the Jan 29 results will not happen, period.

    it might work (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:16:12 AM EST
    if people would STFU about how it is the only primary so far with more republican voters than democratic ones.

    Yes (none / 0) (#92)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:22:37 AM EST
    If people would quit pointing out inconvenient facts, you might get your way and force a sham through as a real election.

    A record voter (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:25:45 AM EST
    turnout is a sham for you? OK.

    And yet I'm sure you fully support the caucus results. No sham there.


    nice (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:27:49 AM EST
    so as far as you are concerned it is better to disenfranchise all voters than to (perhaps) disenfranchise some voters in those states.
    who, btw, had the same chance everyone else did to vote.

    you really seem to (none / 0) (#130)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:37:01 AM EST
    have a problem with the franchise.  An election is now a sham when it appears to be the cleanest one of all?  No campaigning, no ads (except for Obama's), nothing but people doing their own research and coming out in record numbers voting their will.  If that's your idea of a sham, we must be in bizarro world.

    It really makes a joke (none / 0) (#193)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:59:53 AM EST
    out of past complaints about not counting all the votes in 2000 and voter fraud in 2004, doesn't it? It turns out that RedState was right (at least for half of us) to say we were only complaining because we lost, not because of principle.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#91)
    by JoeA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:21:57 AM EST
    but I'm just trying to put myself in Obama's shoes.

    Status quo is unacceptable.  Not counting Florida and Michigan is unacceptable.  However he is leading currently and naturally he is trying to preserve that front runner status.

    He has front runner-itis.


    Im not sure anymore (none / 0) (#10)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:34:44 AM EST
    this is such a blunder that any remedy without returning to the original integrity and intent of the rules is just tinder on an already inflamed bonfire of a polarized Party electorate.  This has been a really bad week with serious consequences for Nov. with an adjustment I believe in the Country's thinking. we shall see.   I believe BTD has explained the rules and I accept he knows his stuff, the remedy and the demand by leading Dems needs to be to right the original wrong nothing else will be accepted as creditable.  Dean needs to fall on his sword for this error during his watch, he needs to accept full blame by the DNC, and he should offer to resign, and Fla. Delegates need to be seated as is, any further fiddling on this serious misjudgment will just lead to either Clinton or Obama as the Pretender Nominee.

    If BTD (none / 0) (#232)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:24:37 PM EST
    Cared primarily and only about the voters of Florida the courses of action you just described would mend all imaginable fences.

    The Dems will do fine in FL & MI... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:38:51 AM EST
    ...if the DNC's punishment is not changed.  Health care, the economy and the war in Iraq are much more important issues to voters than how the Democrats chose to punish FL & MI for voting early.      

    Chicken (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:49:52 AM EST
    I think you underestimate how angry people get when they feel their voices aren't heard.

    I'm actually shocked that the DNC and/or Obama people aren't doing more to rememdy this.  I think of it as a game of chicken.  What can the DNC do to hurt Florida and Michigan?  Not invite them to a big party.  What can FL and MI do to hurt to the DNC?  Give 44 electoral college votes to the Republicans.  It seems clear to me who has the stronger hand here.


    I have more faith in the voters I guess (none / 0) (#41)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:01:15 AM EST
    I think they will realize why all this happened and that the main culprit is not Obama or the DNC.  

    Let me ask you.  You seem pretty angry with Obama would you vote for McCain in November or stay home on election day because of that anger?  


    Perhaps too much (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:27:25 AM EST
    People vote for a lot of irrational reasons, and many people won't understand the nuances.  All they'll know is "Democrats say I don't count" and they'll stay home.

    just because you don't agree with (none / 0) (#136)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:39:00 AM EST
    how people vote doesn't mean votes are based on irrationality.  Your judgments of voters are in line with Obama's it seems

    Just because you don't understand (none / 0) (#168)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:51:04 AM EST
    my comment doesn't mean you should respond to it.  I was agreeing with the re-vote position.

    it's very clear you mean (none / 0) (#226)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    that most voters cast their vote out of irrationally realized reasons, and that they can't understand nuance, and that they only have limited understanding of the process.

    Too bad Obama (none / 0) (#51)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM EST
    doesn't share your faith in the voters.

    What? (none / 0) (#128)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:36:48 AM EST
    I seem pretty angry?  Based on my two posts on my personal experience with mail-in voting and who holds the stronger hand in this particular fight?  Really?  Are we defining angry down a little bit here?

    Ok you're not angry (none / 0) (#137)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:39:59 AM EST
    I will rephrase my question:

    You seem pretty shocked by Obama and/or his supporters would you vote for McCain in November or stay home on election day because of that shock?


    November (none / 0) (#155)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:47:41 AM EST
    I have NOT been happy with the Obama campaign for a number of reasons, including how they are handling this situation.  However, I have never voted for a Republican so, yes, I would vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is.  I am not likely to contribute to or volunteer for his campaign though.  

    But I am a lifelong Democrat.  Those who more frequently split ticket vote might take this opportunity to do so.  As the polls cited above (and other head-to-head matchups) show, there are folks who might not stick with Obama in Florida in large part because of this issue.  


    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:00:53 AM EST
    So that poll that without Florida votes counting only 63% of the dem voters who voted in the primary say they would support the dem nominee was nothing to worry about? Seems like losing your loyal base is a problem.

    Your position was Dean's position last summer. He basically said that people won't care about not having a vote because issues would matter more. Only he forgets they aren't running against Bush.

    The Buzz

    Florida voters disapprove 61 - 31 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing, but disagree 68 - 23 percent with the statement: "I am so angry at President Bush that I will not vote for Republican John McCain for President this November."

    It will Matter (none / 0) (#56)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:07:24 AM EST
    Certainly it will matter in November.  It's a close contest, and every edge helps.  Remember 2000 came down to hundreds of votes.

    But, Florida violated the rules in an effort to have a stronger voice in the primary process, so it seems odd that the solution to the dilemma they caused is to award them what they wanted--a stronger voice in the primary process.


    You can punish FL (none / 0) (#61)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:09:19 AM EST
    or you can win in November. Which do you prefer?

    They aren't mutually exclusive. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:11:01 AM EST
    There should be a solution that slaps-the-wrist of Florida while respecting the voters.  Perhaps allowing elected delegates to be seated but not super-delegates from Florida.  This would punish those responsible for the dilemma, but not the voters.  

    how exactly (none / 0) (#74)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:14:47 AM EST
    would punishing democratic superdelegates for something a republican legislature did be fair?

    Sigh (none / 0) (#112)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:31:37 AM EST
    the Florida democratic party had ample opportunity to work with the DNC to remedy the situation.  They chose not to.

    really (none / 0) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:33:48 AM EST
    how exactly would they have done that again?

    Ok (none / 0) (#160)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:48:45 AM EST
    So do you want to solve the problem and win in November? Or will you be content to lose in November and blame it on the DNC? Sigh.

    Where was this "ample opportunity"? (none / 0) (#188)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    It seems like you're just using words that sound good.  Whether or not they have any relation to the facts.

    This meme is inaccurate (none / 0) (#178)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:53:58 AM EST
    And it's been pushed on this site quite a bit.  The primary date passed through the legislature without any opposition from the Democrats.  

    So the idea that Republicans were forcing it down their throats is patently false.


    do you know what else was in that bill? (none / 0) (#186)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:58:05 AM EST
    NOT true... (none / 0) (#265)
    by hodgersonb on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 01:00:02 PM EST
     Please see this website; it explains what happened. Jeremy Ring http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/1836

    The risk (none / 0) (#83)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:18:11 AM EST
    of losing FL & MI in November because of this nonsense outweighs the cost of the solution, i.e. a re-vote, especially if Obama is the nominee, b/c he was NOT the choice of FL & MI on Jan 29.

    Thinking otherwise it just more 'taking the base for granted' which we in the left blogosphere have always decried, until Obama became our golden boy, at which point we embraced taking the base for granted.

    Well, good luck with that strategy.


    That's happening (none / 0) (#72)
    by spit on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:14:09 AM EST
    because the DNC was outrageously dumb. If they'd cut half the delegates, which is the normal rule AFAIK, Florida and Michigan would have had less leverage than they're likely to wind up with.

    I've got no sympathy for the DNC whining about that. It's easier to defend "the rules" when you're not seen by people as unnecessarily harsh.


    I agree (none / 0) (#227)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:22:01 PM EST
    Only that is what happens when not enough thought is given to what punishment to give and who to give it to.

    I'm not a genius and certainly not politically knowledgeable espcially compared to some on the blogs but I was saying last summer that you punish but don't disenfranchise. As long as some delegates were left no one would be disenfranchised. Otherwise you risk losing voters and have punished the wrong people. And if I could see that the Rules & Bylaws Committee should have seen it.


    Correct (none / 0) (#80)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:16:33 AM EST
    People are pretty upset about this because it has been in the news.  Once we start talking about Health Care, Iraq, and the economy people will realize the DNC's punishment of FL & MI doesn't really matter all that much.  

    let's go back to the other states that broke (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:09:43 AM EST
    the rules. yup, they are there also unpunished! why is that? i have no respect for the dnc now,none, nada,zip! they wanted money from me yesterday. i told them, "seat florida if you want my money."

    Really? (none / 0) (#15)
    by katiebird on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:40:50 AM EST
    You don't think they'd be missed during the role-call votes?  Would we have their empty seats on the convention floor?

    How would the candidate structure a campaign in those states?

    These are just a few questions....


    Really (none / 0) (#20)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:47:14 AM EST
    You don't think they'd be missed during the role-call votes?   Would we have their empty seats on the convention floor?

    There are many ways to address those issues without revoting or panicking because there isn't a revote.  You could invite the delegates to the convention but only give them a symbolic delegate vote.  You could split the delegates down the middle, or give Clinton a one vote delegate lead since she "won" those primaries.  Etc., etc., etc.  You really have to lack imagination if you think these problems have only one or two solutions.  

    How would the candidate structure a campaign in those states?

    I am not sure what that means.  My guess is just like they would if FL & MI weren't being punished by the DNC.

    These are just a few questions....

    With easy answers.  


    None of which.... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by trillian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:04:19 AM EST
    None of which reflects the "will of the people"

    Maybe we could (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by badger on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:04:47 AM EST
    ask them to pass a literacy test, or pay a small poll tax - those have worked well in the past to keep those whose votes you don't want to count from counting. Or we could let the Supreme Court decide.

    Given all of the history on the issue, I can't understand any Democrat who favors disenfranchisement. I guess this is the new politics or the kind of chnage Obama wants to give us.


    Those things are unconstitutional (none / 0) (#68)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:12:49 AM EST
    Punishing FL & MI for voting early is not.  Do you see the difference?  

    No (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by badger on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:18:43 AM EST
    I think disenfranchisement means somebody's vote doesn't get counted, regardless of the excuse you offer for not counting it (or worse, thinking you should be able to decide how it's counted).

    I think disenfranchisement also happens (none / 0) (#115)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:33:39 AM EST
    when you lie to people and tell them their votes mean one thing, and later make them mean something else.

    No - wrods have actual meanings (none / 0) (#173)
    by badger on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:53:01 AM EST
    even when they're not favorable to Obama. The DNC's decision was disenfranchisement from the beginning, regardless of whether people thought their votes counted or not.

    The solution is to either let their past votes count or hold a revote.

    Which do you prefer? Or do you just favor disenfranchising voters in MI and FL?


    Huh? (none / 0) (#200)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:02:47 PM EST
    You're arguing that voters are disenfranchised if you allow their votes to count?

    That's like saying:  "I will take away your toy truck by giving it to you."

    Very silly.


    You would be wrong (none / 0) (#157)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:47:47 AM EST
    If you break the rules and vote in the wrong precinct your vote doesn't get counted.  That isn't being disenfranchised.  It is being punished.  By the same token FL & MI voters are being punished for the decisions of their elected and party officials.  

    So if "the rules" (none / 0) (#191)
    by badger on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:59:06 AM EST
    are a literacy test, or a poll tax - that's OK with you, because those are the rules. Anything to keep people you don't like from having their vote count.

    Your analogy is bogus - all of the FL and MI were eligible to vote and have their votes counted.

    But I'm fascinated by this sado-authoritarian attitude that many Obama supporters exhibit where "the rules are the rules" and voters must be "punished" . It goes well with the will to disenfranchise.


    Once again those things are unconstitutional (none / 0) (#217)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:17:55 PM EST
    As a result, they are not ok with me.  

    How many times are you going to make that straw man argument?  A poll tax and a literacy test are not anywhere near the same thing as punishing a state for holding its primary too early.  


    It may be different... (none / 0) (#111)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:30:53 AM EST
    But when November comes and McCain wins those states, it's really not going to matter.

    At this point, that might not matter... (none / 0) (#129)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:36:56 AM EST
    It may well be that the base is too split already. TalkLeft is full of Hillary supporters, strident democrats all, who are vowing that they will never vote for Obama. I'm sure you could find other blogs full of Obama supporters saying the same thing about Hillary. If the party has truly split this way, then we're going to lose in November regardless of what Florida and Michigan do.

    If that's true, then the smart thing to do is to let the punishment stand. If we're doomed in the general regardless, let's at least try and salvage some discipline going forward. Seems to work pretty well for the Republicans.


    A photo-op symbolic vote 'count' is no solution (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Ellie on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:08:02 AM EST
    Pretending that seating the delegates in symbol only is the same as actually counting the votes, and letting the votes count -- just as long as HRC doesn't win -- is no solution to this manufactured problem.

    It's silly marketing fluff and I doubt voters in FL and MI will be thrilled at being patronized that way.

    The delegates want to be seated, that doesn't mean just give them some folding chairs somewhere.


    IMO,Your "solutions" (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:23:52 AM EST
    are insulting to the citizens of Fl and MI who voted in the primaries. Do you think that they won't notice that their votes aren't being counted? Symbolic? One delegate?

    Yes, I do (none / 0) (#132)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:37:48 AM EST
    By the time the convention rolls around in late August no one will care about any of this.  Are you going to vote for McCain if the FL & MI doesn't get a revote?

    does it really matter if it's off (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:45:51 AM EST
    the radar for some people come convention time?  Certainly everyone doesn't think they'd be effected by FISA, but it doesn't mean it isn't our job as citizens to insist our Constitution isn't blown to bits.  The same goes for voting.  

    We are only as free as the least free among us.  

    This is a huge issue and can't be poo-pooed away because many Americans are too busy trying to feed their kids to "worry" about FL & MI.


    It isn't a huge issue (none / 0) (#179)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    Arguing that a re-vote in FL or MI is the right thing to do is one thing, arguing that it is important to the voters is another. Huge issues are what the voters say are huge issues.   When "the FL/MI primaries" overtake health care and the war in Iraq as important issues to the voters then we can assign it the kind of importance you seem to want to.  Until then however let's not believe the hyperbole.  

    your argument is nonsense (none / 0) (#239)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:27:42 PM EST
    Voters are of course pushed by what immediately effects them---jobs, health care, etc.  That does not mean that voting rights are not important to them or are of less importance to them, and certainly as a society, they are no less important to many of us who consider this one of our fundamental rights.  This isn't a difficult concept.  If everyone needed to feel some urgency for a cause, then we wouldn't have the rights we have today.

    This is huge, no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise.


    This isn't a voting rights issue (none / 0) (#259)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:43:51 PM EST
    FL & MI have legally been punished by the DNC for scheduling their primaries too early.  You could argue that isn't fair, and I would have some sympathy for that argument, but I don't see how you can argue that anyone has had his/her rights violated.   Have Republican voters in MI & FL had their rights violated because the RNC has discounted  their votes by 50%?  Is that a rights violation too?  If not, what makes one punishment legal and the other illegal?

    Completely ridiculous. (none / 0) (#150)
    by corn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:45:14 AM EST
    So come convention time (none / 0) (#171)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:52:07 AM EST
    the voters of FL and MI won't notice the absence of their delegates? Perhaps you meant to say come November no one will remember this? ;-) Because during the convention it will be a BIG issue in FL and MI.

    Blinking.... (none / 0) (#31)
    by katiebird on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:56:36 AM EST
    My non-geeky Kansas friends are FEARFUL that the party is going down in flames over this issue.  And I'd LOVE to see what they think of your imaginative answers to the problem.

    But, they'd think I was hanging out with crazy people.  I know that's not true & you're just trying to think outside the box & find imaginative solutions.  But those aren't going to work.

    We've got to have a re-vote (BTD is right) and those take time to organize.  It's too late to play around with other fanciful possibilities.  The perception around my offis is that Obama is holding things back.


    Then the perception is wrong. (none / 0) (#48)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:04:20 AM EST
    Things are being held up, but Obama is not a principle factor. Representative Debbie Wasserman and Senator Bill Nelson (both from Florida) have been fighting like cats and dogs on the specifics of a revote, and keeping any kind of momentum from gathering....and they're both big Clinton supporters. The devil is in the details, not the ideals.

    Obama has voiced a few concerns here and there, but he's largely sitting on the sidelines. (as is Clinton) Neither national candidate deserves much credit or blame on this issue...because neither is really doing much. It's all about the local superstars ducking it out.


    I don't really think people care much about this (none / 0) (#64)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:10:36 AM EST
    If Clinton dropped out of the race tomorrow do you really think anyone would care that the MI & FL primaries didn't count?  The bottom line is, the main reason this is a big deal to anyone is because it is imperative to the Clinton campaign that the delegates and the popular vote from MI & FL be counted when deciding the eventual D nominee for President.  

    If I were in FL it would be much more important to me that a D be in the WH so I can be sure FEMA is up to the task of helping out when the next big Hurricane hits.  If I were in MI it would be much more important to me that a D be in the WH so I can be sure our country doesn't bomb bomb Iran and escalate a horror show of a war.  As I said to another commenter, I have faith in the voters, they will vote based on the issues that affect their lives.  A re-vote in FL/Mi doesn't affect their lives.  


    to disenfranchise any voter (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:19:13 AM EST
    disenfranchises me.
    I cant believe we actually seeing democrats rationalizing this.

    The whole system disenfranchises voters (none / 0) (#110)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:30:13 AM EST
    It is within the rules to ignore the pledged delegates and the popular vote and chose a nominee based on the whim of the supers. (this is also the only way Clinton can win, BTW) It is within the rules to nominate Al Gore or my aunt Kathy if the delegates at the convention chose to do so.  By the same token it is within the rules to punish states for disobeying the DNC's rules.  If you are so concerned about making every vote count then you should boycott the whole process because disenfranchising voters permeates the whole system.  

    jeremy ring D- Margate, fl is... (none / 0) (#116)
    by hodgersonb on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:33:42 AM EST
    The real culprit behind this mess. He has no remorse for his decision, and actually has ridiculed Dean for stating that the DNC would not seat FL.
    http://www.pensitoreview.com/2007/09/28/it-was-a-democrat-not-republicans-who-moved-floridas-primary -date/

    sorry-bad link (none / 0) (#121)
    by hodgersonb on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:34:54 AM EST
    The real culprit behind this mess. He has no remorse for his decision, and actually has ridiculed Dean for stating that the DNC would not seat FL.
    http://www.pensitoreview.com/2007/09/28/it-was-a-democrat-not-republicans-who-moved-floridas-primary -date/

    In this election (none / 0) (#122)
    by Fabian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:35:04 AM EST
    I wouldn't assume anyone is D,R or I unless I saw their voter registration for the last ten years(if applicable).

    Or maybe I just don't want to believe actual Democrats are the ones running wild with bizarre conspiracy theories and wild accusations.

    Is this really my party or just some strangers who have crashed the party?  


    You make an awful lot of assumptions (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:27:55 AM EST
    Like, for instance, assuming the main reason this is a big deal to people is that Clinton needs the votes. Um, no - the reason it's a big deal to a lot of people, including me, is that voters should be allowed to vote and have their votes count. Period. Has nothing to do with whose campaign it advantages or disadvantages, not to me anyway. It's about fairness.

    I think you vastly underestimate how important it is to people to have their votes count. Not to mention - the polls back this up in FL in contradiction to what you're stating.


    I think you're just mistaken (none / 0) (#77)
    by spit on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:16:01 AM EST
    I know a lot of people paying a lot of attention to the FL and MI issue, and not just political junkies, either.

    Blue Neponset (none / 0) (#211)
    by litigatormom on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:09:45 PM EST
    I think you are being overly optimistic -- way overly optimistic. Both FLA and MI are potential swing states -- given the horrific results of the 2000 debacle, do we really want to permit even a few Florida Democrats to become disillusioned and stay home?

    Remember, Gore "lost" FLA by a few hundred votes (even assuming the integrity of the Kathryn Harris certified vote). Do we really want to risk losing a few hundred votes this time around?

    I for one do not. I do not see this as a partisan issue. Frankly, at this point I don't really care what the results of a re-vote are (even though I support Clinton).  The most important thing is that FLA and MI voters must not become alienated, disillusioned, angry. If Obama wins the nomination taking into account the results of re-votes, that's fine with me.


    You can't make everyone happy (none / 0) (#267)
    by Blue Neponset on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 01:02:55 PM EST
    More than a few Democrats have told me they will stay home if Clinton gets the nomination without a pledged delegate lead.  My guess is they will change their minds once they are faced with the choice of President McCain or President Clinton.  By the same token, I don't think Democrats will vote for McCain or stay home simply because the DNC's penalty re: FL & MI's primaries was too harsh.  



    50 States strategy . . . (none / 0) (#19)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:47:13 AM EST
    . . . or just 48?

    Just 14 I believe (none / 0) (#148)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:45:04 AM EST
    Only the "big" ones.

    Florida Re-vote (none / 0) (#33)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:58:07 AM EST
    I'm so torn about this, but I don't think the plan offered is a viable solution.  I'm also a bit worried about how it is taboo to discuss the problems with this plan.

    It is highly improbable that the mail-in primary plan allows for sufficient time to create vote-fraud safeguards that could pass constitutional muster if and when it is challenged in court.

    There are some who are saying that the VRA doesn't apply to private party primaries, but this is beside the point.  Whether it applies or not, Democratic primaries are subject to the 14th Amendment's due process and equal protection clauses, and any primary plan will have to be incredibly well-executed to avoid a terrible court-showdown.  

    I don't think it's obvious Barack Obama opposes the primary because he Clinton beat him in January, anymore than I think that it is obvious that Clinton wants a new primary because she won.  My guess is that both have their reasons for wanting a new one, and both have their reasons for not wanting a new one.  (Hillary would probably garner less delegates from a new primary than if the January-primary delegation is seated, but she loses the opportunity to gain a momentum/big-state argument in the press with a new, highly-publicized primary.  Barack Obama has the same incentives, just flip them.)

    In anycase, I think the ball's been punted too long, and I'm beginning to doubt there will be a new primary at all.  But as it stands, a new primary in Florida will most likely not remove Barack Obama's delegate lead, but merely diminish it.  All reasonable calculations of the remaining contests have him coming out ahead in delegates with or without Florida, so it may  not necessary to spend the money to determine this.  Finally, the Florida.  And since neither will garner enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination, the super-delegates will decide anyway, so I think this whole thing may be just a big waste of money.

    The superdelegates are going to decide (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by spit on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:07:45 AM EST
    but without FL and MI in the mix, among other things, there's always going to be an argument available that the Democratic nominee is illegitimate, and only won because those two states were excluded. There are other such problems this cycle, tons of 'em, but IMO none so major as this one.

    And I'm not so sure FL and MI won't make a difference in the outcome, honestly -- it's possible. Certainly they'll change the popular vote totals by a big chunk, they're both pretty big states. And the popular vote is almost certainly a big one among the factors that will be considered by most of the remaining superdelegates when we hit the end of primary season.

    I'm amazed at the number of people on the blogs who don't seem to understand that this whole thing is about legitimacy for the results of our primaries. A broad sense of legitimacy is everything in winning any political position. The whole race has been a waste of money if the Democratic party can't mostly unite around the nominee at the end of the process, and that requires most supporters on both sides coming to the end thinking the process was as fair as possible.


    I think everyone understands that (none / 0) (#76)
    by zzyzx on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:15:39 AM EST
    I'm amazed at the number of people on the blogs who don't seem to understand that this whole thing is about legitimacy for the results of our primaries

    I don't think there are misunderstandings about that.  It's just that it goes both ways.  One of the things that turned me into an Obama supporter is that I felt his argument for following the rules set before the process was much stronger than Clinton's (at the time) argument to seat delegates that started only after we knew the results.  

    Which is more legitimate - looking at results without two states or adding elections that the voters were told ahead of time wouldn't count?  I believe the former, others the latter.  That's why I wish people started worrying about this before the absolute last second.  


    I agree that (none / 0) (#89)
    by spit on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:19:59 AM EST
    this whole thing should have been dealt with earlier, but everybody seemed to be making the assumption that the race would be over by now and the delegates could be seated by the winner.

    I think your argument is a fine one with regard to counting the prior results. I also think leaving the states out completely is a huge problem. IMO, the only way to get to that kind of legitimacy is to have revotes.

    And I wish I thought everybody seemed to understand the legitimacy argument, but when I see other people putting up ideas like "lets split the delegates 50-50", I start to think there are quite a few who don't.


    I agree that the 50-50 solution is dumb (none / 0) (#126)
    by zzyzx on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:36:37 AM EST
    I don't think that is intended to fly though; rather it was a way of having a counter to letting the previous votes count as is.

    I think the most likely solution is that Obama gets the non-Clinton votes, the delegation sizes are cut in half, and MI/FL lose their SDs.  It's not the fairest resolution, but it probably causes the least number of problems.

    Even then though, that can only be done once the election is no longer in doubt.  Having MI and FL feeling disrespected is nothing compared to the damage that would be done if the entire Obama supporters feel like their candidate was disallowed a nomination he won through the rules due to a last second change.  Now that would get ugly.


    why would it get ugly? (none / 0) (#139)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:40:39 AM EST
    You don't see why it would be ugly... (none / 0) (#218)
    by zzyzx on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:18:03 PM EST
    ...if the original vote were counted and that ended up being the difference?  People would feel like the rules were changed after the fact and there would be hardly any time to heal wounds.

    It's not a rule change (none / 0) (#164)
    by spit on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:49:37 AM EST
    your likely scenario is one possibility, though I'm dubious about it happening -- the election is going to be in doubt until the superdelegates  by and large weigh in, unless Obama pulls a stunning upset in PA, or something similar happens on Clinton's side. Unless there's a major change in trajectory in the way this thing is going, there's not likely going to be a really obvious winner, IMO. It's a close race, no matter what a bunch of people throwing around "the math" might be arguing. That's why the superdelegates are the ultimate deciding factor, and there are a number of ways they can make their decisions, many of them defensible, IMO -- but if they make those decisions without a full slate of states' results, whatever decision they make is going to be tainted in the minds of many.

    And there's no "last second change" going on -- if FL and MI revote under the original guidelines, then their results are simply included in the process, and the DNC can claim a "win" in the sense of having essentially forced the two states to schedule the votes that matter for after Feb. 5th. The rules ultimately come down to "what do the superdelegates decide are the important factors".

    I don't get where the "rule change" is.


    If you think that Obama hasn't changed his mind (none / 0) (#201)
    by tree on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:03:11 PM EST
    on this issue.....

    One of the things that turned me into an Obama supporter is that I felt his argument for following the rules set before the process was much stronger than Clinton's (at the time) argument to seat delegates that started only after we knew the results.  

    You should look at this news item from September 2007. Obama was FOR counting the Florida delegates before he was against it.


    Absolutely (none / 0) (#143)
    by Christopher MN Lib on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:43:15 AM EST
    Without some legetiament solution to FL and MI this primary will be every bit as tainted as was the 2000 election being decided by the Supreme Court. This could tear the Democratic party apart. Many Obama supporters are not appreciating how serious this could be. Their short term goal is to to try to more simply clinch the nomination for Obama, but the longer term impacts could be devestating. The 50-50 idea is one of the most rediculous ideas I have ever heard; to anyone with a brain it's meaningless dribble.

    You think the RNC isn't going to run wild with ads talking about the DNC disenfranchising the voters of FL and MI if this thing doesn't get settled? Of course they will. We will lose both states almost certainly. You will have Clinton supporters across the country either vote for McCain or not vote at all in protest for what they see as an illegitament nomination. McCain, baring some major scandal, will cruise to a general election win.


    I'm an Obama supporter (none / 0) (#197)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:00:57 PM EST
    And I believe something should be done.  However, the mail-in primary is not a good solution.  I think the parties should meet and negotiate.  If both camp's leaders can agree to something, then agree to convince their constituents that the outcome is fair, then this might avoid the problem you're describing.  Personally, I'd just rather seat the delegation from Florida as it is, and hold a do-over in Michigan.

    Why isn't it fair? (none / 0) (#204)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:05:26 PM EST
    Did you read the proposal?  Do you have evidence?

    It's quite obvious. (none / 0) (#230)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:23:39 PM EST
    Yes I read it.  It sounds great!  Of course, there is the one problem that it doesn't resolve--there is no way to verify the authenticity of the ballot once it is received.  Zero.  Without an electronic signature database, ballots can be sent back by anyone.  

    So, for example, I live in a house where numerous people have lived over the years, and i receive mail for about 15 different people.  If someone's ballot arrives in my mailbox, along with my ballot, there is nothing preventing me from sending both ballots back in and essentially voting twice.

    This gets really tricky because let's say that I do exactly that, and one of the persons whose ballot I stole doesn't receive a ballot because they forgot to change their address.  So they go down to the office and cast their vote.  Now, there is a problem.  Will the system be able to determine that this has happened, and if it can, how will it authenticate the results of the double-ballot if one vote is for Clinton and one for Obama ?


    They have a signature base (none / 0) (#245)
    by tree on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:29:19 PM EST
    Read the pdf

    I read the pdf (none / 0) (#254)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:39:36 PM EST
    Maybe you can point me to where you see this?  I see a statement that the signature will be checked against a signature "if deemed necessary" in a coordinated effort by the Secretary of State and election agencies.

    This sounds like a clusterf*ck.  Shouldn't EVERY vote in a mail-in primary be checked for authenticity?  Not just "if deemed necessary" ?


    Yep (none / 0) (#257)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:41:45 PM EST
    I can vouch for the signature base. When I sign in at the polls they have a book which has all the voter information including a copy of my signature that I have to sign next to in order to get a ballot. Well technically in order to get a slip of paper which I then trade, along with another signature, at another table for a ballot.

    Yes BUT (none / 0) (#263)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    The Oregon plan has an ELECTRONIC database that electronically verifies the signature.  Florida has no system.

    I'm not opposed to mail-in primaries, I'm just very skeptical there is enough time to create a workable system here.


    Not true at all ... (none / 0) (#250)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:35:08 PM EST
    look into the Oregon plan which they will be following.

    There is a voter verification information, and a sealed ballot.  The voter verification info has the voter's signature.  This is checked against the rolls, just as would be done at a polling place.

    If the signatures match, then the sealed vote is passed on to be counted.

    Hence, the voter is verified, and the secrecy of the ballot maintained.


    The Oregon plan (none / 0) (#251)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:38:19 PM EST
    Took years and years to nail down.  Not a few weeks.

    Doh! (none / 0) (#256)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:41:22 PM EST
    But now it's been nailed down.  They did the pilot program.

    It works.  Now Florida can follow it.

    It took tens of thousands of years for the human race to invent the wheel, but it doesn't take you tens of thousands of years to climb into your car.

    The wheel has been invented.  Now we can use it.


    Your analogy misses the point (none / 0) (#264)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:54:30 PM EST
    For reasons discussed below.  It is a legitimate concern, and one that cannot be dismissed by "reinventing the wheel" cliches.

    But (none / 0) (#258)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:43:11 PM EST
    They were creating a plan. Florida would be copying a plan. From years of experience copying my friends homework I can promise you it takes less time to copy than create.

    This argument is specious (none / 0) (#261)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:52:01 PM EST
    It doesn't reflect the need for the time.  The planning is not why time is necessary.  Time is necessary to safeguard against voter-fraud by creating  a reliable up-to-date, electronic voter signature database that can communicate competently with voting tabulation machines.

    That requires time and planning.


    Is there enough time... (none / 0) (#35)
    by mike in dc on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:58:57 AM EST
    ...to make it through the DNC approval, voter comment period and DOJ preclearance for the FL mail-in?  It's not clear to me that there is.  Similarly, my understanding is that a full primary re-vote takes at least 90 days prep(which means its window has just about passed).

    Even Michigan apparently has some areas subject to DOJ pre-clearance, from what I'm reading.

    If do-overs prove to be impossible to achieve within the remaining time limit, what about Clinton making a counter-proposal to Obama's 50-50 split idea, 55-45?  It'd cost tens of millions for both of them to campaign in those two states, so why not just compromise on something that gives Clinton some of the benefits of her "wins" while mitigating the patent unfairness of seating the delegates as chosen under less than ideal circumstances.

    Two things (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by badger on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:13:10 AM EST
    First, in  a democracy the candidates or the government don't get to decide how the votes are distributed. I think the idea, and the precedent, are totally abhorent, and I'm amazed anyone supports it.

    Second, 90 days from now is mid-June, and it's not unusual for the primary system to run that late - RFK was assassinated in June the night he won the CA primary. It's not unheard of for nomination fights to go all the way to the convention either, which provides even more than a 90 day window.

    I would agree that sooner is better, so it would be desireable for Obama to endorse the revote or offer some alternative withing the next few days.


    What DOJ preclearance? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:25:59 AM EST
    Is Obama gonna sue and claim it needs DOJ preclearance? BTW, Have you read the Texas Secretary of State's memo on how quickly the DOJ can work on these things?

    Please (none / 0) (#141)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:42:12 AM EST
    Do you have a link to that. I would love to add it to my vast and disorganized link collection.

    somebody will sue... (none / 0) (#147)
    by mike in dc on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:44:44 AM EST
    ...this is the US.  It's inevitable that someone with standing will have an issue with this.  The DOJ can pre-clear it quickly, but it also requires the DNC to move quickly, and then for the ballots to go out overseas immediately after pre-clearance/approval.

    Surely someone familiar with litigation (none / 0) (#154)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:47:30 AM EST
    Realizes how easy it is to find a plaintiff to sue after the fact?  I bet the GOP will.

    The best solution is to get the pre-clearance now with no delay.  


    See my latest post? (none / 0) (#166)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:50:31 AM EST
    Yes, but you're ignoring (none / 0) (#212)
    by Deadalus on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:10:26 PM EST
    That there is no precedent for this procedure.  The mail-in primary in Florida faces problems that other mail-in voting systems do not, and the time-frame involved is short enough to raise doubts about the efficacy and fairness of the process.  The VRA and/or the 14th Amendment will apply, and if the process is not properly guarded against voter-fraud, then it would be difficult for the DoJ to approve it.  (Primaries must pass constitutional muster under the "state action doctrine" as was established when Texas Democrats systematically excluded African-Americans.  Amazing how far we've come, btw, to see a woman and an African-American man as the nominees of that same party bring record numbers of voters to the polls in support of both of them.)

    Registration (none / 0) (#53)
    by ochaudha on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:06:26 AM EST
    I support Obama, but I'm not opposed to any recount.  I live in MI and just moved here in Oct 2007.  I am not registered to vote.  I didn't register to vote yet because I was told by the DNC it didn't matter.

    I would support some sort of compromise like the firehouse vote that has been proposed in the past (I think the mail-in vote favors Clinton's historical demographic and Obama should have a say about the procedure).  All I care about is that myself and others have a chance to register first.  Shoot.. I would even support a mail-in.  Whatever.  I am confident BHO will at least keep it close in MI no matter the format.  Just let me and others register.

    If the time necessary for registration makes the vote logistically impossible, then it should not take place.  There are lots of new voters in MI and across the country who want to have their say, and many of those in MI didn't bother to register for the original primary because they were told it didn't matter.  

    Question? (none / 0) (#142)
    by MMW on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:43:07 AM EST
    Was the Presidential primary the only vote on the ballot? Were there no other city council, county seats, resolutions, issues on the ballot that affect your life?

    I'm asking because I don't know. I don't live in Florida or Michigan.

    Are you saying that the only issue on the ballot was the presidential primary?

    And how will that down ticket effect work if there were other issues but you and all the no vote individuals didn't take the opportunity to affect your own lives?

    I'm not piling on you, because my next question is for anyone with an opinion. Everyone talks of SCOTUS appointments and economic plans, etc. Don't all of these have to go through a confirmation process? Are you all saying that the President is the end of all these issues? Can Senators and congressman actually start doing the jobs they were elected for? Or will you continue to accept nada from them but return them continuously to these posts?


    to freeze property taxes to you current property meaning that if I buy a new house that cost more I still pay what I pay now.  Just an insignificant amendment opposed by most city and and county authorities and approved by most home owners.  nothing much that would warrant people to go to the polls

    Are FL taxpayers funding the revote? (none / 0) (#120)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:34:54 AM EST

    No (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:38:06 AM EST
    Can Florida legally do a revote? (none / 0) (#156)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:47:43 AM EST
    Last night on TV in Florida they showed how the law  prohibits the  Florida election committee from having a mail in vote election. It is clearly prohibited. A suggestion was let the Governor sign a decree to override this law.   Another option was let some else besides the Florida election committee conduct the mail in ballot election and let them verify the votes.  Problem is they can't do that unless the have the voter registration list and the law says that Florida cannot sell the list or give away the list. What a pickle

    Thius is a Party event (none / 0) (#162)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:49:29 AM EST
    State is not running it but it can and will cooperate with it.

    This will (none / 0) (#194)
    by pavaoh on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:00:11 PM EST
    hurt all the states.  There will be many voters in all states who will feel anger.  How many will decide to stay at home after listening to how voters wishes don't count?  We are supposed to believe in the voters rights. How many votes did Bush win my state of Ohio with?  I grew up in Pennsylvania and I know some in that state will be unhappy.  Florida is a mixture of all the states.  People from all over go there to retire.  This could spread to other states.

    You think the choice is one thing (none / 0) (#202)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:03:22 PM EST
    I think the choice is a different thing.

    Florida will be seated.

    The choice is which vote will be seated.

    Here are what the priorities should be (none / 0) (#207)
    by lambert on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:07:43 PM EST

    1. Making the votes of MI and FL count.

    2. Making the Democratic nomination process, and the nominee, legitimate for the general.

    3. Making sure the primary calendar works for the good of Democrats instead of individual states.

    4. The rules (especially when, as BTD points out, the rules have rules to change the rules, there's a credentials committee, and the superdelegates are going to decide everything anyhow).

    5. Making sure that candidate ___ gets nominated.

    Sdaly, I think that "remedies" for the FL/MI imbroglio are advocated with an intensity that is inversely proportional to the priorities given.

    By your set of priorities (none / 0) (#213)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:11:20 PM EST
    We have a vote to certify.

    What does a "vote to certify" mean? (none / 0) (#233)
    by lambert on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:25:19 PM EST
    You mean from the credentials commitee, or the voters of FL?

    Honestly, I haven't mastered the Inside Baseball on all this, but it seems to me that those priorities are a reasonable yardstick for whatever comes out of this...


    I know. They're good priorities (none / 0) (#238)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:27:27 PM EST
    I'm saying that by that set of priorities, the vote from Jan. 29 should be certified.

    The do anything different elevates the last priority to the first.


    Comments are closed here (none / 0) (#268)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 01:08:30 PM EST
    We are way over 200.