The Day After: Florida And Michigan

As I have stated repeatedly for a month now, it is my view that Barack Obama will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee. And it is time Barack Obama starts acting like he believes that. That means doing things that will help him win in November. I have talked about his need to unify the Democratic Party, address his problems with working class voters of all stripes (except African Americans of course) and, the issue of the upcoming week - show respect to the voters of Florida and Michigan. Today, John Dickerson writes:

The math is relentless, yet Obama hasn't won yet, and Hillary Clinton shows no sign of stopping. She will travel to Florida on Wednesday to argue that he wants to win the nomination by disenfranchising the state's Democratic primary voters, a visit that can only damage him in a swing state crucial to Obama's chances in November.

(Emphasis supplied.) [More . . .]

Here is a problem Barack Obama can remedy immediately - he can join Hillary Clinton in fighting for the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations, based on their 2.3 million votes. Dickerson and every other pundit has told us that it does not matter how Florida and Michigan are seated, Hillary can not win. Fine. Then why in blazes does not Barack Obama join Hillary Clinton in fighting to seat those delegates? Today Barack Obama is dead in the water politically in Florida. The first step to a political resurrection in Florida for Barack Obama begins by his fighting to seat the Florida delegation. Not to negotiate to maybe, sort of, ALLOW some delegates. He should be fighting to seat them.

The response you hear from Obama supporters is that oh no, this will wreck the Presidential primary calendar. Assume that is true for a moment, and I do not, who gives a darn about the outrageous, unfair and ridiculous Democratic nomination process which needs to be completely overhauled anyway? But even if you do care, can anyone possibly think it is more important than winning the Presidency this Fall?

It is PAST time to stop feeding the megalomania of Donna Brazile and past time to start working to winning what matters, not Donna Brazile's silly political butter knife fights, rather the Presidency.

If Barack Obama can not stand up to Donna Brazile, how will he be able to stand up to the Republican onslaught this Fall and all the other challenges he will face should he become President?

It is it time to take a stand on Florida and Michigan, Senator Obama. Fight for those states. It is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

Comments closed

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  • The reason why he won't (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by MonaL on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:50:02 AM EST
    fight to seat FL & MI is because he's afraid of the perception of her winning the popular vote.

    And because he knows (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by stillife on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:04:21 AM EST
    he's got the backing of the DNC.  IMO.

    Actually He Out To Run The DNC (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by talex on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:24:54 AM EST
    AP News
    May 20, 2008 21:00 EST

    Barack Obama is quietly planning to take over the Democratic National Committee and assemble a multistate team for the general election, the latest sign that he is putting rival Hillary Rodham Clinton and the nomination fight behind him.

    Top Obama organizer Paul Tewes is in discussions to run the party, several Democratic officials said Tuesday.


    As a control freak Obama is going to make Bush look like a piker.

    Already we have Obama telling his supporters to not contribute and support 527's like VoteVets and David Brock's Progressive Media USA. And now this DNC takeover. And you know what? The Obamabots at OpenLeft and elsewhere are eating it up.


    oh fer f-sakes (5.00 / 7) (#119)
    by Kathy on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:41:47 AM EST
    But Obama can't afford to move too quickly toward the general election, or he will risk alienating Clinton supporters who are already emotional about the likelihood of their chosen candidate's closely fought defeat.

    "emotional"  Yeah, we're just a bunch of silly women.  Why don't they just lobotomize us and get it over with?


    Well,I'm emotional (5.00 / 4) (#134)
    by Nadai on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:50:14 AM EST
    Unfortunately for Obama, the emotion is sheer, unadulterated fury.  And if he thinks I'm going to get over it and vote for his sorry a$$, he's a fool.  I write my sh!t list in indelible ink.

    Well at least we have that excuse (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by angie on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:27:46 PM EST
    have you seen the instability among his blogger boiz? Not exactly stoic figures they.

    i am afraid (none / 0) (#47)
    by sancho on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:15:08 AM EST
    you are right. who knows if was obama's or edwards' or dean's idea for them to come off the ballot in michigan?

    From What I Read It Was Obama's Idea (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:21:04 AM EST
    and he convinced Edwards and others to follow him.

    Perception? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:21:55 AM EST
    The total numbers of popular votes including FL and MI are more than perception.

    she already won the popular vote (5.00 / 6) (#79)
    by nycvoter on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:26:44 AM EST
    it's not a perception.  Just because the DNC stripped delegates doesn't mean people didn't vote.  

    His choice in Michigan was to not allow the people of Michigan the opportunity to vote for him.  That's his problem


    I think the ONLY reason he will not do it (none / 0) (#194)
    by angie on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:25:17 PM EST
    is because he is not at all Presidential -- not the least little bit.

    Gosh (5.00 / 12) (#2)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:50:27 AM EST
    Just like all those voters who would never have realized Obama has a lack of national security experience if Hillary hadn't run that 3am ad, apparently Florida voters never would have thought to hold the primary debacle against Obama without Hillary raising the point.

    It's rather amazing how everything is Hillary's fault.

    Well Steve if there is something I have learned (5.00 / 12) (#9)
    by Florida Resident on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:56:19 AM EST
    this primary season (Thanks to the Obama Campaign and friends) it is that:
    1. Everything that is wrong with this Country can be traced to the Bill Clinton Administration.
    2. The Republicans are the ones with the Ideas.
    3. The Clintons and anyone who sides with them are racist.
    4. It's Hillary's fault;
    5. The new Democratic party doesn't need any voter who does not drink the kool aid. (the list of who those are is too long to enumerate.)
    I could go on but I think you can get the point.

    Excellent points (5.00 / 8) (#35)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:08:54 AM EST
    this primary season (Thanks to the Obama Campaign and friends) it is that:

       1. Everything that is wrong with this Country can be traced to the Bill Clinton Administration.
       2. The Republicans are the ones with the Ideas.
       3. The Clintons and anyone who sides with them are racist.
       4. It's Hillary's fault;
       5. The new Democratic party doesn't need any voter who does not drink the kool aid. (the list of who those are is too long to enumerate.)

    I could go on but I think you can get the point.

    So, since this has been his theme, please tell me why I SHOULDN'T vote for Republicans?  He's telling me Clintons = bad and Republicans  = ideas.  Why should I vote for him when I can go to the source?


    I agree it makes it hard to understand (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Florida Resident on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:18:50 AM EST
    how they expect us to vote Democrat.  Personally I am scared of McBush being president but then as I have said before I have gone from being certain I would vote for the Democratic nominee to I would probably vote for Obama if he is the nominee.

    another Republican heard from (1.00 / 2) (#32)
    by seesdifferent on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:06:05 AM EST
    I'm sure you're very invested in helping the Democrats win in November.

    Hey it's the Obama supporters who have been (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Florida Resident on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:15:46 AM EST
    using the Republican talking points against the Clintons from the beginning of the primary season.  I was Obama who said that the Republicans were the ones with the ideas and has talked of using them for foreign affairs positions and defense.  He is the one who admires Reagan and lumps the Clinton administration with the Bush administration and tops it of with the anti Health Care ad he resurrected from the 90's to attack Hillary's plan.  If anyone sounds like a Republican.........

    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:20:41 AM EST
    Take it from me, you can be committed to supporting Obama if he is the nominee and still believe he has run a primary campaign that has been very unfavorable towards not only the Clinton legacy but also the Democratic brand as a whole.

    I don't think criticizing Obama's campaign or his message makes one a Republican.


    Another Obama Supporter Trying To Make (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:37:43 AM EST
    sure Clinton supporters do not vote for Obama in November. Please look up the word counterproductive because clearly you do not understand that that your remarks are precisely that.

    Better to see straight (none / 0) (#181)
    by Nike on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:47:54 PM EST
    off that the Democratic party as currently construed by Donna ("I owe most to white male Repulicans") Brazille does not want the votes of Floridians. Voting for democrats in the past has been a moral and ethical commitment for me. I feel fairly strongly that Donna Brazille, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama have worked relentlessly to strip that away. The Democrat-elites, in a bitter racial irony, are perpetrating a vicious voter disenfrancisement initiative that runs counter to fifty years of hard fought efforts by true Democrats to expand the franchise. I expect to be voting on economic issues now since Obama is not giving me any moral leadership.

    Everything is Hillary's fault :) (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:28:11 AM EST
    That's actually a compliment. It's amazing how much power they have assigned to her.

    If she's hurting Obama, that's a shame. But, what she's doing is best for the democratic party and for the country. Without this race, the serious weaknesses in the party system would not be changed (fixing this system will make it easier for the next trailblazers). If she succeeds at getting the nomination (my greatest hope), that will be great for everyone.


    I agree with most of your comments-except (5.00 / 9) (#3)
    by kenosharick on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:51:16 AM EST
    you keep saying Obama must "fight" to get Fla/Mich seated. He never needed to fight- he only needed to give the word weeks ago and they would be seated.

    "seated" (5.00 / 7) (#8)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:56:17 AM EST
    Beware of the verb "to seat" in this context.

    People who don't think that Michigan and Florida should count, use the word to describe a process in which the delegates from those states can be "seated" after the nominee has been voted on.

    To avoid confusion, we should be using different words, like "their votes should count".


    Be careful of the term "vote", too. (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Shainzona on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:04:22 AM EST
    I have seen a suggestion that the MI and FLA delegates will be seated (so they can play with the conventioneers) but only vote on rule changes - not the POTUS nominee.

    So not only must they be allowed to vote - they must be allowed to vote for the POTUS nominee.

    AND, they must be seated now - not after Dean and Brazile have stolen this thing from the voters.


    BTD, I wish you would stop (5.00 / 19) (#4)
    by Kathy on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:51:53 AM EST
    saying what Obama should do and ask why he's not doing it.  It's not that I don't agree with you that the problem should be handled yesterday, but it's to the point now where we have to ask why Obama is so h*llbent on ignoring this issue.

    There must be a solid reason for him to be fighting so hard to keep these states out of play in the race for the nomination.  Is the popular vote metric that much more important?

    And I think it is far to late for Obama to heal any rifts in these states, especially FL.  There are protests all around the country going on (I think) tomorrow about the media sexism and about the situation with FL and MI.  Obama has let this problem sit out there so long that it's starting to be defined as another example of his sexism toward Clinton.

    It is an absolute mess.  What does he think he is gaining?

    Good that you bring this up now (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by talex on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:04:09 AM EST
    because if Obama gets the nomination these kind of questions will likely not be welcomed on pro-Clinton blogs that will turn into pro-Obama blogs.

    Only after he either loses in November or his win brings Post-Partisan Triangulating Blue Dog policies will holding Obama and his supporters accountable be in vogue again.


    Why is he doing it? (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by waldenpond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:25:04 AM EST
    Because he is the weaker candidate and he's hanging on to the possibility of the nomination.  It's a squeaker and he doesn't want superdeez to have any wiggle room.

    If you didn't see Lanny Davis on Fox last night, it is up over at noquarter.  It's a great clip.

    Lanny Davis

    My favorite.... it's going to convention if F:/MI aren't dealt with fairly.

    I have been paying attention to Fox's approach (who's independent/Dem viewership has continued to grow) and they are using Obama's and the media's treatment of Clinton against Obama and the DNC.


    You know, it's precisely like global warming. (none / 0) (#81)
    by BoGardiner on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:27:07 AM EST
    It's entirely unscientific to point to any single extreme weather event and claim, "Look!  Global warming!"  

    So, technically, you're correct that this one point in isolation seemingly is unrelated to sexism.

    It's the PATTERN over TIME.

    By now it should be apparent to all that a pattern of sexism is partially fueling many persons' psychology as they eagerly seek to force out the stronger of the two Democratic candidates.

    So, as with storm events, one can say that this type of tactic is what the pattern predicts should occur, and is therefore significantly likely to be a symptom of that pattern.

    Or use the shorthand you're criticizing, since this is just a dang blog.


    Reread what I wrote (none / 0) (#88)
    by Kathy on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:29:09 AM EST
    it's being defined as sexism.  I didn't say whether it was or not.  This is just another example of Obama not defining himself or his actions, thus allowing others to define his stance for him.

    It really makes me wonder (none / 0) (#112)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:38:56 AM EST
    if Axelrod is running this show by telling Obama to just get out there and do what he does "so well" and talk about anything to reel in the audiences, and leave the FL & MI vote issues to him (and Howard and Donna - we've got you covered).  

    NOTE: This is exactly why the message that Hillary will have stolen the nomination from Obama if she wins at convention. It's what he's been up to all along.

    Barack has openly stated he is a lazy man, and his work history supports that fact. He gets to looking more and more like GWB every day.

    He's in FL today asking them to support him in the fall...primary is over (according to FOX News).  BUT, last night's showing in Iowa was NOT a victory speech.


    BTD, I Think (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by creeper on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:52:05 AM EST
    you're asking more of Mr. Obama than he is capable of.

    Remember, this man has never run a truly contested contest.  His method of winning is pretty much slash and burn, right down to having his opponents removed from the ballot.

    This is one reason why Clinton supporters are so deathly afraid of Obama as the nominee.  His election mindset is going to backfire badly in the GE.

    Obama's media darling status (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by felizarte on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:23:57 AM EST
    may not be such an asset for him after all.  With all the piling on on Hillary in the MSM, why does she keep on winning and with such victories too?  I think it is obvious that a majority of the people have tuned out  the media bias for Obama and actually understand the issues and Hillary's stand on those issues appeal to the individual voters.

    So if the only reason one supports Obama is because of his present "media darling status," that might not be so valid anymore in light of Hillary's successses.  


    Anyone know (none / 0) (#151)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:06:19 PM EST
    How the major networks' ratings have gone during this primary season?

    I have thru April 4 (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by waldenpond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:31:45 PM EST
    Haven't been updating my numbers.

    Here's percent of total 5-11pm:

        1/21/08    2/8/08    2/15/08    2/22/08    2/29/08
    cnn    0.48    0.30        0.23       0.26        0.31
    fnc    0.26    0.33        0.34       0.32        0.33
    hln    0.12    0.15        0.17       0.13        0.14
    msnbc    0.14    0.22       0.25    0.28       0.22

        3/7/08    3/14/08    3/21/08    3/28/08    4/4/08
    cnn    0.26    0.26        0.26       0.29    0.28
    fnc    0.37    0.41        0.32       0.36    0.35
    hln    0.16    0.13        0.14       0.14    0.17
    msnbc    0.21    0.20        0.27       0.20    0.20

    numbers from mediabistro.  I pull days as the weeklies are in document format and not cells that can be copied in to excel.


    Wow! (5.00 / 2) (#183)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:52:01 PM EST
    So the networks ARE feeling the effects of anointing Obama too soon!

    We need to keep up the boycott - I'd love to see MSNBC with a .10 or less!


    maybe not (none / 0) (#23)
    by TalkRight on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:03:08 AM EST
    you're asking more of Mr. Obama than he is capable of.

    No he is just trying O to hire him as an adviser. :)


    that won't happen. btd has common (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by hellothere on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:30:01 PM EST
    sense and a realistic point of view.

    Forget the Obama maniacs (5.00 / 15) (#6)
    by andgarden on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:54:06 AM EST
    The refusal of the Obama campaign to do this strikes me as an implicit admission that they believe they might not be able to win nomination with MI and Fl seated.

    As always, they are playing to win the primary first. There is no November strategy.

    Which, in a race this close, makes sense. (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by sweetthings on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM EST
    You can't be President if you aren't the nominee. Hillary and Obama are both playing for all the marbles. Neither will sacrifice any advantage until they've won.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by TalkRight on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:58:40 AM EST
    BTD may believe but BO does not .. nor do Axelrod and O's supporters.. They KNOW with Clinton's anything can happen.. NEVER COUNT THEM OUT!!

    I was also wondering on other days after his primary wins and even big losses he would come out with couple of New Super Delegates to his side.. NOT Today.. has his reserve ended.. has he used his capital of SDs.

    I still think Hillary has a conceivable shot at the nomination.


    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by chancellor on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:02:31 AM EST
    I think that both the DNC and Obama's campaign assumed the contest would be over on Super Tuesday. They also both assumed that any Democrat could win this year against the Bush legacy. There is no Plan B.

    Sure there is. (4.20 / 5) (#19)
    by madamab on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:01:39 AM EST
    According to my dad (who has decades of experience working for the government), the plan is to get HRC and Bill out there working their hearts out for Obama to get those racist hillbillies [this is what my dad thinks] to vote for him.

    He sees nothing wrong with this picture whatsoever. We can't nominate Hillary because she is not "inspiring" enough to get people to work against their self-interest. Plus, she's despicable because she will "do and say anything to win."

    Meanwhile, Obama is a super-secret progressive who once nominated, will suddenly "inspire" people to accept all of his progressive ideas. Just like FDR or JFK.

    The evidence for this point of view was somehow not forthcoming.

    It really, really makes me sick how some Obamaniacs think it is OK to sh*t all over the Clintons, then fully expect them to turn around and try to get people to vote for the sh*ttees.

    The sad thing is, I'll bet they'd do it, and Obama would still lose, and the Obamaniacs would blame the Clintons.



    Throwing Bill Clinton (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by rnibs on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:13:23 AM EST
    out the window in 2000 hurt Gore, and I think disrespecting the Clintons in 2008 will end the same way.  Not that I think the Clintons are all powerful or anything, but when you have good people like them, why do Donna and the other Dems insist on constantly throwing them out the window, and then expect to win the general election?

    20M voters (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:51:06 AM EST
    and, who knows how many non-voters, agree that the Clinton's deserve to keep the respect they earned giving 8 pretty good years to this country. For Obama to strip them of what is rightfully theirs, will bite him hard in the fall.

    I'm assuming he won't win the GE if he does get the nomination. And, the loss will leave him with his political legacy of unfair and disrespectful. He may get away with just a dusting of his antics at the moment, but the claims against him now will be fodder for future campaign analysis. He'll never be able to get too far away. Karma, you know.

    You'll notice the MSM has spent plenty of time analyzing the failed campaigns of the democrats, and not much on the wins.


    Excellent point (none / 0) (#153)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:07:57 PM EST
    Ignoring Bill Clinton cost Gore the election.  Now Obama has been dissing the Clinton years.  Doesn't seem like a winner to me....

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:14:28 AM EST
    I had a great conversation yesterday with our office wingnut who is convinced that Obama is a "Manchurian candidate" with radical, anti-Israel ideas and that we'll see the mask come off if he gets elected.

    So look at it this way, your dad has company in believing that Obama has a liberal agenda that he's keeping under wraps!  Well, sort of.


    As is? No penalties at all? (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by mike in dc on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:56:00 AM EST
    No apportionment of the MI uncommitteds?
    Would Clinton do that in his situation?

    I think he legitimately believes the outcome of those two primaries was not accurate (because no campaigning was permitted and he wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan), and therefore legitimately believes that seating those delegations in their entirety, based solely on those votes, would be unfair.  There were supporters of all three major candidates who stayed home because they were told it wouldn't count, Democrats and Dem-leaning independents in Michigan who voted in the Republican primary there to make a little mischief, and all of their preferences of course weren't reflected in the vote.

    Having said that, I have no problem with seating all pledged delegates and superdelegates in their entirety, provided that Obama is assigned the bulk(if not all) of the uncommitted Michigan superdelegates, since exit polling suggests about 70% of the uncommitted voters would have supported him if his name were on the ballot.  That is the bare minimum "compromise" required to make such a seating legitimate in my eyes(and in the eyes of many Obama supporters).  Award Obama at least 70% of the 55, or at least 38.  That's it.  Then Clinton can get her 178 pledged delegates and Obama will get at least 105.

    Supporting the full seating of FL and MI does not require a complete capitulation to the terms of Team Clinton by Team Obama.  
    I hope that's not what you're suggesting.

    Obama advertised heavily in FL (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by MarkL on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:59:09 AM EST
    He's got no business making the argument you propose, at least wrt to FL.
    I think the reasonable solution for MI is to give Hillary her delegates and let the rest be uncommitted. They will almost surely go to Obama.

    What does it hurt (3.00 / 0) (#101)
    by standingup on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:35:49 AM EST
    to go with Obama receiving the uncommitted in Michigan or at least the portion that were shown to have voted uncommitted for him according to the exit polls?  The point is to do what the Democratic party once was known to do in the pursuit of supporting voter enfranchisement instead of this silly idea of punishing the people for the rank stupidity of their political leaders.  We should do what is possible to accept the will of the voters regardless of benefit or detriment to either candidate.  Stop the pettiness and move on so we can finally have a resolution that will end this political ping pong match.  

    LOL (1.00 / 0) (#50)
    by flyerhawk on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    The "reasonable" thing for Obama to do is allow Hillary to get all of her delegates and for Obama not to get any?

    What is the color of the sky in your world?


    As I said, I expect the uncommitted (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MarkL on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:25:27 AM EST
    delegates to go to Obama. The political pressure to do so will be unbearable.
    Awarding them to Obama officially rankles though.

    Obama can have all the delegates (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by felizarte on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    with his name on it.  The trouble is, he wants to claim what he did not earn.

    It is not the rerasonable thing to do (none / 0) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:26:48 AM EST
    It is the SMART THING to do. The RIGHT thing to do.

    do you want to win in November or not?


    Yes, we do, and Obama cannot (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:36:40 AM EST
    beat McCain. Hillary can.

    I want Obama to get the delegates... (3.00 / 0) (#102)
    by mike in dc on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:36:23 AM EST
    ...that he deserves.  He deserves at least 70% of the uncommitteds, and at least 70% of the uncommitted share of the popular vote there.

    Clinton can get everything else she wants.  I just want at least 38 of those uncommitteds and credit for 28% of the popular vote in MI, plus whatever Obama is due from FL.

    It's an eminently fair arrangement.


    There's no such thing as an uncommitted delegate. (none / 0) (#29)
    by sweetthings on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:04:58 AM EST
    Especially at this stage.

    It's good to be back! (none / 0) (#138)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:53:09 AM EST
    He's speaking in FL right now, opened with "it's good to be back in Florida". When was he there?

    "Give it up for Waxman" ... that country preacher hollar is so presidential. YIKES!


    Obama Did Fund Raisers In FL Before The Primary n/ (none / 0) (#173)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:36:18 PM EST
    Does it matter? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by goldberry on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:02:44 AM EST
    We can only speculate on what Clinton might have done.  We know for sure what Obama has already done.  

    The uncommitted are for Obama (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:10:58 AM EST
    through the delegate selection process in Michigan. did you not know that?

    I don't trust... (none / 0) (#109)
    by mike in dc on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    ...that process in Michigan.  Word is that the party establishment there worked the system to give Clinton some extra delegates out of that uncommitted pool.  

    I'd rather the RBC formalize some of those uncommitteds as pledged Obama delegates.  About 38, based on exit polling.


    No (none / 0) (#158)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:10:15 PM EST
    They based on exit polls, and HRC actually had some people who voted "uncommitted", so she would be entitled to the 3% (or whatever it was).

    so, she gets... (none / 0) (#170)
    by mike in dc on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:34:08 PM EST
    ...2 extra delegates, and he gets 38.

    Read this and weep, pal (none / 0) (#44)
    by herb the verb on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:14:17 AM EST
    Rules regarding seating delegates.

    If you want a compromise, let's talk about following the DNC rules as a starter. Deal?


    By not pushing for MI and Fl (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by Stellaaa on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:56:21 AM EST
    please someone tell me what does it make Obama, transcended, transformed, change agent, post partisan or is this the new politics?

    BTD (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:59:25 AM EST
    give it up. Obama and his campaign are completely clueless about a general election. The truth of the matter is that the way Obama has played the primaries has rendered him absolutely unelectable in the fall. Better to realize it now than later. Save yourself some heartache in Nov. if he's the nominee.

    Obama will never seat MI and FL. He will write those states off hoping that some other states will come through for him in a general election. McCain will remind everyone how weak Obama is, so weak in fact that he can't even stand up to the DNC.

    DING DING DING DING. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by madamab on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:05:42 AM EST
    You've gotta admire BTD for his persistence in the face of absolutely no evidence, though. :-)

    so is the DNC party leaders (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by TalkRight on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:27:20 AM EST
    Obama and his campaign are completely clueless about a general election

    like pelosi, dean...

    CNN commenter (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Emma on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:00:57 AM EST
    Jamal, I'm sorry I forgot his last name, on CNN last night said Obama will fight seating MI/FL because it leaves the door open for Hillary, and he can't afford to do that.

    This is a big DNC problem (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:02:13 PM EST
    Personally, it seems like a "conflict of interest" to give these decisions to the candidates rather than to put the voters first.

    The bottom line is: Obama's stand on FL & MI is all for HIM.  Hillary's rejection of the recent MI solution was because it was incorrect and didn't represent the votes she did receive.

    The FL & MI Obama standoff is not the only questionable manipulation of votes his campaign has made. They just aren't being taken to task and investigated.


    I'm surprised (none / 0) (#21)
    by stillife on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:02:43 AM EST
    to hear such honesty from a CNN commentator.

    Political courage. (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by liminal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:00:57 AM EST
    This is a great post, BTD, and thank you.  I'm still waiting for Obama to show the sort of political courage I want to see in the Democratic nominee for the presidency.  Hillary has shown that political courage by making stand after stand in the primary season, and coming through with grace and dignity against all odds.  

    I'm not completely in the tank for her.  I know she's done that because she's been forced there by circumstance and history, but what matters to me now is not the why or the how, but the fact of it - as it makes her a very, very attractive general election candidate.  

    Obama hasn't done that.  He could've started.  He could've okayed the plan for a full and fair revote in Michigan.  He could've campaigned in West Virginia.  He could've campaigned in Kentucky.  He could've gone to Welch, West Virginia or Harlan, Kentucky and spoken about our core and common values; he could've respected the voters of two of the poorest states in the country enough to ask for their votes directly, and maybe that would've made a difference, if not in the primary, then in the general election.  He still has that opportunity: Obama could join with Hillary and demand that the votes of the people of Florida and Michigan be counted now.  I still would be rooting for HRC to pull out the nomination under those circumstances, but if Obama were to show the political courage necessary to face uncertainty and fight for every vote, I'd be a heck of a lot happier with him as the potential nominee.  

    I don't get it. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by s5 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:03:22 AM EST
    Obama is going to Florida at the same time as Clinton. Both sides agree that the delegates will be seated. The details will be decided on the 31st. Game over.

    You don't get it (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:08:44 AM EST
    I agree.

    The point is (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by mffarrow on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:17:24 AM EST
    The DNC has said that the MI and FL primaries (and their results) were illegitimate, but that the delegates will be seated after the nomination is decided.  Clinton needs those delegates counted as is, right now, because they would help her in the delegate race.

    The Clinton campaign is fighting to get the delegates recognized as legitimate, before the nomination is decided, because it would help her get the nomination.  The argument that she is fighting for enfranchisement of the voters is (smart) political theatre to whip up support for her campaign.


    You do not get it either (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:24:02 AM EST
    What do you think will help Barack Obama in November?

    They really think (5.00 / 8) (#94)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:33:16 AM EST
    that "seating delegates after the nomination is decided" will magically make the problem go away.

    You cannot get through to these people.  They cannot conceive of any voter who would base their vote on something like this, not when the Democratic ideology is so clearly superior to the Republican one.  They appear to have never seen an election before in their lives.


    I'm amazed (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by Nadai on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:43:21 AM EST
    at how little they seem to understand people.  In their world, apparently, no one ever holds a grudge.  No one ever does anything out of spite.  No one ever reacts emotionally.  No one is ever irrational in any way.

    I don't get it.  Does the Internet reach as far as Vulcan?


    magical thinking? yeah right (none / 0) (#199)
    by hellothere on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:33:13 PM EST
    just like brazile in 2000. got it!

    Acting like the voters matter. (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by waldenpond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:42:15 AM EST
    and stop being perceived as willing to disenfranchise voters (stop giving the Repubs ammunition)

    He could pretend he has strength (stop giving the Repubs reason to call him weak) and doesn't doubt he is the most electable (stop giving the Repubs ammunition)

    Stop the impression the system was gamed (giving the Repubs ammunition) and the elitist DNC selected Obama (more ammunition for the Repubs)

    They are already attaching all of these memes to him .... his only hope is to try to soften the glue.


    Coming to FL won't help him (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:43:42 AM EST
    in November. Having our delegates seated and voting will. He won't do that. He won't win FL in November. The prevailing attitude is that if our votes aren't good enough for him in the primary, why give them to him in November? And given the number of retirees down here from KY, WV, PA and the other states he basically wrote off as beneath him, he will lose FL in a major landslide. He will get some of the AA vote, and some of the rich"I am not really a racist" vote, but the majority of FL voters will not vote for him.

    What will help Obama in November (none / 0) (#121)
    by mffarrow on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:43:02 AM EST
    Is keeping Clinton from having any legitimate claim to the nomination.  :)  

    That is absiurd (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:45:55 AM EST
    and counterproductive on two fronts.

    The Florida problem is not even about Clinton. It is about Dems and by extension Obama.

    And your answer, implicitly, to the divided Party problem is to denigrate Clinton's efforts to seek the nomination?

    Your advice is exactly the opposite of what Obama needs to do.  


    I said that Clinton's strategy was smart (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by mffarrow on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:56:22 AM EST
    I also said it was political theatre, b/c I think it is.  Clinton would not be fighting for FL/MI if she did not need the delegates, but she is crafting her fight for the delegates in a way that resonates with voters.

    Obama cannot afford to legitimize the delegates or the narrative, because doing so would hurt his chances at the nomination.  I imagine that he will have to address the narrative at some point, when he is the nominee, precisely because it resonates so strongly with some voters.


    hmm, you are a little late with that canard. (none / 0) (#200)
    by hellothere on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:34:02 PM EST
    Ah, butter knife fights.... (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by suki on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:08:19 AM EST
    I will be chuckling about that imagery all day!
    I wrote the DNC and canceled my Democracy bond and let them know it was mainly due to Donna Brazile's behavior throughout this campaign.
    She was frustratingly inept before but has been pure poison through this primary. My disgust with her is complete.

    WOW! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MarkL on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:09:00 AM EST
    Did I just imagine a very bizarre comment (none / 0) (#38)
    by MarkL on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:09:42 AM EST
    about PRC? Weird.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#63)
    by suki on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:22:09 AM EST
    You've totally lost me here.

    Someone else.. the comment must have (none / 0) (#67)
    by MarkL on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:23:50 AM EST
    been deleted, and my reply got tacked to yours.

    It's very simple. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by mffarrow on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:11:37 AM EST
    Clinton's stance is not a heroic effort to enfranchise voters, it's a political fight to get more delegates.  

    The DNC has said that FL and MI delegates will be seated. Clinton needs the delegates from those states, and believes that those delegates would affect the outcome of the nomination in her favor.  That is why she wants them to be considered legitimate, as is, and that is why she is "fighting."

    And Obama's campaign has zero interest in helping Clinton get more delegates, so we won't see them traveling to FL and MI together.

    not Clinton.

    Clinton Derangement Syndrome prevents you from understanding the point of my post.


    Your point (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by mffarrow on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:21:12 AM EST
    As I understand it, is that Clinton's argument has political resonance with voters, especially her supporters, regardless of the self-interest that compels the argument.

    I am not disputing that.  I am saying that Obama is not engaging in the "fight for the voters" because it only helps his opponent.


    You still do not get it (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:33:04 AM EST
    His opponent will be John McCain. His NOT engaging in this fight is helping his opponent John McCain.

    I get it (none / 0) (#133)
    by mffarrow on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:48:55 AM EST
    Clinton is his opponent until she gets out of the race.  She is using this "fight" as a means of staying in the race and shifting the outcome.  If Obama allows the FL and MI delegates to be considered legitimate, as is, right now, then Clinton will have scored a major win in the primary and would be on stronger footing to get the nomination.

    I imagine that the campaign has weighed the compelling Clinton narrative of enfranchisement against the dangers of legitimizing the FL and MI delegates too soon.

    I don't dispute that the Clinton narrative is compelling, or that Obama might have to do something about it.  But I understand why they haven't done it yet.


    No (none / 0) (#160)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:12:25 PM EST
    You do not get it.

    No you don't get it (none / 0) (#167)
    by Manuel on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:22:12 PM EST
    The probability of Clinton getting the nomination is small.  Seating FL as is would be a smart move for the Obama campaign because the benefits (party unity, FL good will) far outweigh the cost (improved nomination chances for Clinton from epsilon to delta).  The only reason for Obama to not do this is if he does not agree that delta is small.

    Florida (none / 0) (#136)
    by Artoo on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:51:58 AM EST
    Isn't that a double-edged sword for McCain though considering the Republican-controlled Florida legislature moved up the primary?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:20:23 PM EST
    Because the Repubs only took 50% of the delegates. And it wasn't really mentioned again (a little here and there but no voter outcry). Same legislature and very different results because the RNC and DNC handled it very differently.

    I Wouldn't Be At All Surprised If The (none / 0) (#178)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:41:33 PM EST
    Republican Party seated 100% of FL delegates at the convention. The Democratic Party IIRC planned to do the same thing before they got stuck on the Roolz.

    it sure does help his opponant (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by americanincanada on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:38:47 AM EST
    both now AND in November. Obama's stance will virtually assure defeat in the GE.

    So what you are saying is that (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by ruffian on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:21:21 AM EST
    Clinton is doing the right thing, albeit for her own short and long term advantage, and Obama is doing the wrong thing, which happens to not hurt him that much in the short term and hurt him a lot in the long term.

    I know who I think is smarter.


    Wrecking the clandar (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by ruffian on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:15:31 AM EST
    What will wreck the calandar is the Republican's knowledge that they can now move primaries around in any state where they control the legislature, and the DNC will neuter that state.

    Obama is betting that no one will have the nerve to call him an illegitimate nominee if FL and MI are not counted properly. He also thinks he can distribute enough kool-aid to still win MI, and is convinced he does not need FL at all.  

    He's not going to do anything but mouth platitudes about how he is sure the delegates will be seated at the convention. Of course they will, but they will not count.

    He is in FL today, mainly talking to Puerto Ricans in the Orlando area. I guess it is easier to talk to them here, then in, say, Puerto Rico.

    He hesitates for a reason (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Saul on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:23:54 AM EST
    Because he won't do it until he is 100 percent sure they will not matter in the nomination process.  He still fears that Hilary will take it to the convention and convince them to vote for her.

    Start over. (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by hitchhiker on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:25:13 AM EST
    who gives a darn about the outrageous, unfair and ridiculous Democratic nomination process which needs to be completely overhauled anyway?

    That right there is why this conversation about what license those bad little state parties will do in 4 years is so ridiculous.  If the last 6 months have shown us anything, it's that the Democrats' current "system" of choosing a nominee needs a full-on overhaul.

    It has to be ripped up, shredded, and ground into dust.  Nobody can pretend anymore that the way we do this makes a particle of sense or has any connection to choosing the most qualified candidate.

    "Fighting" to seat FL and MI is a sham. (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by jimotto on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:28:11 AM EST
    Show me where the Obama campaign has said that delegates from MI and FL should not be seated.  Additionally, Obama himself has said this month that the delegations will be seated.  This whole "fighting the seating" crap is a construction of the Clinton campaign.

    Your quibble is that the delegations will not be seated exactly as the Clinton campaign wants them to be.  Namely 67 delegates for Obama out of the two states, and no more.  

    The Obama campaign has not quibbled with any of the proposals that FL and MI have put forth for seating their delegations.  They will go along with whatever the DNC decides on May31.  If there is a campaign that "fights" the seating of the delegates after May 31, it will be the Clinton campaign.  

    Show me where he fought to seat them (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:31:41 AM EST
    "Fighting" for them is a straw man. (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by jimotto on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:00:19 PM EST
    The rules committee meeting on May31.  Delegations will be proposed for each state and accepted.  Both campaigns have had the opportunity to express opinions on how those delegations will be composed.  All this rhetoric about "fighting to seat" the delegations does nothing other than attempt to poison the well of public sentiment.

    A straw man to you (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:11:44 PM EST
    not to Florida voters.

    This is not a legal issue. This is a POLITICAL issue.


    Uh (5.00 / 5) (#108)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:38:14 AM EST
    The Obama campaign has not quibbled with any of the proposals that FL and MI have put forth for seating their delegations.

    This is demonstrably false.

    For example, the Obama campaign shot down Michigan's plan for a re-vote, calling it unfair because the plan wouldn't have allowed voters to break the DNC rules and vote in both the Republican and Democratic primaries in the same year.

    They have quibbled endlessly.  They're in favor of a revote in general, but somehow there's no specific proposal that they will accept.


    Clinton rules. (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by jimotto on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:46:28 AM EST
    Revote is a distinct issue from seating delegates.  

    Clinton blocked plenty of revote proposals that she felt did not benefit her sufficiently.  But Obama is excoriated for doing the same.


    Oh, I see (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:02:43 PM EST
    seating the delegations pursuant to a revote is different from seating delegates.

    You'll forgive me if I don't feel like wasting any more time with this little wordplay game of yours.


    Has he ever once used the 2209 magic number? (none / 0) (#113)
    by katiebird on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:39:34 AM EST
    It's only been a magic # for what, 2 weeks? (none / 0) (#162)
    by jimotto on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:12:46 PM EST
    Even Clinton's campaign wasnt using it until BTD brought it up to them in a phone conference.

    The DNC (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:32:05 AM EST
    still thinks that Carrot B. Rutabaga(D) could win the general election against the Republican.

    That's why they and their candidate (Obama) don't care about FL/MI.  People will forget when faced with the ugly notion of electing yet another Republican...right?

    There isn't anything we can do to get them to care.  And the "sweeties" will come around, they always do.

    Of course, they may care on November 5th.

    Actually (5.00 / 5) (#116)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:40:00 AM EST
    the DNC simply has different priorities than winning the White House.

    They are so enthralled at the prospect of Obama's mailing list and donor base, all those new supporters enriching the DNC for years to come, that they really don't seem to care one way or the other about electability arguments.  They're just not as invested in a Democratic presidency as you'd like to think.


    In fantasyland, Obama and Clinton, (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by oculus on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:34:29 AM EST
    who are both in FL today, call a jt. newsconference to announce in unison they o.k. seating the Fl and MI delegates and counting them now along with the popular vote.  Then they lead a rousing chorus of Kumbaya.

    and then they dance (5.00 / 4) (#124)
    by Kathy on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:45:22 AM EST
    and yet again, Clinton leads.  Our girl sent me a really nice email today.  I don't think that joint press conference is coming anytime soon.  I'll share a bit of what she wrote me:


    I've won more votes than anyone running for the Democratic nomination in the history of our party. I've won states that will total 308 electoral votes in November -- more than enough to carry the general election. And it is critical that we make certain the more than 2 million voters in Florida and Michigan are heard.

    Man, I love it when she talks tough!


    To those who worry about consequences: (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by katiebird on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:38:19 AM EST
    The consequences have been immense beyond all imagination.  The Florida and Michigan were virtually erased throughout this entire primary season.

    And THAT without question affected the outcome of this election.

    Do you seriously think that if the RULZ committee agrees to fully seat the FL & MI delegations (with all voting & participation rights fully restored) that other states will heave a sigh of relief and think -- "OH, that sounds like fun.  Let's do ours in December next time".

    In other words, I think the RULZ committee punished those states and they were wildly successful.  We've all learned that lesson:  Iowa and New Hampshire are supreme.

    Why does anyone think the VOTERS require further punishment?

    And do you really think Clinton is going to just let it drop if the RULZ committee doesn't bring FL & MI back into the family?

    This is false (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:41:00 AM EST
    He gets a large number of delegates from both FL and MI.

    Obama has participated in the delegate selection process in Michigan and has captured almost all of the uncommitted delegates.

    one more thing he should do to win (5.00 / 5) (#130)
    by nycvoter on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:47:51 AM EST
    maybe come out on behalf of Kentucky and West Virginia Democrats and state unequivocally that he does not believe they are racist but that they do not know him as well as Clinton and that he will work every day from now until November to earn their votes.

    Allowing the media to continue to call them racists for not voting for him is not a winning strategy for November

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by herb the verb on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:56:56 AM EST
    Even if the RBC takes it back from Brazille's nuclear option to the original penalty, Obama is screwed since he campaigned in Florida before the primary.

    I'm pretty convinced that is what the OC is afraid of. That the ACTUAL RULE WILL BE ENFORCED rather than Brazille and Dean's ad hoc rule.

    Read the rule for yourself, it is here:

    DNC Primary Rules

    The relevant passages are page 12 Rule 11, pg 20 Rule 20 section C(1)a and C(1)b.

    Check out Pg. 3 Rule 2 Sec. E. also.

    I actually hope that Clinton goes all legal on their ass on this.

    Amen! (none / 0) (#157)
    by mg7505 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:10:14 PM EST
    I too hope Clinton pulls out her lawyer smarts! Wasn't she named among the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America like twice? Would LOVE to see her take on Donna Brazile.

    Thanks for posting The Rules. I wonder if they're up on DKos or other sites in the Obamasphere? Not that they need them anyway.


    Great point, BTD (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by dws3665 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:06:41 PM EST
    He could and should do this except for one thing: It  will go against the wishes of his biggest democratic constituents: the DNC Power Brokers. If he fights for FL and MI, he will be fighting against the DNC and Donna Brazile.

    Obviously, he does not feel that he can do without their ongoing patronage within the system.

    One thing that strikes me of late (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by frankly0 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:37:19 PM EST
    is that Hillary is, as Obama supporters have alleged, in fact doing real damage to Obama's general election chances by staying in the race.

    But the problem is that she is doing so most fundamentally because she is demonstrating in a very real way both that Obama does not have legitimacy as a nominee, and that he is intensely disliked by vast swaths of the electorate.

    You see, the real problem is not that Hillary has unfairly criticized Obama -- because, face it, the truly damaging episodes in the past few months (Wright, Ayers, Obama's debate performance, Bittergate) were entirely of Obama's own doing -- but rather that, as things have unfolded, Obama's claim on the nomination has become more and more obviously spurious.

    What Obama supporters can't stand is that he's being embarrassed by being thumped hard in election after election; that he's going to lose the popular vote; that he's looking more and more as if he is unelectable.

    In short, what Clinton is doing is nothing more than exposing his actual weaknesses, through the natural course of the elections, without making any criticisms (especially of late) that could possibly be said to be unfair to him.

    The FL and MI situation only aggravates this problem for Obama. Hillary points out the obvious: that is only fairer, and more democratic, to count those votes than not to count them. Obama, to keep the nomination, insists that it is not, making obvious how his own naked ambition trumps democracy for him -- further weakening his perception in the eyes of most voters.

    And Obama's supporters absolutely don't want his character faults exposed like this, where he has to make hard choices of ambition over democracy.

    It's actually the fairness of the weaknesses Hillary is exposing in Obama that most disturbs these people -- because how do you fight against a fair attack?

    Obama's handling of MI/FL is irrational (5.00 / 3) (#179)
    by dwmorris on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:44:10 PM EST
    Obama is surrounded by smart, serious, and accomplished professional advisors. And yet, his response to the MI/FL controversy is irrational. If you look closely at the numbers, his lead is large enough that he can magnanimously agree to seat both the MI and FL delegations and he still wins the nomination. It's closer, but he still wins.

    So what are they afraid of?

    They seem to be desperately trying to maintain the largest possible gap with Clinton while simulataneously trying to force her from the race as soon as possible. I'm wondering if they are afraid of an event that will move large numbers of super delegates away from Obama. Under this scenario, they can't allow the race to tighten if they are to have any hope of weathering the storm.

    Do they know something we don't?

    Is that why the Clinton campaign seems so relaxed?

    I agree with BTD that Obama is not acting like the winner. To me, something smells fishy.

    Because (none / 0) (#182)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:49:07 PM EST
    The narrative can now focus on the popular vote (which Howard Dean said should have always been counted), but if the Obama camp doesn't fight this, Hillary is ahead in the popular vote and could end up within 100 pledged delegates of him.  There was a report (somewhere on another thread here) where it said that many SD's would take popular vote into consideration if she gets within 100 or so delegates.

    MI and FL comes in - he loses.


    The popular vote argument is already in play (none / 0) (#190)
    by dwmorris on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:06:08 PM EST
    The SDs are not bound by what is officially sanctioned by the DNC when taking the popular vote into account. The Clinton team is out pushing the unofficial popular vote numbers 24/7.

    I think they're afraid of something bigger than a debate over pledged delegates vs popular vote.


    The most obvious (none / 0) (#206)
    by Makarov on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:45:41 PM EST
    issue is his performance since February.  Clinton's campaign has gained momentum, and Obama's has lost it.  While Obama has surpassed Clinton's lead in superdelegates, and there have been a handful of defections, there hasn't been a huge shift yet.

    That said, his opposition to recognizing MI and FL voters prior to the nomination being decided, could be the very thing that provides Clinton additional justification to stay in until Denver (not that she needs any). This is why, like BTD, I don't understand his failure to speak out for MI and FL.

    If Donna Brazile and the RBC do the unthinkable, and leave the 100% penalty stand, Denver will see demonstrations.  It won't be 1968, but the protesters will outnumber the media (no small task). The party will fracture, and I fear it will guarantee a McCain win in November. The only thing that could save it at that point would be a unity ticket - either Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton. If delegates in Denver have to decide between the two, Clinton has age and dues paid on her side quite heavily. While those "pledged" to Obama would likely not be swayed by that argument, I can supers defecting en masse to put Clinton on top of a unified ticket.


    Echo Chamber of Concern Trolling (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by digdugboy on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:00:40 PM EST
    That's what TalkLeft is looking like these days. At some point, Armando, you may wish to consider the extent of your contribution to that.

    Yep. (none / 0) (#201)
    by coigue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:36:06 PM EST
    Not as bad as dKos, but getting worse every day.

    This isn't that important (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Blue Neponset on Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:59:23 AM EST
    FL & MI will be seated at the convention.  I have no doubt about that.  Does anyone?  

    This isn't an emergency.  The rules committee is meeting at the end of the month and FL/MI's punishment will be finalized then.  There is no good reason for Obama to make this a big issue.  

    There is, however, a good reason for Clinton to make this an issue and that is, it is her only argument to the supers. If she truly was that concerned about FL or MI then she would drop out of the race.  The day after she does that the issue will be resolved.

    You are living (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:10:18 AM EST
    in a world of delusion if you think it does not matter in Florida.

    But even better, if it does not matter, why not just assuage those people who think it does?

    What does it hurt?


    Does not matter != unimportant (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Blue Neponset on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:20:20 AM EST
    It hurts Obama because it gives Clinton more ammo for her "popular vote" talking point.  It won't matter in November because FL & MI will be seated at the convention and their votes will indeed count.  I can't imagine that the good people of FL & MI will hold a grudge in November over an issue that was resolved three or four months earlier.  They will move on to more important issues, and forget about the primary.  

    Are you serious? (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:25:58 AM EST
    You think it will not matter in Florida in November?

    This is the type of thinking that will kill Obama. Doesn't matter that he has problems with working class voters. Does not matter that the Party is divided. Nothing matters. All hail our new Maximum Leader.



    Yes, I am serious (2.00 / 0) (#95)
    by Blue Neponset on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:33:18 AM EST
    You are talking in hyperbole.  

    This issue will be resolved one way or another in the next month or so.  Do you think people are going to care about a problem with their primary months after it has been resolved?  I don't.  My guess is people will concentrate on issues that actually affect their daily lives such as the economy,  health care and gas prices.  


    All is well (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:46:50 AM EST
    Obama in a landslide in Florida.



    All is well (none / 0) (#143)
    by Blue Neponset on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:57:27 AM EST
    Few people besides you and the Clinton supporters seem to think this is a HUGE issue. I guess we will find out in November.  

    Indeed (none / 0) (#164)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:14:13 PM EST
    They do not call me Cassandra for nothing.

    I only hope you (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by ruffian on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    didn't wake up after 3 hours sleep and call yourself Cassandra.

    IIRC That Idea Worked Real Well In 04 (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:47:54 AM EST
    Voters were going to suddenly GET IT and vote for Kerry because of the ecomomy and health care. There was no way voters would vote for Bush. How did that work again?

    Re: IIRC That Idea Worked Real Well In 04 (none / 0) (#139)
    by Artoo on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:54:28 AM EST
    Slightly different this time around: McCain backs the standing policy on an extremely unpopular war and is not an incumbent.

    McCain (none / 0) (#171)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:34:17 PM EST
    Beat Bush in 2000 in Michigan.

    People there like him.


    If it'll help (none / 0) (#126)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:46:08 AM EST
    I'll post my absentee ballot when I get it and show my refusal to vote for the Dem nominee. Dean's been saying the same thing as you since last summer. It's why they felt free to disenfranchise every Dem voter in Florida and Michigan. Apparently the only way Dean and you will understand that you don't play with the right of people to vote, is to actually lose the election.

    Don't take voters for granted.


    since your candidate doesn't have (none / 0) (#204)
    by hellothere on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:39:21 PM EST
    a real health care plan for the american public that will work, then you have a problem. he also plans on letting the insurance companies to the table first. you must think all of are bitter and stupid. what is obama going to do about gas prices? nothing is my guess except tell us to cut down on heating and driving. carter tried that and it didn't work well. good luck with all that

    Holding a grudge? (5.00 / 6) (#86)
    by Emma on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:29:05 AM EST
    What flabbergasts me is the apparent assumption that once Clinton is gone, Obama will be campaigning in a vacuum.  No opponents.  No press.  No voters with memories.  He'll be all by himself in November, free to sell his message of hope and unity without real opposition or pushback.  Because, after all, Clinton will be gone.

    Will MI and FL voters hold a grudge?  I don't know.  But the REPUBLICANS will do everything they can to encourage them to do so.  The REPUBLICANS will run attack ads about Obama needing to disenfranchise MI and FL voters in order to get the nomination.  It will get very, very ugly in MI given that the wedge issue in the last election was a Constitutional amendment banning affirmative action in MI.  You think Republicans are going to abandon that wedge?  I don't.

    If Obama is nominated, he will face an opponent in Nov.  And that opponent has every reason to foment anger and unrest in MI and FL voters and encourage them to vote for the party that counts their votes.


    One thing is that you have to understand (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Florida Resident on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:29:08 AM EST
    that resolved is a relative term..  If it's done after the fact and the Fl voters perceive that they are being taken for granted you'd be surprised as to how long they can keep a resentment.  If the DNC and Obama are counting on forgive and forget they are gambling with the Nation's future.  

    You're kidding, right?? (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:25:23 AM EST
    There is no good reason for Obama to make this a big issue.  
    No, no good reason at all. It's perfectly fine for a candidate who claims to have been a fighter for civil rights to disenfranchise the voters of two states for his own convenience. And just when would he plan to seat the delegates?? After the vote? You do know that the pledged delegates aren't actually required to vote the pledge, don't you?? And that many of the early caucuses and primaries took place before a lot of the facts came out about Obama? Obama is running scared, despite Oregon, and he can't take the chance that the votes in MI and FL would be a landslide for Hillary. So he will continue to support their disenfranchisement until it won't do him any harm. Like after the votes at the convention. It's not being seated that matters to us, it's having our votes count. Get it?? If so, please explain it to Obama. Someone needs to.  

    Politics is about perception (none / 0) (#163)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:13:14 PM EST
    Obama must convince the country he values the delegations from every state. FL & MI are important states, and people in every state are watching this.

    He's of the belief he has successfully set the perception that Senator Clinton's stand on FL & MI is part of her "will do anything to win" strategy, and that HE won't do that to them.

    I think Obama has already crossed the line and can't convince everyone that he didn't purposely leave them out for his own personal gains.


    Hillary's post-SC shift (1.00 / 2) (#144)
    by libertarianforobama on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:57:40 AM EST
    is well documented. Prior to SC Hillary claimed that MT and FL "don't count for anything" which I never see mentioned at this site or in most stories in the MSM regarding this issue. I can see how seating some MT and FL delegates would be good for the Dems, but many commentors here seem to see these delegates as key to helping Hillary win the nomination. Why don't talklefters blame Hillary for MT and FL not being seated when she was partly responsible for it in the first place?

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#154)
    by dws3665 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:08:41 PM EST
    The people responsible for "it" (the original decision) are the DNC, not the candidates. You are simply trying to muddy the issue. At no time did Hillary support FL and MI having no say in the nominating process.

    And MT is Montana, not Michigan (MI).


    Why don't you address the post? (none / 0) (#155)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:09:07 PM EST
    I thought I did address the post. (none / 0) (#172)
    by libertarianforobama on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:35:09 PM EST
    You're calling for Obama to fight to seat the cheating states (which I agree with) but Hillary and her supporters are acting as if she never agreed to the rules. If she had fought for MT and FL before the primaries then it would have been much more meaningful. At the least she could have strongly objected to the DNC's decision, which would have looked much better than switching after SC.

    If Hillary conceded now, then Democrats could get on with appeasing MT and FL.


    She didn't agree to anything. It was not in her (none / 0) (#184)
    by leis on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:54:28 PM EST
    power to block the DNC's decision. She AGREED to not campaign in those states. And in an 10/07 article in the New York Times she explains:

    Mrs. Clinton's advisers said it would be foolish to rebuff an important swing state, especially since doing so could alienate Democratic-leaning independents who could be favoring her. But she is also taking a risk that staying in Michigan will not hurt her in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Those states, all sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee to vote first, forced the Democratic candidates to sign a pledge not to campaign in Michigan and Florida. Clinton advisers said that even though she was staying in the Michigan race, she would not campaign there.

    If I had any idea how to link to the article I would, but something tells me you wouldn't read it anyway.


    I concede the point. (none / 0) (#192)
    by libertarianforobama on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:13:19 PM EST
    She argued slightly to seat MI and FL before SC. She didn't make it a key platform of her campaign until she was losing. If she wants the Dems to win in November she should quit acting as if MI and FL have been hurt mightily by Obama (who will be our candidate) and start acting in the interest of the Dems.

    See her press release of 1/25 (none / 0) (#174)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:36:19 PM EST
    BEFORE the Florida vote.

    But funny you don't see THAT in the MSM.


    Sorry, I wasn't very clear (none / 0) (#186)
    by libertarianforobama on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:57:19 PM EST
    when I said "before the primaries" I didn't mean before FL, I meant before Iowa... well before. On 1/25 Obama looked like the sure winner of SC the day later, so Hillary looked to be trying to put more states in play (especially where only she was on the ballot). I still think that a compromise in MI and FL should be reached, but not before Hillary concedes the race.

    You are missing the bigger point (none / 0) (#195)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:26:56 PM EST
    It doesn't matter if Hillary is doing this now to score political points.

    What matters now, and to voters, is that her argument is the only morally and ethically right one.  Voters don't give a dam* about DNC rules.  They only know that record numbers of them turned out (even if they thought they wouldn't count, BTW, so THAT has to tell you something) to vote.  They saw what happened to Al Gore in 2000.

    They want their votes to count - no matter who it helps and who it hurts.

    This is Hillary's argument.  It is the only correct argument.  Obama doesn't have a leg to stand on here and he only makes himself look afraid and foolish.


    seating delegate as is (none / 0) (#37)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:09:39 AM EST
    While I absolutely agree that Florida and Michigan should be represented at the convention, I think that seating 100% of the delegates is bad for the democratic party. If the states go completely unpunished (e.g., 50% representation), that what's to stop other states from pushing up their contests to Dec in 2011?

    I would have no problem (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by madamab on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:13:09 AM EST
    with a 50% delegate penalty. That was the original rule.

    The popular vote must be fully counted, however.


    Honestly? (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Emma on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:16:58 AM EST
    Who really gives a d*mn if the states schedule their 2012 primaries for Nov. 6, 2008?  At a certain point, there is simply no point in "going first" b/c you've exposed the lie about how exceedingly important and indispensable your 10,000 caucus or 35,000 primary voters in your tiny predominantly white state are.  Move your primary/caucus too far back, you're as irrelevant as if you hold it in July.

    Who CARES when states hold their primaries?  Honestly WHY DOES IT MATTER????  Can you seriously explain to me why it matters so much? LET Iowa go in November 2008, January, 2009, or December, 2011.   Let states schedule themselves into irrelevancy.  Eventually everybody will figure out a better way to do it that doesn't involve the DNC crying chicken little and micromanaging everything to produce a fecking show pony for a false-front convention in the deluded belief that that's the only way to win an election.  Memo to the DNC:  it hasn't worked yet!!


    This issue is a huge power play (none / 0) (#85)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:28:58 AM EST
    issue among the states. I think it's very important when states vote- things should be ordered and spaced out in such a way that candidates have time to campaign and such that voters from all different parts of the country are heard.

    Mosr importantly, if these rules are broken without consequences, others that we now take for granted will be ignored as well. I think we can sometimes underestimate the importance of order in the electoral process (not that things are anywhere near perfect now).


    Consequences (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:37:07 AM EST
    Only this punishment focused on the people who DO NOT control the primary schedule. Consequences only work if directed at those who took the offending actions. Otherwise you actually exacerbate the problem.

    For starters (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by herb the verb on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    Who cares when states move their primaries now that it is widely acknowledged we need to change the whole nominating process to something more rational and representative?

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:24:23 AM EST
    that some changes to the process may be in order (in particular, letting the same states go first all of the time). But, if there's a precedent for ignoring DNC rules without consequences, why wouldn't future rules that may be more appropriate also be broken?

    And what happens (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:39:29 PM EST
    if in 2012, Republican legislature (like in Florida) move up the primary date because they can?

    So the DNC is once again saying "Thank you sir, may I have another?"

    Republicans aren't stupid, much as the DNC and Obama's supporters would have you believe.


    Ah yes (5.00 / 6) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:22:29 AM EST
    The Altar of the DNC Primary calendar.

    The whole system needs to be blown up. This hopefully will help.


    From your lips (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Emma on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:33:38 AM EST
    to Sen. Levin's ears.  ;)

    Levin keeps trying! (none / 0) (#177)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:40:35 PM EST
    He's been after the DNC for 7 years now (almost 8), but since they keep blowing him off, this is what we get.  



    And hopefully, a big loss in November (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by felizarte on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:34:43 AM EST
    if they don't start getting any sense before, will drive home the lesson clearly.  They can have their pre-ordained scenario play out with Obama as the nominee.  And when they have reconstituted the Democratic party into a party that knows what's good for its members, I will be able to re-register as a democrat.

    Do you think Dems should be punished (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Joan in VA on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:36:59 AM EST
    for Repub scheming? I don't.

    The party is punishing its members' votes (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by felizarte on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:39:46 AM EST
    The party is demonstrating its inability to contend and not allow itself to be hurt by republican trickery.

    Repubs were also punished, (none / 0) (#117)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:40:43 AM EST
    at least in Florida (50%).

    They were the ones that changed (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Joan in VA on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:56:15 AM EST
    the date so that's on them. Doesn't change the fact that the Dems couldn't comply with Dem date through no fault of their own so they shouldn't have been punished.

    And it worked out well for them (none / 0) (#191)
    by K Lynne on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:07:06 PM EST
    FL ended up being kingmakers for the Republicans this year, even if their delegates were cut 50%.  It was FL that pushed Giuliani out of the race and gave McCain the big push...

    Don't (none / 0) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:16:39 AM EST
    you think they've been punished enough. The correct punishment would have been to strip them of half their delegates when they broke the "rules". Now, since this thing has drug on and their votes in a general election are in doubt, they should be fully reinstated.

    It's unfortunate (none / 0) (#64)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:22:15 AM EST
    that things have dragged on. However, there must be some consequences, otherwise there won't order. States have been trying to defy the DNC and move themselves up in the schedule for years. If it is clear that they can do this with impunity, things will be very tough for the Democratic party going forward.

    I tell what will be tough for Dems (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:23:02 AM EST
    losing the Presidency in November.

    Impunity? (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:35:48 AM EST
    The states got absolutely no media attention, candidate appearances, or clout as a result of moving the elections up.  They have already suffered the punishment.

    If all the states wanted was to have a delegation seated at the end of the day, they would have had no  reason to move the primaries up in the first place!  They wanted increased clout and revenue, they have already been denied it, and reversing the penalty will not make that fact go away.

    I guess, yeah, every state would be encouraged to break the rules next time so they can have a primary where no candidates campaign and the media doesn't cover their state at all.


    I agree that (none / 0) (#114)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:39:34 AM EST
    things haven't worked out so well for the offending states. Keep some penalty in place, and states will be further discouraged from following this path in the future.

    At the same time, the DNC should do a better job of sharing the wealth to help avoid this problem.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Steve M on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:05:31 PM EST
    You know what would have discouraged states from breaking the rules?  Penalizing New Hampshire for breaking the rules!

    The states continue to see that there is one set of rules for Iowa and New Hampshire, and another set for everyone else.  This just encourages further acts of civil disobedience like we saw this year.

    When New Hampshire can't even abide by the compromise rules that were agreed to this year, which would have had them going third rather than second, and there's no penalty whatsoever, everyone knows that they'll just do as they please again and again.  It's a joke of a system if we only care about sending a message to 48 states and the other 2 can run roughshod over the process.


    Good point (none / 0) (#165)
    by ricky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:15:49 PM EST
    The rules should be uniform. Still doesn't negate the fact that there should be a penalty system.

    Consequences? Exactly! (5.00 / 0) (#106)
    by felizarte on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:37:42 AM EST
    but on the Democrratic Party mostly for allowing this absurdly flawed system to continue.  November is not far off.

    The millions (none / 0) (#132)
    by americanincanada on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:48:28 AM EST
    each economically devastated state lost in campaign dollars spent should be punishment enough.

    What stops them now? (none / 0) (#92)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:32:32 AM EST
    Seriously, do you think the DNC RBC will repeat this mistake?

    But the appeal by Ausman only asks for 50% seating of delegates. I think they want all the delegates seated but with only 1/2 vote each. The SDs would all be seated but get their full vote.


    Ausman's argument (none / 0) (#180)
    by cmugirl on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:45:57 PM EST
    is that the Rulz don't allow for the halving of Super D's.  The rule says something like unpledged delegates "SHALL" be seated at the convention (as opposed to "MAY" - a lovely reminder of law school for all the lawyers out there).

    Ausman's interpretation is that there is no room for the DNC to even consider halving the SD's.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#57)
    by Lahdee on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:20:37 AM EST
    someone from the St. Pete Times will ask him for clarification on his position. What would it take for the FL delegation to be seated?
    Followed up by, what do you think the impact will be if they are not seated prior to a candidate securing the nomination? Does it matter regardless of the timing?

    Perhaps The Florida Papers Will Report That (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:31:15 AM EST
    Obama's events will have the added attraction of protesters demanding that their votes be counted.



    BTD... (none / 0) (#127)
    by mike in dc on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:46:22 AM EST
    ...are you opposed to:
    1. the RBC imposing any penalty whatsoever, even if it's only imposed on the FL and MI supers?
    2. the RBC formally assigning any of the uncommitted Michigan pledged delegates to Obama?

    All I want out of any RBC decision is for Obama to be awarded some of the uncommitteds out of Michigan, at least 70% of them.  

    Any decision which gives him nothing out of Michigan while giving Clinton all of her FL and MI pledged and supers will be seen as illegitimate by the majority of Obama supporters.

    This is NOT a minor issue for them.

    And don't tell me the state party process in MI will take care of the problem.  It became apparent that wouldn't be true after the first part of the selection process there.

    I would be fine if (none / 0) (#146)
    by herb the verb on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:01:47 PM EST
    We go back to the original rules penalty. Michigan and Florida are each penalized half. Obama gets zero Florida delegates for running television ads there before the primary. Obama gets some reasonable percentage (even 90%) of the Michigan uncommited delegates.

    The Rulz are the Rulz, he should feel grateful to get some of the Michigan uncommiteds!


    I am in favor of Obama (none / 0) (#156)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:10:08 PM EST
    fighting for Florida and Michigan.

    Could you be a little more specific... (none / 0) (#169)
    by mike in dc on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:32:54 PM EST
    ...as to the specific details of an acceptable ruling coming out of the RBC, or the range of outcomes you would see as fair and equitable both to the voters and to the candidates?

    50% penalty is fine (none / 0) (#161)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:12:35 PM EST
    I believe that's what the roolz call for.  

    If I understand correctly, the MI delegates have been selected and Obama got most of the "uncommitted" ones.  As far as I am concerned, he can exchange those for "pledged" delegates as soon as he gives back the delegates he stole in Texas and Nevada.


    I like the argument (none / 0) (#149)
    by mg7505 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:05:24 PM EST
    about Obama not being able to stand up to Brazile, Dean et al -- bodes very badly for an Obama presidency. Instead of Cheney the invisible puppeteer pulling the strings unilaterally, we'll have highly visible bickering between the folks who control Obama, and nothing will get done. Voters are going to see the Dems' true faults -- not lack of ideas or talent, but endless bickering, disorganization, selfishness and cowardice. And then of course Republicans will blame the national mess on gays, women, minorities, etc. And from 2012 until 2020 we'll have a Republican in office. All this assuming that Obama can even win this November.

    Obama's GE strategy? (none / 0) (#185)
    by waldenpond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:55:26 PM EST
    His only remembered accomplishment has been GOTV as a community organizer.  His primary strategy has been GOTV, it appears his GE strategy will be the same.

    [For Obama, enlarging the pool of voters who turn out in November is crucial. Not only will he face stiff competition from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who appeals to independents and conservative Democrats, but he has had trouble winning support in the primaries from lower-income white voters, Catholics, Latinos and Jews, which are potentially decisive groups in several of the big battleground states.....

    Showing that he has a plan to compete in Florida also addresses a shorter-term concern, as Obama still must win undecided party insiders, or "superdelegates," in order to clinch the nomination.....

    To broaden his base in such states, Obama strategists are scouring consumer marketing data for young people, women, African Americans and other liberal-leaning potential supporters who can be added to the voter rolls......

    In the fall, the campaign will target high school seniors, many of whom will be 18 by election day, and will work to ensure that college students are properly registered so they can vote while at school.....

    Volunteers with clipboards are being instructed to target black and Latino churches for voter registration. Also on the Obama list are registered voters who have a history of not turning out, with a special emphasis on under-40 Republicans and female Republicans. That is territory sought in 2004 by President Bush's reelection campaign, but strategists believe McCain will not have the same appeal.....

    Obama strategists hope that finding new voters can make up for any lasting deficits in Florida.]

    Interesting article.

    FL and MI will be "counted" anyway (none / 0) (#189)
    by zebedee on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    ..despite whatever is decided on May 31. There are 3 scenarios

    1. The credentials committee agrees to let the votes stand as is or order a revote (I assume despite so called calendars there is time for this) then Hillary and, more imporatntly, the FL/MI votes, will be happy. SO FL and MI count fully.

    2. May 31 doesn't fully count FL and MI but Obama has such a big lead in delegates and popular vote that it wouldn't matter anyway. In which case Hillary has no case to make. FL and MI can't claim their votes didn't count as counting them wouldn't have made any difference. They will still feel aggrieved, though, which is BTD's point here.

    3. May 31 doesn't fully count FL/MI but Obama's eventual delegate lead (pledged+SDs) is small enough thst HRC would have been the nominee counting FL and MI fully. This is the killer scenario. No way should HRC accept this and, even if she does, enough of her supporters will feel the election was stolen and refuse to vote for Obama. Not to mention that FL and MI voters will be enraged even more that their votes would have made the difference but were excluded. There is no satisfactory outcome for the Dems with this scenario.

    So any thought that FL and MI can be anything but fully couunted is wishful thinking.

    And I suspect FL and MI voters would find any gesture by Obama to pretend to be fully counting their votes only AFTER he has wrapped up the nomination an insult to their intelligence.

    Last night on CNN (none / 0) (#193)
    by Redstar on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:22:27 PM EST
    The white woman who moderated their debate who is always on, she asked one of the panels why - if Obama is so assured of the nomination - he doesn't do exactly this, i.e., enfranchise FL/MI.  And Jamal what's his name, the Obama supporter, said, and I paraphrase, that this would renew the competition b/w the 2 candidates.

    Which obviously is BAD, because the CONTEST is so OVER.  Right.

    And this is the fighter I want representing me in the White House???

    FL & MI will get 1/2 vote (none / 0) (#198)
    by ibextati on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:30:31 PM EST
    That's what GOP did to punish FL and MI. Why would DNC not punish those states for breaking the rule? Seating all FL and MI delegates with full representation is not fair for the other 48 states who followed the rule.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#203)
    by coigue on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:37:16 PM EST
    but the initial idea was to take away ALL their delegates...which is heavy-handed and brutish.

    Donna Brazile talks to Rove (none / 0) (#202)
    by lily15 on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:37:12 PM EST
    Apparently she is friendly with Rove.  Wonder how much she gets paid per year and from whom?  Donna is well paid...as are many of the Democratic elites.  So let's have a little transparency from all these people...and see where their real interests lie.  
    Bob Somerby at DailyHowler.com wrote a blistering piece about Shrum and the Democratic elites who never fight.  We must start asking why.  We must question the DNC and all the elites for pushing a candidate who loses all the major states and 5 of the last 7 primaries.  Something is up.  Democrats might be throwing the election on purpose...why else would they not seat Florida and Michigan if Obama has the nomination sewn up?  This doesn't make sense.  And no matter how much money Obama has and spends,he can't convince the working class white voter to vote for him.  And Hillary is not running a campaign like the GOP would.  

    in her(brazile) dreams she is buddies w/rove. (none / 0) (#205)
    by hellothere on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:43:38 PM EST
    he listens, makes notes and says atta girl. if she is dumb enough to think he is her friend then she just might wreck this election also. oh that's right, she already has!

    BTD - your Obama does not exist (none / 0) (#207)
    by LCaution on Wed May 21, 2008 at 07:27:51 PM EST
    You seem to believe that some outside force is causing Obama to make "bad" decisions.  The only force involved is his own ambition.

    1.  This is exactly how he won his seat in Illinois - using the "rules" to kick his competitors off the primary ballot. (Chicago Tribune 4/4/07, http://tinyurl.com/3leuum).

    2. He took his name off the Michigan ballot not because of the rules (they did not require it), but because he knew that he would probably lose the state and that it would be better for none of the candidates to get any votes than for him to lose.  A pure political decision.

    3. He could have, at any time during the past months. argued that the two states should be included.  He didn't.

    4. He refused to help fund a revote, although he had the money, and Hillary was willing to take her chances in both states.  

    Obama cares only about winning and his attitude toward the voters in Florida and Michigan is equivalent to Cheney's "so" when asked to comment on the fact that most Americans now oppose the war in Iraq.

    This is not a matter of a stupid decision but a question of character.  Would Hillary have acted similarly if their positions were reversed?  I hope not, but I don't know.  What we do know is how Obama has acted.

    You seem to believe that somewhere under this public Obama, there is the "real" Obama, the one who cares about democracy, the one who cares about unity, the one who cares about the working class. You are, I am afraid, imputing qualities to him for which there is precious little evidence.

    Michigan and Florida counts? (none / 0) (#208)
    by vrusimov on Thu May 22, 2008 at 04:08:35 AM EST
    On September 1, 2007, Clinton had signed a pledge agreeing not to "campaign or participate" in Michigan.[18] On January 25, 2008, Senator Clinton advocated seating the Michigan and Florida's delegates[19][20] despite the DNC ban.

    On March 13, 2008, NPR interviewed Clinton, reporting:

    Hillary Clinton says the results [in Michigan] should count, even if Barack Obama's name did not appear on the ballot. "That was his choice... There was no rule or requirement that he take his name off the ballot. His supporters ran a very aggressive campaign to try to get people to vote uncommitted."... Clinton [says] that the Michigan and Florida pledged delegates should count because both are seen as key battleground states in the general election. But if the national party does not agree, she says, the states should re-do the primaries.[23]

    When pressed by NPR, Clinton said "We all had a choice as to whether or not to participate in what was going to be a primary, and most people took their name off the ballot but I didn't."[23] Critics have labeled Clinton's actions as dishonest, and charged her with trying retroactively to change the rules for her own benefit.[24][25][26]
    On September 7, 2007 Clinton pledges not to campaign or "participate" in the Michigan primary.

    On March 13, 2008 "we all had a CHOICE to participate"

    If this is'nt dishonest then i don't know what is...this is'nt the first time that Clinton has taken advantage of the perceived ignorance of voters, especially given the scope of the internet in divulging enunciations from the past, including the Bosnia flap, which her husband flubbed horrendously.

    Perhaps this is one of reasons for her trustworthiness problem among Democrats.

    NHPR's Laura Knoy: "So, if you value the DNC calendar, why not just pull out of Michigan? Why not just say, Hey Michigan, I'm off the ballot?"

    Hillary Clinton: "Well, you know, It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything"


    Very hard to explain away the comments above or the comments here by Clinton herself:


    spoken with fairness and acknowledgement of her previous pledge until her inevitability vanished in South Carolina...it seems clear that Hillary was of the opinion that she would'nt need Michigan anyway.

    National polling indicated that by Feb 5th the contest would simply be over and Michigan would be irrelevant...her campaign was prepared for a coronation, not the dogfight that began with Iowa...after each crisis: South Carolina, Super Tuesday, Obama's 11, North Carolina and now Oregon, Clinton has resorted to raising the MI/FL issue...

    A primary where the single viable candidate competes against herself strains credibility regardless if the Michigan Democratic Party urged supporters of Richardson, Biden, Edwards and Obama to vote uncommitted so their votes would count...

    why Richardson, Biden, Edwards, and Obama elected to remove their names (in deference to Iowa and New Hampshire) is less important than why Clinton kept hers on with the caveat that Michigan "won't count for anything".

    "It's clear: This election they're having is not going to count for anything. I personally did not think it made any difference whether or not my name was on the ballot," she said.---10/11/2007


    She figured she was inevitable.

    This is true, and it's also true that in November Michigan and Florida will be important states whose voters should be given consideration and not be offended, which is the moral claim that Clinton has used to justify her arguments. But it's odd that it didn't occur to the Clinton team to dispute the RBC's treatment of the two states until after she saw she wasn't invincible, rather than in August 2007.

    Leaders in both states were warned repeatedly that continued defiance of the DNC could result in at least 50 percent or even 100 percent of any delegates awarded from a primary held in violation of the calendar being "stripped," i.e., excluded from voting at the convention. Not quite believing that the DNC would follow through, neither budged. Then, on August 25, 2007, the RBC found Florida in noncompliance of its rules. The state was given thirty days to amend its decision, but again did nothing. Since other states were at the time angling to get in on the early voting--you may recall that Iowa and New Hampshire threatened to move theirs to December 2007 in order to remain first--the RBC decided to make an example of Florida. It ruled that all its elected delegates would be voided. The vote of the thirty-member committee had only one dissent.[3] Florida could go ahead with a primary if it wished, but its voting would constitute a mere "beauty contest"; as far as the DNC was concerned, it would be as if the Florida primary didn't exist. Florida sued in a federal court and lost. The same process ensued later with respect to Michigan.