Friday, April 04, 2008

 

The Dem mess in Michigan and Florida

Well with a re-vote in Michigan now officially dead, all of us must ponder how the Democratic party will seat the Michigan and Florida delegations. Florida is a little more clear cut in my mind (an issue I'll address in a later post), so I'm going to concentrate on Michigan. As you may or may not have known, Michigan violated DNC rules and moved its primary before the allowed date of February 5th. The DNC punished Michigan by removing all of its delegates... and all the candidate promised not to campaign there. Barack Obama (along with other candidates (Biden, Richardson, and Edwards)) decided to also remove their name from the ballot. Now, this meant that Clinton appeared on the ballot with Uncommitted standing in the place of the candidates not on the ballot. Clinton won 55% of the vote, while Uncommitted won 40%. Further, there are a ton of people who didn't vote because they thought their vote wouldn't count (remember no delegates and no campaigning.... some estimates say more than a million people felt this way). The Democrats were hoping that by the time Democratic National Convention would come around that the nomination would be clinched by a candidate and that the delegates from Michigan would be assigned as voted upon. The problem of course is that the nomination is still very much in the air. Now, the Democrats know they must seat the Michigan delegation in some form (if they don't, Republicans would run with the storyline "Democrats don't want to count votes... yada, yada" in an state that the Democratic nominee must win in November). So, the issue is how do they seat them? Obama wants 50/50... Clinton of course wants the results from the primary to stand (a nice pickup of at least 18 delegates for her). Obama claims that nobody campaigned... his name wasn't on the ballot etc. Clinton claims that it was Obama who took his name off the ballot. Further, his people stood in the way of a possible re-vote in a new primary to be scheduled in June in which all the candidates would be on the ballot and campaign. Finally, Democrats must listen to the "will of the people" or else Republicans will make light.

So, what is the solution? To me personally, 50/50 won't fly, nor will counting the primary as is. I don't know what the spread would have been if Obama and Edwards were on the ballot. It might have been higher or lower higher than 15%. There is no doubt that Obama would have closed the gap if he had campaigned in the state. There has gotta be a solution in here that listens to the voters who voted, but is fair to Obama. To me the answer is that all the delegates are alloted, but they only get 1/2 vote each. Further, Obama gets all the uncommitted delegates. Now, I know that isn't perfect. And Obama folks are probably going to argue (I don't know why they would... I mean this pretty much guarantees that Clinton can't win the pledged delegate count.)... but this is making the best out of a bad situation.

Let this be a lesson that breaking the rules really does screw up life.

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