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Michigan Dems Want Delegates Seated

By Peter Slevin
CHICAGO -- The Michigan delegation to the Democratic National Convention deserves to be seated with full voting rights, state party leaders said in a letter Thursday to the Democratic rules committee, which meets Saturday to decide the fate of disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida.

Democratic National Committee lawyers have concluded that Michigan's delegates should be granted no more than half their usual voting rights because the state broke party rules when it moved up its primary.

But Michigan's "Gang of Four" argues that such an outcome would be unfair to Michigan voters and would pose a risk to Democrats in November.

"To penalize Michigan would legitimize the selective enforcement of our party rules, would fly in the face of the statements of both candidates, and would jeopardize our chances of carrying Michigan and winning the Presidency," the leaders wrote. "For all of these reasons, we must insist on Michigan's full delegation being seated at the Democratic National Convention with full voting rights."

The letter to Democratic chairman Howard Dean and the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee was signed by Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger and DNC member Debbie Dingell.

In an effort to win attention for Michigan, the state leadership moved its primary to Jan. 15 from Feb. 9, leapfrogging other states and prompting the rules committee to declare that delegates chosen that day would not be seated in Denver. The "selective enforcement" claim arises from the Michigan leaders's argument that they changed dates only after New Hampshire violated the rules by moving up the Granite State primary.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the Michigan vote in an October radio interview. She said, "It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything." Sen. Barack Obama and several other Democrats removed their names. No Democrat campaigned in the state.

On Jan. 15, Clinton won 55 percent of the vote, while "Uncommitted" registered 40 percent.

Clinton has argued long and hard that she deserves 55 percent of the delegates and a like share of the popular vote, while Obama contends that he followed party rules and should not be penalized.

Michigan's Democratic executive committee is backing a compromise that would create a 54 to 46 percent split, awarding 69 delegates to Clinton and 59 to Obama. The Obama camp, after first calling for an even split, has supported that view.

***

May 22, 2008
Honorable Alexis Herman
Mr. James Roosevelt, Jr.
Co-Chairs, Rules and Bylaws Committee
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Co-Chairs Herman and Roosevelt:

We are writing to urge the Rules and Bylaws Committee to support the request of the Michigan Democratic Party that the entire 157-member Michigan delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention be seated with full voting strength.

The members of the Rules and Bylaws Committee are familiar with the sequence of events that have brought us to the present situation.

As a result of the hard-fought deliberations and recommendations of the Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling, in August of 2006 the Democratic National Committee adopted a new rule on sequencing presidential primaries and caucuses. Under this rule, the so-called pre-window states could each hold their presidential primary or caucus in January 2008, with the rest of the states following in February or later. The rule dictated that the pre-window states hold their primaries in a specific order -- with New Hampshire coming third -- and no earlier than designated dates between January 14 and 29.

While Michigan Democrats were disappointed that our state was not selected for one of the pre-window contests, we appreciated the new rule for adding a bit of much-needed diversity to the early nominating process, and as a first step toward breaking the Iowa-New Hampshire lock on the process. We notified the DNC that we would abide by the new calendar and its sequence provided that other states did the same. To be clear - the key issue which the new rule resolved was the sequence of the pre-window states, not just the number of pre-window states.

But at a press conference in Dover, New Hampshire last August 9, the New Hampshire Secretary of State indicated he was going to schedule his state's primary before the date specified in the DNC rule, clearly defying the sequence and timing the Rules and Bylaws Committee had set. Michigan Democratic leaders wrote to Governor Dean asking if the DNC intended to enforce the rule against New Hampshire, but the DNC refused to act or even to answer our letters for months.

The Democratic National Committee then proceeded to selectively enforce its calendar rule. On December 3, the Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to give New Hampshire a waiver to move from third to second place in the sequence. Michigan requested a waiver and was denied. When the Rules and Bylaws Committee itself decided not to follow its own newly adopted, hard-fought for rules and granted a waiver to New Hampshire, it set the stage for the present situation.

How do we move forward and put all of our energy into winning the White House in November? We all agree that winning Michigan is crucial to that goal.

At the request of the Governor of Michigan, the four of us have worked to find a solution for many months. We looked at a number of options to "redo" Michigan's primary vote, including a privately-funded state-run primary; a party-run primary; and even a vote-by-mail primary. We had extensive discussions with the Clinton and Obama campaign organizations and with the DNC staff in the course of considering these options. Unfortunately, for differing reasons, none of the "redo" options came to pass.

So we developed the following settlement recommendation to the Michigan Democratic Party.
The Clinton campaign has taken the position that the results of Michigan's January 15 primary should be honored and that Senator Clinton should receive 73 pledged delegates in accordance with the vote she received. The Obama campaign has taken the position that the January 15 primary results should be ignored and that Michigan's 128 pledged delegates should be seated but evenly divided 64/64 between the two candidates.

Both candidates have a basis for their argument. The January 15 primary result was flawed because Senator Obama took his name off the ballot. He interpreted the DNC injunction and his pledge to New Hampshire that he would not campaign in Michigan to require him to take that affirmative step. As a result, we did not totally agree with the Clinton campaign's position that the pledged delegates should be apportioned 73/55 (Clinton/Obama) in strict accordance with the outcome of the primary.

At the same time, we also did not accept the position of the Obama campaign that the primary should be totally ignored and the pledged delegates should be evenly apportioned 64/64 between the two candidates, given the fact that almost 600,000 Democrats voted in the January 15 primary, 55% of whom voted for Senator Clinton and 45% of whom voted for Uncommitted or other candidates.

As a result, we recommended to the Michigan Democratic Party that the pledged delegates be apportioned 69 to Senator Clinton and 59 to Senator Obama. That approach splits the difference between the 73/55 position of the Clinton campaign and the 64/64 position of the Obama campaign. Our recommendation was based on our belief that both candidates have legitimate arguments about the Michigan primary.

This 69/59 approach was overwhelmingly adopted by the Executive Committee of the Michigan Democratic Party - which like the Rules and Bylaws Committee has members who are strong advocates for both candidates - as a position that can unify our party and put this issue behind us.

To that end, both of our presidential candidates have made clear that they want Michigan's delegates to be seated without penalty.

Senator Obama recently said, "If I am fortunate enough to be the Democratic nominee, I can guarantee you that the Michigan delegation will be seated and they'll have a full voice at the convention." Senator Clinton said just this week, "If we care about winning [Michigan and Florida] in November, we need to count your votes now. If Democrats send the message that we don't fully value your votes, we know that Senator McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them."

Senator Clinton and Senator Obama understand that penalizing Michigan would needlessly and pointlessly wound their candidacy. If you vote to penalize Michigan, you will keep this issue alive, distracting from the real issues in the campaign. You would also be penalizing our candidates and our party, and ultimately our nation, because you would be weakening our nominee's chances of winning Michigan, a state that is critical to our winning the White House in November.

We believe that the Michigan Democratic Party's consensus proposal can unify our party and allow us to move forward. We urge the Rules and Bylaws Committee to adopt it. To penalize Michigan would legitimize the selective enforcement of our party rules, would fly in the face of the statements of both candidates, and would jeopardize our chances of carrying Michigan and winning the Presidency. For all of these reasons, we must insist on Michigan's full delegation being seated at the Democratic National Convention with full voting rights.

Sincerely,
Senator Carl Levin
Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger
DNC Member Debbie Dingell

cc: Members of the Rules and ByLaws Committee
Governor Howard Dean
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Barack Obama

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 29, 2008; 3:37 PM ET
Categories:  Primaries  
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Comments

Ok I am in and I am not lying yet, Hey that works.

Posted by: poppy pop | May 31, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I accept and you are my running mate poppy pop. We will tell the truth specially when we lie!

Posted by: poppypop | May 31, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I vote you poppypop

Posted by: poppy pop | May 31, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ok I am big enough to accept two of us I glad you are on board, who's next...

Posted by: poppypop | May 31, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Get a life they are all crooks and are trying to lie cheak and con you out of your money.

Posted by: poppy pop | May 31, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey this is a contest between two liars, and experience one and an amatuer. Let's have a lying off contest and may the best man, women, transgendered , freak, geek, nut case WIN LOL LOL LOL

Posted by: poppypop | May 31, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

What part of "the delegates will not be seated" was unclear for MI? The time to protest or avoid the sanction was before the primary. How hard is this to comprehend? How hard is it to understand that all of the candidates also understood and SUPPORTED this outcome last summer, Hillary Clinton included? 12 supporters of HRC on the DNC committee, ALL of them unanimously supported the sanction. Hillary HERSELF said at the time, "it does not count."

Now, the whining. Tell you what. Let's just skip the whole primary, causcus and convention process and give it to Clinton, cause you guys feel REALLY STRONGLY that the candidate you support is better, and to heck with the opinions of everyone else. Screw the rules right?

Oh, and for those Clinton supporters who are threatening to vote for McCain, you should be ashamed of yourselves. This is a fair and square outcome and you KNOW it. Supporting a candidate who would continue the horror show of the last eight years just because you can't face the reality of a loss... Well, support your team and all that, but this is pathetic -- clearly, no matter how fair the outcome, you cannot be appeased. Clinton and Obama are 6 of 1, a half dozen of the other policy-wise and you know it. The difference with McCain? How does an invasion of Iran sound? More first amendment violations? Court packing? Do you really need a picture? You deserve what you get. At least Republican supporters have the courage of their convictions to fall back on - we can respect that even if we don't agree. You? Well... It's the rest of this country and this planet I would sorry for if you behave as childishly, foolishly, and stupidly as you promise to. You should be ashamed of yourselves for even talking like this.

Posted by: pbin21 | May 30, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary had taken her name off the ballot like everybody else, the Michigan primary would have been moved up, Obama would have won, and its delegates would be seated.

Instead Michigan and Florida thought that this year was going to be another "me first" primary season, and chose to play Chicken with the DNC. "No delegates? Oh, well, it won't matter. Clinton's inevitable anyway, and we want to coronate her."

When a player charges an umpire, the umpire didn't throw him out, the player threw himself out.

The DNC didn't disenfranchise Michigan/Florida voters. Michigan and Florida disenfranchised their voters.

Posted by: Steve Charb | May 30, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Cut Hillary in half, and give each half of her, half of the MI and FL delegates.

All problems solved.

Posted by: Bill | May 30, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fine, penalize New Hampshire as well. Half the delegates, per the rules.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Have the citizens of Michigan and Florida received Equal Justice, under the DNC,R&BC's rulings? How many states broke the rules? How many of those were, were NOT, punished? Is there a LAW in Michigan concerning delegate allocation according to votes received? Were the elections in Michigan and Florida officially certified? Tomorrow,s meeting of the DNC,RBC will no doubt have a monumental effect on both the primary and the general elections. Heres hoping that the members of the Rules and Bylaws committee decide on whats best for all America. One for All, All for One.

Posted by: Jerry Mc | May 30, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, seating Michigan now is an exercise in party building and unity. As such, the formula must be based on a number of considerations.

One of these is certainly the vote in the 'beauty contest' primary. Others include the need to avoid a similar primary calendar meltdown in 2012. Perhaps the most important is to facilitate a graceful wind-down to this season's cycle.

To those of you who are worked up about the minutia of which votes count and who is to blame, I say "get a life".

The fact is that our primary system is incredibly byzantine. There is no one-person-one-vote principle underlying it. Nationwide, districts are given more or fewer delegates based on previous voting patterns. States are alloted more delegates if they're later in the season. And Puerto Rico, which gets no say whatsoever if the general election has 55 delegates!

We need to all take a deep breath and realize that this process is one of extended, intramural decision making. We're in the final stage now. Let it be.

Posted by: bill kapra | May 30, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

First of all, if Michigan is not penalized for "jumping the gun" with their primary, what's to stop other states from doing the same thing in the 2012 primary. Maybe Michigan should hold their primary for the 2012 presidential election next week. Then they could be ahead of all of the other states. And secondly, if America is seen sanctioning an election as 100 percent legitimate when only one of the candidate's names was on the ballot, we will become an even greater laughing stock in the world than we are already. This is a total embarrassment to the Democrats and to America.

Posted by: MARYA | May 30, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

As a Michigan Democrat, I find the whole situation preposterous.

Levin was at the heart of this enitre fiasco. He should be punished for indirectly disenfranchising the votes of millions of people.

At this point, however, it makes no difference, because even with the Michigan 69-59 split in delegates, Hillary still can't win against Obama. In the words of George Stpehanopolous in 1992, "it's mathematically impossible".

Furher as some people have suggested, it's completely even absurdly why-are-we-even-arguing-about-this unfair to give Hillbag 69 delegates according to 55% of the vote, when a) SHE broke the rules by having her name on there and b) Obama didn't break the rules and c) he didn't have his name on the ballot, so how could people have voted for him???? I am an Obama supporter, but his name was not on the ballot, so I couldn't vote for him.

What should have been done in FEBRUARY is that there should have been re-elections in each state. But Howard dumbass Dean forgot that this was politics and decided not to. Pretty incredible.

At this point, HRC doesn't deserve jack. BELIEVE ME, if it were the OTHER WAY AROUND, she would be doing everything she could to stop BHO from getting the nomination. EVERYTHING. Again, it's about no one but her, as her flawed, psycho campaign has more than made evident.

Posted by: Joe Bloggs | May 30, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Whatever colors he is, Obama surrounds himself with divisive, angry people and pretends to be shocked, shocked that they're saying what they always said.

This man is dangerous, and the people he'll bring with him are more dangerous.

He's unqualified, unprepared, has too much baggage in his radical friends and will lose the unlosable election.
--------------------------------------
As a Hillary supporter you have some nerve accusing Obama of surrounding himself with angry divisive people. Since the South Carolina primary, Pennsylvania primary, the West Virginia primary, and her ridiculous "Bobby Kennedy" remark in S.D., I can't find a person who's been more divisive than Hillary Clinton has been this campaign. Speaking of surrounding herself with divisive, angry, hate filled individuals, does Mark Penn and Bill Clinton ring a bell to you? Besides Hillary herself, those two obnoxious individuals are more responsible for the collapse of the Clinton Machine than anybody with their divisive, obnoxious remarks, and even more puzzling behavior. Throw in staunch Clinton Buttboy James Carville, who's publicly denounced any former Clinton supporter who threw their hat for Obama, and thrown them under the bus on every media publication he can find. Who are these divisive, radical, dangerous, baggage laden individuals you speak of? Please name them.

Jeremiah Wright - divisive but yet counseled Bill and Hillary Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky and Impeachment fiasco.

Mr. Ayers, well sorry, but they are not homies or friends, they are just neighbors who live in the same community and as I recall, Bill Clinton pardoned two members of his so-called anti-american bombing group during his last term while Hillary Clinton's brother Hugh Rodham was getting paid several hundred grand apeice for having the connection to get certain felons like them pardoned, or reduced sentences. You think Hillary didn't have any knowledge of this?

Tony Rezko, you mean the same Tony Rezko that was invited to the white house and took photos with Hillary and Bill Clinton during the mid 90's.

Who else? I mean I don't remember Obama having terrorist organizations support his senatorial campaign the way HRC did during her first senate run only to have to return the $50,000 she received. I don't remember Obama having his Chief of Staff negotiating trade deals with the Colombian govt, along with part of that 109 million dollars her and Bill earned in 7 years also coming from dealings with those same Colombians but publicly denouncing them as trade partners. Hypocrisy at it's best. Peter Paul campaign scandal that Hillary was smack dab in the middle of as being arguably one of the biggest campaign fraud cases in history. I'm still wondering why no major media organization has even made that a major topic. And of course her failed universal healthcare bid as First Lady because she alienated her own party and republicans and it fell flat. Sounds divisive to me. And of course she voted for this war and now says she didn't understand the intelligence reports and was misled. That kind of answer I'd expect from a boob like George Bush but from HRC, it doesn't fly. You can't change your mind after the fact that 4000+ people have been killed to suit your political ambitions. Baggage, I think the republicans would have more fun opening her 20+ years of luggage as compared to the light luggage Obama has.

Posted by: 2pacolypse | May 30, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I s

Posted by: JakeD | May 30, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The people of Michigan did not vote 46 percent in favor of Obama and of the 40% who voted Uncommitted, it is unknown how many actually supported Edwards or are truly uncommitted to any candidate.

If Obama wanted MI delegates, he would have left his name on the ballot and dealt with Iowa in a different way.
--------------------------------------------
Since again, looking at the letter, and seeing you still don't understand comprehension, MI an FL broke the rules. What part of that don't people understand. These rules were pointed out to both states in 2006. They had almost a two year heads up not to move their primaries up. The people their voters should be mad at are the Governors and party leaders of each state who deliberately and insubordinately signed off on it and had it moved up. What, have we as a nation decided that we don't have to follow rules anymore? I mean 7 years of George Bush has clearly demonstrated that rules and honor mean absolutely nothing in politics. Again, Obama was obiding by party rules along with Billary (until it became clear she desperately needed the delegates and now has flip flopped faster than John McCain to suit her) and John Edwards and anyone else who was running. ALL candidates agreed to this in the beginning so why now are we feeling the need to change the rules for Hillary? What Florida and MI voters need to do is remove their local elected officials from office who signed off on this and created this mess from the beginning. Since John Edwards has publicly supported Obama, why not his MI delegates be given to him? I agree with the 69/59 split in Michigan. As far as Florida goes, again nobody campaigned in Florida so again, split the delegates according to the margin of victory. But it these two states go unpunished and are allowed full representation at the convention, then the hypocrisy of rules will be let out of the bag and in 2012, every state will be allowed to move up primaries/caucases whenever they feel without punishment.

Posted by: 2PACOLYPSE | May 30, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Clinton has taken Kentucky and Obama is right there in Oregon.
The Democratic race for nomination is still very much alive - and most likely to be decided by superdelegates - as CNN points out clearly

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/20/primary.wrap/index.html

If you're tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to LobbyDelegates.com and push them to support Clinton or Obama

If you haven't done so yet, please write a message to each of your state's superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.com

Obama Supporters:

Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It's that easy...

Clinton Supporters too .... !

It takes a moment, but what's a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?! Those are really worth !

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It's that easy...

Posted by: feeba | May 30, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Truer words were never spoken here.I plan to copy and paste this and put it on every blog on the internet.....thanks


Whatever colors he is, Obama surrounds himself with divisive, angry people and pretends to be shocked, shocked that they're saying what they always said.

This man is dangerous, and the people he'll bring with him are more dangerous.

He's unqualified, unprepared, has too much baggage in his radical friends and will lose the unlosable election.

Hillary wasn't my first choice, but she sure is now. She's got grit, determination and a helluva lot of courage to keep going in the face of an Obama-adoring media who lost their critical faculties in the face of the rock star of Hope! and Change!

She's all that stands between us and the disaster of such a neophyte's presidency.

I -- and just about everyone I know -- plan to skip the Presidential column and just vote for local Democrats in November if Obama is the nominee.

Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi can't force this one down our throats. I'd rather suffer McCain than Obama's empty rhetoric and divisive associates.

Posted by: Franklin D. | May 29, 2008 11:50 PM
Posted by: | May 30, 2008 7:16 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Hillary supporters,please join us in November and vote Hillary or McCain.There are 17+ million of us that voted for Hillary,we can stop this empty suit from bringing his UCC brand of unity and patriotism to the white house.Vote Hillary or McCain.Pass it on.

Posted by: obamamama | May 30, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

You guys need to read the party rules.

Obama and Edwards removed their names from the Michigan ballot to appease the Iowans. That was not a DNC precedent. The directives to the candidates were not to campaign and no press conferences in the penalized states. However, Obama skirted that detail by talking to the press during a fund-raiser; days after the DNC told them NOT to do those things. When a Florida reporter called him on it, Obama said "Well, I will be sure not to do it again." Just by talking informally to the press Obama disqualified himself from any delegates in Florida. And by removing his name from Michigan VOLUNTARILY, he is not entitled to any votes their, either.

The people of Michigan did not vote 46 percent in favor of Obama and of the 40% who voted Uncommitted, it is unknown how many actually supported Edwards or are truly uncommitted to any candidate.

If Obama wanted MI delegates, he would have left his name on the ballot and dealt with Iowa in a different way.

Posted by: Michelle R | May 29, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat who voted in Texas, I think votes of voters should be counted. As I remember news articles, it is Obama that did not speak up for the voters votes to be counted or some sort of revote be done when it was offered for the voting to be paid for. Because the vote count is in his favor, he is not worried about Michigan voters votes being counted. Maybe, if he is the Nominee he will come to realize why it is important for the votes of all voters to be counted. Maybe, Michigan voters will decide to vote for the Republican Candidate in November. That is what the Democrats deserve if they can't be fair because Hillary Clinton is the one who has been speaking for the voters since early on. She didn't wait until late in the Campaigns to speak up as some people try to make it sound. There are those of us that will not vote for Obama because we think that the Media has elected him along with the influence of the Super Delegate endorsements. This Country needs another dose of reality--We haven't had enough already. Hillary Clinton is the Candidate this Country should be voting to be the President in November. I think she is the one that would have a very good chance of beating McCain. I am very doubtful of Obama. I know of a lot of people who will not vote for him and race is not the issue. We do not think that he is the right person to go to the White House in January and change some of the problems that this entire Country is being faced with. It's Hillary Clinton for me or I will vote for McCain if he choses the best running mate. Hillary Clinton 2008

Posted by: Rutha Larison | May 29, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

If they seat the entire delegation, which I hope they don't, then anything less than a 50/50 split is entirely unfair.

If they seat half the delegation, or seat them all and give them half-votes (same thing), then I could live with the 69/59 split.

For the integrity of future elections, and for the other states who adhered to the DNC calendar, both Florida and Michigan must face a penalty, regardless of the events that led us here.

No one can tell me the electorate of both states was not changed because the voters knew their states were going to be counted.

Personally, I don't see how the Clintons are in a position to demand anything. If the tables were turned, Obama would have been laughed off the stage weeks ago. They need to come to the table willing to compromise, and start telling the truth and sticking with the rules for once.

Posted by: Susan | May 29, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

They should have thought about this when it mattered. What did they think? That the DNC was kidding? Idiots.

Posted by: Mark F | May 29, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I think that if the rules committee fully seated both MI and FL, but split both pledged and super delegates 50/50, it would be the best deterrent possible for all states to never do this again. They would all be present and able to vote on other things that come up at the national convention, but neither state would in any way either help or hurt either candidate. As for the Clinton threat of a floor fight, Nancy Pelosi says that isn't going to happen and all the Party heavy weights agree with her. This will be decided next week, probably massively. Party members and elected officials will want to continue to be influential in the party and favoring a badly losing candidate at the expense of the entire party and the presumptive nominee would not be a good way for any super delegate or political person to further their career. Notice that James Carville said late this afternoon that Obama will win as has Governor Rendell said. It's time to party up and the pros know it.

Posted by: karela | May 29, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and for Levin, Gettelfinger, Dingel, and Kilpatrick to be going on about how this will hurt democrats chances of taking the state in November, is somewhat ridiculous. The Republican's did the same thing for their delegates, so if they just publicize that fact rather than crying foul, that would help out quite a bit.

Posted by: Alyssa | May 29, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

For those who are saying that giving Clinton her way would not matter that much because the delegate count would be in Obama's favor still, think about what has been said lately. In the past few days, the Clinton's have increased their push for the popular vote to decide the nominee. For them, it's not about the delegates, and giving them this room and full delegate/population advantage would help them to keep driving their self-serving argument.

Posted by: Alyssa | May 29, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

The decision that is made to seat delegates from MI and FL is inherently unfair since the ruling of the DNC and both candidates was no delegates to those two states.

That is the fair solution but that is a politically unwise solution, unwise for Obama and not part of the Clinton fantasy to steal as many delegates as she can. The solution that is arrived at will be the politically most expedient ruling which is fine but not fair to the residents of all 50 states that knew it would not count.

For those who are unaware, in FL there was a real estate tax proposal on the ballot. Homeowners were motivated to vote for that proposal but renters were not because no delegates were to be seated as a result of this election. A repeat election would be fair but changing the rules of seating delegates after the election is unfair but expedient.

Posted by: g8tr | May 29, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I say let Clinton have her way.

The numbers don't help her much. At best, after the last three primaries, she might just barely close within 100 pledged delegates, provided FL and MI are seated proportionally based on those states' primaries.

Basically, counting FL and MI, she'll net 54 pledged delegates and 5 supers. She's done, and her GE argument is more than a little fakakta. If you look at Survey USA, which has been consistently close to accurate during primary season, Obama has the lead outside the margin of error in WI, PA, OH, CA, IA, and VA. He'll get a bump if Clinton drops out and endorses his nomination, but truthfully the polls are somewhat less than reliable this far out.

Posted by: JamesCH | May 29, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the article could have pointed out that a lot of the party machinery in MI is in Clinton's pocket and remind readers of the attempted chicanery regarding previous "deals" that MI tried to work out as well as the revote proposal by clinton backers in the MI party. It ain't about the voters, it's about Hillary.

Posted by: Dreggas | May 29, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

So Obama removed his name because he thought he'd lose? What about Edwards? Voters being disenfranchised? What about those voters because who didn't go to vote because they were told, and I'm quoting here "Everyone knows those votes won't count for anything". If anyone should be held responsible for this mess, its the state democrats and the DNC who came up with the penalties. Don't Hillary's supporters vote to implement these penalties???

The bottom line is that Hillary's trying everything in her power to poison this race to make Obama unelectable and clear the way for McCain. Then she can run again in 2012. Remember 2004 and Kerry. Her "whole-Hearted" support was her giving one speech in support of the Kerry campaign. She wanted Kerry to lose so she could run in 2008. And she succeeded. In typical Clinton fashion, she doesn't care about the party, this is about HER.

Posted by: Chris | May 29, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

MI didn't even have an election with all the candidates, so how do they even know how to split the delegation? They broke the rules. They were told what would happen prior to the election and they went ahead anyway. They are a bunch of spoiled kids throwing a tantrum. Are there adults on the rules committee? We will see on Saturday. They ought to grateful if they get 50% of their delegation.

Posted by: xargaw | May 29, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

If MI wanted the full compliment of delegates they should have held their primary at a time that would have allowed them that. I guess I am old fashioned.

Posted by: Gator-ron | May 29, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Seat MI & FL in full using the polling results taken within a week or ten days of the actual voting. We have a good idea which pollsters have been the more accurate.

THEN, PUNISH ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THE STUPID DECISION TO MOVE THE PRIMARY. Say take away superdel votes from government officials for the next 4-8 years.

Posted by: DDD | May 29, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey puffmeister -- what are you smokin' anyway ?

Posted by: Ed | May 29, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It will be over by next Wed. Let's see if Hillary gets behind Obama as she's promised.

Posted by: JR | May 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It' rather telling that Michigan Clinton Supporters are the ones pushing this issue and signing the letters. Gee I wonder if they'll do Hillary's bidding and take the issue to the convention.

I love how it's the DNC's fault and not Levin and Co's for breaking the rules in the first place. There is no personal responsibility anymore.

Rep. Kilpatrick needs Clinton in the White House so she can pull strings to keep her criminal son out of prison. Granholm needs Clinton in the White House so she can have something to do since her Governor term limit is almost up.


Posted by: Jones | May 29, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

RE: JakeD who wrote:

"So, it's either Obama's way, or no way at all? That's just as unreasonable as giving her all of Michigan's delegates. Why not a "compromise" to reflect polling taken at the time of the contest?"

I think Obama has agreed to the Michigan plan. In fact the article states he has agreed. It is a compromise. So why are you calling him unreasonable?

Posted by: whatsaute | May 29, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

We sometimes have a tendancy to overlook the obvious. The rules were set, and not violated by either candidate. Each candidate agreed to the punishment for the breaking the rules. Now we want to ignore the punishment.

On many occasions, Hillary has recounted Obama's statement that words matter. Her words were that the votes wouldn't count.

Posted by: JR | May 29, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, giving Obama "full credit" for Uncommitted and Edwards, et al votes is more than generous.

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

independent:

So, it's either Obama's way, or no way at all? That's just as unreasonable as giving her all of Michigan's delegates. Why not a "compromise" to reflect polling taken at the time of the contest?

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

It's utterly unfair for Obama to have followed the primary rules from the beginning to the end and now have to take 10 delegates less than Hillary by 59 to 69.

Two fair options lie ahead of MI or FL:

1. each candidate takes half of the delegates in each state so they can be seated.

or

2. stick with the original punishment and rules. No buts or ifs.

Whatever DNC tries to change near the end of the game, it cannot make both sides happy. Obama has been a real gentleman about the whole thing, but the voters aren't happy about it. Obama has to stand his ground. Playing nice doesn't pay, but playing fair gets respect he deserves. He has to be careful not to be played in by Hillary.

Posted by: independent | May 29, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what a "troll" means, but if anyone else wants to discuss this (or any other) proposal to seat Michigan or Florida delegates, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The votes are tainted any way you add 'em up. People didn't turn out, or people weren't presented a choice.

The states created their own messes - but there is no completely "fair" way to evaluate this contest when the candidates agreed to abide by the rules in the beginning. Also agreeing that these state results would not count.

Hillary should be held accountable to her original statement. Her double standard should cost her something. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: DonJulio | May 29, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Warning: JakeD is a troll

Posted by: puffmeister | May 29, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The Public Record of Peter Paul's Case Against Hillary Clinton Shows a Massive Corruption of The Government and the Media Enabling The Serial Frauds and Illegalities that Won Hillary's Senate Seat and Obstructed Her Accountability- Enabling Her Race for the White House

PaulvClinton.com links all the original court pleadings and government documents, letters, published articles and photos associated with the landmark civil fraud suit Paul v Clinton et al that has now begun discovery for a trial in early 2009. It provides independent and irrefutable evidence of the frauds directed by the Clintons against not only Peter Paul, but also against the voters of New York, Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate opponent, the Federal Election Commission, the IRS, the FBI, the Justice Department Office of Public Integrity, the U.S. Senate, the Inspector General, Federal Courts, Grand Juries, and the shareholders of Stan Lee Media.

The evidence from sworn testimony in court transcripts, FBI declarations, FEC General Counsel reports and investigations, Washington Post stories and original letters, photos and videos present irrefutable proof of a collusion between a sitting U.S. President, a First Lady turned U.S. Senator, and then Chairman of the Democratic Party Ed Rendell to defraud a Hollywood businessman of $2 million and destroy him and his public company in order to generate the largest campaign contribution, made at a President's request for a quid pro quo, to benefit the Senate candidate.
Thereafter corruption by the Clintons of every branch of government that investigated their collusion covered up the illegalities involved and enabled them to avoid accountability from the public and all regulatory and investigatory federal agencies and the federal judiciary. The evidence presented clearly supports the reasonable conclusion that the Clintons have succeeded in exempting themselves from the Rule of Law in the United States and from meaningful scrutiny and exposure by the media at large.
These recent documents and the statements by the Department of Justice Office of Public Integrity Prosecutor explain it all:
Federal Election Commission Complaint - December 31, 2007

Posted by: MsRita | May 29, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The desperation of the Clintons to return to the White House may not be just for power hunger. I think it may have to do with avoiding possible jail-time.

If you read Hillary's reactions to her failed healthcare reform in the 90's, she laughed it off and did not even fight for it. Either she pretended she really cared so much about the American people, especially those that really need the coverage, or it was simply another political ploy for election 2008. Bill blamed it on the Republicans, but the healthcare bill was actually an exchange for the passing of NAFTA.

Why does Hillary suddenly go lunatic over being defeated by Obama? She is not that old or broke. It might very well have to do with court trouble ahead of them. We all know how the Clintons' way with words. The Clintons are very familiar with the presidential power, especially the pardoning of criminals. They really need it this time. That must be the thing they left in the White House. Many people are wondering if they forgot something important behind.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

It's anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but my family members and their acquaintances in Michigan are all upset with the state Democratic Party--not with the idea of their delegates not being seated at the convention. Sen. Levin, Gov. Granholm, and the other "leaders" responsible for breaking the rules should be held responsible. Their little end-around didn't work, and now they have egg on their face. Tough luck. And as for Hillary Clinton, who cares what that race-baiting crone wants? She would allow Hitler, Goebbels, and Benedict Arnold to vote from the grave if meant increasing her chances of stealing the nomination.

Posted by: Lucky Lakeshore | May 29, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

How does one fairly seat a flawed election?

Obama never put his name on the Michigan ballot, the geniuses who run the state did.

What about the people that stayed home because they were playing by the rules?

To award the delegates as is would be a joke, plus it would render the DNC powerless, nobody would follow the rules.

Do any of you out there set up rules for your children and then tell them it's OK to break them?

If they hadn't broken the rules and created a flawed election then I would be all for it.

Posted by: JR | May 29, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

R.D.:

The "rules" allow either candidate to appeal Saturday's decision, all the way to the Credentials Committee and floor vote at the Convention.

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

How about awarding 50% of the Michigan "regular" delegates only, but based on an average of the polling in that State for the 10-day prior to the primary? Does anyone know where they got the proposed 54 to 46 percent split from?

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

So is John Edwards a wimp too? Clinton is a wimp for going back on her word. You cannot twist this. Try as you may. This race has shown the true colors of the Clintons. Say anything,do anything and blame someone else. Hillary Clinton stated that Fla and Mich would not count . She would not be fighting this if she were truthfully ahead and all of you know it.

Stop playing games with the truth. Obama followed the rules, the same rules that Clinton agreed to follow until she got behind.

Posted by: R.D. | May 29, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Most of the Obama haters fail to understand and recognize rules, facts, and laws in each of the states.

Obama's name was never officially placed on the ballot by his campaign in Michigan and Florida. The decision to penalize Michigan and Florida was made in August 2007! Each of the states Democratic parties placed all the candidates names on the ballots in Michigan and Florida. Obama was able to remove his name from the Michigan ballot, but was prohibited by state law from removing his name from the Florida ballot.

Michigan has no right to complain about the penalty against it. The decision to move up the primary date was approved by a Democratrically-controlled state legislature and signed into law by a Democrat Governor (who is a Hillary supporter). Michigan's governor could have simplied vetoed the moved-up primary date legislation, but she didn't.

Obama never whined about not being to take his name off the ballots. He only stated that based on name recognition Hillary CLINTON would beat all Democratic contenders if campaigning is not allowed.

Posted by: AJ | May 29, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Clinton would make the best President despite the fact she's a lawyer. The problem with our government is it's run by lawyers. Lawyers are legalized gangsters - they arrogantly believe they are untouchable and own the system (which they do), and all they can do is argue.

Otherwise, vote McCain. He's not a lawyer. Perhaps he'll make decisions like a human being.

Posted by: NO MORE LAWYERS LEADING THIS COUNTRY | May 29, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

The person above is correct: Obama removed his name in Michigan because he knew he'd lose big time - but, as usual, he's ascribing this venal decision to something noble.

Posted by: Blake | May 29, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Think about this if Obama was in Hillary's postition asking to change the rules in the middle of the game. Everyone would be laughing at him. Hillary is a desparte woman trying to avoid beind in prison becuase of the upcoming Hearing that has been postponed until Novemeber 2008. She and her husband are accuesed of Campaign Fraud. Take this election away from Obama and all hell is going to break loose.

THE CLINTONS ARE CROOKS...END OF STORY

Posted by: MsRita | May 29, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Good point (I'm registered Independent too). I think there's a THIRD "co-chair" on the Rules Committee as well.

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Just think about it....

Why do Republicans not have as much trouble as Democrats do about punishing FL and MI?

If the Democrats cannot even manage their primaries, how can they manage the country?

BTW, I am an Independent.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. Michigan (and Florida) delegates SHOULD be seated!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Obambi removed his name because he knew he'd be slaughtered,now he wants a reward for being a wimp,

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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