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Michigan Blames New Hampshire

INSIDE THE RULES AND BYLAWS COMMITTEE MEETING -- Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) argued that the privileged position of Iowa and New Hampshire at the front of the Democratic nomination fight led to the Wolverine State's problems today.

Levin, a longtime opponent of the primacy of Iowa and New Hampshire, insisted that the only way in which to ensure Michigan voters had a prominent place in the nomination fight was to violate the rules of the Democratic National Committee.

"Michigan decided no state has the right to go first or second every election," said Levin.

Levin, the appointed surrogate of the Michigan Democratic Party at today's meeting, is using his high-profile platform to make the case that the party cannot follow the same path in 2012 or more chaos will ensue.

"Back to the status quo? Back to the privileged position?" Levin asked rhetorically, taking note that New Hampshire moved its primary ahead of Nevada's caucus despite the judgment of the RBC. "The Rules Committee let them off the hook," he added.

Levin, as Brewer did before him, acknowledged the problems with the Michigan primary as it was conducted. "It was a flawed primary," he said -- arguing that the 69-59 solution in terms of delegate allocation was the best and fairest way to achieve the unity the party badly needs.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 31, 2008; 1:07 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Bonior: Split Michigan 50-50

Comments

New Hampshire should revote on Clinton who promised NH that Florida and Michigan would not count. She lied to win NH by a whisker. Where are the Party elders and leaders? Where is Gore? Where is Dean? Why are the permitting the crazy deluded power-mad Clinton dynastic couple to destroy the party and the republic? There will be a revolution of party loyalists like me should Hillary succeed in stealing the nomination. Obama won the primary race fair and square. He is the superior candidate, the candidate who has won by ALL metrics. What about fairness do the Clintons not understand? What about justice does Hillary not know? We are disgusted with this scene of dynastic lunacy and with our party's enabling of the Clintons' continued power grab.

Posted by: lin | May 31, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The democratic primaries are a mess. The Florida/Michigan problem is only a tip of the iceburg. First of all, if each state gets to decide what type of primary they hold why cant they decide when to vote. How about Texas, lets have both thats smart. Caucuses are rediculous. They are not representative of most people. They leave out most working people and older voters who feel uncomfortable in that setting. Get rid of them. Every person should be able to have a vote. Its not a scrum. It should be a winner take all contest. Allocating by county is dumb. It only means you can get the most votes in your state and end up with less delagates. This whole process makes no sense. I only hope that the dnc throws out this whole process and revamps it before the next election.

Posted by: frankie | May 31, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Put this in your favorites and check frequently.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The democratic primaries are a mess. The Florida/Michigan problem is only a tip of the iceburg. First of all, if each state gets to decide what type of primary they hold why cant they decide when to vote. How about Texas, lets have both thats smart. Caucuses are rediculous. They are not representative of most people. They leave out most working people and older voters who feel uncomfortable in that setting. Get rid of them. Every person should be able to have a vote. Its not a scrum. It should be a winner take all contest. Allocating by county is dumb. It only means you can get the most votes in your state and end up with less delagates. This whole process makes no sense. I only hope that the dnc throws out this whole process and revamps it before the next election.

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

Harold Ickes was acting as a Clinton partisan when he voted to strip Florida and Michigan of delegates, as a member of the DNC rules committee.

Ickes was stacking the deck for Clinton by creating a de facto national primary, that they mistakenly thought would guarantee a Clinton win.

>>>>>The crocodile tears that are now being shed about Florida and Michigan are the latest and most disingenuous of the Clinton campaign. The fact is that the idea of drawing a line in the sand so that you would end up with a de facto national primary was from page one of the Clinton playbook.

Having twenty or thirty states vote on the same day, the theory went, would favor the candidate with the most money, the most experience and the most organizational support with connections with many local governors and mayors already on board.<<<<<

Posted by: BlueDem | May 31, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Michigan is a wholesale state; Iowa and New Jersey are retail states. Wholesale states require more media, more money, more name recognition. They favor establishment (Clinton) politicians over upstarts (Obama), cranky discontents (Gravel), the sincere fringe (Kucinich). I wonder who Levin supports?

It is a good question of political philosophy whether the party and the nation are better served by putting the retail states at the front of the line.

It certainly helped Washington outsider Bill Clinton in 1992. Having become establishment, the Clinton campaign decided it no longer needed these states in 2008.

Posted by: j2hess | May 31, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH

Words of Wisdom has been talking about Nevada and South Carolina all along on this issue. New Hampshire did jump out of order as well - no one told the candidates that they should not CAMPAIGN in New Hampshire - New Hampshire was able to do whatever it wanted.


It appears that the FULL DELEGATIONS ARE GOING TO BE SEATED TODAY.

It looks like the Obama people should STAY CALM. HILLARY IS TRYING TO STEAL THE NOMINATION BACK AFTER OBAMA STOLE IT FROM HER !!!!!!!!

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 31, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

These people seem to be confusing what has happened (in the past) with what should happen (in the future). These are very separate questions.

The debate should be about what has happened and what to do about it. How to handle 2012 should not be mixed into it. It's very important, of course, and should be dealt with forthwith -- but after handling the past.

In FL and MI, I see the 1/2 allocation as the best way. MI has special problems due to the uncommitted vote, which clearly (based on all evidence) should go to Obama.

The superdelegates are another problem. I have no good solution for that one.

Posted by: Harry, Los Angeles, CA | May 31, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

What's with these Florida and Michigan Democrat cry-babies? Even a child knows that one of the first rules of fairness is learning to play by the rules and not to expect to be the exception. It's a lot like not butting in line ahead of those who got there first. This has noting to do about votes not being counted. It's about playing by the rules. But like some children who do not get what they want, they throw a tantrum and blame someone else. I long for the days when being a Democrat meant fairness and equality.

Posted by: Dean | May 31, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so nice that Michigan decides that on its own. I guess the other 49 states should decide to put Michigan on an ice flow and forget about this idiot of a politician.

These jerks need to be thrown out of office.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Levin can blame New Hampshire all he wants. However, he never mentioned why it was that New Hampshire settled on Jan. 8 instead of Jan. 22. Namely, that Michigan jumped the Granite state by moving to Jan. 15. People forget that New Hampshire was toying with the idea of going on Dec. 11, 2007 (see http://frontloading.blogspot.com/2007/10/move-of-all-moves.html ). That really would have jump started the reform process for 2012.

Posted by: Josh Putnam | May 31, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

>

Game, set, match. If both Michigan and Florida are not asking for Hillary's arbitrary power grab, game over man, game over.

Posted by: Bender | May 31, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm from the great State of Washington in the Pacific Northwest. On February 9th, we had a caucus, which Barack Obama won by 68% to Clinton's 31%. The newspapers, and newsprograms all told us the caucus would be the determining factor for delelgates, even though we would have a primary on February 19. I called the Democratic party office for clarification and they told me not to bother to vote in the primary. "It doesn't count" They said. The primary vote was different from the caucus. Obama still won, but 51% to 45%. 665,000 voters voted in the primary that wasn't even going to count. Now if they allow Michigan and Florida, even with all the voters who voted, the ones who didn't bother to go SINCE THEY WERE TOLD it wouldn't count are disenfranchised. It should be too late to count. It isn't fair for those who didn't take the election in those states seriously. You can't just guess what would have happened. This process is unbelievable.

Posted by: Medusa | May 31, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Levin is allowed to launch a polemic against Iowa and New Hampshire, the Committee is obligated to also allow representatives from Iowa and New Hampshire to each have equal time for rebuttal.

This hearing is turning into a fiasco.

Posted by: iPol | May 31, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Chris


PLEASE NOTE

Wexler representing the Obama campaign taked about slating - I can only take that as an indication that the Obama campaign may perceive that it is having some problems with the Obama delegates elected in Florida.


Clearly.


Chris - would you please ASK Rep. Wexler about this - he may still be in the room with you.

Very interesting.

Very intriguing.


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 31, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris


PLEASE NOTE

Wexler representing the Obama campaign taked about slating - I can only take that as an indication that the Obama campaign may perceive that it is having some problems with the Obama delegates elected in Florida.


Clearly.


Chris - would you please ASK Rep. Wexler about this - he may still be in the room with you.

Very interesting.

Very intriguing.


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 31, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I blame Vermont. If it weren't for Ben and Jerry's, I'd be 20 pounds lighter, dating a supermodel, and driving a Ferrari.

This whole spectacle about who gets to go first is an amusing sideshow, but has nothing to do with the matter at hand: Clinton is trying to bend the rules in her favor. Rules which she favored and agreed to at the onset.

Posted by: P Diddy | May 31, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

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