Half Votes For Florida?

In a possible preview of things to come on Saturday, The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Florida DNC member Jon Ausman has revealed that the DNC is leaning toward giving Florida's delegates half votes at the convention (h/t TPM):

"I think we're moving toward half votes for everybody," DNC member Jon Ausman said of his appeal to be heard Saturday by the DNC's rules and bylaws committee. That would mean superdelegates would have the same vote as pledged delegates.

In other words, Florida Democrats would have the same say in the presidential nominee as Democrats in Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands.

Ausman, you may recall, is the author of one of the appeals being heard on Saturday. This is how Ben Smith described it in April:

Ausman's two-pronged appeal asked to reinstate all of Florida's 23 superdelegates, and to give Florida at least half of its pledged delegates back -- his reading of the rules dictates that stripping the superdelegates and reducing the number of pledged delegates by more than fifty percent is prohibited.

Many people have felt that this should have been the sanction levied against MI & FL from the beginning and Terry McCauliffe admitted on Hardball recently that if the DNC had merely stripped MI & FL of half of their delegates from the beginning, "we wouldn't be sitting here talking about Michigan and Florida today." But to the extent that it differs from the Clinton campaign's stated goal of a full seating of both delegations, one does wonder, assuming this is the best remedy Clinton can hope for out of the RBC meeting on Saturday, which I think it is, what her reaction to it will be. The upside for Hillary is that it would serve as an official ratification of January's primaries by the DNC, which by definition puts those popular votes in play. The downside is that it's, well, far short of what she's asked for, which from a practical standpoint means the delegate threshold Barack would need to cross to win the nomination is lower than the 2209 the Clinton campaign regularly touts, and hence more readily reachable.

Update [2008-5-28 3:47:58 by Todd Beeton]:Tommy Flanagan brings us news from The AP that we should not expect full restoration of the Michigan and Florida delegations out of Saturday's meeting. Ya don't say.

A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to restore delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully seat the two states at the convention as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to a party analysis.

Party rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, Democratic National Committee lawyers wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday to consider the fate of convention delegates from the two states. The party is considering plans to restore at least some of the delegates to make sure the two important general election battlegrounds will be included at the nominating convention in August.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Democratic nomination, Florida primary, Michigan primary, rbc meeting (all tags)

Comments

166 Comments

Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Thanks Todd!  Good to know.

by Deadalus 2008-05-27 07:10PM | 0 recs
Ideal solution = zero delegates.

The next best solution, AFAIC, would be to split the delegates between both candidates (whether half of them, one tenth of them, whatever). The state should not be given the ability to sway the nomination process in either direction. That privilege should be reserved for states that didn't play chicken with the DNC.

by Firewall 2008-05-27 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

I did the math in a diary earlier. If you give half delegates and treat the MI undelcared vote as a "Not Hillary" vote (which it basically was), you end up with a +30 delegate advantage for Hillary, which isn't particularly significant.

by TCQuad 2008-05-27 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

Firewall is taking a principled stand.  It has nothing to do with a calculation of who may benefit, by how much, and it's larger significance.  

by Lystrosaurus 2008-05-27 08:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

they really shouldn't be counted at this point.

i was all for a recount, regardless if it sunk Obama or not but at this point, these states should live by the original punishment threatened by the DNC.

so no splitting the delegates or anything. Zero is good.

by alex100 2008-05-27 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

I disagree on the revote idea.  It would have rewarded FL and MI with tie-breaker status after they broke the rules.  If the revote idea went through in March, why shouldn't PA, NC, IN, and all those other DNC rule-abiding jurisdictions that patiently waited their turn not be allowed to move their primary date to some time after the FL/MI revote in order to be elevated to tie-breaker status?  The whole process collapses again.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

But it was not Florida's fault... at least it was not the fault of the Dems.

by weltec2 2008-05-28 05:37AM | 0 recs
Try again...

There were Democrats in the State legislature and they overwhelmingly voted for moving the date up...if I remember correctly, only one Dem voted not to do it.  While I concur the Dems did not have the majority in the state legislature, the were complicit to the problem.

by netgui68 2008-05-28 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

Does no one get snark?

by Lystrosaurus 2008-05-28 03:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Ideal solution = zero delegates.

Ironic day to ask THAT question....

by catilinus 2008-05-28 03:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

They'll also get half vote in the fall.  What sadness.  Seat all the delegates (from FL that is).  Obama supporters should not complain.  He's ahead anyway even if you seat all the delegates from FL right?  Half votes.... Please forgive me but it sounds so petty.  

by nzubechukwu 2008-05-27 07:14PM | 0 recs
Without a penalty...the 2012 primary might be...

utter chaos.  We could see states moving into 2011.  States need to know that they will suffer some consequences if they break the rules.

by nklein 2008-05-27 07:20PM | 0 recs
The DNC absolutely MUST reform

the primary system before any further national elections!
We cannot continue to function as a party with such an arcane, convoluted and anti-democratic system as the one we have today.

In 2012 there will have to be a simplified and fair method of holding the primaries.  

The debacle we are experiencing today must not be repeated.

by Radiowalla 2008-05-27 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC absolutely MUST reform

Agreed..

by hootie4170 2008-05-27 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC absolutely MUST reform

Well.

The overwhelming favorite, who began her campaign with more money, more connections, more delegates, more name recognition, and all the prestige and political capital of both a former First Lady and a sitting Senator from New York, and whose campaign manager was responsible for setting up an early, strongly front-loaded primary calendar that favored incumbents, was defeated by a relatively unknown upstart who, when the process began, had little money, almost no party connections, and wasn't even halfway into his first Senate term.

What he did have was strong and effective grassroots organization, which showed itself in the end to be more powerful than the traditional top-down organizational hierarchy that the Clinton campaign abandoned far too late to save themselves.

That sounds like democracy (little-d) in action to me.

Our process is arcane, certainly, and we ought to straighten it out.  But we must recognize that certain aspects of the process--mixing caucuses and primaries; the long, sparse calendar--were designed intentionally to blunt the advantage of incumbency.

If we do away with those, then we must put some other safeguard in place to assure a grassroots-organized upstart can still have a chance to win against the prohibitive party favorite.

by BishopRook 2008-05-27 08:09PM | 0 recs
None of your points

makes the  case for preserving the byzantine, undemocratic system that is in place today.

As for the grass-roots upstart winning, well, that would be up to the voters, wouldn't it?  A grass-roots candidate has no right to expect that the scales would be tipped in his or her favor just because he or she is a newcomer.  

Let's get back to basic, democratic principles:  one-person, one vote and the privacy of the ballot.

by Radiowalla 2008-05-27 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: None of your points

It's less the scales being "tipped in his or her favor" and more "less tipped in favor of the incumbent."

Obviously the scales will always be tipped toward the incumbent, and we can never give a completely level playing field, but we can at least narrow the gap a little bit.

In the case of caucuses, that's done by using a contest that emphasizes organizational discipline, GOTV, a broad volunteer support base, and passionate supporters.  These are things that any candidate can (and should) do well--but none of them confers any particular advantage to the incumbent over the upstart.  An upstart who runs a tight ship can still beat a messy and disorganized incumbent opponent.

In the case of the stretched-out calendar, it allows a candidate to gather name recognition and momentum in earlier contests that can then be used to level the playing field in later contests.  Again, that doesn't confer any particular disadvantage on the incumbent candidate--they're perfectly able to use momentum too, and the upstart still has to win those early contests for this to work.

The point is, if we went to a one-person-one-vote, nationwide, closed-ballot primary, then the party favorite will always win.  That's not healthy to our democracy.

So let's make the process less arcane, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There is some method behind its madness.

by BishopRook 2008-05-27 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: None of your points

That's why I REALLY like caucuses!  It gives the underdog a fighting chance.  And for the Clinton supporters, if it weren't for caucuses, Bill Clinton would NEVER have been president!  

by LordMike 2008-05-27 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: None of your points
It was my understanding that Bill didn't perform well in caucus states, especially the momentum-awarding Iowa.
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/NEWS09/7111 4028/0/NEWS
by devoted1 2008-05-27 09:49PM | 0 recs
Bill Clinton Did Poor in Iowa Caucuses 1992 ...

... because, since Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) was running for President, Governor Clinton (and most other Democratic candidates not named Tm Harkin) never bothered to campaign in Iowa, knowing that the favorite son would win in a landslide regardless.

So, yeah, Bill Clinton didn't do well in Iowa.

by Collideascope 2008-05-28 12:12AM | 0 recs
Re: None of your points

I agree that do not want a Nationwide Primary Day, for a number of reasons.

But I could be swayed that going to all primaries would be a good thing.

The reason I am against a nationwide primary is that, especially in years like this, there were sooo many candidates. We need to spread the primaries out to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

That being said, I think the system does need a serious overhaul (I might actually write a diary today about what I think would work- not that anyone here would read it...)

by JDF 2008-05-28 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC absolutely MUST reform

there are reforms to be made, but limits on what's feasible. We'll probably have to learn to live with the following shortcomings:

-caucuses will continue to exist, because there are states where (1) caucuses are held in very high regard (Iowa) and/or (2) nobody's going to pay for a primary (small western states).

-disparate open/closed primary rules.

-because of the above two imperfections, combined vote totals will continue to be irrelevant in the nominating process.

The following are feasible reforms:

-eliminate superdelegates

-allocate all pledged delegates on the state level in direct proportion to state-wide popular vote totals.

-have some states implement IRV (instant runoff voting), with a retroactive feature allowing votes for dropped-out candidates to be counted towards other candidates as appropriate.

by really not a troll 2008-05-28 01:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Without a penalty...the 2012 primary might be.

We could see states moving into 2011.

Why is this such a doomsday scenario?

We can say pretty definitively that in the next UK general election, which must take place not later than June 2010, the Labour and Tory party leaders will be Gordon Brown and David Cameron, respectively.  We know this many years in advance.

Why would it be so terrible to similarly know the Democratic and Republican standard-bearers a year in advance?  

I suppose you might say that it would make the outgoing president a lame-duck; but I find that argument unconvincing, since under the present system we know that the president will be leaving in any event; we just don't know who the parties' leaders will be.

Knowing the leaders a year in advance would even carry some benefits.  We could fully vet the candidates and have a longer period from which to judge their instincts from a distance, as opposed to judging them on the basis of a couple of weeks between Labor Day and the November general election.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-05-27 09:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Without a penalty...the 2012 primary might be.

Its not a problem per se, but it does lead to chaos with states constantly trying to jump over one another. I think all primaries/caucuses need to take place between The end of January and the end of May. It is plenty of time to pick a nominee.

As to how they should be ordered, I think it should be done NBA lottery style, we could even televise it... "and the first primary goes to.... North Dakota!"

And then the camera finds the representative from North Dakota sitting their with a huge grin on his face while the reps from Iowa and New Hampshire are seething.

by JDF 2008-05-28 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Without a penalty...the 2012 primary might be.

Two things.  First, in the British system, you do not vote for PM, you vote for your local MP.  Some people vote based on the expected party leader and some don't, but it simply is far different than our basic system.

Second, I have no problem with the process taking place earlier.  That doesn't affect one bit the problem we have - that whatever the process is, all the states have to abide by it.  The problem is not that a vote takes place in 2011, it's that we do not have a fair system.  It was not fair for Iowa and NH to get to go first, nor was it fair for FL and MI to jump ahead of the other 40+ states who followed the rules.

by edparrot 2008-05-28 12:31PM | 0 recs
There has to be some punitive action taken

or else there would be no disincentive for states to jump in line and screw up the nominating process in the future.

by sidwood 2008-05-27 07:22PM | 0 recs
It's not about Obama

It's not about Clinton either.

It's about making sure the nominating calendar doesn't turn into a circus.

by zonk 2008-05-27 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about Obama

Flash forward - June, 2015...

Today, on Mega Super Duper Tuesday, we're holding the 2016 California Primary, as well as the 2020 New Hampshire Primary and the 2024 Iowa caucuses.

by TCQuad 2008-05-27 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about Obama

How about creating a nominating calendar that allows  for a common sensical approach that doesn't allow any one camp to "game the system" and allows us to WIN against the TRUE "other side". As a New Yorker, I am offended that my vote means significantly less than an Iowan. Sorry, its how I feel.

by devoted1 2008-05-27 10:04PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about Obama

Hey -

I absolutely agree.

But you're absolutely, positively, never, ever going to achieve that by letting states freelance with the calendar... NH and IA will simply move their contests up, just as they did this year.

If you want to end the NH/IA monopoly - it has to be done by the DNC at the national level.

Vigilantism won't get it done.

by zonk 2008-05-28 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about Obama

If the goal is to win, a New Yorker's vote should mean less than one from Iowa.  Why?  Because New York is going to go blue no matter what.  Iowa could go either way.  Due to the electoral college, it's not like New York gets any candidate attention outside of fund raisers anyway...

by thezzyzx 2008-05-28 05:58AM | 0 recs
You call it petty..we call it Principles

I am not going to argue with you, however, rules are created for reasons..they are guidelines to keep things in order, they also describe consequences when someone or some entity fails to follow the guidelines.

I am sorry that you hate rules so much, however, if we did not have some, people would be driving 175 MPH on the interstate, your children would never appreciate right from wrong because there would be no consequences...in essence our country and people would live in a state or anarchy. No thank you..I want some structure and consistency in the world I live in.

by netgui68 2008-05-28 06:20AM | 0 recs
Serious Question

No snarky comments, I want to know the real answer.

If clinton campaign says they reject the 1/2 votes and will only recognize a full vote - their option is what? (to the creditials committee?) what date would that be?

If, in the meantime, Obama "wins" the delegates based on the NEW number of the 1/2 votes - can Hillary Clinton "reject" this as not being the "right" number and stay in the race until the creditials committee?

Then, if the cred. committee (or whoever) still doesn't seat them in full - can Clinton camp bring it for a vote to the floor?

by nikkid 2008-05-27 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

I don't believe it could come to a floor vote. The R&B committee is charged with making the decision. I think her only option is to file a lawsuit, though I have no idea how that would work.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-05-27 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

as far as I know, she can appeal any decision by the committee.  The appeal would not be taken up until the convention.  I said last week that she could potentially use this as a justification for continuing through the summer.  As an Obama supporter this obviously does not make me happy, but you wanted an honest answer.

by Xris 2008-05-27 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

"f clinton campaign says they reject the 1/2 votes and will only recognize a full vote - their option is what? "

To be sore losers.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-27 07:19PM | 0 recs
A revote would make sense..

Even at this late date, it sounds like the best way to ensure that everyone thinks the outcome is legitimate.

They could do it by mail.

by architek 2008-05-27 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

A revote works just fine, so long as everyone is allowed to participate--not just those who happened to vote in the previous contest.  Untold thousands sat at home rather than voting because they understood the contests would be meaningless.

by BishopRook 2008-05-27 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

It also poses this slight problem of turning Michigan and Florida into "tie-breakers."

(They won't actually break the 'tie,' because Obama has this thing pretty much wrapped up regardless -- full elections with him on the ballot and actively campaigning will result in less of a net gain for Clinton than a brokered deal seating all delegates).

Point being:  it might be unwise to "reward" Michigan and Florida with meaningful elections after they broke the rules.

by tastycakes 2008-05-27 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

Holding elections isn't as easy as armchair candidates make it out to be. They need to be sanctioned and paid for by governments rather than private entities. Hillary's operatives in MI and FL have been the ones all along blocking anything that could give Obama a chance to cut into her self-styled "wins" in those states.

And Hillary would block a revote now too because her only forlorn hope is to keep the monkey wrench in the gears and sow  bitterness.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-27 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

Caucuses aren't actually sanctioned or run by the state government. That is what makes them caucuses. You are right that that still doesn't make them trivial to set up or run.

by letterc 2008-05-27 11:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

I don't think anyone has ever tried to run a vote by mail caucus. Trying to create one from scratch in the middle of the current mess would be an absolute disaster. No one would have the least faith that it was being run legitimately, the fight over the mailing list would be epic and senseless and unresovable, the process of certifying the vote would be a mess.

And running a new primary would be impossible, since the legislature adjourned without creating one.

by letterc 2008-05-27 11:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

Ask the Oregon democratic party to help out. They have a mail in election down.

by devoted1 2008-05-27 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: A revote would make sense..

No, the office of the Secretary of State of Oregon, part of the state government, has vote by mail down, not the party. The party isn't involved. We hold primaries, run by the state government, not caucuses.

Also, it didn't take them a few weeks or a month to figure out how to do it and to teach voters how to do it, and they didn't do it in the middle of a hotly contested race, where each planning decision would be fought over by two teams of lawyers and politicians, scrutinizing everything for any possible advantage or disadvantage. They spent several years planning and implementing vote by mail.

Also, the Michigan legislature is not in session currently, so it can't pass any enabling legislation for a vote by mail primary.

Both Michigan and Florida already rejected vote by mail as un-doable under these conditions. Not Clinton or Obama, but the state parties and the state governments.

Find a new preferred solution, because this one is impossible.

by letterc 2008-05-27 11:32PM | 0 recs
They already are sore losers

This nomination was over after Wisconsin.  Really.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: They already are sore losers

I don't blame them for not giving up. But I do blame them for the harmful things they've done.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-27 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

Well, she can stay in the race until the Convention.  However, that would be a death sentence for the Party.  So basically, the real issue is "How final does she need it to be until she drops out?"

by auronrenouille 2008-05-27 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

Well, she can stay in the race until the Convention.  However, that would be a death sentence for the Party.  So basically, the real issue is "How final does she need it to be until she drops out?"

by auronrenouille 2008-05-27 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

I honestly believe this will be over on June 4th.  I refuse to believe that she will fight this all summer.  She has done awesome and this will go down in the history books as one of the most intense and competitive primaries of all time.  With that said, I have to believe that she is a Democrat first and will bow out and begin helping Obama beat down McRusty.  

by Xris 2008-05-27 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

I agree. She is not going to take it beyond next week.

by wasder 2008-05-27 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

She is not going to take it beyond next week.
...but not because she won't want to.  She won't take it beyond next week because the superdelegates will make her efforts moot by endorsing Obama.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

I think so too, to be honest - the theoretical scenarios go all summer, but I don't see a scenario that goes past June 10 or so, not unless the RBC gives her FL and MI and refuses to seat the uncommitted or something equally crazy.

by auronrenouille 2008-05-27 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

She has yet to prove it to me...  She's in it until the convention.  She hasn't had a chance of winning since the end of February, yet she stayed in and tried like hell to take Obama down... if she was wiling to do that then, why wouldn't she continue to stay in until August and beyond?

by LordMike 2008-05-27 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

Isn't that political suicide?  I mean doesn't she risk losing some of her constituency in NY, not to mention fellow congressmen/women?  I think after June 3, if Obama reaches the new majority and HRC still vows on taking it to the convention I could see some of her SD's dropping support of her and backing Obama...I do not think she wants to go out like that..

by hootie4170 2008-05-27 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

I don't think she cares... she's all in at this point... married to the pot, in poker terms... even though the odds are so against her, it's ridiculous to keep playing, she needs those winnings so badly, she's willing to lose it all even for the minuscule chance at winning the prize.

by LordMike 2008-05-27 08:25PM | 0 recs
You guys are ignoring the questions about Obama..

in particular, the fact that he has not managed to consolidate trust the way that he needs to. One would expect him to have done much more to help America decide this contest. For example, have at least two or three more debates as Hillary has requested. But he hasn't.

by architek 2008-05-27 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: You guys are ignoring the questions about Obam

The contest was decided after Wisconsin... the lead was insurmountable at that point...

by LordMike 2008-05-27 08:47PM | 0 recs
Yes, exactly.

If she decides to fight this to the convention even after FL and MI are seated and Obama has the majority, a huge block of her SDs will break for Obama and the party in general will mobilize to shut this down.  It would put her next Senate bid at risk.  She is not that stupid.  If this goes to the convention, it is bad for the Dems and worse for her.

by protothad 2008-05-27 08:59PM | 0 recs
She's not that stupid, but

she may be that arrogant.  /snark

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious Question

Seriously? It would destroy her political legacy and nobody'd want to be affiliated with her, especially if Obama lost the election. In fifty years, the history books would have her footnote be as the spoiler in the 2008 election, and nothing more.

by ragekage 2008-05-27 08:09PM | 0 recs
You guys are pretending that Obama has more

of a buy in than he has. He's not some kind of messiah. He's not even the presumptive nominee as you keep insisting. He is ahead, thats all. And not by very much.

So, get a clue...

by architek 2008-05-27 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: You guys are pretending that Obama has more

He's ahead by enough... more than enough... so much that he's winning even if he gets zero delegates from Michigan.

That's a pretty sizable lead.

by LordMike 2008-05-27 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: You guys are pretending that Obama has more

This guy's a troll, just ignore him. He spams threads with crap like that, but he can't stand it when people ignore him.

by ragekage 2008-05-27 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: You guys are pretending that Obama has more

There has been pretty substantial noise from Clinton SDs (e.g. Cardoza) and undecided SDs that Clinton should not fight the decision of the Rules committee, and that she should not push a convention floor fight. It wouldn't take very large numbers of SDs flipping to Obama at all to ensure that if Clinton could somehow magically award all of Michigan's delegates to herself, that she still wouldn't win.

The SDs don't care about your concerns about Obama, they are concerned with uniting behind a candidate so that we can win in the Fall.

by letterc 2008-05-27 11:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Halving the delegates is the first step, and a probably a necessary penalty to Florida for the violation (in the committee's eyes).

But the allocation of those half delegates should not be done solely based on the results. Obama would have done much better than he did. So while 50/50 would be unfair to Clinton, seating them according to the vote is equally unfair, it should be somewhere in the middle.

As for the popular vote, it doesnt matter if they are seated or not. The popular vote is meaningless, except possibly to the superdelegates, who are going to make up their own mind whether to include FL/MI in the popular vote. What happens on May 31st is irrelevant to the popular vote argument.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-05-27 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Halve the delegates and give the Edwards votes to Obama. That makes it 53-38, or a 15 delegate advantage for Clinton. Hardly enough to matter when you raise the new magic number.

by elrod 2008-05-27 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I like Bill Nelson's compromise idea. Seat half the Florida delegation according to the results of the 1/29 contest (52 Clinton - 34 Obama), and half according to the combined results of all the primaries (which would be something like 46 Obama - 44 Clinton). That seems like the fairest solution proposed thus far.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-27 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Unfortunately, just like the compromise offered by Michigan, it's unlikely Senator Clinton will accept that.  Florida and Michigan are her trump cards.  She needs to play them perfectly or keep them in her hand.

by BishopRook 2008-05-27 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Unfortunately, I have to agree. I think Rachel Maddow is right - Hillary Clinton does not want a compromise on Florida and Michigan. Rather, she wants to keep the issue unresolved and use it to whip her supporters into a lather and force an ugly convention fight.

I hope I'm wrong, but Rachel Maddow is the ONLY pundit who's been right about everything regarding the Clinton campaign thus far.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-27 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Why risk your whole political career now?  I mean if she honestly believes Obama will lose the GE or will not be an effective POTUS, why go all in now?  Why not wait until 2012 when you know the nomination is yours?  I think it's a bad play...

by hootie4170 2008-05-27 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

She doesn't care about her legacy, or her appearance... or anything...  this is really her only chance at the presidency... that's all she wants... even if she has to destroy herself to get it!

by LordMike 2008-05-27 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

If all the votes get counted in Florida, then it's actually to her detriment, so, you're 100% right.

by ragekage 2008-05-27 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Don't forget .. plenty of people didn't even vote in MI or FL .. since their votes "didn't count"

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-27 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Doesn't seating any of those delegations validate the popular vote (who voted FOR Hillary) in either state regardless of how many delegates are actually seated?

You can't say you recognize ANY part of the delegations and say you don't recognize the enfranchisement of the millions who came out and voted regardless of what they were told beforehand.

by devoted1 2008-05-27 10:31PM | 0 recs
What difference does it make?

The popular vote argument isn't a legal or a rules based one.  It's a philosophical case being made to Superdelegates.  The rules committee decision doesn't really affect the merits of the case one way or another.

by thezzyzx 2008-05-28 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

"The upside for Hillary is that it would serve as an official ratification of January's primaries by the DNC, which by definition puts those popular votes in play."

I don't see why that is...

There's nothing "official" about the popular vote, that argument is a moral one to super delegates.  

If SDs weren't compelled to factor in the voting that occurred in MI and FL before, I don't see why they would be now that the DNC has seated MI and L delegates.  The context of the vote (contests not sanctioned, Obama not on MI ballot) remains the same either way.

by davisb 2008-05-27 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I think this is a reasonable compromise - Michigan is the truly difficult problem.

by quimby10 2008-05-27 07:15PM | 0 recs
Half popular votes too?

Since we're slicing and dicing the popular vote metric however we wish, shouldn't we halve the popular vote metric from FL if we're going to halve the delegates? Considering the bizarre nature of the Florida primary - with no campaigning - it seems obscene to include the full popular vote as a legitimate metric of popular support in the state. There is, of course, no way to measure that popular support without a standard-issue primary and full GOTV and campaigning. In most states 75% of Kerry votes came out to vote; in Florida it was about 24%. So why should we even look at the popular vote in Florida? And if we are, why shouldn't we just lop off half of it as we did for the delegate count?

by elrod 2008-05-27 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Half popular votes too?

Looks like roughly half the Kerry voters in Florida.  I'm not sure where you get 24% from, that would be less than a million people.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Half popular votes too?

Except of course he did campaing there, a press conference and TV ads

by trytobereal 2008-05-27 08:44PM | 0 recs
Excellent post...

You're last graf is my big fear.  I don't know if she's going to accept it and try to move on to the credentials comm. and the convention.  Both are worse forums for her, because while she has a nearly a majority support of the RBC commitee, Obama will have the advantage in the credentials comm and convention.  But I don't know whether she sees some advantage in going on.  I do hope that we can resolve this nomination soon, but ultimately its up to Hillary Clinton, I guess.  I don't think she's going to gain or keep a lot of friends if she tries to take this to the floor (and I don't see much chance for success for her in that option).

by nklein 2008-05-27 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

What do you mean "which by definition puts those popular votes in play"?  By "definition", they nor any other such tabulation is in play.  I'd love to see a valid definition which says otherwise.

by Piuma 2008-05-27 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

There's an important procedural point here.  Because this is the Rules Committee, Ausman's appeal asks it to focus strictly on a couple of rules-based arguments for why the penalty should be reduced or eliminated (and, for what it's worth, if this were a court his arguments would be considered quite strong), but that doesn't make this the end of the process.

As I understand it, the Rules Committee will only be adjudicating those issues that pertain strictly to the rules.  No matter what they do, it doesn't foreclose FL and MI from going to the Credentials Committee or the convention delegates themselves with additional arguments.  For example, the argument that it's unfair to let NH run roughshod over the process with no penalty while simultaneously giving MI and FL a draconian penalty is, I think, not solely for the Rules Committee to pass upon.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 07:20PM | 0 recs
It's the "Great Delusion."

"What do you mean "which by definition puts those popular votes in play"? "

I think the Clintons are just trying to set up a sympathy case for a 2012 redo. "We wuz robbed by the vast left wing conspiracy!"

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-27 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: It's the "Great Delusion."

She can try again in 2016.

by tastycakes 2008-05-27 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: It's the "Great Delusion."

By then she will be SO herstory. Her only shot is to damage Obama enough to hope he loses and then play the victim card  in 2012. But why would the majority who don't want her now want her then?

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-27 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: It's the "Great Delusion."

Prove that this is her strategy.

Complete BS.

You were biased before you made your "assessment".

by devoted1 2008-05-27 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: It's the "Great Delusion."

Of course it is my opinion of what the Clintons are doing based on their behavior.

Please make my day and tell me that you aren't biased.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I think they are simply gunning for the popular vote.

What the fate of Clinton campaign will be will hinge on how Puerto Rico turns out. I doubt it will really boost her up too much, but in case it does, and she has the popular vote by some acceptable count(which is any count that does not include Michigan) she will have a powerful argument to make.

Although it seems like no matter what happens, the super delegates have made up their minds.

by ajain 2008-05-27 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Except the popular vote doesn't include Iowa .. Nevada ... and two other caucus states .. who don't release vote totals(for what ever reason)

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-27 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Are caucuses good measure of a "popular" vote total in any state? Just askin..

by devoted1 2008-05-27 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

There is no such thing as a popular vote total in the primaries. It doesn't exist because it can't be measured in all states. But it sure does sound good to claim you have it.

by catilinus 2008-05-28 03:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I didn't say they were a good measure .. I am just saying that is part of the reason that the popular vote thing is a canard

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-28 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

What will be interesting to see is what happens if the rules committees rules in a way acceptable to Florida and Michigan, but not to Hillary.  I think some assume that the interests are aligned, but they're not.  FL and MI wants to get their delegates seated, and I'm sure they'd be happy with their delegates getting a half-vote.  That's better then getting no votes at all.

Hillary, on the other hand, has said she wouldn't be happy with the 1/2 delegate solution.  What does she do then, when MI and FL accept the resolution and end their fight?  Does she continue on?  And how will she be able to justify continuing to fight for full representation when the state dem parties themselves are satisfied with the DNC ruling?
 

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-27 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I don't think MI would be happy with half-votes, it legitimizes the idea that they did something wrong.  I really don't know how FL feels one way or the other.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 07:38PM | 0 recs
MI did do something wrong!

The Rethugs screwed us in FL, but the MI Democratic Party screwed the voters.

Here's my proposal: Strip all the MI and FL superdelegates.  Seat the FL delegation.  Seat a 100% uncommitted MI delegation, and let the party regulars duke it out for delegate positions at their state convention.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 09:02PM | 0 recs
Re: MI did do something wrong!

Well, that's your opinion.  From MI's perspective, what they did was a principled reaction to the outrage of NH breaking the agreed-upon compromise schedule and receiving no punishment whatsoever from the DNC.  Regardless of whether you agree with this or not, it is my belief that MI is not looking to accept a lesser punishment and retire meekly to a corner.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: MI did do something wrong!

Then why is the party floating proposals like the 69-59 one they suggested a couple weeks ago in an attempt to resolve it before the Rules Committee meeting?

Principled stands are fine, but you have to be know you will receive the punishment that goes with them if they violate the rules.  Certainly if Michigan believes that they need to take this all the way to the credentials committee and then an appeal to the full convention, that would be consistent with a principled stand.  But I highly doubt that a majority of Michigan democrats are going to get up in arms if their delegations get half votes and party leaders decide to accept it rather than fight at the convention.

by edparrot 2008-05-28 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Halving the delegation's vote defeats the whole point of the sanction in the first place. If they are seated as voted on in the unsanctioned contests in January then the DNC isn't really serious about moving the nomination process beyond the IA/NH deathgrip.

Hillary supporters, MI and FL won't be seated in a way that will make a difference in whether Obama wins or not so we should all make common cause in making the states the vast majority of us live in actually COUNT and MAKE A DIFFERENCE for once.

Clinton has talked about disenfranchisement in the primary process in regards to FL and MI, but for many of us the nomination process is done before we even get to cast our ballots(this year was unique). If Clinton means what she says the sanction will be fully applied so that all of our voices count later.  

by wengler 2008-05-27 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

What a strange comment.  The sanction serves to reaffirm the deathgrip IA and NH have over the process, not to help end it.  MI's entire argument is that NH was allowed to break the agreed-upon schedule with zero consequences, at which point MI did the same thing and got a draconian penalty.  Affirming that penalty sends the message that yes, NH can do whatever it wants, and the later states just have to suck it up.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 07:40PM | 0 recs
You have it backwards

If there's no punishment for Florida and Michigan now, there's never going to be any chance of breaking the deadlock that Iowa and New Hampshire have on the first primaries. The reason is that, if the DNC tries to have other states hold their contests first, Iowa and New Hampshire will break the rules and move their contests ahead of the other states, and the candidates, knowing full well that the IA and NH elections will count in the end, will have to campaign there.

The only chance of changing the primary calendar is if there are real and enforceable consequences for breaking it.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-27 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: You have it backwards

If the DNC wanted to send the message that they are willing to enforce their rules even against Iowa and New Hampshire, a great way to send that message would have been to enforce the rules against Iowa and New Hampshire.  I truly cannot comprehend your logic.

New Hampshire agreed to a compromise schedule where they were going to be third, after Nevada, thus finally breaking the hold of IA and NH over the top two slots.  Then NH broke that agreement and moved ahead of NV, in violation of the written deadlines, and the DNC chose not to punish them in any way whatsoever.  How that sequence of events doesn't embolden NH for future elections, I have no idea.

I see nothing in this year's primary to counter the notion that the DNC will allow IA and NH to continue doing whatever they damn well please, from now until the end of time.  If the lesson is supposed to be "we let you off with no punishment this time, but next time, you're really gonna get it!" then I'm not sure who they think they're kidding.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 08:42PM | 0 recs
IA, NH, NV, and SC

were given waivers in advance.  Ergo, they did not break the rules.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: IA, NH, NV, and SC

If they didn't break the rules, then what did they need to get a waiver for?  Really, the talking points are beyond mindless at this point.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: IA, NH, NV, and SC

If you're saying it was UNFAIR to grant the waivers to them, you re exactly right.  If you are saying that they broke the rules, well no, the rules allow for the waiver.  Michigan will most assuredly not win with that argument.

by edparrot 2008-05-28 12:48PM | 0 recs
Half votes?

Why not 5/8 votes?

What a half-assed idea!   Either count the votes or don't count them, but don't pretend that the voters who came out in droves to vote in the Florida primary are only half worthy of recognition.

by Radiowalla 2008-05-27 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Half votes?

Yeah. And just screw all the voters who stayed home because they were told by everyone, including Hillary Clinton, that their primary wasn't going to count for anything.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-27 08:31PM | 0 recs
Its in the bylaws...

... as the recommended penalty.  Its splits the difference between recognizing the will of the voters but still penalizing the state for breaking the rules.

by protothad 2008-05-27 09:46PM | 0 recs
Out on a Limb

Florida will decide the 2008 election.  However, the mood of the electorate regarding the DNC is black.  Anything short of full enfranchisement will add to the alienation of this state's voters regarding the nominee -- especially if it's Obama.

Floridians wanted Clinton in the primary, and if you're tracking Quinnipiac like Quinnipiac's been tracking Florida, you'll see that Floridians still want Clinton who beats McCain handily.  Obama loses to McCain handily. This trend hasn't varied.

Easy Prediction: Florida will not go for Obama.

Unpopular Prediction: As goes Florida, so goes the election.

by Limelite 2008-05-27 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Out on a Limb

The race is plenty close according to Q-poll in Florida - 5 points.  

Floridians aren't stupid. They know the January vote didn't matter. They showed up because there was a major property tax initiative on the ballot. In fact, half a million votes left the primary portion blank because they were told the primary was meaningless.

The voters who stayed home because the entire media, the Clinton and Obama and Edwards campaigns, the DNC and everybody else said the vote didn't matter, are now going to be punished for listening to the rules? I don't think so.

Florida will be important in November. But the primary fiasco won't play a role in it.

by elrod 2008-05-27 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Out on a Limb

I don't see how you can say the entire media said the vote wouldn't matter, when EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER IN FLORIDA urged Democrats to vote because of the likelihood that the election would end up being counted in some fashion.

by Steve M 2008-05-27 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Out on a Limb

Obama's problems in Florida stem mostly from disgruntled Clinton supporters saying they'll vote for McCain or stay home.  Got the latest Q poll in front of me right now.  If there were no movement at all, the outcome would be decided by indies who are now on the fence (but the advantage would clearly be with McCain).  If even half of these disgruntled Clinton supporters either voted for Obama or simply stayed home (ie. some diminution) Obama would probably win without any problems.

This latest poll, btw (May 22), to my surprise, shows that Dem defections in the event Clinton is the nominee have basically disappeared (eg. she gets roughly the same percentage of the black vote as does Obama, 81% of Obama supporters, as opposed to Obama's getting 43% of Clinton's, and so on).  I've been following these polls for months, and that's a real turnaround.

Think people are being far too pesimistic (because they generally don't understand how much this issue of defections has mucked up the current head-to-head matchups).

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-27 08:16PM | 0 recs
I've been saying that for a while

Past elections show this same pattern.  During the heat of the primary, people think they could never vote for that 'other' candidate of the same party... but come November they are less drive by passion and make the rational choice.  Obama will eventually get at least a five point bump after the nomination wraps up.  Add that to his state by state polling numbers and suddenly his EV map looks a lot more blue.

by protothad 2008-05-27 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Out on a Limb

FL and MI were one of the few primaries where the GOP primary had more voters than the Democratic Primary.

by hootie4170 2008-05-27 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Eh, I wish they could cut the supers completely out of the loop.  If there's one group of people that deserves punishment, it's them.

On another note, I fail to see how allocating all delegates, 0 delegates, or any measure in between somehow makes seriously flawed popular vote metrics less flawed.  But it's pointless to get into that, I suppose.  

by rfahey22 2008-05-27 07:48PM | 0 recs
No Supers, No Supers, No Supers

I am going to go into temper tantrum child-like mode and scream at the top of my lungs over and over and over as to how much I want the supers for these two states to face a 100% penalty.  I want it to be publicaly ackowledged that this whole clusterf*ck is their fault and their fault alone.

They should bear the brunt of the punishment.  

No supers!  No Supers!  No Supers!

End. Of. Rant.

Again, rationaly, why this is important to me is so that it doesnt look like the old boys/girls club protecting their own - screw the pledged delegates and voters but not the ones who created the mess.  Not punishing the supers will go down like a lead balloon.

by pattonbt 2008-05-27 08:50PM | 0 recs
I hope the Rules Committee agrees

Not punishing the supers will go down like a lead balloon.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope the Rules Committee agrees

Unfortunately, from what I've heard, there is actually a pretty strong argument that the Rules committee has no authority to strip the SDs of their votes. So the guilty parties will almost certainly get a free pass.

by letterc 2008-05-27 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope the Rules Committee agrees

Actually, that's written into the rules, along with the seating of half the delegates:

Violation of timing: In the event the Delegate Selection Plan of a state party provides or permits a meeting, caucus, convention or primary which constitutes the first determining stage in the presidential nominating process to be held prior to or after the dates for the state as provided in Rule 11 of these rules, or in the event a state holds such a meeting, caucus, convention or primary prior to or after such dates, the number of pledged delegates elected in each category allocated to the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent, and the number of alternates shall also be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. In addition, none of the members of the Democratic National Committee and no other unpledged delegate allocated pursuant to Rule 8.A. from that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the state's delegation. In determining the actual number of delegates or alternates by which the state's delegation is to be reduced, any fraction below .5 shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number, and any fraction of .5 or greater shall be rounded up to the next nearest whole number.

by skohayes 2008-05-28 02:58AM | 0 recs
Re: I hope the Rules Committee agrees

Cool.

That's exactly what needs to happen.  Best case scenario in my mind: no MI/FL supers seated, 100% MI/FL pledged seated, FL allocated according to primary, MI allocated according to currently chosen delegates.

This gives Hillary a gain of roughly 80.  And moves the milestone up to somewhere around 2180.

At this point, Clinton has gotten the absolute best case from pledged delegates and can only appeal the ruling based on demanding supers get seated.  Won't play well in the media, so they'll drop it.

At that point, the remaining supers can endorse Obama and close off all paths.  Finally giving us a Nominee.

If we are lucky we'll get a nominee by 4th of July and can start unifying behind that candidate.  But I think Hillary is going to take it to the floor in Denver.  And McCain is gonna win in November.

by jello5929 2008-05-28 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: I hope the Rules Committee agrees

Thanks! I hadn't actually read the rules, and it looks like the claims I'd heard were completely wrong (unless they were arguing that that portion of that rule violates some higher level rule). Good to know, and happy to hear it, as zeroing out the SDs from FL and MI definitely makes sense to me.

by letterc 2008-05-28 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

A fairer proposition would be to count all the pledged delegates fully, and give half or no votes tot he superdelegates who got us into this mess in the first place!

Regardless, this will get ugly.  Hillary will not accept anything less than her outrageous demands, then claim she was cheated from the nomination...

by LordMike 2008-05-27 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

What is this s***- half pledged but full supers? That's crap... the party leaders are the reason for this problem in the first place, not the voters. The punishment should go to those responsible.

As an I say: scratch all supers, seat FL pledged as is, and figure out a compromise for MI uncommitted.

by nwodtuhs 2008-05-27 07:51PM | 0 recs
That's not my solution, but it is intriguing.

The problem with seating a full slate of pledged delegates is that the punishment is not severe enough to prevent future shenanigans.  Still, I agree that no superdelegate from MI or FL should be seated at the convention.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 08:51PM | 0 recs
FL should lose at least 1/2 of its votes

and the supers know that many people in MI & FL didn't vote and that the candidates would have campaigned differently if it were a pop vote race so that's meaningless.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-27 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Thanks for all the answers.

You know, as an ardent Clinton supporter and one who has been watching her for what - 15 or 16 months now?

I simply cannot see her conceding when she is so close, I don't think it's in her to "quit".

I know that people will say it is for the sake of "unity". But she has stated - "when there is a winner, then she will support the winner." As of late she has made the comments that the "winner must have 2,210 (or so) delegates to be the winner."

That, to me, indicates that she will not concede before that is the agreed-upon number.

Take a look at this article from Huffpo about a week ago:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-mad dow/clinton-to-the-convention_b_103078.h tml

here is what Rachel Maddow writes:

" After the primary calendar has ended, Clinton's campaign can only justify or explain her staying in the race if she makes the case that the Democratic Party still has not chosen a nominee conclusively. Clinton needs an argument that the game should go into extra innings. Overtime. Bonus round. Detention. Whatever. Clinton has now found that argument -- she says she will not stop campaigning until the issue of the Florida and Michigan delegates is settled to her satisfaction.

The Florida/Michigan issue get settled, of course, by the Democrats' Rules and Bylaws Committee... unless of course that committee's decision gets appealed to the Credentials Committee... unless of course that decision, too, gets appealed... to the floor of the convention.

Do you see where this is going? If there is an open, unresolved procedural issue involving the Florida and Michigan delegations, Senator Clinton will be able to cite that as her justification for staying in the race until the convention even though she is not ahead in the nomination contest at the end of the primary calendar.

If she can ensure that the Florida and Michigan issue stays unresolved until the convention (and by appealing it every step of the way, I don't see how that can be avoided), then Clinton stays in the race until the convention. Staying in until the convention buys her three more months of campaign time, three more months to make her case to the party and the country, three more months for some potential political unfortunateness to befall Senator Obama.

And it keeps the race for the Democratic nomination open, at least theoretically, for Senator Clinton to win instead of Senator Obama."

You know I have to agree with her, after watching Hillary all these months, I don't seeing her packing up and going home.

After Maddow says to stop scoffing (in her article) at this idea. You have to understand that Hillary's about winning and you can't win if you leave the race.

Maddow goes on to explain how the party could actually get a nominee before the convention:

"First, Obama's campaign should stop believing what most of the press says, and start believing what Clinton says -- she isn't budging. If they don't mind the prospect of a divided convention, then fine -- if they do mind that prospect, they'll have to fight for their desired outcome. Clinton is now arguing that taking the fight to the convention is OK for the Democrats -- even noble. This argument won't be defeated if it is ignored -- Obama's camp will have to rebut.

Second, if the Democrats are to avoid a divided convention, the Florida and Michigan dispute will have to be taken off the table -- settled in a way that avoids the risk of a rules dispute that stretches the nominating contest out through the convention. I can think of only one way to do that, but there may be others.

Here's my way: based on my read of NBC's delegate math, I think if the Clinton campaign won 100% of what they wanted on the Florida and Michigan dispute, Obama could still clinch the nomination -- even according to the most pro-Clinton math -- if 90 of the remaining 210-or-so undeclared superdelegates declared for Obama.

If they so declared before May 31st, the Rules and Bylaws committee would have no reason to take up the Florida and Michigan dispute because it would be a moot point -- Obama's camp could concede every Clinton demand on the subject and still win the nomination."

If Hillary, like so many of us (supporters) truly believes that Obama is a flawed candidate that cannot win and if she believes (as I do) that there will be "things" that surface showing his flaws over the next few months.....

Then, why leave the race?

Many here might say it's her reputation - BUT - as Bill Clinton has been saying as of late "Hillary has been treated completely without respect."

Politics is a funny game. Hillary (and Bill) may not care (at this point) about her senate reputation - or - I mean Ted Kennedy survived his fight with Carter.

Everything is speculation at this point.

But having sat in on a few of those Hillary conference calls....I don't see it being over as soon as many of you think it will be.

by nikkid 2008-05-27 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I think if she continues this the whole way to the convention you will see SD's dropping their support of her and endorsing Obama.

by hootie4170 2008-05-27 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

[UPDATE] I just found this over at First Read:

"On a conference call this morning, Clinton senior adviser Harold Ickes argued not only that Michigan's and Florida's delegations should receive full votes at the convention, but that the Michigan's 55 uncommitted delegates should be seated as such, not given to the Obama camp.

"The views of the voters in the Michigan primary and in the Florida primary [should] be respected and be reflected in terms of the allocation of delegates," Ickes said. (For the numbers, if Clinton were awarded the delegates based on the results of the primary, she would get 73 delegates. Neither of the challenges to be taken up by the Rules and Bylaws Committee on May 31 call for splits adhere strictly to the results of the primaries.)"

Wolfson said he thought the uncommitted would go to Obama.

Ickes said they need to be seated in full, they have already been punished due to the loss of campaign money funneling into these states for ads, etc.

The article also said that both Wolfson and Ickes would not rule out taking it to the Credentials Committee.

by nikkid 2008-05-27 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Do it, then... I really don't care anymore at this point... if they want to be destructive to the party, let them try.  There are plenty of others who will stand in their way.  We will find a way to win with or without their support.

by LordMike 2008-05-27 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

you mean Obama or the Democrats?

by nikkid 2008-05-27 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Huh?

by LordMike 2008-05-27 09:20PM | 0 recs
"Quit"

means to recognize reality, right?

I never liked Sen. Clinton, but I used to respect her.  Not any more.  This thing will be over within a week after Jun 3 when the remaining uncommitted superdelegates endorse Obama.

I won't complain about dragging the primary process out until June.  It's had some significant party-building advantages, after all.  Still, it's long since time to put the primary season to bed and focus on beating McCain in November.  Say goodnight, Hillary.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 08:48PM | 0 recs
You're misreading Maddow's comments

She made these statements as part of what she is calling a "deathwatch" for the Democrats in November (because she believes that this action by Hillary will lead to McCain being President, for sure, as just about every political observer seems to think).

This is a path to civil war in the party. In previous months, people on MyDD said that Hillary would never do this, etc. They are now openly supporting this destructive action, which will, in and of itself, assuredly throw the election to McCain.

You can only cite Maddow for your arguments here if you miss the context and intent of her comments. She is saying that Hillary's doing this is politically destructive for everyone (including Hillary). At the time Maddow made these comments, everyone said was nuts, that Hillary was smarter than this, that she was "really" going for VP. That she couldn't possibly be doing this because it is crazy. In fact, according to Maddow, she was telling everyone just what she was doing, all along, and what to expect from her and no one was listening because they didn't think that Hillary could be this crazy. You simply cannot rationally cite these comments to support your view that this is somehow good. Maddow is saying that it is basically nuts for Hillary to do this and political observers and superdelegates who think she is not going to go down this road are fooling themselves.

by DrPolitics 2008-05-27 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: You're misreading Maddow's comments

This is a path to civil war in the party. In previous months, people on MyDD said that Hillary would never do this, etc.

There is a very simple way to avert this scenario.

First, the Obama campaign must insist on counting all the votes in Florida and Michigan.  Seat all the delegates.  

There is an excellent chance that Obama would still prevail, and his candidacy would not suffer the stigma of illegitimacy that disenfranchising Florida and Michigan would generate.

Second, Obama agrees to give Hillary the VP slot, in recognition of the fact that almost half the party supporter her.  

Yes, this means taking on Michelle Obama's loathing of the Clintons.  Michelle can deal.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-05-27 09:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Very reasoned analysis.  While I may disagree with some of your opinions, those are only based on my own opinions.

I don't see why she would get out before a combination of Obama's pledged delegates (including full votes for FL and the 31 MI uncommitted who have declared for him plus any Edwards who have publicly switched support) and his supers bring him to 2210.  I also think Maddow's number of 90 remaining supers is low - the numbers I have seen are a little higher.  And it depends on PR as well - the other two remaining states are going to split the delegates almost evenly even if one candidate wins by 20%.

Now, I do think if he reaches that number, she will get out.  I don't see her taking it to the convention simply to ensure that FL and MI are seated when doing so can't put her over the top.  Nor do I see her holding out hoping for supers to switch to her.  In fact, I could see the opposite happening and a number of Clinton supers have implied as much.

Anyway, we will see what happens.  

by edparrot 2008-05-28 01:31PM | 0 recs
Strip the superdelegates

Whatever they do with pledged delegates, they really ought to strip all of the Florida and Michigan superdelegates from having any vote on the nomination.  The superdelegates, collectively, are the ones who either made this mess or should've done something to prevent it.

There is no way the DNC can give Florida a free and fair election in this primary.  They're reduced to debating what to do with the result of an election where candidates were barred from campaigning and voters were told they wouldn't count.  It's sad and unfortunate, and the superdelegates should get the largest penalty.

Are there any superdelegates from either Florida or Michigan who are on record as strongly trying to prevent this rescheduling before the primaries began?  If so, perhaps those individuals could be allowed to appeal and get their votes back.

by cos 2008-05-27 08:09PM | 0 recs
I completely agree

at least in the case of FL.  MI is more difficult, considering that Clinton reneged on her promise to remove her name from the ballot.  MI at least should seat a 50/50 delegation.

However, no superdelegates from either state should be seated.  They should have known better, and the state parties could have held a caucus at a later date.

Democrats got screwed by the Rethuglicans in FL, but we screwed ourselves in MI.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-27 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I completely agree

In Florida, it was the Democrats who screwed the Democrats.  A Democratic state legislator sponsored the bill to move the primary, and told the state legislature he didn't believe the DNC would actually sanction them for it.  Democratic legislators voted for it.

After the fact, a lot of people spread the rumor that it wasn't the Democrats' fault, the Florida legislature has a Republican majority.  That sounded plausible, but it conjures up a picture of Republicans doing this over the objections of Democrats.  What actually happened was that Democrats did this and the Republicans didn't stop it.  You can't blame the Republicans for that.

by cos 2008-05-27 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I completely agree

Well that is not exactly true. The Republicans did want to set an earlier date, and the Democrats agreed with them, until they found out the Republicans wanted to set the date ahead of the Feb 5 date set by the DNC.

From the Florida Democratic Party web site:

Initially, before a specific date had been decided upon by the Republicans, some Democrats did actively support the idea of moving earlier in the calendar year.  That changed when Speaker Rubio announced he wanted to break the Rules of the Democratic and Republican National Committees. Following this announcement, DNC and Florida Democratic Party staff talked about the possibility that our primary date would move up in violation of Rule 11.A.

Party leaders, Chairwoman Thurman and members of Congress then lobbied Democratic members of the Legislature through a variety of means to prevent the primary from moving earlier than February 5th.  Party leadership and staff spent countless hours discussing our opposition to and the ramifications of a pre-February 5th primary with legislators, former and current Congressional members, DNC members, DNC staff, donors, activists, county leaders, media, legislative staff, Congressional staff, municipal elected officials, constituency leaders, labor leaders and counterparts in other state parties.  In response to the Party's efforts, Senate Democratic Leaders Geller and Wilson and House Democratic Leaders Gelber and Cusack introduced amendments to CS/HB 537 to hold the Presidential Preference Primary on the first Tuesday in February, instead of January 29th. These were both defeated by the overwhelming Republican majority in each house.

The primary bill, which at this point had been rolled into a larger legislation train, went to a vote in both houses. It passed almost unanimously. The final bill contained a whole host of elections legislation, much of which Democrats did not support. However, in legislative bodies, the majority party can shove bad omnibus legislation down the minority's throats by attaching a couple of things that made the whole bill very difficult, if not impossible, to vote against. This is what the Republicans did in Florida, including a vital provision to require a paper trail for Florida elections. There was no way that any Florida Democratic Party official or Democratic legislative leader could ask our Democratic members, especially those in the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, to vote against a paper trail for our elections. It would have been embarrassing, futile, and, moreover, against Democratic principles.

http://www.fladems.com/page/content/make itcount-faqs/#q3

by skohayes 2008-05-28 03:07AM | 0 recs
Re: I completely agree

That's interesting, but directly contradicts what I had read before.

I also saw a video of a Democratic legislator in Florida addressing this question in the house and assuring everyone that the DNC wouldn't actually sanction Florida.

If this account is correct, then other accounts I've read are not.

by cos 2008-05-29 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Strip the superdelegates

I'd give pledged delegates full vote in Florida and Michigan with the MI uncommitted delegates going to Obama.  I'd then take away all of their superdelgates as a punishment for the idiotic leadership/compliance that got us into this mess.  But joe public basically keeps their full vote.  Yeah some may complain that it punishes people that did not vote or voted differently because they thought it wouldn't count, but what the hell, I'll give that up to end this frickin primary.  And I really don't care if stripping the supers is against the rules.  Let's try and see the Clinton campaign take that argument to the convention: "You stripped FL and MI of superdelegates, the very people that got us into this mess in the first place.  How dare you!!!"  

by reggie23 2008-05-27 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Strip the superdelegates

Seating the pledged delegates but not the superdelegates from FL and MI would be a reasonable way forward.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-05-27 09:48PM | 0 recs
What I fear

What I fear is that Hillary Clinton will reject whatever decision the RBC makes and use it to appeal at the convention. Yes, superdelegates will shun her and put Obama over the top. But she will persist anyway, with the claim that the superdelegates can switch back to her at any time.

The fact is: the RBC will NOT award all the FL and MI delegates as they are. There is simply no way the DNC would just say, "Well, jeez, we were just bluffing on all that punishment stuff. We'll just seat all the delegates from both states with no punishment." Even if Obama acceded to this - it wouldn't prevent him from winning - the RBC would never do it. The first obligation of the RBC is the rules. Clearly, MI and FL broke the rules. As such, they must be punished in some way.

By issuing obscene maximalist demands, the Clinton camp is paving the way for rejecting any resolution from the RBC. They know the RBC will not and can not give in to their demands on MI and FL. They are counting on that. What the Clinton camp wants is for the situation to remain unresolved so she can justify staying in the race until the convention.

This, my friends, is my greatest fear. I am honestly unsure as to Hillary Clinton's real motives at this point. I keep hearing that privately the Clinton knows the stakes are impossible and that they are just keep a brave public face for their supporters. But I'm not entirely sure.

by elrod 2008-05-27 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: What I fear

Don't fear the reaper...

We know she will scorch the earth and stay in it to the convention and beyond.  Nothing she's done up to this point would make any reasonable person think otherwise.

The key is to plan for it, prepare for it, and find a way to work around it.  There really is no more that can be done.  Appeasement never works, and is failing now.  It's time to move on.  If Hillary and her supporters want to stay behind, that is fine... let them...  we can do nothing about it.  We will find a way to win without them.

by LordMike 2008-05-27 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: What I fear

The first obligation of the RBC is the rules. Clearly, MI and FL broke the rules. As such, they must be punished in some way.

On the contrary, the right to the franchise is fundamental.  This is the first point we teach to elementary school students in civics education.

When the right to have one's vote counted clashes with the need to uphold rules, the former must trump the latter.

"They violated the rules" does not justify taking away a fundamental civil right.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-05-27 09:34PM | 0 recs
There is no franchise in this case

This is a party primary, not a general election.  Parties are under no constitutional obligation to hold votes to select their candidates.  The DNC is obligated to have a 'fair' vote only in that failing to do so would make the party less attractive to potential voters.  Honestly, they could roll dice to select the nominee and it would be just as legal.

So, yes, it is important for the DNC to uphold priniciples of fairness, but technically this is not about the fundimental right to vote.  That doesn't come until November.

by protothad 2008-05-27 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: What I fear

So, what about those hundreds of thousands of voters in Florida and Michigan who stayed home in January because they were told by EVERYBODY - including all candidates, the major media, the Democratic Party, etc. - that their votes would not count. Aren't they being disfranchised if we go ahead and count the phantom January election?

This is like telling a group of voters that election day is on Wednesday, when it's actually on Tuesday.

by elrod 2008-05-27 10:30PM | 0 recs
Actually it does in states

that don't allow felons to vote.

there is no fundamental civil right to vote in a party primary.  The courts have time and again upheld the right of the parties to set the rules how they want, subject to not discriminating against certain protected groups.  FL and MI do not count as protected groups.

Do I think what the DNC did was a mistake?  Absolutely.  They should have either redone the whole process to make it fair, or simply should have gone with the half delegate solution stated in the rules.  But you do not make up for the mistake by treating an illegitimate election as if it was legitimate.  You make up for it by finding some sort of middle ground and by fixing your damned process so it doesn't happen again.

by edparrot 2008-05-28 01:39PM | 0 recs
Legitimacy

There was a time when most blacks counted as three-fifths of a person.  Those were the rules.

Today, Floridians apparently count as half a person, because they broke the rules.

It is perfectly clear that this solution is inadequate.  It is equally clear that the Clinton campaign will be forced to swallow it.  

However, it does cast doubt on the legitimacy of the candidate who prevailed in such an unjust and flawed system.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-05-27 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Legitimacy

As opposed to past elections?

by catilinus 2008-05-28 03:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Legitimacy

As opposed to the candidate whose campaign staff and herself exerted the most influence over the process over the past decade?

by edparrot 2008-05-28 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

I think Hillary will ask for VP flat out next week and if Obama refuses I think she will say "see you in Denver!" Is he really going to want Hillary and Bill still running around all summer? Digging their supporters in even more? I don't think so, I read Hillary wants leverage thats why she's staying in, if not for Veep then what?

by rossinatl 2008-05-27 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

If what you say is true, I can think of many points of leverage she would want to maintain - fighting for Universal Healthcare as leading Democrat on the issue is just one that pops in my head.

I believe she is holding out, however, because the nominee is not selected until the Convention. And with a delegate lead so close with either not receiving enough pledged delegates to clinch, the Superdelegates are in play. They can change their mind a million times before Denver. Its why they were created - to ensure the WINNING candidate in November. She knows this quite well.

by devoted1 2008-05-27 11:19PM | 0 recs
It will not change the outcome

It does not matter what agreement they come to and it doesn't matter if Clinton rejects it. Once the committee 'settles' the issue of MI & FL and seats them whatever the terms (they will not seat them in a way that changes the outcome and will insist on some penalty) and the last 3 primaries are held the super delegates will declare.

Obama will then have the majority needed to be declared the presumptive nominee and it's over for Clinton. It is highly unlikely she will take it to Denver as a large number of her SD's will not follow her over the cliff. They will have stood by her until the end and at that point will feel free to line up behind the winner and will expect her to do the same. The biggest pressure on her will be from her own Super Delegates threatening to abandon her publicly if she doesn't concede.

by hankg 2008-05-28 02:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

As a Clinton supporter, I would like for her to accept the decision of the RBC, and concede the election to Obama, once the SDs declare and he gets the required number of delegates to win.
I certainly don't want to let this run on to the convention.
It is all in the hands of the superdelegates and the DNC now.

By the way, a lot of people have blamed the Democrats in Florida and Michigan, and certainly some blame is on their shoulders, especially in Michigan. However, the Republican controlled legislature are the ones that screwed us over in Florida, and don't think for a minute that they didn't know exactly what they were doing (they already knew they were only going to lose half their delegates).
What we need to do for the future is make sure that the republicans cannot screw with our primaries anymore.

by skohayes 2008-05-28 03:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

That is not true in Florida.  I live here and the dems voted overwhelmingly on the vote that mattered to move the primary.  One of the leading dems got up and said he was sure the DNC would not follow through.

by edparrot 2008-05-28 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: EMBARRASSMENT

Complete and utter disaster and disgrace.  We are such a disfuctional party.  What a joke! Half votes, I will punish you for voting early, seat only some super delegates.  What is this?  We look stupid you guys.  Seat all of the freaking delegates this is ignorance at it's bliss.  What crap, people listen you do not win elections on "hope" ok.... you win with solutions and fighting.  Haven't we learned anything?  The Gop is only around because they have sold their message to the heart of America and the people seem to think they are "protecting" them (which is such a joke) and will keep TAXES LOW.... You do NOT win elections in fucking Florida by saying you will repeal tax cuts!!!!! What stupidity. What the hell is this????

by nzubechukwu 2008-05-28 04:32AM | 0 recs
No Florida SDs

No Michigan SDs either, for that matter. They're the ones who started this mess, so they should have to sit on the bench for this one if they can't play by the rules.

by CrazyDrumGuy 2008-05-28 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

This doesn't make any sense actually.

"Hillary is that it would serve as an official ratification of January's primaries by the DNC, which by definition puts those popular votes in play."

Puts them in play?  What does that mean?  The Democratic nomination is decided by a series of primaries and caucuses that allocate delegates across all of the states.  How is just counting the votes in the primary states while ignoring the caucus states a measure of something?  

This puts something in play only in so much as Hillary is playing with it.  

John McCain is running for President.  It's a crime that Democrats are having these arguments at this point that are as stupid as any argument we've had with the Bushies over the past eight years.  

by Sun Dog 2008-05-28 05:28AM | 0 recs
My understanding of the correct solution.

All the pledged delegates from Florida and Michigan should be seated according to the certified primary votes.  This however should include the undecided pledged delegates from Michigan being seated as undecided, and the pledged delegates for Obama in Florida being stripped for his campaign's violation of the no campaigning agreement, provided the committee agrees that such violation occurred and was material.  The pledged delegates should only receive half a vote as further sanction for the states' violation of the primary calendar rules (the delegate issue not being resolved until this committee's decision has also been a punishment to these states and to the candidates campaigns' momentum).  All super delegates should be seated and receive a full vote.  The other states, which also violated the calendar rules, should receive a written warning which indicates that in the future one state's violation of the rules will not absolve another state's similar reactionary violation.  Any popular vote argument could be made based upon the full, certified popular vote from each state or any other metric, for whatever merit such arguments may or may not be worth.

At best, this would seem to add seventy-five or so pledged delegates to the Clinton campaign and would not likely change the race dynamic.  It is also the most correct outcome by the rules as I understand them, and would be unassailable by either campaign and the Clinton campaign in particular.

Please comment on any misunderstanding of the rules.

Please add a more definitive estimate of the Clinton campaign's increase in pledged delegates based upon this solution.

Thanks.

by Liame 2008-05-28 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

This is deeply insulting to the people of Michigan and Florida.

I would like to see "the 30 members of the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee" face to face and ask them eye to eye if they really believe that what they are suggesting is other than biased.

What do they thing is going to happen in November if they treat these people this way?

by weltec2 2008-05-28 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

The Republicans did half votes too in those states.   I guess Michigan and Florida will have to choose between the Greens and Libertarians...

...well if it weren't for the fact that like .01% of the population is even following this issue...

by thezzyzx 2008-05-28 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

Cry me a River. She lost. It is over. The Clinton's, with each one of their attacks, always planned on making nice after they won. They are famous for this. They know that people's memories are not long when the subject changes.

The Clinton's lost and in September will be forgotten. There is no way that the women who have been for Hillary will vote against their own self interest by voting for McCain. No matter what you cry babies are saying now - it just will not happen.

Get over it and move on. I did.

by forjoeb 2008-05-28 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

What about "halfvotes" for IA, NV, SC and NH who also "broke the rules". What does THAT do to your precious counts?

by pan230oh 2008-05-28 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Votes For Florida?

The rule in question specifically excluded those four states, so they didn't break anything.

And you know that Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire are important swing states in this upcoming election, right?  Why, if we insult the people of Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire, there's no way for the Democrat to win!!

by BishopRook 2008-05-28 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Brained is more like it

It is crazy, half-witted, etc what has happened to the momentum that the Dem Party had going into 2008 election season.  This protracted primary hasn't been good for us as a party.  

I can not wait for a nominee to be declared--June 4th hopefully.  Actually, I wish the supers would do what they are supposed to do and use their judgment and give their overwhelming support to Obama on May 29th, so that the meeting on FL and MI is moot. Then we can get down to concentrating on McSame.

Then, the loyal supporters on both sides can get down to healing and figuring out how to put their time and energy into tearing McSame (and not each other) down.  At the worst 6 days and it's over.  And if anyone thinks that the supers are going to let Hillary take this to the convention, you are mistaken.  I think even the supers that supported her will change and she'll lose by more if she tries anything so foolish.

by citizensane 2008-05-28 07:35AM | 0 recs

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