The Collective
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the NYT: Florida Democrats Won’t Vote Again, Official Says:

The Florida Democratic Party chairwoman on Monday officially buried the possibility of redoing the state’s disputed January presidential primary, saying there was no practical or affordable way to conduct a new election.


The decision leaves the fate of the state’s 211 Democratic convention delegates in limbo, with no plan on the table for determining whether or how they will be seated at the Democratic National Convention in August. Ms. Thurman said the matter would now go back to the national party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee — the same body that stripped Florida and Michigan of delegates in the first place.

Meanwhile in Michigan:

Michigan Democratic party leaders on Monday proposed legislation to conduct a new primary on June 3 to allocate the state’s 156 delegates. The election would be run by the state but be privately financed.

Mrs. Clinton, of New York, has agreed to the plan; aides to Mr. Obama, of Illinois, have refused to commit to it. It is more uncertain than ever that he will: The party’s rules may disqualify anyone who voted in Michigan’s Republican primary from voting in the Democratic primary — including those who may be Obama supporters who voted Republican because his name was not on the Democratic ballot.

Michigan Democratic officials said the plan for a revote could not move forward unless both campaigns agreed to the proposal in the next day or so.

The Michigan Legislature then must approve any plan to conduct a statewide election, and state lawmakers are scheduled to begin a two-week recess on Thursday. Even if the Obama and Clinton campaigns endorse the proposal, it still must win two-thirds support in both the State House, controlled by Democrats, and the Senate, which has a Republican majority. The plan is also dependent on state party officials raising an estimated $10 million to pay for the new election.

The ingredients of this whole situation are almost farcical. First, there are the party rules that privilege a handful of small, unrepresentative states–a dedication that borders on religious dogma.1 Second, there is the defiance of clearly stated rules by Florida and Michigan (on the assumption, I guess, that all would eventually be forgiven). Third, the assumption on the part of the DNC that it really wouldn’t matter if Florida and Michigan weren’t counted, as surely there would be a clear winner, and fairly early in the process (after all, this was the year of the compressed, front-loaded process, right?). We can then cap it off with both the Obama and Clinton campaigns now facing political calculations over what to support or not to support based on which outcome is more likely to benefit themselves while pretending to want the best, most democratic outcome for the citizens of the states in question.

And, of course, all of this is in the context of a likely major fight for the nomination.

I think that there may be a musical in here somewhere…

Sphere: Related Content

  1. Indeed, didn’t Moses come down from the mountain with “Thou Shalt Let Iowa and New Hampshire go First!” inscribed on a stone tablet? Or am I getting my stories confused… []
Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |


  1. There are still further elements of the absurdity. I’ll focus only on Michigan, given the news about Florida.

    Michigan chose to go early on the theory that it would have maximum influence. Indeed, Edwards and various other candidates still had active campaigns then, so the state might have had a chance to winnow the field, or to keep it a 3-way race a bit longer. We’ll never know.

    Now they propose to vote at the end, which is another way to maximize a state’s influence. Of course, one can have maximum influence early only if there are multiple candidates (thus your state gets a chance to winnow) and late only if the race is not yet concluded (thus, in theory, your state gets to deliver a knock-out blow).

    Why should Michigan voters, but nowhere else, get a second crack at this influence-maximizing opportunity?

    Another thing I have been wondering is if the state party would be bound to use the same allocation rules as before? How “proportional” does the party require the allocation to be? Obviously, if they could be made to give a greater boost to the candidate with the most votes, any late-voting state becomes that much more important. But, of course, the state party wouldn’t defy the national on this point. Would it?

    Comment by MSS — Tuesday, March 18, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  2. Look, just because Hillary finds herself in a losing situation, does not mean that she can rearrange the DNC rules to suit her needs. This is disingenuous to her party, and she is ruining her chances of being on her “Dream Ticket.”
    I am a Michigan voter, and it was Jennifer Granholm (a Hillary supporter) who decided to go against DNC rules to move the primary ahead. I voted, although uncommitted, I felt pretty damn good about it. It is disingenuous to suggest that all Michigan voters are somehow “disenfranchised,” when it is a deliberate “speech act” (see John L. Austin) and attempt to twist and turn things around to work in her favor. This is the politics of the past, and you can NOT DISSUADE Obama voters who listen to the TRUTH - we represent the future of American politics. Join the Movement or be left behind.

    Comment by Daniel from Michigan — Tuesday, March 18, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  3. We are very angry Democrats right now. if those votes don’t count, there will be no nicey nice.. we will defect our party.

    read my forum at:

    and this is a petition link

    Comment by mary — Tuesday, March 18, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

  4. The Democrats are too screw up. I can’t believe they wouldn’t count Florida and Michigan votes. Who do they think they are? This year I am voting with Florida and Michigan, for the Republicans.

    Comment by Skeptic — Tuesday, March 18, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  5. Dr. Taylor: “Second, there is the defiance of clearly stated rules by Florida and Michigan (on the assumption, I guess, that all would eventually be forgiven). ”

    Dr. Taylor, I’d like to correct a teeeeeny little error there (speaking as a Michigan Democrat): ‘Michigan’ and ‘Florida’ didn’t do jack; neither the land masses, the populations nor the governments. The leadership of the state parties did stuff - not us.

    Comment by Barry — Wednesday, March 19, 2008 @ 7:46 am

  6. Point taken. Of course, when I say “Florida” and “Michigan” I mean not only the state parties, but the state governments (who, of course, had to approve these moves).

    At the end of the day, of course, the voters of said states are the losers.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, March 19, 2008 @ 7:50 am

  7. Once AGAIN Florida screwed up. Only when we have REPUBLICATION’S IN OFFICE. I have a right for my vote to count. However, here in Florida, seem’s we never have rights. I know that the Democrats approved this vote push up. But, did anyone asked the PEOPLE?????????? WHY WON’T OUR GOVERNER LET US HAVE A REVOTE????????????? Says it cost too much. Well, let us voter’s be heard. And someone, like all Floridians, all stand up for ourselves.
    Now our State votes no longer counts for the highest office in Government. We shouldn’t have to pay anymore FEDERAL INCOME TAX. Hey, Florida, get my hint. We are not even a State in the United States. UNITED, I have too laugh…………..

    Comment by Farris Wilson — Friday, March 21, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

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