“While Howard Dean has been working hard to be an honest broker, too many involved have been more concerned with headlines than results. It’s never productive to negotiate through the press, but make no mistake; Howard Dean will continue to lead the effort to find a workable solution that’s fair and consistent with the rules.” — Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the D.N.C.
As the weather gets warmer and we look towards Spring, thoughts in the golf world go the The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia so it’s appropriate at this time of year to look at the mulligan (author’s note: in golf, a mulligan is a shot retaken, due to an errant shot) the DNC is trying to negotiate.
It seems so long ago when the Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC, were laying down the law to Michigan and Florida, whose legislatures in conjunction with the local parties scheduled primaries in January. Shame on them. Did anyone really believe that this was going to stand? No, but for election gurus watching the Democrats on the edge of reality is a spectator sport that rivals The Masters in almost every way.
As of now, we have all kinds of proposals on the table. First, of course, Mrs. Clinton is “willing” to take the result of both primaries, which she won and would give her a lead in the delegate count as Sen. Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan.
On Friday, Sen. Obama said that he was willing to take a even split on the delegates of both states which would not change the lead he has over Mrs. Clinton and would not give him the nomination. It seems like he is just being a little too nice.
In addition, there are many proposals from half votes, to re-votes. Mr. Obama’s comment a few weeks ago that his 6 year old daughter could see that redoing the primaries would not be fair is right on the money. Since the “feel-good” campaign has deteriorated in to childish name calling, maybe Sen. Obama’s daughter ought to be the candidate. It seems she has the maturity that some in both campaigns lack.
At the rate they’re going with the viciousness of the disagreements on Michigan and Florida ramping up and the termination almost weekly of staff members for saying “inappropriate” things — by the time the convention rolls around for the Democrats, Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton may be void of any people in their campaigns at all.
Of course, the DNC is going to find a way to seat Florida and Michigan. Michigan seems to be closer to an accommodation than Florida is. The plan most tossed around is one with a June revote. While this has the support of Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Debbie Dingell, a member of the Democratic National Committee, and Ron Gettelfinger, President of the United Auto Workers, it’s not clear that the campaigns, especially the Obama campaign, will accept this. A revote is a ridiculous premise. I’d like a revote of the 2006 elections without Democrat names on the ballots, but I’m not going to get that. But the more that the Democrats look silly, the better it is for Sen. John McCain and the Democrats know it.
Florida is at an impasse and money is starting to get into the picture. Big money donors from Florida are asking for their money back — and getting it — from the DNC. Their attitude is, “if you’re not going to count my vote, then give me my money back.” If Florida doesn’t come up with a solution, more donors will follow suit.
This all could have been avoided by accepting the earlier primary dates. No one in their right minds would do a revote of a primary that had no problems except for the date it was held — oh yea, we are talking about Democrats. They like to say that voter fraud started with Florida and “hanging chads” in 2000, but they are wrong. If you look through history from Tammany Hall to Chicago, it’s Democrats who are always twisting the rules of voting.
Republicans settled this thing in January. They assessed a 50% penalty to Florida and Michigan and will only seat half of the delegates at their convention, but they are seating them. That’s what they should have done with the Democrat delegates from Michigan and Florida but it made too much sense.
The ultimate penalty will be the disillusionment of the voters in the Democrat party. The fighting over what seems to the average American voter to be silly and after the fact makes voters dislike the process even more.
As for me, between the squirming of Barack Obama over his “spiritual advisor” and the total absence of loyalty in the Clinton campaign as they throw everyone in the way under the bus and the bickering over Michigan and Florida, it’s been a very good week for Republicans, indeed.