Thursday, May 22, 2008


About Michigan and Florida

The results of the "elections" in Michigan and Florida do not show up in the delegate counts of Senators Clinton and Obama. In the case of Michigan, all Democratic candidates except Clinton removed their names from the ballot because the date of the election violated the rules set forth by the Democratic National Committee. The candidates' names stayed on the ballot in Florida. However, Senator Clinton campaigned in those States while Obama and the others did not. Naturally, she "won" the votes and now argues she is entitled to the delegates that these votes would justify.

Is she entitled to claim victories in the Michigan and Florida primaries? I don't think so. There was no campaign by the other candidates for votes in those two States. The other candidates accepted the rules laid down by the DNC. Clinton at first accepted these rules also, but now that she is behind in the delegate count she insists that delegations from these States be seated at the Convention in Denver.

"The plans of mice and men gang oft agley" according to Robert Burns. In October of last year, Senator Clinton was the clear front-runner for the Democratic Nomination. She had a highly effective fund-raising organization. She had the support of the great majority of elected Democratic officials nation-wide. The DNC catered to the desires of such States as California to hold their primaries early in the year so that they could be influential in the outcome of the candidate selection process. It was expected that Senator Clinton would win these early primaries and have a majority of delegates sewed up by some time in March. She would then have eight months in which to campaign against the Republican opponent. It was going to be a great year for her, a great year for women, a great year for Democrats.

Then the upstart from Illinois, Barack Obama, came along and spoiled it all. The Democratic nominee is not going to be known until next month at the earliest and perhaps not until the convention. The ultimate nominee will have only three months in which to campaign.

The primary contest this year has been a disaster for Hillary R. Clinton. She's run out of money and has had to lend her campaign several million dollars from her own wealth. It appears unlikely that she will be the nominee of the Party. She isn't handling defeat at all well. She insists that the people of Michigan and Florida have their votes count and be represented at the Convention. That's a noble thought, but no one has figured out how to represent these people fairly. It isn't fair to count the results of the early and "illegal" primary elections, not because they violated the DNC rule but because the other candidates didn't campaign in those States. In Michigan Democratic voters were given the choice of two groups of delegates: those pledged to Hillary Clinton and those not pledged to anyone. Michigan Democrats did not have the chance to vote for Obama, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Dodd, or Biden. There is no way that simply admitting a slate of Clingon delegates and a slate of uncommitted delegates to the Convention is being fair to the Democrats of Michigan.

Mrs. Clinton would do herself a lot of good by graciously accepting the results of the voting in those States that followed the DNC rules.


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