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Michigan and Florida DNC Rules Committee Meeting

Three Things You Need to Know About Michigan and Florida

We're about to hear the end of the big Michigan/Florida do-the-delegates-count snafu — and they're showing the whole debate live now! I just know you're popping the popcorn and settling in to watch the whole shebang — here are three things to know while you watch the showdown.

The Role of Republicans in the Florida Trouble:

Were the Democrats sabotaged? Though Florida's Republican-controlled state legislature determined the date of the primary and Republican lawmakers did push vigorously for an early contest, it started with a Democrat. State Sen. Jeremy Ring introduced the legislation to reschedule the primary He said, "one thing you can be sure of," he said that Florida will be relevant during the primaries.” He's also said that he wasn't duped by anyone. Then the voting. Not one Democratic member of the state House voted against the measure, and hardly any opposition in the Senate.

I promised three, and I will not ask for a change of the rules after the beginning of the game — for the rest,


Has Hillary Always Wanted the Votes Counted?

Not exactly. Clinton said in 2007 "it's clear that this election they're having [in Michigan] is not going to count for anything." A little bit later, her campaign manager said, "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process. . . . and the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will . . . adhere to the DNC-approved nominating calendar."

Then on Jan. 25 (after Michigan and Florida) she said, "And so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan."

What's Likely to Happen Today?

Probably not awarding the delegates according to the popular vote and seating all of them, like Clinton would like. The Rules and Bylaws Committee probably will not reverse the sanctions completely — that's a decision that would set a bad precedent for other states and start the primary season for the 2012 election, around tomorrow. The committee members "have expressed little interest in the option of seating all the delegates." They will probably follow the recommendation of DNC lawyers who say that the appropriate legal resolution would either be to allow half the number of delegates from each state into the convention, or let the full delegations attend with half a vote each. Obama will likely get a party favor of delegates from his missed Michigan contest.

Newsweek has two great FAQs with even more tangly info — just so you'll know exactly what to yell at the screen. What do you think the outcome of today will mean for Hillary?


Jillness Jillness 9 years
"I don't know why states struggle so much for "relevancy" during a presidential campaign" It is allllll about the CASH! When a state is an early runner, they get SO MUCH media attention...which means that media crews are eating at the state's restaurants, staying in their hotels, just spending money like crazy. Even small time businesses like local caterers, party supply stores, bookstores, everyone sees a boom in business. It brings in millions and millions of dollars to the states. They buy radio and tv ads, etc. And the campaigns visit for 6-9 months before the caucus/primaries because a lead in early elections can give you a huge bump. The states are just upset because they want the money that comes with being an early state. The problem is you can't all be early. There has to be some sort of organization. I don't know why they chose the states they do, but we can't just have a free for all.
stephley stephley 9 years
Good point Grace - the time to be relevant is when you're electing and appointing local government and party officials so that the national party has a decent pool of people to work with. But there's no glory in that.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I don't know why states struggle so much for "relevancy" during a presidential campaign. For what? A bunch of pointless rah-rah-rah's, a quick 10 min blip on CNN and half-hearted campaign promises that will never amount to anything? I don't care if my state is first, in-between or last. What's the point of it all? I don't know, maybe I'm just bitter.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Oh no! I don't think we should have MORE. I just don't think it should happen on one day that's all.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
i seriously think thats what it was stephly, im wracking my brain trying to remember and im just soo over it that i dont want to google it. harmony-what dean suggests is good in theory but in this society more voting days would just be more time for the media to influence decisions. no thanks!
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I think that voting on one day is a bad idea. We need to have time to get to know the candidates and what they stand for, and they need to address problems in each state not just for the U.S. as a whole. This is the ONE thing I agree with Howard Dean on.
stephley stephley 9 years
Guess everyone's jealous of the attention Iowa and New Hampshire get. This has all been such an incredible waste of time, money and energy!
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
the whole thing started out really childish, i know that florida was pissed about the democrats not campaigining as much there and then michigan followed florida.
stephley stephley 9 years
That would just be a crazy election day with too many candidates... I thought the Party moved some primaries so that a greater number of groups would be represented on Super Tuesdays - like South Carolina was moved so that black voters would be represented. Then other states decided they didn't want to be left out of the action. It's a crazy system but I doubt the states would agree to being told by the parties exactly when to have their primaries and how to conduct them.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I wish I had been able to watch this, too. Party issues aside, I think the whole delegate allocation process and the electoral college have done a lot to remove the democratic process from the people. IIRC, several states were moving their primaries up this year, weren't they? The point being, states with late primaries really have less say and fewer choices in the process. Therefore, I don't really blame states that wanted earlier primaries. And it's a bit unfair that the party allow some states to be early, but not others. Why don't we just have one primary day, nationwide, and allocate delegates the same way everywhere? Say, one delegate per 25,000 voters in each state? Or is there some subtlety I'm missing. Looks to me like the Dems are desperately trying to throw away another one....
Jillness Jillness 9 years
That is the thing, flutterpie. Ickles, Hillary, and Bill Clinton are all on record as saying earlier that the states should be stripped. How they can lob such serious accusations in the name of defending breaking of the rules is beyond me. And before these delegates were decided, Obama was 150+ delegates ahead of her. 4 doesn't seem to make that much difference in light of that spread, IMO. Her camp was saying every vote needed to count. I don't see how this argument applies to this situation because it was over delegates, not counting of the popular vote. Delegates are representational. In our system, every person's vote is a fraction of the whole, which is based on the number of people who live in your area...not the number of people that vote. Delegates for a person's area are awarded based on who wins their zone and how many delegates that zone was worth, not directly because of one person's vote .
stephley stephley 9 years
Last year, they were believing all the great press Hillary was getting as the one to beat so they could be harda$$e$.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
in this race 4 delegates is kind of a big deal with that being said, i was all gung ho with harold ickes and his rant and THEN i read that he was one of the original voters to strip florida and michigan of their delegats. are you freakin kidding me? where the hell was your outrage a year and a half ago? i am so confused as to why everyone is shouting democracy last year they didnt care about it. what the hell am i missing?
laceykk23 laceykk23 9 years
yeah i think he will get the number needed in the next three days, i heard that he will get the supers to declare on monday and then on tuesday after the primaries he will have clinched it. so that way the people, instead of party insiders, will give this to him. and according to chris matthews obama will get the 'hollywood' ending, lol. and jillness i too thought it was petty that ickes kept stating that this decision was 'hijaking' the election(or whatever he said) and that taking four delegates from hillary was grounds enough to take it to the floor of the convention. if it was like 20-30 then i could understand but its only 4, not that big of a difference if you ask me.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I'm really pissed now that I didnt watch because I read an article about all the bickering and it sounded entertaining! :) Won't Obama get the delegates he needs in the next 3 days? I thought I heard that... maybe I'm just lost... there has been FAR too much math in this primary!!! :)
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Harold Ickes is threatening to go to the convention over 4 delegates . As one of the board members said, this was a decision reached over a LOT of deliberation. There are just so many things to consider when it comes to Michigan, and I think what they reached was fair. I think that the protesters complain that justice wasn't done, but where is the justice in rewarding flagrant disregard for the rules? What do these people really stand for?
juju4 juju4 9 years
Lacey I agree that her supporters were out of line. I didn't see how anyone could think clearly with all that racket. I doubt that her camp will be happy with the outcome, but honestly, she got more than she was owed in my opinion. By the rules, neither candidate would get any delegates, and they were awarded half so she should really be happy with what she got.
laceykk23 laceykk23 9 years
i was watching and thought the clinton supportors, while free to state thier opinion, were a little out of hand and kind of disrepectful! and the verbal smackdown of harol ickes at the end was priceless!!! i think what they passed today was the fairest solution and probably without a doubt in august those two states will eventually get a full vote after all is said and done. i cannot wait to hear the words 'presumtive democratic nominee barack obama' on tuesday b/c i really think he will get the superdels and the votes on tuesday will put him over the top once and for all!!! p.s. i dont know if anyone heard this(although im sure you all did) but barack resigned from his church today. it was something that def. had to be done and im glad he did.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"if they were so concerned about being "relevant" than why didnt they follow the rules" AMEN!
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
if they were so concerned about being "relevant" than why didnt they follow the rules!? they knew that this would happen and they held their primaries anyways. and now they want to whine and cry about being "relevant". "ohhhh we didnt know it would last this long....wah wah wah"
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I love the quote: "One thing you can be sure of, FL will be relevant during the primaries." They may be relevant, but their delegates shouldn't count. What interesting drama
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
ya i agree with her, im sorry but my mother taught me something too "life isnt always fair, so just suck it up and move on" im embarrassed to be a democrat right now.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 9 years
This I did enjoy. Totally quote of the day. "My momma taught me to play by the rules and respect those rules. My mother taught me, and I'm sure your mother taught you, that when you decide change the rules, middle of the game, end of the game, that is referred to as cheatin.'" -- Donna Brazile
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
the whole thing is stupid, they want to divide the delegates up evenly in michigan, so then its going to be "oh well obama/hillary isnt even the real democratic nominee". and i swear to god if i hear the word "fair" one more time im going to start screaming incoherently.
blondie01 blondie01 9 years
so true cabaker! There is always something
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