How Michigan and Florida Screwed Themselves

ImageEven though both Michigan and Florida screwed themselves, they are both appealing to the DNC Rules Committee to get their full delegations seated. There are three different questions being decided at today’s meeting.1). Should the delegates be seated? 2). How should the delegates be awarded to the candidates? 3). Will the popular vote count?

Florida seems like the easier of the two states to resolve. Florida’s argument is that the moving up of the primary date was done by the Republicans who control the state government who attached an amendment to an election reform bill that moved the state’s primary up ahead of the party specified date of February 5. Except for the Clinton speakers at the meeting who called for all of the delegates to be seated, most seem open to seating all of Florida’s delegation but giving them a half vote.

“We recognize, in fact, that Florida has violated that timing rule,” said Florida Democratic National Committee member Jon Ausman. He also said that some kind of punishment is “appropriate.” Florida will probably take their 50% sanction, but the question of the popular vote may not be decided by this committee. The popular vote is critical for Clinton who needs to be leading in some category to make the argument to the superdelegates that she should be the nominee. The Obama campaign is willing to go along with a plan that would allow Clinton to gain a net 16 delegates in Florida.

The more difficult dilemma is what to do with Michigan, where many of the candidates, including Barack Obama, took their names off the ballot. Michigan is proposing a 69-59 delegate split for Clinton. They calculated this number based on the results of their primary, the number of Democrats who voted uncommitted, and exit polls. The Rules Committee is skeptical about this recommendation to say the least. Sen. Carl Levin is speaking now, and he is calling for the state’s entire delegation to be seating with full voting rights.

Michigan has a Democratic governor, who signed off moving their primary up, so unlike Florida, they really have no excuse. I think that the committee will end up resolving this with a slight advantage for Clinton.

Michigan and Florida screwed themselves by gambling that Hillary Clinton would have the nomination wrapped up by Super Tuesday. It is ironic that if they just would have stuck with the original schedule, both states would have played critical roles in the primary, and had the eyes of the nation on them. It was simple ego on the part of each state’s politicians, and those egos should be punished.

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