It's Their Party... They Can Cry If They Want To

listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

The two words we were talking about yesterday: Texas and Ohio. Today, the two words we keep hearing are Florida and Michigan. As in: The Democratic party stripped Florida and Michigan of its delegates as punishment for moving their primaries to an earlier date, but now want those delegates counted. And the only thing at stake here is the nomination itself. How will it turn out? Who knows. Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic National Committee, was on NPR yesterday, and was asked if Florida and Michigan would eventually have their delegates seated at the convention:

There is a process within the rules. They can come and petition, and give the Rules Committee a new plan for selecting their delegates.... They could appeal to the Credentials Committee.... We don't have any control over that. That's the elected delegates of the convention who'll make that decision.

We'll hear from Florida and Michigan on the show today, and find out how much is at stake here, and whether delegates from either state (or both) will eventually be counted.

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The media keeps saying that Florida and Michigan should be punished for breaking the rules.

I think we need to remember that REAL PEOPLE have voted in Florida and Michigan. The constitution ensures that every individual has the right for their vote to be counted. Whether by revote or another process, we must allow the votes to count.

We should also take note that a Republican Governor and congress determined the date for the primary. Are we going to let the republicans decide which delegates count in the democratic primary?

Sent by Phyllis | 3:10 PM | 3-6-2008

Michigan and Florida broke the DNC rules. When those states chose to hold primaries they knew their delegates would not be seated. End of story. Divide their delegates in half and subtract that from 2025 needed for the nomination. The party should not reward rule-breakers!

Sent by Andria in OKC | 3:12 PM | 3-6-2008

I am from Florida and voted for Edwards, but at this point I think what was voted on Jan. 29 should reflect the delegates seated in June. The whole process blew up in Florida Democrat's face and now the leaders of the DNC are disenfranchising the people that support their party.

Sent by Deborah | 3:45 PM | 3-6-2008

My husband and I are Democrats in Florida. I voted in the primary (because of the big Amendment issue on the ballot) but my husband refused - because our Democratic vote didn't count. We had a huge turnout here in Florida for the Primary, but I know of at least one voter who didn't. Perhaps there were even more.

Sent by Dolly Frank | 3:52 PM | 3-6-2008

I Live in Oregon and our primary isn't until May. In 2004, Kerry was already the nominee by the time we voted. I feel like my primary vote has never counted, yet no one calls me disenfranchised.

Sent by Peter Walters | 3:53 PM | 3-6-2008

I'm a voter from Michigan who had to resort to a "noncommitted" vote at our primary election when in fact I was VERY committed. Most candidates followed the party line and removed their names from the ballot. Senator Clinton did not. Now she wants to clain these delegates as hers when she nor any of her minions have set foot in the state. Shifting the rules to suit current political favor (our governor is a Clinton supporter) is at best unethical

Sent by Key | 3:57 PM | 3-6-2008

We are not with a party; we are independent for a reason and we cant vote in our caucus since its a closed one. However; we do not believe it is fair to either Clinton or Obama that they split the delegates 50 / 50 or they use the previous percentages since Edwards and others were also in at that time to split the delegates that way. Yes this might make it very difficult to win the nomination but they this is a choice that each state made and they need to live with it.

What we dont find fair at all; is the different caucuses and primaries in this country that divided the delegates and yet these are the same people who are nominating one of 2 people who we are supposed to be voting for in the general election yet we weren't allowed to vote in the caucus / primary. Ms Ferrara on NPR yesterday made just this point and its a valid one.

So the question becomes; how will Clinton or Obama get the 2025 they need to win? Why cant the DNC reduce the number needed to win by the number of delegates from FL and MI? We haven't heard a reason why this cant be done yet. This might help decide who; if either of them will get enough votes to win outright without having to have the super delegates weigh in. Someone want to tell us why this cant be done???

Sent by jm fay | 4:07 PM | 3-6-2008

This is why the DNC infuriates me. If there is a way to screw up an election, Howard Dean manages to find it. Republicans have been successful in their past elections due to solid party unity. That party unity is crumbling, and the Democrats have open opportunity to show their strength, but this nit-picking over delegates, super-delegates, and primary dates, etc is what will cause a loss to McCain in November. We argued the popular vote in 2000, and now we're going to cave over all these small issues and let super-delegates, Florida, and Michigan to decide the primary, just like the Supreme court decided the election in 2000. Ridiculous.

Sent by Lisa Stokes | 4:58 PM | 3-6-2008

I really don't think revolting in Florida or Michigan matters. Democrat leadership has already said so called super delegates can over ride anyway. NO ONE in the common herd matters anyway. Let every vote count, just some more than others.

Sent by George Scott | 6:09 PM | 3-6-2008

This is an insane argument. It is not the DNC, the candidates, nor the Republican Fla. Governor or legislature that are disenfranchising the Democratic voters of Florida, and those of Michigan. It is the Democrat party chairs of both these states that made the decisions to move their primaries up against DNC rules. They should come to the microphone, admit they made the mistake, apologize to the voters, candidates, and the nation for the mess they made, and ask that the delegates of their states be split down the middle and apportioned to the remaining candidates accordingly. Then they should immediately resign. They are sitting at home listening to this debate on TV & radio like they have nothing to do with it. Why hasn't NPR or any other news outlet sought these people out and asked why they made the decisions they did that caused all this trouble? They had other reasonable, less controversial choices that would have guaranteed the votes would be counted and their delegates be seated. They should be ashamed.

Sent by Dan Hardman | 11:13 PM | 3-6-2008

Why didn't Hillary Clinton make a fuss when these states were planning to move their election forward? She only now wants these delegates seated because she won them, even though she signed a pledge indicating that she would not "campaign or participate in any election contest" that violated DNC rules and that their delegates would be stripped. This woman will say anything to win. She is now saying that she will do everything to get those delegates seated. Her word means absolutely nothing, just with the NAFTA issue. She was the one that told the Canadian government that her words regarding NAFTA should be taken with a grain of salt. However, she slimed Senator Obama, and said that he was the one that made those comments. That is completely outrageous! What about this lawsuit that is being brought against her for campaign finance fraud related to her senate race?

Sent by nita | 11:48 AM | 3-7-2008

The candidates integrity hinges on adhering to their stated positions and the policy of the DNC at the time of the primaries. Any deviation from that indicates devious duplicity. Arguments that invite consideration of the voters on grounds of fairness must be directed at the forces within the states that created this Machiavellian charade. The clinton campaingn's sense of advantage in seating the delegates will be easily turned against her in the general election as a foreshadowing of more years of "Clinton parsing" of the truth. Those who answer "what truth?" have already crossed the line.

Sent by Joseph Huben | 5:25 AM | 3-8-2008

Regarding experience,our society has for many years dismissed women's contributions as somehow lesser than men's. Best example: "she is just a housewife, and her contributions to the success and management of the household is inferior to the male contribution. I think this is what Hillary is emphasizing in her experience resume, and I do believe it is valid.

Sent by Phyllis | 2:42 PM | 3-10-2008

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