A-hem! A-men.

On this very blog Tuesday, March 4, at 11:32 a.m., Ari from Edge of the American West wrote this in the comments to my post called, “What is wrong with Maureen Dowd?”:

“If you can arrange for do-over in MI and FL, I’ll agree to campaign for Hillary from this point forward. Seriously, I’d love to see it. But it’s not going to happen.”  (This was in response to Historiann’s comment that she “would strongly support [a re-vote in Michigan and Florida], rather than the seating of the Clinton delegates from those two states, which would indeed be unfair.”)  If you recall, in the Michigan primary Clinton was the only candidate on the ballot.  In Florida both Clinton and Obama were on the ballot, but they had agreed not to campaign there, and Florida Democrats were told their votes in that primary wouldn’t count.

Well, Ari, Historiann has personally arranged for this, along with my BFF’s Ed Rendell, Jon Corzine, all of the Democrats in Florida and Michigan, and Clinton campiagn manager Maggie Williams.  We’ve just about cinched the deal.  According to this letter from Williams, the Clinton campaign is go-go for a re-vote.  Now, it’s true that we haven’t sealed the deal yet.  When that happens, you may sign up to start making phone calls on behalf of Senator Clinton in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida at hillaryclinton.com.  (To which address should I send you the tee-shirts and campaign buttons?)

UPDATE, this afternoon:  Obama Michigan campaign co-Chair rejects a re-vote; Obama campaign rejects mail-in vote in Florida and Michigan.

0 thoughts on “A-hem! A-men.

  1. I’m glad that they’re trying to solve the immediate problem of Fla and Mich, but it’s probably wishful to consider that the Dems might consider the huge mess that is the Democratic primary system. Superdelegates? Caucuses and primaries (sometimes in the same state on the same day)? Unimportant states having way too much influence early on. No wonder the system brought us those supercandidates Gore and Kerry.

    And I’m sure the Clintons want a redo in Fla.– the voter fraud poster state. (Anecdotal, my sis moved to Fla last year and registered as a Democrat at the DMV. When she went to vote this year, they told her she could not vote in the Democratic primary because she had been entered as independent.)

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  2. Yep, Rad–typical Democratic cluster-screw-up! But, it’s all of a pace with the anti-urban, absurdly pro-rural system of apportioning congressional representation that goes back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the bones tossed to the slave states in order to stay in the cause. The 3/5 Compromise and 2 senators for every state radically tilted congressional representation to the South and West (and away from places that have, you know, more citizens than acreage), and arguably still does. This arrangement was all to the benefit of the Democratic party, which was of course the party of slaveholding white Southerners and Indian-fighting white Westerners, and as we have seen it’s been to the benefit (in presidential and congressional politics) of Republicans for the past 40 years.

    Abolish the electoral college! It’s outrageous that people in California have exactly as many Senators to appeal to as people in Rhode Island or Wyoming. What a joke!

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  3. No–the point of the new Constitution would be to tilt power away from the South and the West. (And I write that as a Westerner, for now.)

    On the other hand, maybe it’s better just to amend our rickety old one for the next century. Remember the endless hassles of writing the EU constitution a few years back, and all of the bad language that got written? (Bad as in inelegant, imprecise, opaque, not bad as in naughty profanity, that is.)

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  4. That was before Ferraro. But if there are new primaries (which, I think, was the deal), I’ll, um, put up a sign* or something. Seriously, the Ferraro thing was the final straw for me. You probably don’t want to talk to me about any of this right now; I’m no longer even a bit rational on the subject. I’m really sorry to be a crab. I’m just very shaken by the Ferraro thing. I’m considering registering as an independent.

    *In my closet.

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  5. Ari–you’re a good sport, and a good egg in my book. Thanks for taking my teasing so well. And *I* care that you would still vote for HRC if she’s on the ballot in November! I think it would be good for all of us political nuts to unplug for the next 5-1/2 weeks…

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  6. Hi Historiann!! Michigan may be a different case, but I would quibble a bit with the notion that it’s unfair to seat the Florida delegation as elected in January. Both candidates were on the ballot. Both honored the agreement not to campaign in that state. (Clinton got a lot of criticism for flying in after the polls closed to thank her voters, but, in the comments sections of the whining skateboarders on some of the blogs I’m reading, she probably got a lot of criticism for sending her mom a Mother’s Day card, too! It didn’t change the outcome).

    The campaign was proceeding nationwide and Florida voters had every reasonable opportunity to consider candidate’s merits. Clinton won decisively. It might even be argued that this event was a fairer and more unfiltered test of the merits than any other, since the voters were not being assaulted with relentless close-in exhortations. (Here in Pennsylvania, by contrast, we half-expect to be voting in late April with symptoms of political concussion!) Anyway, if Clinton has to put her Florida *win* back on the table, let’s choose a particularly eggregious caucus state from the Obama column, turn it into an actual test of voter judgement (rather than stamina, access, or mastery of arcane procedure) and put that one back up for grabs too.

    The bigger question–and this is getting NO press attention at all–is the one of the fabled “party rules” with respect to Michigan and Florida. What rules? If parties were willing to organize, fund, and manage their own primaries, they could have any rules they wanted. By availing themselves of the apparatus of the states and of governmental infrastructure, on the other hand, they rightly accept all sorts of public intervention. State legislatures specify registration deadlines and electoral procedures, decide whether independents can vote in party elections, whether voters can vote cross-party, and a wide range of other things. Why can and should legislators not set the dates of elections? Party “rules” designed to protect the interests of bed and breakfast owner associations in Iowa and New Hampshire, or to stroke myopic nostalgia over never-existent neighborly decisionmaking, seem like a precious thing to pit against the rights and interests of millions of electors.

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  7. Ari, I’m not sure what’s surprising or unusual about the Ferraro thing. People identified by ethnicity get told that kind of thing fairly regularly. And a lot of people think that way. On the other side, the Obama campaign jumps because the Ferraro comment punctures their fiction of running a candidate who is both postethnic and black. And then you get competing charges of racism. I tend to think there’s a reality check aspect to that whole exchange, and I hope it reminds the Obama people that race will come up in the general election. As will gender, should Hillary be crowned by the superdelegates.

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  8. Ferraro’s comments, and her repulsive, threatening reaction to the criticism that came her way, have made it *much* harder for the superdelegates to back Hillary. They already would have had to ignore Obama’s pledged delegate lead, and, very likely, his popular vote lead. Now they’d have to do both of those things and also risk alienating one of the most reliably Democratic voting blocs in the nation. As you say, though, this kind of thing happens all the time. I just don’t know how that’s supposed to make me feel better. Sorry, not even I’m that cynical. And I’m pretty cynical. You can ask anyone.

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  9. Ari, it is almost certain the Clinton will go into the convention with the popular vote (we can strip FL of delegates, but we can’ deny that nearly 2 million people voted there) if she wins PA. Obama will have the deledged delegate lead, but the discrepancy with the popular vote underscores the fact that most of his wins have been in low population,impossib;le to win in Nov. caucus states with 2 or 4 or 6 % turnout. And that a lot of states have open systems where Republicans are helping to determine the Democratic nominee. A large part of the superdelegate mission is to ensure that the nominee is the choice of Democrats and the most viable candidate in the fall. Ferraro’s statements were ignorant and unacceptable, but they’ve been universally condemned. There’s also the fact that there’s been a ton of gross sexism in the race, and that it has been neither acknowledged nor condemned. I don’t want to alienate one of teh most reliably Democratic voting blocs in teh nation, but I also don’t want to alienate the single largest voting bloc we have, women. I don’t want to cede Latinos to Mccain either, because if Clinton is not the nominee Mccain is very appealing to Latino voters. There are many more factors that need to be taken into consideration.

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