Dems 2008: Clearing up confusion on MI and FL [Karl]
The reason for the confusion is a fight between Michigan’s leading Democrats, including Sen. Carl Levin and Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and the Democratic National Committee. Frustrated that Iowa and New Hampshire were getting so much attention, Michigan’s political elites in both parties changed their Feb. 9 caucus to a primary and bumped it to Jan. 15.
The Republican National Committee did not object, meaning the GOP results will stand. But the DNC declared that no delegates chosen that day would be seated at this summer’s convention — the same sanction imposed on Florida. Neither side budged.
During the stand-off, Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot. Obama and Edwards did not.
Thus, these Democratic primaries are – for the moment – technically meaningless.Ã‚Â Nevertheless, in Michigan, the Obama and Edwards campaignsÃ‚Â are urging their supporters to cast ballots for “uncommitted.”
Why bother?Ã‚Â The answer is simple.Ã‚Â MI Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer explains:
“I think we’ll get seated. I’m not concerned about that penalty at all,” Brewer said. “Politically, the Democratic nominee needs to win Michigan and Florida, and they are not going to start the general election campaign by antagonizing the parties in those two states.”
Moreover, as I have previously noted, sourcesÃ‚Â in the DNC admitted as much to Lefty blogger Chris Bowers.
Consider how the politics of this fight plays out:
“There are a lot of people who are going to feel disenfranchised,” said state Rep. Coleman Young Jr. (D-Detroit).
The key term there is disenfranchised.Ã‚Â Democrats still claim (albeit without evidence) that voters in Florida were disenfranchised in 2000.Ã‚Â The DNC does not really want to be in the business of disenfranchising voters in Florida… and if it does not penalize Florida, fairness – and the desire to avoid antagonizing these voters in the general election – will demand that Michigan be seated also.
Not that such a fight at the Democratic National Convention wouldn’t be amusing, as it is the establishment candidate, Sen. Clinton, who stands to benefit.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â But that fight is unlikely to be staged.