Sunday, June 01, 2008

plezWorld's Saturday with the DNC

plezWorld was awaken this morning by the television blaring the opening gavel and a call to order by Democratic National Committee (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee Co-Chair Alexis Herman. I took a few moments to listen to the co-chair comments before getting dressed for the day. Not much time to dawdle on Saturday mornings, as it is my duty to chauffeur the SugarPlum to her ballet lesson. I had the foresight to hit the record button on the DVR before we left for the ballet studio in Buckhead. Something told me that it would be a long day in front of the television, so the SugarPlum and I grabbed some lunch before making our way home through the brutal Atlanta traffic and near ninety degree heat.

I settled into my comfortable easy chair to watch gavel-to-gavel coverage of the all-important DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting. I almost immediately began flipping between C-SPAN (for their coverage without commentary) and CNN (for their opinions and commentary). The big issue of the meeting was to resolve the delegates that were in limbo as a result of an earlier ruling by the Rules and Bylaws Committee to disregard the results of the Michigan and Florida primaries. In direct violation of the rules of the DNC, the states of Michigan and Florida held their democratic primaries prior to the February 5th Super Tuesday. A number of states were given exclusive province to hold primaries and caucuses prior to February due to their small size, geography, and special demographics; Michigan and Florida are states with large delegate counts and the DNC didn't want them to negate the primaries of states with much smaller delegate counts (South Carolina, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa, etc.).

All of the Democratic candidates vowed to not campaign in Michigan and Florida, and all candidates except Hillary Clinton removed their names from the ballot in Michigan. None of the candidates, except Hillary Clinton, campaigned in Michigan or Florida. When the primaries were held in these two states, it was no surprise that Hillary Clinton won both contests in convincing fashion. To punish these states, the DNC stripped Michigan and Florida of their pledged and unpledged delegates, thus changing the number of delegates that was needed for the eventual Democratic candidate to secure the nomination for the party.

As the campaign proceeded and with Barack Obama moving closer to the nomination after Super Tuesday, the Clinton campaign swung into action demanding that the delegates from Michigan and Florida be seated, and that she be awarded the rich cache of delegate votes that accompanied them. She pressured the Rules Committee to convene and change their ruling stripping those states of all of their delegates... that brings us to Saturday, May 31, 2008.

The remarks given during the five-plus hour debate session were passionate. Clinton's supporters were well prepared to make the case that the delegates from both states should be seated:
  1. Florida's Republican-led legislature moved the date to late January and Florida DNC was unable to have a primary on an alternate date,
  2. Clinton won 55% of the vote in Michigan where none of the other candidates had their names on the ballot, and
  3. There was no provision in the rules to remove delegate privileges from unpledged (super) delegates and only allowed a fifty percent penalty for pledge delegates.
The counter arguments focused on the rules that were established and agreed upon before the primary season began and those rules carried a fifty percent delegate penalty for moving the primaries before Super Tuesday. After a few hours of discussion, the Rules and Bylaws Committee went into a two hour private session... two hours morphed into four hours of closed door debate and negotiation.

The haggard committee members returned to their seats after their four hour "break." A motion to seat all Florida delegates (pledged and unpledged) was quickly defeated. The motion to seat all Florida superdelegates and seat the pledged Florida delegates with one half of a vote was passed almost unanimously; Clinton was given 105 pledged delegates (with 52.5 votes) and Obama was given 67 pledged delegates (with 33.5 votes). The Michigan motion to seat the pledged delegates with one half a vote each passed overwhelmingly; Clinton received 69 pledged delegates (with 34.5 votes) and Obama received 59 pledged delegates (with 29.5 votes) even though his name wasn't on the ballot! One of Clinton's top advisers objected profusely with the Michigan delegate decision and threatened that the fight would continue to the convention with a grievance filed with the Credentials Committee.

After the smoke cleared, Clinton ended up with 87 votes to Obama's 63 votes; Obama's 200 plus vote lead was hardly affected... and there remain few obstacles to prevent him securing the party's nomination after the Tuesday primaries in Montana and South Dakota.

Read the entire CNN article about the DNC Meeting here.
Read the entire New York Times article on DNC Meeting here.

plez sez: after the partisan theatrics of the clintonistas and their feeble attempt to wrest control of the democratic nomination from Barack Obama, it is obvious that it time for her to call it quits. if the situations were reversed, Obama would've been forced to concede weeks ago! he has most of the pledge delegates, he has most of the superdelegates, he has won the most contests, he has the most popular votes... the time to direct attention toward the general election has come.

a winning move would be for the two of them to appear together on tuesday evening after the montana and south dakota primaries; how cool would it be for hillary clinton to introduce Barack Obama as the next president of the united states!

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