FL and MI can’t be seated, game over for Hillary?

Maybe the question is, is it now really over for Clinton? It might be said that Hillary Clinton’s last, best chance was to fully seat Michigan and Florida at the convention and restore their delegates. Even then, Obama would still have the lead in pledged delegates. However, it would have given her a reason to argue for the nomination considering she has won some major states in this contest.

Word today is that lawyers working on behalf of the Democratic Party say that Michigan and Florida cannot be fully restored, story from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.

Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party’s legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is “as far as it legally can” go.

Saturday’s meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, with Clinton supporters among those encouraging a protest outside demanding that all the states’ delegates be seated. Proponents of full reseating have mailed committee members Florida oranges and pairs of shoes to get their attention.

DNC officials are concerned about a potentially large turnout at the “Count Every Vote” rally outside the event and have asked the hotel staff to increase security to keep everyone safe. The DNC says the roughly 500 seats available to the public inside were taken within three or four minutes of becoming available online Tuesday.

The DNC analysis does not make recommendations for how the Rules and Bylaws Committee should vote, but gives context from the party’s charter and bylaws for the committee to consider.

The analysis said there are two options to include half the delegations — either allow half the number of delegates from each state into the convention or allow the full delegations to attend, but give them each half a vote. “The rule does not actually specify whether the reduction is to be accomplished on the basis of delegate positions or delegate votes,” the analysis said, giving committee members some justification for sending the entire delegations with half-votes as some leaders in the states want.

The analysis also underscores a prickly problem: If the Rules and Bylaws Committee decides to restore any of the states’ delegates, there is not a simple way to divide them between Clinton and Barack Obama.

That’s especially true in Michigan, where Obama had his name pulled from the ballot. He didn’t have the option of removing his name in Florida, but all the candidates signed a pledge not to campaign in either state.

Clinton won the majority of the vote in Florida and Michigan and has been arguing that the delegates should be fully restored according to the results of the January primaries. But even if they were, it would not be enough for her to overtake Obama’s delegate lead.

As it becomes clear that Obama likely will win the nomination, he has been working to win over voters in the two states with visits in recent days. He plans to return to Michigan on Monday.

The DNC staff analysis argues that the Rules and Bylaws Committee was fully within its rights to strip all 368 delegates from the two states when they scheduled primaries in January. Party rules said their nominating contests could be no earlier than Feb. 5. Michigan voted on Jan. 15, Florida on Jan. 29.

Sounds like a small portion of the delegates, maybe half, will eventually be restored to give each state a seat at the convention. This won’t help Clinton’s cause toward the nomination and I’m betting this is the final nail in her coffin this election season. The Democratic Party has now chosen to begin rallying around Obama.

Here’s a video report on this situation from the Associated Press:

If the Obama and Clinton campaign are close to an agreement, that means there will be compromise and the half delegate seating is probably likely considering neither campaign wants to entirely alienate Florida and Michigan voters.

Sound off below, does this matter and is this Hillary Clinton’s exit in June?

  • Don Rossi Nuccio

    It is not a matter of who gains delegates out of the counting of the Florida and Michigan primaries. It is about the rights of the peoples of both of these great states to have their voices heard. They were told when to vote and they did. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the right to dismiss the voice of these peoples, or for that matter anyone who is qualified to vote and VOTES! The DNC’s stubborn and arrogant stance is creating even more of a rift within their own party. This is an extremely close Presidential contest with almost equal numbers of people voting for either Democratic candidate. It is imperative that the FULL VOICE of the peoples of Florida and Michigan are recorded and registered not only because its the right thing to do; and further should be done to contribute to the determination of this heated contest; but for future generations to see that back in 2008 we did the right thing. This will be part of the political history of our great nation.

  • Babs

    I’m hoping they will seat them all with 1/2 vote. It may not matter mathmatically, but it sounds much better for the party’s unity to let ALL delegates vote, even if it only counts for 1/2 vote. I think it will pacify both states in a way striking half the delegate count up front won’t.

    I don’t think this debaucle is what Hillary’s looking at to time an exit. In fact, I don’t think Hillary’s thinking of exiting at all. This is just my prediction, we’ll see how it plays itself out. I think that she’s banking on some major scandal popping up around Obama – and who knows, she could be right – or for public opinion to shift in a big way away from Obama, and in that case she could fight for it on the convention floor if she had to. If she drops out, she’s lost that tiny shred of a loophole she may have. Superdelegates have switched from Hillary to Obama, they can switch again if the issue is big enough.

    So I predict she’s not going to officially drop out at any time, I think she’s in it until the nomination is final in August at the convention. She’ll lose, but she won’t quit until the last hope is gone. And the last hope is the National Convention for any Democrat running this close to the front. Just my prediction and opinion. 😉

  • Frank

    I dont understand Hillary,

    – In january she agreed tot these rules and said the states will count for nothing.
    – Even if the delegates where seated, Obama would still have more pledged delegates.

    Her behaviour is really childish. What is her current goal? Does she actually believe she can shock the convention in Denver?

  • Babs

    Frank, in America we have a saying “It ain’t over til it’s over”. And it ain’t over until the Convention. How’s it done in the Netherlands?

  • john, phx

    thats bull. hillary will win, watch and see. I think the dnc IS STARTING TO SUSPECT HOW ALLOF OBAMA IS. Gee, it seems like he’s got a family members all over freeing colonies, camps and moving mountains. What a joke. i woudnt nominate this clown for dog catcher

  • Dreadsen

    “freeing colonies, camps and moving mountains” LOL????

    All i know is i bet the DNC wishes they had the convention earlier then August. There won’t be any time for them to heal their party in just two months. Especially with the issues between their supporters.

    I know McCain is dancing a jig right now at the thought!

  • Dem ’08

    This whole deal is sick! Most people don’t care what is right, either that or they change what is right in their mind so they can claim they are doing right. Every vote must count or don’t elect anybody I say!

    Obama is a fool and I hate to see it but I am thinking that the Dumbocrats are going to give it to McCain.

  • Cameroon

    What are the rules of the democratic Party?Let the rules be applied as candidates abided by.Point.What were the consequences of voting before the fixed date?Apply.Beacuse there is a wave of violence that the clintons are planting every Blesséd day.When she was winning there was no florida and Michigan when she is loosing,The case.Let the delegates be sitted.Voters should not be franchised.Every vote must be counted.White-colar and women are with me.The uneducated are with me.Lol.Where does she stand when she is loosing.Is she becoming king Lear.God bless her wits.I am sick.Thanks God I am not America.I pity myself for taking time to read dirty politics.When rules are set they should be respected.Point.Hope they are not prolonging the primaries for the June assasination.God forbid.I am sick.

    I’m getting really sick and tired of people false accusations of Obama being this and Hillary being that. The point is that the country is looking for a change and improvement from what the current president has done to this country. Trying to degrade what experience or lack of experience Obama has is not going to change what alot of people want and believe that Obama will bring to existance. If everyone believe, like so many you are trying make people to believe,with Hillary’s experience, she can win FL, MI, OH, and all other important states that you claim to be true in the November is pure opinions not a fact.
    But if it so much a fact, as you keep saying, than she would have won the nomination a long time ago and Obama would have been out supporter her for the general election but that is not the case, so everyone to keep discredit what Obama can bring and do for the country and what Hillary’s experience she has or doesn’t is irrelevant to what most people are saying and wanting for the country; which is a change and they believe that Obama can bring that.

    You can also look at this way: If Obama clinch the nomination and you decide to vote for McCain because Hillary didn’t win and over false accusations that were brought about during the campaign like his religion, his preacher, and so on, than look at the country right now and add another four years of job going overseas, gas and food prices going up, tax cuts that would benefit the rich and not the poor, minimum wage unchanged, unemployment on the rise;need I say more. That is what you will bring into existence if you turn your backs and vote for McCain because your candidate (Hillary) got beat out by Obama. THINK!!!! Do reallly want that?
    Well God Bless America.
    God Bless me/Obama/Chelsea.

  • Cameroon

    disfranchised.

    Well God Bless America.
    God Bless me/Obama/Chelsea.

  • S. Cameroon

    Americans Listen.Please Oh my God.Listen.No President can be an expert in all areas any more. A good CEO brings in the best brains available, listens to many opinions and works with people – not fights with them. Obama looked ahead and laid his groundwork for beyond Big Tuesday. That is thinking and planning ahead – contingency plans. He or managers have managed his finances superbly to be fiscally responsible and we certainly are in desperate need of that skill.Obama fundraising too large to handle for FEC, media is not a mistake.Its is not out of experiences that someone will offer for a gas tax holiday.Reason.
    HRC did not look head to be able to hit the road running and her campaign debt is in the millions when she has all experiences. Obama has many detractors as is obvious above, but no outright enemies in Congress which cannot be said of Hillary Clinton. Many White women will vote for him because you Americans see beyond gender. And, perhaps some of you can better ‘read’ one age/peer group and the nuances. One day, I would like a woman who really represents the US by running on her name and credentials. Hillary has not, but always been a Clinton, her husband’s aura. Her 35 years of experience and accomplishments in that time frame are pretty shallow. Churchill was one of the greatest orators of their time. Many doubted his abilities. Turned out to be one of the greatest war leaders for England. And, you are still at war! He could pull people together for the good of the Nation. You need that. Congress is the Legislative Branch, or used to be. It makes the laws. The Presidency is the Executive Branch but talk about power grabbing this past seven years and the most secrative Administration. I am no angel,I am not American but do not want another scandal-ridden White House, revengeful long knives in action, mass firings, etc.
    I read politics to complete the political Career of my dad in the 60’s in the Southern Cameroons I cannot believe the twists and turns to change rules or manipulate numbers within the HRC campaign. And, I thought that I heard it all. No,If I were American I could not vote for McCain but neither could I support the Party I have belonged to for years if it decides to change its decisions to allow a 2nd place candidate to take over. I would have to consider one of the Independents who are now announcing their candidacy. Yes, HRC is being very divisive to the Party.Some Black and Hispanic co-workers of both genders who were her supporters are outraged at the American White workers statement and have pulled away. They hear tall tales all day long and recognize when there is a steady stream of them.
    And, Florida is now another Zimbabwe! President Mugambe is a murderous tyrant who is determined to hold onto power so I dislike and mislike that analogy but nobody seems to have thought about him.Thanks God thare are parts of America that share thesame dream with Robot Mugabe. I shall continue to hope that the rule of law will prevail and not hysteria. I think too many people are not taking time to get their head around Obama who is not a let it all hang out, touchy, feely kind of person. Should nicely confound a lot of world leaders! We also need that in a changing world because altogether too many know you all too well to be able to anticipate us.
    I told my 10 year old son I will go to America.Immagine what he said “George Bull will kill you” Do Good things still come from America?This is the last chance for the 21st Century.

    Whatever.God Bless america.
    God Bless the president of Florida-Robot Mugabe.
    the.way.of.the.world@hotmail.com

  • Christopher Schwinger

    Hillary’s not through. The Democrat and Republican Parties have both been taken over by the CFR power establishment, which gives orders to the news media (Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings, etc. have been on the CFR). When she was almost a goner, I remember that CNN’s Anderson Cooper was very rueful about “having” to dwell on Rev. Wright. Obviously he wasn’t the one deciding! And soon after, people chickened out for a while and voted Hillary. I think the Democrat and Republican Conventions will both be extremely turbulent this time. I don’t know where that will lead, though. I have several suspicions.

  • Carlos

    So much hatred coming from inside the dem party.

    All you fanatical Clinton supporters who vow switching your sides are dooming yourselves and the nation to another 4 years of Bush politics. All of that for what? Spite?

    Wow, you really made your point, didn’t you? Now sit back on your butt and enjoy the fact you still hate your government because you were too stubborn and spiteful to put aside your differences and get the GOP out of the office. Do you really think HRC isn’t going to completely back Obama? Don’t you think she’s smarter than that?

    Get a clue!

  • Just to offer my two cents on this issue after watching the discussion, I do find it interesting that both Obama and Clinton agreed to the rules back in January, perhaps earlier. They knew what was at stake yet now they are trying to count these delegates. I’ll certainly say it’s in the Democratic Party’s best interest to seat the delegates, but it’s indicative of our society that there is now a desire to change the rules.

    The DNC made a poor choice in stripping ALL the delegates. They could have cut them in half, which would penalize the states, but not cut them out of the process.

    That’s just my opinion, you get what you pay for.

  • Fris

    I think the 1/2 vote idea is good as well. After all, even Terry McAuliffe (as the acting chairman of the DNC at the time) threatened to strip 50% of Michigan’s delegates in 2004 for voting before New Hampshire. He wrote in his book “What a Party!” —
    “For the good of the party …. The rules are the rules.”
    ^^^
    http://www.youdecide2008.com/2008/05/11/video-sunday-morning-strategists-and-surrogates-51108/

    I’d like to see Michigan and Florida seated with each delegate receiving a 1/2 vote, but I can even justify and understand the logic behind “The rules are the rules.” and upholding the stripping of all of their delegates. This was a threat put forward by the DNC in mid 2007 and all candidates signed off on it – yes, even Hillary – and when Michigan and Florida went through with it, the party upheld their half of the disagreement.

    I feel and empathize with the voters in Michigan and Florida over their frustration of all of this, but their grief needs to be directed to their state party, not the national convention. I think it’s absurd how it keeps being spun that somehow Clinton is in no way responsible for their unfortunate circumstance and that she’s pandering to them in the way that she is. They deserve more respect than that from her and if they weren’t so upset with the entire process right now, they would see through her instead of seeing her as a fighter/savior figure.

  • Frank

    Babs,

    The people have voted and they voted Obama. What am i missing here?

    And why are Clinton fans so mad at Obama? What has he done wrong?

  • Babs

    No Frank, only about half voted Obama, the other half voted Hillary. So we have a tug of war game going in the DNC.

  • Frank

    The majority voted for Obama then. Thats how democracy works right?

  • Babs

    The voting is not over, Frank. There are more states, delegates, and superdelegates left to vote. Everyone gets to vote, THAT’S how democracy works. 😉

  • Todd

    Just remember folks Democrats decided in 2000 that Bush was a “fake” or “appointed” president when he “stole” the election because people were disenfranchised. What is the difference now that you are doing it to yourselves ?