Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Florida-Michigan week!

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

Hello friends and neighbors,

This kind of feels a little bit like Homecoming week, right? A week's worth of hoopla leading up to the big game on Saturday. Two national powerhouses fighting for electoral supremacy.

The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) will meet this weekend to consider what to do with the issue of Florida and Michigan and their willing decision to bust Party rules in the presidential nominating process.

Leading up to all of this - there are so many lingering questions: What will the outcome be? Who will be the biggest cheerleaders for each side? Will there be any entertaining means of deciding this such as a pie eating contest or a round of H.O.R.S.E.?

To add some insight into how we got here, I've pieced together a calendar dating back to 2002. This offers details on the history of the showdown, how we got here, and of the decisions that were made along the way. I hope you find this to be helpful reading.

To see the full Michigan-Florida Timeline dating back to 2002, visit www.MrSuper.org and see for yerself.

Happy reading,

-Ed.

UPDATE: May 28, 11:00 AM Eastern - the MrSuper.org Florida-Michigan Comprehensive Timeline has been updated. Quite a few updates today, all of which are highlighted in blue. Click here to view the entire timeline.

17 comments:

reddwarf2956 said...

Mi and Fl give a very good reason for not voting for HRC. She will flip-and-flop like a fish out of water. We do not need that now.

scantron said...

Does anyone know if the RBC meeting will be either televised or streamed?

Thanks.

Ben said...

My money says the RBC will NOT make a decison by May 31.
They will find a reason to defer the decision hoping that Obama garners enough delegates via remaining primairies AND super delegates by June 3 to clinch the nomination.

ahoff48 said...

I would love to hear the RBC cross-examine Terry McAuliffe at the hearing. Presumably they can insist that he answer the questions, and not just rant on and on for a change. Should be a fun take.

KCinDC said...

This would be a lot more unpleasant if Obama had won, say, 25 fewer pledged delegates (which had gone to Clinton instead). As it is, Obama will have the majority of pledged delegates even with an insanely pro-Clinton settlement.

Which is why Lanny Davis is having to rationalize bizarre new plans for awarding uncommitted delegates to Clinton when they were elected by people specifically voting against her. The argument just makes her side a laughstock.

Thralen said...

Scantron:
I heard on the Obama blog that it will be streamed by CNN. I don't know how reliable that is but it was mentioned by several different sources.
Thralen

trudy said...

To be live streamed at democrats.org and also on cspan. I called the dnc.

scantron said...

Thralen and trudy -- thanks!!!

Lost Bob said...

I think the way out of this mess is simple. Obama should offer to give Hillary everything she wants. Seat FL and MI fully without penalty. Full vote at the convention.

The party can then punish FL and MI by seating delegates at the next convention at half a vote each. Unless the Democratic Party continues to screw thing up, that convention should be nominating an incumbent President.

Give Hillary everything: 73 MI delegates, 105 FL delegates, Give Obama only 69 FL Delegates and none from MI. That leaves 66 delegates not pledged to either of them (and hence in play).

Seat all 55 of FL and MI’s super delegates at full vote. We then have 4417 seated delegates with 2209 needed to win. Everything Hillary is asking for. Give it all to her.

Given that new goal post, Obama will have a total of 2056 delegates (pledged + super) and Hillary 1972. Hillary needs 237 delegates to win while Obama needs only 193. And yes, Hillary is right, it is a much closer election and it is still possible for her).

The pool of available delegates needed for either to win is limited to 86 delegates to be decided in the last three primaries, 230 still uncommitted super delegates and 73 delegates either uncommitted or still committed to Edwards.

Consider that 86 of those delegates will be awarded based on the results of the last three primaries, PR on the 1st with 55 delegates, Montana and South Dakota on the 24d with 16 and 15 delegates respectively. These elections, less than one week away are not likely to be a big surprise. Hillary should win PR soundly, Obama the other two but more closely. It is reasonable to assume Hillary will pick up 30 of 55 in PR, Montana and SD will likely split 9 to 7 and 8 to 7for Obama. Net for the 3 elections, Hillary+ 44 delegates, Obama + 42.

If the elections go as expected, Obama will be only 111 delegates from the nomination while Hillary will still be 193 delegates away. The pool of available delegates is then reduced to the 230 uncommitted supers and 73 Edwards/uncommitted regular delegates (303 total) . A total of Obama need win only win 36.6% of those while Hillary would need to win 63.7% of them.
Assume I am wrong about the remaining primaries and Hillary picks up PR by 35 to 20 and splits MT *-8. The numbers don’t change much. Obama still needs less than 40% of the remaining delegates. From my perspective, if Obama cannot close that deal, then Hillary is right. And so is Ralph Nadir.

SarahLawrenceScott said...

I'm an Obama supporter, but I think the RBC made a mistake initially. As far as I've read (which I admit is a limited amount), the original rule was what is found at:

http://www.gwu.edu/%7Eaction/2008/chrnothp08/sanctions.html

That rule provides for seating half of the pledged delegates and none of the supers, and for banning campaigning.

After Florida moved its primary date, the RBC then voted for a more drastic penalty. Although they had the procedural right to do that, it really doesn't seem fair. Even though the Democrats in the Florida legislature voted with the Republicans to move up their date in the first place, it really wasn't so easy for them to move it back when they're in the minority. And yes, they could have switched to a caucus, but they hadn't bargained on that either. The RBC were the ones who changed the rules in the middle of the game, and now they've got a mess.

Michigan, on the other hand, moved their date after the RBC announced the more drastic FL penalty, so they knew what they were getting into.

By the way, the initial rule was also, in my opinion, stupid. Allowing delegates to an early state but prohibiting campaigning leads to the candidate with the most name recognition winning.

So we had an initially dumb rule, which the RBC then changed mid-game, and now may change back in some way. Sheesh! Good thing it won't end up changing the result, but it sure caused a lot of agita. The Republicans handled this much better...

Lost Bob said...

I was initially an Edwards supporter. I could have easily gone for Clintonas a second choice. Until FL. When Hillary announced, several days before the vote (with much press coverage) that, while she was not “campaigning” there, she was coming to FL after the polls closed for her campaign launch party or whatever she called it.

That is the precise moment she lost me. It showed that she was as willing to play fast and loose with the rules as Karl Rove and the rest of them on that side. The ends do not justify the means. We have seen enough of how that works out already. We do not need a Democratic Dick Cheney.

Mike in Maryland said...

SarahLawrenceScott said...
As far as I've read (which I admit is a limited amount) . . .

After Florida moved its primary date, the RBC then voted for a more drastic penalty.

Michigan, on the other hand, moved their date after the RBC announced the more drastic FL penalty, so they knew what they were getting into.


Sarah (I presume that is your name),

How about reading Mr. Super's timeline before you comment?

"May 21, 2007: Florida officially moves its primary date up to Jan. 29, 2008."

"June 27, 2007: Michigan submits state legislation to move its primary up to January, 2008."

"August 25, 2007: The DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meets to consider the primary date move by Florida. The RBC offers Florida a 30-day window to re-schedule its presidential primary in compliance with rules. Failure to comply with the rules would mean docking Florida's nominating delegates by 100%."

Michigan started the process of moving the primary date in June. The RBC STARTED discussing with Florida the consequences of moving it's primary date, what Florida could do to rectify the situation, and informed Florida of the possibility, but did not enact, a 100% penalty until weeks AFTER August 25.

I am not sure what calendar system you are using, but in the one that the rest of the world uses, June ALWAYS comes before August.

So for you to say "Michigan, on the other hand, moved their date after the RBC announced the more drastic FL penalty" is false. And to be blunt, both states were told what the consequences were of moving the date, both stats were given time to reflect on their decision and present an alternate plan, but both states thumbed their nose at the DNC, the RBC, and the entire nomination process.

PLEASE take the five minutes to READ Mr. Super's timeline before you start typing incorrect information. All your message has done is give 'talking points' to the supporters of opponents of Senator Obama.

Mike

Me said...

Bob, I can see where you're coming from, but at the same time I just can't agree with your point in its entirety. Hillary Clinton simply does not deserve that level of generosity at this point, and to give it to her, in order to shut her up, would just be atrocious. She's already gotten more than her fair share of special treatment in this process. If Obama was running against anybody else, the race would have been over long ago.

So I say give her most of what she wants. Seat Florida as it was voted, and seat Michigan with full votes, but make it clear that the 40% of Michigan voters who voted "Uncommitted" will be counted as having voted for "Barack Obama". And make it clear that caucus state vote totals/estimates are to be included in any official count of popular votes. That way, Hillary loses her ability to claim that every vote hasn't been counted, and (barring a HUGE win in PR) she loses her ability to lay any sort of claim on the popular vote lead, and Obama would still have more than 50% of the pledged delegates (the 55 from Michigan would put him over the top, even if he got 0 out of Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota).

I think if you're going to give Hillary more-or-less what she wants, it needs to be done in a way that clearly and unambiguously takes the wind out of her sails, and cuts down any argument that she might have for trying to continue the process. That is the very most that she deserves at this point. Giving her any more than that will just validate her divisive behavior, and encourage her to try to drag the nomination process all the way out into August. She needs to be stopped before that, and appeasing her is not the way to do it.

tmess2 said...

There will not be cross-examination of Terry McCaulliffe (at least I don't think there will be). The press release from the DNC indicates that it will be oral argument only.

What I am looking forward to seeing:

1) Harold Ickes pulling a John Kerry and explaining how he was against the sanctions before he was for them (or is that vice versa);

2) The Dueling Fowlers -- Husband and wife both on the Committee and supporting opposing candidates

3) Donna Brazille -- The person in the room most qualified to speak about Florida 2000 and its meaning stepping down from the mountaintop of punditry and having to state an official position in this campaign while struggling to remain officially neutral.

As have stated elsewhere on this blog, I think given the schedule set up by the RBC that a decision will be made this weekend. The DNC wants to bring this campaign to a close sooner rather than later and leaving Michigan and Florida up in the air for game-playing hurts that goal.

The final decision of the RBC will be some type of compromise that imposes a sanction on Florida and Michigan while still giving some weight to the votes that were cast and both campaigns will be expected to grin and say that they are satisfied with the decision.

SarahLawrenceScott said...

Mike--please don't assume what I have and haven't read. I did read Mr. Super's timeline, as well as other timelines. Here are the events I'm referring to:

May 21, 2007: Florida's Jan. 29 primary date becomes law.

August 22, 2007: Michigan senate passes January 15 primary date.

August 25, 2007. RBC announces FL will suffer a 100% penalty if no new plan is submitted within 30 days.

August 30, 2007. Michigan house passes January 15 primary date.

September 5, 2007. Michigan governor signs January 15 primary date into law.

So I am correct that the RBC announced the more drastic FL penalty after the FL change was made but before the MI change was made. The date at which MI began the process is not terribly relevant in my eyes, although perhaps it is to you. You could say that the MI senate didn't know about the more severe penalty, but even in their case they had to approve the bill one more time (on Aug. 30) to agree to some changes the house had made.

So I really do see a difference between the two cases, although I most emphatically do not think that needs to be reflected in the new RBC decision.

As far as giving "talking points to the supporters of the opponents of Senator Obama," the notion makes my head spin. I prefer to speak the truth as I see it, and let others agree or disagree on that basis.

--Scott

(My Blogger alias was not so well chosen--Sarah Lawrence is my college, not my name.)

Lost Bob said...

ME replied o my earlier post:

I think if you're going to give Hillary more-or-less what she wants, it needs to be done in a way that clearly and unambiguously takes the wind out of her sails, and cuts down any argument that she might have for trying to continue the process.

My assumption is that giving her everything she wants is far from appeasement. I think it will indeed take the wind out of her sails. It also leaves her no reasonable avenue for appeal to prolong the process.

If Hillary is interested in party unity (I’ll give her the benefit of doubt here for now), she could announce that she will not accept a VP slot and endorse Gov Sebelius. It help her save face she could even make it appear that she pressured or forced that selection.

Easy enough to orchestrate. Obama surrogates spend a few news cycles arguing how Richardson is needed to bring in the west and the Latino vote. Clinton folks push Gov Sebelius. Richardson withdraws and we all live happily ever after (or at least happier for awhile).

Obama could offer Hillary a cabinet level post with prime responsibility to move health care forward. Give her a year to perform then replace her if necessary. She could then return to the Senate. As a visitor.

Stephane MOT said...

Instead of counting 50% or half the votes, the DNC could decide another split for FL :
- 50% of the seats according to the "vote" 52.5 HRC, 33.5 BHO, 6.5 ROTW (7 because they won't receive anything afterwards)
- 50% of the seats split 50/50 between the finalists HRC and BHO : 46.5/46.5

The net gain would be similar to the 1/2 vote system for HRC, but less humiliating for each of the parties.

HRC wants all FL + MI voters to be heard, but how about those who didn't even go to the precincts because they were told their vote wouldn't count or because their favorite candidate was not even on the ballot ?

How many HRC supporters felt motivated to vote in MI to prevent her from losing the face vs anonymous candidates ?