>The day we all thought we would never see is finally here. The Democratic Party is meeting to decide what to do with Florida and Michigan’s delegates. For those who are lost, Florida and Michigan were “punished” by the DNC because they held their primaries before Super Tuesday. They were stripped of their delegates, something both Clinton and Obama initially agreed to. Now, since Sen. Clinton is running behind Sen. Obama, the New York Senator has been clamoring to have all the delegates seated.
Both candidates have said they want the Florida and Michigan delegates to attend the convention, but Clinton’s campaign is calling for the results of the primaries to be honored and the delegates awarded based on the results. This approach would help her chip away at Obama’s lead in pledged delegates because Clinton handily won both states and would be awarded a greater share of the delegates. Obama’s campaign disagrees, saying he followed the rules, took his name off of the Michigan ballot and did not campaign in either state. Right now, with no Michigan or Florida delegates included, Obama leads Clinton by 202 delegates. He needs 42 more to clinch the nomination.
So, this should be an exciting day for bloggers, news hounds and political junkies alike.
I want to ask you all not to look at this from a Clinton or an Obama perspective because this issue is so much larger than their campaigns. Take a step back and look at this issue from a political scientist perspective.
I’m kind of conflicted. I understand the argument of letting the people of Michigan and Florida have representation at the convention. However, these two states did break the “rules” (even though they are preposterous to begin with–the “tradition” of Iowa and New Hampshire going first is just beyond me), so why should they be given preferential treatment?
Also, I believe the DNC should revisit its primary process to avoid this kind of squabble in the future. You would think the DNC would have learned from the campaigns of 1968 and 1980. However, as the cliche goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
What do you guys think should happen? Should they seat the delegates? Why or why not? Do you think the DNC should modify its elections process? Why or why not? What would you do differently?