Friday, May 30, 2008

Is Obama Trying to Steal the Nomination?

I'm sure no on on the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Convention will read this, but it's been on my mind lately.

I don't see why there is a problem with Florida or Michigan.

Either don't count them, hold another primary, or count them as they are, exactly, without trying to guess what would have happened if Obama's name were on the ballot.

Because once you start asking what the voters would have done if such and such hypothetical event were the case, there is no end to the questions that inexorably arise. If the candidates were on the ballots, there would have been more campaigning in Florida and Michigan. How would that have affected the result? Since even messianic candidates can't be in two places at once, there would then have been less time in the other States. But which other States? Given the amount of strategizing that goes into campaign resource allocation, it's not clear at all that resources would have come from the other States equally.

In fact, the question is wholly dependent on when the primaries would have taken place. With Florida and Michigan coming up, would candidate Obama have spent as much effort on tiny Iowa or New Hampshire?

And with the results of Florida and Michigan in hand, the candidates almost certainly would have approached the rest of the primary season differently, in terms of fundraising, advertising, and campaign emphasis.

And what if the States had not moved their primaries forward to January, but had moved them to February, or simply had left them as they were? When you start retroactively guessing what would have happened, there's no convenient stopping place.

Divvying up the delegates without regard to how the voters in Florida and Michigan actually voted is a grave injustice. Granted, it fits with the Democratic Party's practice of the use of superdelegates to ignore the will of the rank and file, but it's just not right.

Barack Obama didn't put his name on the ballot in Michigan, and took it off the ballot in Florida. He didn't have to do that. It was a political calculation with the intent of allying himself with Howard Dean, and against the people of Michigan and Florida. For him to now demand the support of those people is hypocrisy. He didn't want their votes before, but they're good enough for him now.

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KnightErrant said...

Actually, as per an agreement they all had prior to the start of the primaries, Obama took his name off of the Michigan ballot as did every candidate except Clinton. Clinton reneged on the promise. In an uncontested election, Clinton won only 55% of the vote.

Obama, as well as all of the other candidates, were on the Florida ballot but, as per their prior agreement, none campaigned in Florida. Clinton took 50% of the votes cast.

Is it stealing to play by the agreed upon rules?

My opinion is I would have no problem with Florida seated as voted but the Michigan primary was a meaningless joke and does not represent the citizens opinions either then or now. The Michigan vote should not be used to allocated delegates.

Marvin said...

You are right. The democrats need to hold every primary over again, and they need to spend their own money to do so. I might let them out of spending their own money, if they let the Republicans also have a do over.

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