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March 17th, 2008
09:28 AM ET

Jason Rae: A Superdelegate's view on Florida and Michigan

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What should we as members of the DNC do about Florida and Michigan? This is a question I have been getting asked a lot recently and for good reason. Florida and Michigan are two very important states, especially in terms of the electoral college in November. So people want to know the answer to the elusive question: will their delegates be seated at the convention?
I’ll lay it out there for everyone: as of right now, if they do not do a revote, I intend to support not seating their delegations in Denver. While this is rather harsh, I think that to show some semblance of order, we cannot change rules mid-stream. I have nothing against the people of either state. In fact, I really like both a lot and I love the state leaders there. However, they broke the DNC rules. They had 30 days to change their dates before being sanctioned. They did not change the dates to be in compliance with DNC rules. As such, we shouldn’t be seating them in Denver. If we allow one state to break the rules this time, we are just opening the flood gates to allow other states to do the same thing in 2012 and beyond.

Now, with that being said, I am completely open to them disregarding the results of the non-compliant events and holding a re-vote. While state parties are still working out details, I think it should be a goal to have a plan in place by the middle of this week on how we intend to include Florida and Michigan in the process. I welcome their plans and hope we are able to find away to involve these two important states in the Democratic National Convention.

– Jason Rae, Democratic Superdelegate


Filed under: Jason Rae • Raw Politics
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. reggie

    spoken like a true obama supporter. but the republicans did it in florida, jacko__.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  2. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    Howard Dean could have done more to negotiate a better solution prior to FL and MI holding their primaries. He knows the importance of this year's democratic presidential election. He knows the cost for a state primary is shared by the state and some unit of local government. He knows that the costs of a general election and state primary are often lumped together. It's easy to make the rules when you don't have to absorb the costs for anything.

    It would be a shame to disenfranchise those voters in FL and MI who did vote in ther respective primaries. Both states had record turnouts.
    FL in 2008 - 1,737,197; in 2004 - 753,762
    MI in 2008 - 592,261; in 2004 - 163,769

    What I can't understand is the logic in Sen. Obama's thinking by taking his name off the MI ballot. He claims he is running a 50 state campaign, yet he chose to take his name off the MI ballot. Why?

    March 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  3. Elaine

    The DNC needs to stop this election bickering by asking Hillary to drop out of the race. She is trying to do something that will certainly cause a civil war between races. Mr Obama should not debate her again, she can't win. Superdelegates should cast their vote for the choice of the American people. (popular vote)

    March 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Theresa

    Why would Florida need to revote at all? Both candidates were on the ballot there, and they made their choices. If they're going to seat the delegates. then seat them as they stand. No need to spend the money on a revote when the voters had both main candidates to choose from.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  5. mary

    I agree with a 50,50 count. Mrs Clinton was in a rush when she claims ,many times that she won both states...hum.. Means what she can to win.. everything... Hope superdelegates see it the samething...

    March 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  6. kb from iowa

    There is no way to be fair in this situation, so you have to settle on just trying to be equal. Split them down the middle.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  7. DT

    I know that rules were put into place for the primaries. Yet, when the DNC leaders knew ahead of time that FL and MI had moved up their elections, why didn't they try to resolve the issue at that time? I think this all could have been avoided with good ole good sense. Instead, the DNC was to busy trying to show their muscle and now everybody suffers. Because of the lack of effective leadership skills, the DNC has created a monster. They need to get it together or this election is going straight down the toilet.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  8. sylvie shene

    for the good of all we need to know when its ok to brake rules. rules are created to help create order when there is chaos and that is important to know when it’s okay and even important to break the rules. Otherwise, the rules created to help us grow will keep us prisoners and prevent us from growing. The most evil things done in this world are done when people are fallowing the rules. where there is no love there must be rules and law.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  9. Desire - Michigan

    It is my wright and duty to vote and nobody could take this away . I am from Michigan and I do not care if Governor Granholm mishandled the primary in my state , nether I should care for rules made by Democratic party . The only thing people from Michigan and Florida want is to have their voices heard. For all this mess somebody should be responsible. You can't violate constitutional rights of people in some states and not be countable for.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  10. Ram

    Florida & Michigan, if they want to be seated & vote counted should come up with their own money for the revote. How they do it is their own problem. If not split 50-50 for Hillary & Obama.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  11. Bob from Rome NY

    The two candidates are so close in every primary that it would save millions of dollars if they just split the Michigan and Florida delegates and forgot about a revote/redo.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  12. xena davis

    Why not fine florida,,say $100,000 and seat their delegates,then hold rodo in michigan,,cheap,fair,problem solved...oh yes, why didn't Obama "borrow"speach from his pastor?then he could reply "they are just words" xena

    March 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  13. in Upper Marlboro

    RULES are RULES, please stop making excuses. We have millions of people currently in jail because they could not follow the rules - our society is built on rules - the bible is built on rules. It I where a citizen in Florida or Mich., I would make it a point to tell the responsible leadership that MY VOTE for them is GONE. Bottom line - they GOOFED! Own up to your responsible and stop asking for a handout to make everything okay!

    March 17, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  14. Christine

    To everyoe who thinks that FL and MI should not count, how can anyone be moninated or for that matter elected for president if evey state and all people do not have their voices heard?

    You know that if Obama had won FL and had cared enough about the people of MI to leave his name on the ballot and won, he would want all the delegates because than his lead would be huge and the superdelegates would not seem that important.

    The only fair thing to do going forward is all states vote on one day just like the general election, maybe around the middle of February, and then everyone's vote will count.

    March 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  15. Lisa

    And here, Jason, is where your age and inexperience show. These rules were made 30, 40, 50 years ago. Many states moved up their primary dates because by the time the primary got around the nominee had already been decided and we were left with our votes not counting. This is the first primary in, well, 30 or 40 years where ALL 50 states' delegates actually are making a difference.

    This is also where Obama's platform of change is so apparent. It is the "old boys network" that is still running the party. It appears they haven't caught up with the current century. And this, unfortunately, will be their downfall.

    If they had a clue (and I highly doubt they do in fact understand the undercurrent flowing out here among us non-elite party members), they would award the delegates of the 2 affected states on a 51-49 basis to Clinton. She had the foresight to keep her name on the ballot so she should get the majority. But Obama should also not be punished for following the "rules". And the delegates then do count.

    Apparently this party does not recall the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters in the previous 2 elections (Florida and Ohio, respectively). As such, they seem hell-bent on reliving those mistakes. The problem this time around, though, is that they will disenfranchise not only Dems in Florida and Michigan, but also in other states. Call it a show of unity/support, but if they do not seat the delegates from those 2 states (or allow a "do-over"), this registered Democrat WILL be changing parties.

    (Where, oh where is Mr. Chips when you need him?)

    March 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  16. Stewart

    I think that Florida and Michigan should be punished. They should not be allowed to seat any delegates. After that, they can just take their votes to the Republicans in November. The Republican party does not need them or their support. How dare they do as instructed by their elected officials and State party leades. They had no right and should all be deported.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  17. heliana

    Rules are rules until they aren't anymore. Flexibility is a great asset to any organization. If the DNC can't figure out a way to re-enfranchise the voters in Florida and Michigan then it just comes to prove the organization has ossified in ideological squabbles and can't bring voters a feasible candidate. I think we'll just have to contend with another Republican president – which means no healthcare, republican management of the war in Iraq, and Republican management of our country's economic woes.
    I've never voted Republican in my life, and I will vote Democratic this November as well, but I wonder if my Democratic allegiance is just taken for granted by the Party who"s agreen to dissagree on everything>

    March 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  18. Julie San Diego, CA

    Jason, why do you believe that YOUR vote should count when the voters of Florida and Michigan, in good faith, took the time to show up at the polls with the belief that THEIR vote would count too?
    Voters don't make the rules, the DNC does.
    Who are we punishing? The American voting public. Either their vote won't count (meaning they wasted their time showing up), or they'll have to show up for a re-vote (meaning their wasted their time showing up the first time – see a pattern here?....).
    Why wasn't this potential problem addressed BEFORE this mess?
    The Democrats are running on a platform that promises, in part, that they can fix the problems this country faces. They could prove that "Obamillary" and company are capable of tackling these problems by showing to us, the voting public, that they can resolve the simple problem of choosing a candidate that the people support.
    This means that my vote (and that of all other voters), should have as much weight as yours, Jason. The only way to do that is to tally the nationwide popular vote (including Florida and Michigan) and award all delegates (including superdelegates) accordingly.
    Anything else seems like a farce. How many people are going to vote for McCain just out of knee-jerk distaste for the political infighting?

    March 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  19. YWC

    Re-voting is a set up against Obama to help Hillary win. It should be no revote, split the delegates in half and be done with it. Let the voters in Florida and Michigan deal with those that made decision to move the primaries up. Hillary is dirty and will do whatever to win. If a revote is done, it will be a race and gender issue again. Go Home Hillary and but a home monitor on Bill and make sure he dont stray from home again.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  20. Renee

    Let's follow the rules. FL & MI were told that their delegates would not be seated. I don't know why the Clinton campaign team seems to think that they can do whatever they want. The DNC needs to split the delegates 50/50 and be done with it.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  21. xtina

    I don't remember anyone in Fla. and Mich. protesting back when the DNC was bragging that early primaries would give voters more clout in the nominating process.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  22. rita

    This is yet another proof that the election system in US is outdated and needs to be changed. There should be a national primary instead of these messy caucuses and primaries all spread around. Electoral votes system in the general election should be abandoned as well.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  23. cindi

    Please CNN start reporting on the big story of the day, which is Obama associates with people who hate America..and Hate the white race....stop avoiding this story and apologizing for talking about it..Just report the news......

    March 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  24. cindi

    In my view as a loyal american I will not cast a vote for Obama...He appears to have very POOR judgement in many areas of his life..It would appear he has chosen a wife who hates american until recently, and Wright speaks for himself..He is preaching hate the white man, and hate america while he humps the pulpit...Obama has proven to most americans that he is not even fit to be a U.S. Senator... This story will stay alive for along time..Wright is wrong .. Obama is a Halfrican......He's been walking both sides of the street for 25 years and it has finally caught up with him...

    March 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  25. BLAINE A WHITE

    Florida and Michigan are victims of their own undoing; both, for whatever reasons, moved up the dates of their primary elections in violation of DNC rules. Both States knew that the penalty for advancing the dates would mean that their votes would not be counted and that their delegations would not be seated at the Denver Convention. In fact Sen. Clinton said in October of 2007, that the Michigan contest would not matter. Now nominating contest to so close that the votes may well matter; she wants the votes counted because she is behind. The States are crying foul and alleging disenfranchisement forgetting that they brought this on themselves. At this juncture, any type of “do-over” would reward bad behavior and dilute the future rulemaking authority of the DNC. The DNC should simply invoke the rules and tell Florida and Michigan that they can participate in 2012; end of story let the chips fall where they may. Nevertheless, as an accommodation, the ONLY offer that the DNC should make is a 50/50 split of votes and pledged delegates from both states between the two candidates, permit the delegations to be seated and the super delegates would then be free to back their candidate of choice.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  26. Damian

    I do not believe that the best thing is to disfranchise two states. The DNC should not have created those rules to begin with and have taken away the delegates. I think the system at which the delegates are allocated are undemocratic and the system itself needs to be reworked. This is not just about politics. This is not just about giving advantages to any of the candidates. This is fundamentally the right thing to do. I support a re-vote as the best option for both states, but I feel that it needs to be a proper and fair re-vote. And lets not kid ourselves. The 50/50 solution the farthest thing from fair. It will not give Florida a voice, it will just cool some tensions. If the voice of Florida is support for one candidate give that candidate the delegates they deserve.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  27. Joe, NJ

    Enough with the cry babies. Fla. had no business holding an early
    primary, they were warned it wouldn't count.
    C'est la guerre.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  28. donna from colorado

    A national primary is the only way to go. Rules need to be uniform and apply to all states. Caucuses are a waste of time and do not give all people the chance to vote. How democratic is that?

    I don't understand why Florida and Michigan residents are not roasting their elected officials who KNEW what changing the primary dates would cause. Republican or Democrat , they should be held accountable for the damage they have caused. Boot them out or make THEM pay for a re-vote. They have more money than most of us, anyway. I'm all for the booting out part but am not a Florida or Michigan voter. I'd be raising hell if I was. Voters have a right to be whiney; they were undermined by the very people who are supposed to be working for them. Clinton should be complaining. Obama should be complaining. We all should be complaining.

    A national primary. Top vote getters duke it out at the convention ( I know I'd tune in). We all vote in November. Popular vote wins. No super delegates. DNC has too many screwy rules.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  29. TERRI

    let's let everyone's vote count or it will be another election that we haven't done the right thing. I want to believe that our elections can really matter to everyone and that everyone matters. come on and just do the right thing, the people of mi. and fla. really had no say in the matter, so let's count everyone. would you want your vote to count?

    March 17, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  30. bond

    Everything was known in advance to lawmakers and voters. No primaries would count. No delegates seated. You knew the rules. You broke the rules. No revote. No excuses. Too bad. Vote in November.

    The only compromise should be to seat the half the delegates (as the RNC did) with a 50/50 split.

    This precedent will undoubtably show other states they don't have to follow any rules either. They will also follow suit in years to come.

    Dems need to get their act together. McCain will be a formiddable foe.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  31. Bev C.

    I don't think the people of Michigan and Florida should be punished for what their DNC reps did. Let them re-vote and let the chips fall where they may.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  32. TERRI

    Barack Hussein Obama writes, “I noticed that people had begun to listen to my opinion. It was a discovery that made me hungry for words. Not words to hide behind but words that could carry a message, support an idea. .” (Page 105). THIS SHOULD SAY IT ALL!

    March 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  33. Dahlia

    Finally! A superdelegate who stands up for the rules. That is what this country is all about. Fair is fair. I also don't like that fact that Clinton is constantly able to broadcast to all of America that she won Florida/Michigan. No, she did not. No one "won" those two states. They did not count. I do believe she will be in for a rude awakening once the revotes are done because tons of people stayed home that day. CNN's own reporter stated that yes, it was a record turnout but it was republicans that turned out in large numbers for FL/MI. Let's call a spade a spade and be fair. CNN also showed Clinton talking in Oct. 2007 stating she didn't know why MI would vote as they didn't count anyway.

    Old politics=throw out with the kitchen sink
    New politics=breath of fresh air

    March 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  34. SUNNY

    When someone is elected, congress should revamp the rules of voting with each state's representation. Like you said, you can't do it now.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm |
  35. William Jefferson

    Florida should NOT be counted. I am disgusted with the hacks that allowed Florida to move the primary to Jan 29th. The DNC said it would not seat the delegates, and it should stay that way.

    If Clinton were winning the popular vote, she would NOT be pushing for Florida to count.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  36. thasan/ohio

    on the other hand...the weather played a very vital role in the primaries that were held in Ohio... the weather was too bad for me to vote..i feel disenfranchised.. and if i can get over it.. so can these other states...isnt it funny how Florida is always controversally a key factor in elections?

    March 17, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  37. Charlotte D

    Hang tough Jason. No one want to take responsibility for their actions anymore. This should be a lesson for all politicos not to buck the system esp when it is of their own making. We are not talking about the Constitution here (although we could have a lively debate re the damage Bush and his cronies have done treating that august document like gumbie) , but politics. Good grief.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  38. Aurora

    I agree with superdelegateJason Rae. He wants to do things fair and square. A revote is certainly in order . I don't know about anyone else out there but for Hillary Clinton to continue to say that she should get the delegates in Forida or Michigan when she signed an agreement not to campaign in those states before February 2008 is unbelievable. It really shows something about her character. Today I heard that her campaign has found some type of loophole to reallocate delegates in midstream. This makes me furious. I cant believe this type of unfair play. Some respect the rules and others are above them or try to circumvent them. Pretty slick! Does she think the Demoratic party will heal if she wins with these type of tactics? I don't think so.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  39. C. Sharp

    . . .Jason is a very honest, intelligent young superdelegate, as the rest of the
    Obama Supporters.

    OBAMA / RAE 08.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  40. zeke star

    Obama has just as much experience as Jason Rae and would make a great VP. Obama/Rae '08, "EXPERIENCE" you can count on.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  41. Mickey

    It furthers the interests of democracy to let the will of ALL of the people be heard. The voters of all states should have input into the primary section process–that is the American way.

    At this point we need as much input and feedback from the people as possible, especially give the recent revelations about Obama.

    Obama's statements that he did not know about his Pastor's ravings against America are extremely problematic. Either Obama is lying or his powers of perception and judgment are weak. It is difficult to understand how someone could call this Pastor "like my Uncle" and follow his teachings for 20 years– without realizing that this Pastor held anti-American views.

    Whether Obama is lying or just oblivious, either way he has shown himself not up to the job of exercising the most crucial judgment and decisionmaking in the country.

    March 17, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  42. Lilibeth

    I agree with all of what you said, Jason. I've heard all sorts of alternatives – split the votes, do a revote, etc. – the thing is, whatever "solution" they come up with, not everybody will be happy with it. Somewhere, someone will complain. It also sets a bad precedent. I do hope that somehow, this will be resolved very soon so we can put this behind us and focus on uniting as a party.

    Lilibeth
    Edmonds, Washington

    March 17, 2008 at 12:08 pm |
  43. Judy

    I have always believed in following the rules, BUT in this case I feel that the it is a power trip for the DNC and like parents sometime we need to re-examine the rules and make changes that are BEST for all.

    I have been a believer for a lot of years that we need to change the way we do the elections. We need to make it easier for ALL people's VOTE TO COUNT, not play the game of one state having more power that others.

    This doesn't help me in trying to explain to my daughter and husband the importance of voting when she says "why vote, my one vote doesn't count"!!!

    March 17, 2008 at 11:20 am |
  44. Bill F. Fayetteville, TN

    Jason,
    If you want to cede these two states to the Republicans in the fall, then go right ahead and disenfrancise over 2 million Democrat votes. One thing we are all taught from a very early age is that voting is the one of the most important things that an American citizen does. Over 2 million people went out and voted and now you are telling them their votes don't count, what does that say for democracy. To me the DNC has way to much power and are trying to teach the local Democrats in these 2 states a lesson. Why shouldn't states hold primaries when they want to, what right does the DNC have to tell a state when it can or can't hold a primary? I have always thought that Iowa and New Hampshire are given way to much say in the primary process. In Iowa a very small percentage of elgible voters take part in the Caucus and yet this very small percentage of voters get to decide who is best to run the country. Why shouldn't a larger state with a primary not have as much say as a small state like Iowa with a caucus? The entire system is broken and needs to be fixed!

    On another matter, what are your views on the current controversy that Senator Obama finds himself in with the Reverend Wright? Since you are a superdelegate pledged to Obama would be very interested in your thoughts on this controversy and if you think it will have a negative impact on Obama if he is the Democrat nominee.

    March 17, 2008 at 11:09 am |
  45. Alan Brown

    Anderson. I am a Canadian observer that has been watching CNN very closely over the past few months. Recently I have become very concerned about the position CNN has been taking regarding the Obama campaign. This non stop exposure of the Sound Bite and Video of Rev Jeremiah Wright is very upsetting. Looking in from my point of view, it appears that CNN is being pressured to discredit the Obama campaign. Frankly I am disgusted.

    March 17, 2008 at 10:48 am |
  46. Mischelle from Illinois

    That is the point, Jason. The timing rules are no longer as relevant as they were 50 years ago and it has been too long that Iowa and New Hampshire have been allowed to make a decission for the rest of the nation- expecting the other 48 to rubber stamp that decission.

    STATES should rotate the privilage of being FIRST or we should make sweeping changes and hold a National Primary. This would make each state as relevant as the next and that is the ONLY FAIR way to do this. There is no reason in the age of modern technology that we need to allow two states who think they are superior to make the decission for the rest of us.

    I believe that we have seen record numbers of voters turning out in states that are holding primaries beyond Super Tues because of the fact that they NOW feel that their vote actually means something and that they can have a REAL say in the selection of a candidate, instead of voter appathy because the decission has already been made early in the process – so why waste time going to the polls.

    So I do not blame Florida and Michigan for wanting to do better by the voters in their states by challenging the arbitrary and very stupid timing rules that I feel are no longer necessary in our system. I ONLY blame the DNC for being so punitive (they could have only stripped the delegates by 50% as it states in the by-laws, but Howard Dean had to make a point by punishing FL & MI excessively).

    I also will cheerfully point the blame at Iowa and New Hampshire for continuing to think that they are so superior to other states- that they actually have passed laws in NH that they expect other states to follow – HOW ARROGANT!

    March 17, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  47. donna

    Of course, the two states should hold revotes, after which their delegates should be seated. The people are entitled to the vote and should not be penalized because their party did not abide by the rules.

    March 17, 2008 at 10:38 am |
  48. Cindy

    I think that since Fla. and Mich. broke the rules and got penalized that they don't deserve a re-vote. They knew the consequences but they went ahead and moved their primaries up anyway. And now that it is so close in the delegate race they want to cry and whine to try to get a redo. Well they shouldn't get one.

    If anything they should halve the delegates between the two and be done with it. That way all of the whining stops and no one has to shell out the money to pay for another vote.

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 17, 2008 at 10:04 am |
  49. rose

    this is a superdelegate that the rest of the superdelegates should refer too. rules are rule and should be honored. I want to know why the people are made at the DNC they should be upset with local government for not changing the date and putting their vote at risk.

    March 17, 2008 at 9:58 am |
  50. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    Clinton would be arguing a different position if Obama had won.
    I don't think at this point it will make a difference because most democrats and all the independents I know are fed up and will either vote McCVain or not vote at all. The Dems are losers once again.

    March 17, 2008 at 9:46 am |
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