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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hillary's Flip-Flop on The Sanctions in Florida and Michigan

George Wenschhof

I have stated repeatedly that I opposed the sanctions imposed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Michigan and Florida. This action was a result of these two states holding their Democratic primaries prior to February 5, 2008 without the approval of the DNC.

As a result, these voters have been disenfranchised due to the inability of the DNC to reach a reasonable agreement. These are two states the Democrats need support from in order to win in November. Failing to have Democratic candidates campaign in these states was not a wise move by the DNC.

These sanctions included the stripping (removal) of their delegates from the Democratic convention in August. In addition, the sanctions included an agreement by the Democratic candidates to not campaign in those states.

The night of the Democratic primary in S. Carolina found both Clintons in different states trying their best to spin the results of a 2-1 old fashioned whooping "they" had just received from the voters.

Interestingly, both Clintons that night, Hillary from Nashville, Tennessee and Bill from Missouri spoke of "it's on to the next primary in Florida and then super Tuesday on the 5th of February".

As was the case in Michigan, Hillary Clinton stayed on the ballot. She was able to claim a "victory" in Michigan, although "other" received 41% of the vote. Now it is Florida, where campaigning on her behalf has been occurring and she intends to be there to make a speech tonight where she believes she will be celebrating her "victory". She realizes she needs a bump after being thumped in S. Carolina and will take advantage of any opportunity she has.

She is now actively campaigning to have the delegates in Michigan and Florida seated at the Democratic convention. Obviously, she will argue that she won these delegates. However, she was among the Democratic candidates that agreed to follow the sanctions by the DNC of these two states. So which position does she have? She originally agreed to support the DNC and their sanctions and now that she needs these delegates, she is opposing the actions by the DNC. You just can't have it both ways, depending on what is convenient for you.

There is no question the DNC made a huge mistake in taking the punitive action of stripping delegates from these states. Now, with the potential of a extremely close race, every delegate is important to the candidates.

How will the DNC deal with this? There is no way they can award delegates from these states to Clinton when the other candidates were not on the ballot and did not campaign. Yet, refusing to seat delegates to the convention from these two states is also a big mistake.

The DNC should have met and decided how to deal with this as they saw the primaries unfolding. They should move quickly to announce a fair manner of distribution of these delegates to the Democratic candidates. They should also provide a way to seat these delegates and allow their votes to count.

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