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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Michigan and Florida Loom Large

A re-vote in Michigan and Florida may be the only fair way to determine the democratic party nomination. The failure of the Democractic National Committee (DNC) to resolve their state primary schedule prior to this year will forever stain the outcome of the 2008 democratic primary. The resulting sanctions by the DNC stripping both Michigan (156) and Florida (210) of their delegates will go down in history as the most ill-advised action ever by the democratic party.

This action by the DNC of disenfranchising voters who had nothing to do with the setting of the date of their primary did not show strength of the party but instead showed the shortsightedness of their current administration. In fact, in Florida, it was a Republican controlled legislature that set the date of their primary.

Howard Dean, the chair of the DNC is pushing for the remaining 300 plus uncommitted superdelegates to pledge their support by June. He realizes that neither Senator Clinton or Senator Obama can reach the magic number of 2025 delegates needed to secure the nomination without them. There also remains a remote mathematical possibility that even with the superdelegates, neither of the candidates would reach 2025 prior to the convention.

The ten point win with a 210,000 vote advantage of the popular vote yesterday by Clinton in Pennsylvania indicates the battle for the democratic nomination will continue. The DNC should be spending more time pressuring for a revote in Michigan and Florida. These are states where millions of voters in states the democrats must win in November have not had their votes counted. This makes more sense than pressuring 300 plus superdelegates to make the decision. The question the DNC should be considering is who would they rather have make the determination of the democratic party nominee, the superdelegates or the voters in Michigan and Florida?

One thing should be certain following this primary election and that is the need for the democratic party to revisit their entire primary election process. Everything from the scheduling of the dates for the states, the need for superdelgates, the proportional two step manner of awarding delegates by total vote and congressional district, as well as the different methods of voting from caucuses to traditional voting booths.

Fortunately for the democrats, they have two excellent candidates for President. Either one would be a huge improvement for the country from the current Bush administration. The closeness of the race has also brought more attention to the democrats while the presumptive republican nominee Senator John McCain receives little attention.

Both democratic candidates have heard what the voters want. They have stressed the need for new direction to aid an ailing economic, health care for all, the withdraw from Iraq and a coherent U.S foreign policy, as well as the need for a comprehensive energy plan for the country.

The DNC should work hard to ensure delegates from Florida and Michigan are involved in the nomination process to avoid the stigma that would come from the failure to count the votes from these two states. It is also important that democrats come together to support the eventual nominee for a McCain administration would be four more years of Bush.

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