Thursday, March 13, 2008

About Florida and Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

It is well established that political parties have the right, not subject to review or overturn by the courts, to establish their own rules and procedures. The Democratic National Committee made it clear to all that, except for a small handful of states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, no states would be allowed to process delegate selection before Feb. 5. The parties in Florida and Michigan understood this ahead of time, as did all of the candidates who originally asked to be considered for the nomination. That is why none of the Democratic candidates campaigned in Florida, and why all of them except Clinton removed their names from the Michigan ballot. The rules cannot be changed now, in the middle of the game, for a do-over. That would be unfair to Clinton and Obama, and also to Kucinich, Richardson, Edwards, Biden, and Dodd. It is unfortunate that Florida and Michigan chose to disenfranchise their people and their rights to elect the delegates of their choice. At this stage of the game, a fair compromise -- in order to allow these states a "presence" at the Democratic convention -- would be to divide the delegates in both states evenly between the two remaining candidates, Clinton and Obama.

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