I’m pretty fatigued at this Democratic primary process that’s now lurching, wheezing and sputtering toward the finish line like the last event of a senior’s decathlon. However, the awards ceremony, or in this case, selection of a nominee, could not be completed until some rules were changed to favor one participant.
Before we get to yesterday’s action, let’s look at how we got here:
- Aug. 19, 2006 – The Democratic National Committee schedules Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina caucus/primaries and rules that other states cannot hold their contests before Feb. 5, 2008, and offending states delegates would not count in the nominating process.
- May 21, 2007 – Florida officially moves their presidential primary to Jan. 29, 2008.
- Aug. 25, 2007 – The DNC strips Florida of its 210 presidential convention delegates.
- Aug. 31 – Sept. 1, 2007 – Democratic presidential candidates including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama sign a pledge not to campaign in states that hold early nominating contests in violation of party rules.
- Sept. 4, 2007 – Michigan officially moves their presidential primary to Jan. 15, 2008.
- Oct. 9, 2007 – Democratic presidential candidates including Barack Obama withdraw from the Michigan ballot. Hillary Clinton says her name will remain on the ballots.
- Dec. 1, 2007 – The DNC strips Michigan its 156 delegates.
- Jan. 15 & Jan. 29, 2008 – Hillary Clinton wins Michigan and Florida primaries.
- Since then… Barack Obama wins 9 straight contests and takes the delegate lead. Hillary Clinton begins to talk about the “disenfranchised” voters of Michigan and Florida.
May 31, 2008 – The DNC Rules Committee meets to determine the fate of the Michigan and Florida delegations, in spite of the fact that fate was already decided and agreed to by both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama. The Clinton side wanted each delegation to be seated fully and the votes to represent those on the Jan. 15 & Jan. 29 primaries, even though Barack Obama wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan. After the public hearing bullied throughout by Clinton supporters, the committee ruled to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan with half a vote each. The compromise gifted Mrs. Clinton a net gain of 24 delegates, but fell far short of what she needs to overcome a now insurmountable Obama lead. Some of her supporters didn’t take the news well:
This ugly contest has been soiled with charges of racism and sexism, and the actual vote counts show overwhelming support of Sen. Clinton by white women and of Sen. Obama by African-Americans. Between now and November, those fissures get healed or the Democrats wake up November 5th wondering what the hell happened. Could “hell hath no fury” cost Barack Obama the White House? Only if most Clinton supporters are like Sister Christian above, and I don’t think they are.