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Michigan and Florida Primary Do Overs in the Works

Re-doing the Florida and Michigan primaries is a necessary step towards resolving the Democratic nomination. These voters voices should be heard. Fortunately, it looks like Clinton's folks and the officials in Florida and Michigan are setting the wheels in motion to make this happen.

Officials in Michigan and Florida are showing renewed interest in holding repeat presidential nominating contests so that their votes will count in the epic Democratic campaign.

The Michigan governor, along with top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign and Florida's state party chair, are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. That's a change from their previous insistence that the primaries their states held in January should determine how the their delegates are allocated.

Obama's camp seems willing to go along with whatever plans are drawn up by the DNC and Florida and Michigan officials:

Obama's campaign says whether to have a repeat contest is up to the national committee, but has signaled a willingness to participate. "We're going to abide by their rules as they exist now and whatever happens in the future," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters Wednesday.

"I don't think it's for our campaign or her campaign -- we're in a heated contest here -- to have to be the facilitators here," Plouffe said. "This is between the DNC and those state parties."

Hopefully these two races will provide the delegates needed for one of the candidates to secure the nomination. Howard Dean, Democratic National Party chairman, issued the following statement:

"We're glad to hear that the Governors of Michigan and Florida are willing to lend their weight to help resolve this issue. As we've said all along, we strongly encourage the Michigan and Florida state parties to follow the rules, so today's public overtures are good news."[...]

"As we head towards November, our nominee must have the united support of a strong Democratic Party that's ready to fight and ready to beat John McCain. After seven years of Republican rule, I am confident that we will elect a Democratic president who will fight for America's families in the White House. Now we must hear from the voters in twelve states and territories who have yet to make their voices heard."

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Comments (2)

If a compromise can be reached on this issue, everyone's interests will be better served. Penalizing states by cutting their delegates is counterproductive - the voters pay the penalty in lost influence, while the state party leaders and/or legislators who actually made the decision to "break the rules" go unpunished.

We need a better solution to the problem. Hopefully this year's Democratic contest, and even the Republican race (remember, the possibility of a "brokered" GOP convention with no candidate holding a majority going in seemed a real possibility only a couple of months ago), illustrate that being later on the primary calendar doesn't necessarily mean less influence on the process.

A compromise solution acceptable to most states and both parties needs to be devised beginning immediately after the November election. If we wait until the fields for 2012 begin to form, the candidates' competing interests will get in the way of any resolution.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

The fact that later states' primaries are "making a difference" is energizing Democrats as evidenced by the huge turnouts.

Setting partisan views aside for a moment - both parties benefit when Americans take an active role and interest in the political scene.

Barack Obama, to his credit, has done much to inspire and motivate Americans to take action and get involved. As the vote this last Tuesday shows, the record turnout inspired by Obama benefited Clinton -- the Democrats who voted in those four states preferred Clinton 53-47 over Obama (when all four states' votes are combined).

Republicans and conservatism will benefit as well. The more that is 'at stake', and the more that each vote 'counts', the more interest and enthusiasm Republicans will have to get involved as well.

My solidly apolitical girlfriend now wants to get involved and campaign in Clinton's behalf. I'm not sure that would have happened were it not for the opposition presented by Obama, and I suspect there will be Republican men and women inspired to "stop" Clinton as she marches towards the White House (*wink - or stop Obama if that's our nominee).

That's a good thing in my view. The more voices that are heard, and the greater numbers of Americans participating, the more accountable our government will be.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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