Monday, March 10, 2008

'Raw Politics': Dems should have seen it coming -

A neat column about Florida and Michigan over at But the premise of the article is not necessarily true. When Florida and Michigan were informed about their rouge status and the punishment, the conventional wisdom was that the whole nomination thing would be sewn up by Hillary Clinton by Super Tuesday. It is only now that the race has become so close that neither candidate looks like a winner that these two states have become an issue. Or as Tom Foreman writes:
And oh, by the way, any means of bringing these two states into the process now as tight as the race is, will grant them both precisely what they wanted in the first place: Decisive roles in picking the nominee.

I understand why people in both of these states feel like they are being cut out. Because, frankly, they are being cut out. What I don't understand is how the Democratic Party is going to get itself out of the mess it is in without infuriating at least half of the people who have voted so far; specifically, whichever half winds up losing the nomination.

I'm also not sure which national level Democrat has the muscle and courage, given the raw feelings rising around this election, to step in and lead the charge toward a compromise.

Because in the end, if Florida and Michigan come back into the process, unless some sort of equal split is worked out, one candidate will benefit and one will suffer. And the losers are not going to be happy.

Like a big fat pine at the bottom of your sled run: You ought to see it coming.
Revotes seem the best way to go, but they are going to be premised on the fact that Hillary Clinton claims to have won in the first place, if she loses the second time around, she will argue that she won the first time.

In essence, the Democrats have committed to a path and it is hard to correct that path without massive disruption. Without a massive and decisive victory in Pennsylvania, neither candidate is really going to be able to lay claim to the mantle of a nominee and perhaps not even in that case.

But we still come back to the start of the whole debacle, the "rush to relevancy" has revealed a massive gaping flaw in the manner in which we choose our presidential nominees and some sort of action will have to be taken by Congress to fix the matter. A regional system of five primaries centered on the biggest states will have to be explored and I hope adopted. After all, the next election is going to see a de facto national primary date and that will serve no one at all.

No comments: