Despite the protests, the refusals, and the complaining from Michigan Politicians, and their Florida counterparts, it now appears that both states are headed for a political do-over, an un-democratic revote that will likely cost between five and ten million dollars. Florida has been talking about a mail-based vote or a “firehouse primary”, and Michigan Democrats have apparently come to an agreement that would hold a new primary on June 3rd. The Detroit Free Press has the details:
“On Friday, key Michigan Democratic officials proposed that the state Legislature authorize a full-scale, state-run, privately funded do-over primary for early June as a way to seat the state’s delegates for the Democratic National Convention….”
“…It will be up to the state Legislature to decide — by the end of next week…but state House Democrats are unlikely to move forward with a second nominating contest unless Obama is on board with the plan…”
“…Michigan was stripped by the national party of its 156 delegates for scheduling an early primary. Florida lost its 211 delegates for the same reason…”
“None of the candidates campaigned in either state. In Michigan, Obama took his name off the ballot, and Clinton won handily.”
Actually Clinton also won Florida by huge margins, even though Obama DID have his name on the ballot there, and even though Obama was coming off big wins in Iowa and South Carolina,. and even though the MSM was touting Obama as the best thing since sliced bread.
But that is getting off topic. I have two main problems with this do-over. Firstly, it provides Michigan (and Florida) Democrats with a unique – and highly unfair – opportunity. With the field narrowed to two candidates, with new problems and controversies exposed in both camps, and with full knowledge of who the opponent is going to be, they get to cast a new ballot, very possibly different from the one they originally cast. Imagine how many elections may have been different if people had done a “test round” first. For one, neither Bill Clinton nor GWB may have become President. For another, Republicans could very well still have control of the Senate. For a third, John McCain would probably not be the Republican nominee. Unless the same re-vote opportunity were provided in every state to members of both parties, which won’t happen, the MI and FL do-over will go down in history as one of the most un-democratic, one-sided, and wasteful exercises in American political history.
Now, you’ll notice that I said it was “one-sided”, and that is my second big complaint about this re-vote – there is only one potential beneficiary in the process. Hillary Clinton won both Michigan and Florida by large margins, and she is unlikely to win re-votes by the same amount. In the end, ground that Clinton makes up on Obama in either the popular vote or the delegate count will be minimal, and the final results will be, most likely, Obama getting a big step closer to the nomination. When all is said and done, this re-vote will have been such a boost to Obama (from getting ~150 more delegates) and such a hit to Clinton (from getting fewer votes than she did the first time), that many will be left wondering why his campaign didn’t foot the bill for the whole thing.