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Friday, April 18, 2008

Delegate Selection and the Michigan Fiasco

Even though this article is about Michigan, a read will give you an idea of what the debacle looks like from the inside. The party establishment, including Governor Granholm, Debbie Stabenow and others, was responsible for moving up the date of the primary in violation of rules they had agreed to. I assume that the reason for this was so that Michigan would have a voice in selecting Hillary. Events now make that leadership wrong on two counts: 1) Rather than helping, the party leadership has boxed Michigan Democrats in to a bizzare delegate selection process; and 2) Its delegates cannot be committed to Obama, the candidate that is the most likely to be the nominee. I will be at the Michigan 4th Congressional District Convention. I will be supporting two Michiganders for Obama. These two people have been expending a lot of their own money atteding Obama organizing training sessions in Chicago and Atlanta. They have also traveled to Ohio and Indiana to knock on doors for Obama. This weekend a bus load of workers headed to Pennsylvania. This is a movement that Michigan has missed, for now. RGN

From: 2008 Democratic Convention Watch
Friday, April 18, 2008

Michigan District Conventions preview
As we know, Obama was not on the Michigan ballot, but 55 pledged delegates were elected as Uncommitted in the January 15th primary. While it's assumed that these will end up as Obama delegates, we haven't been able to put the 55 into Obama's column (assuming Michigan gets counted as is - a big assumption). That may change this weekend as the District Level delegates, and 36 of the 55, will get picked:

Thousands of Barack Obama supporters will converge Saturday on union halls, high schools and hotels across Michigan, trying to make sure he gets his share of delegates to the national convention -- even if his name wasn't on the ballot for Michigan's tainted presidential primary.Obama's only remaining obstacle to the nomination -- New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only major Democratic candidate on the Jan. 15 ballot -- is assured of getting 47 delegates and 13 alternates based on her victory. But the remaining 36 delegates and two alternates are up for grabs. Those delegates represent people who voted Uncommitted in the primary.And what the Obama campaign is worried about:

The Clinton campaign has whittled its list of potential delegates to about 150 people, said Brewer. Because the uncommitted delegates didn't have a named candidate to support, that list has not been examined by the Obama campaign.

Some Obama supporters have said they're worried Clinton supporters will try to poach some uncommitted delegates. "But it's highly unlikely that's going to happen," Brewer said. "There's going to be some pretty intense questioning of these candidates."As we noted earlier, there may be a movement to keep some delegates as Uncommitted all the way to the convention, although it seems hard to believe that will happen in the face of the campaigns trying to get their own delegates selected. We'll have results here as soon as they're available.

Posted by Matt at 6:51 AM
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jmccargar said...
The concern about Trojan horse Clinton candidates pursuing the uncommitted slots in Michigan's conventions this weekend is very real. One such candidate is a member of Clinton's Michigan finance team (profiled in a Detroit paper) and, according to public donation records, is maxed out for both the primaries and the general on her Clinton donations (none to Obama). With a host of committed Obama supporters splitting a vote they presumed would nonetheless go to an Obama supporter and having a single-choice Clinton delegate poach the slot is a potentially effective, if definitely subversive, strategy. It also illustrates the weakness of the argument that the January Michigan vote was a Clinton/Obama choice. It wasn't even a Clinton/Not-Clinton choice. Many of those of us Michiganders who did not vote know full well the lengths the party establishment has gone to manipulate this process in troublesome ways, and it WILL come back to haunt the old guard.

April 18, 2008 11:29 AM Dink said...
This is a very difficult process. The non-Clinton District Delegates selected will be technically Uncommitted. The party members who elect them will need to sign statements of support for Uncommitted. If they disclose their support of Obama on the statement they won't get to participate in the Uncommitted caucus. There are also some technical problems such as nothing in the rules specifying how the temporary Chair of each Uncommitted caucus will be selected.

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