did obama somehow stop the michigan primary do-over?

David Brooks suggested in the “New York Times” yesterday that Obama’s lawyers are somehow to thank for the fact that there won’t be a do-over Democratic primary in Michigan. Here’s the clip:

…Obama’s lawyers successfully prevented re-votes in Florida and Michigan. That means it would be virtually impossible for Clinton to take a lead in either elected delegates or total primary votes…

I had, of course, heard that we wouldn’t be voting again, but I wasn’t aware that there was any role played by Obama’s attorneys. I thought, perhaps naively, that it just came down to time and money. I thought the cost of having a mail-in primary, or a caucus, was just too much… Has anyone else out there heard that Obama’s attorneys somehow played a part? Or is Brooks just making shit up?

I’m not terribly encouraged that the Pennsylvania primary will resolve anything. Word on the street is that Republicans are registering to vote in the Democratic primary there in record numbers. The consensus seems to be that most of them will vote for Clinton in order to prolong the battle and put McCain in a better position come November. Some are even suggesting that Hillary and Bill are encouraging this, seeing it as their last chance to get in front of Obama, who didn’t implode over the minister scandal the way some thought that he would. Like Brooks and others are saying, however, the math, even if Clinton wins the next few, doesn’t look terribly encouraging for her… As for Michigan and Florida, it’s looking more likely that our delgates will be split down the middle, which is probably what we should have done to begin with.

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  1. mark
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Hillary is under fire.

    Some folks are beginning to compare Clinton to Tonya Harding.

  2. Jean
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    My understanding is that Obama’s people were concerned about the number of Dems in Michigan, denied a true vote within their party, who voted strategically in the Republican Primary. These voters, likely Obama supporters, would not be able to vote in a Mulligan, giving the edge to Hillary. His lawyers took some sort of action to prevent a do-over. I guess no delegate count from Michigan is better than a loss, esp. since Obama seems to be winning over the super delegates, possibly even Pelosi. I am saddened not to get a real voice in this historic primary, but my frustration lies with our fumbling state government and party leadership, not the Obama folks. They took strategic action at a critical time. Michigan screwed up and screwed itself…. again.

  3. LAKE
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, and what’s more is that in Michigan’s attempt at becoming more important by moving up it’s primary, it has become irrelevant. Another sad reality for Michigan. Personally, I would have preferred to wait longer anyway to cast my primary vote seeing as I have had changes of heart along the way of this campaign season, plus the loss of Edwards.

    I have to admit what I am most exhausted with are the dogmatic allegiances of Obama supporters, even though I like him and support him as well. His own supporters, lately, seem the most “divisive”–toward the Clintons, a term he often uses. I think maybe his supporters should look at themselves and listen to what he is saying and practice it, not just admire him for saying words that denounce divisiveness. Do it. Be it.

  4. Helz
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The Clinton camp’s idea to pass a state law for a new primary in June was doomed from the start. For a state law to take immediate effect requires passage by 2/3 supermajorities in both the Michigan House and Senate. That meant a minimum of 9 Republican Senators and 16 GOP House members would have had to cross over and vote for a bill that benefits only Democrats.

    The price, in terms of Republicans inserting their own poison pill amendments, was just too high.

    Clinton knew this, her people knew this, Obama and his people knew this. She was able to reduce the problem to simplistic Obama-bashing sound bites. His mistake was not hitting back at the way she cruelly played Michiganians, letting the media dangle this impossible idea for a couple of weeks while pretending it’s HIS fault.

    Political theater.

  5. Jean
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Forgot this bit— I grew up in PA. They are really independent voters (think Arlen Spector), though socially conservative—voters of conscience not strategy, whether or not I share their beliefs. My father is switching parties from Republican to Dem to vote for Obama, so not all switch hitters are going to Clinton. I think we could be surprised at Obama’s strength among voters looking for strength of character, assuming the good Reverend didn’t scare them off.

  6. Meta
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    “If McCain vs. Obama, 28% of Clinton Backers Go for McCain”


  7. Posted March 26, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    My sources tell me that it was teh Obama backers in the Senate that killed any chance for the bill for the reasons you mentioned. Obama is afraid he won’t win. Sad, very sad. I hope that we hear something new soon, but essentially, Obama hates democracy in Michigan. It really is that simple.

  8. Posted March 26, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The reason the bill died was because the Michigan Dems couldn’t get enough votes to advance it. As Jean mentions above, the proposed draft excluded Dems who voted in the Republican primary, and since estimates put that number north of 100K, the re-do lost all credibility due to the number of Dems that would be excluded. The offending language is on page 16 of the bill, starting at line 14.

    People can attribute motives and make all sorts of silly things up, but it appears clear that our Democratic elected representatives were loathe to sign on to a re-do bill that excluded over 100K Democrats from voting in their own primary.

  9. Pete Murdock
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Besides the many political and logistical reasons cited above, I was told by folks in the legislature,from both Clinton and Obama camps, that one of the chief reasons that the re do died was because the local clerks around the State, lobbied hard against it because of the logistics of running an election that overlapped the already scheduled May elections.

  10. egpenet
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hillary is Satan … as Imus and I have pointed out incessantly.

    Debbie and Jennifer totally blew it for Michigan, which is too bad. I wanted to vote for Barak Obama and wear my Gore/Obama ’08 button tp the polls. Oh, well.

  11. LAKE
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m saddened that Obama supporters…are so “divisive.” Why do you even support him if you are not peaceful and looking for a more positive future, like he says he wants America to be? This is in reference to “Hillary is Satan…I wanted to vote for Barak [sic] Obama.” I’m not trying to pick on you, I’m just making a point to all readers that what causes many people support Barack Obama is his effort to not be divisive, among other resaons, yet his supporters are often the MOST divisive. I AM SO SICK OF THIS!! If you dislike Clinton (or McCain for this matter), you don’t need to bash her with your personal biases…like running for president is a popularity contest and you’re a cool kid for liking Obama. It’s immature and an awful way to select a president. If you do not like her, say why with a real substantial reason. And if not, go write something nasty of the bathroom wall instead of a place where adults intend to have thought provoking interactions. I’m simply trying to make a point. Sorry if my frankness sounds curt. I love bolgs, but sometimes I don’t like them for this reason.

  12. egpenet
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Come’on … we’re ALL sick of this. It’s politics! It’s fun! It’s serious fun.

    Bias? Look at her record. Listen to her speak and re-speak. And who is that with his hand in her back making her lips move? Is that … NO … is it Bill? It’s BILLY! You want HIM in the White House again?

    OK, OK, OK.

    Hillary is … OK … merely a bad person. OK. Hillary is … being phoney with us to get what she wants, which is power. Softer, kinder, gentler? OK … Hillary is … cacca pooh-pooh.

  13. oliva
    Posted March 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear egpenet: quoting my mother quoting her mother, “God love ya.”
    That last paragraph, you said it exactly right, thank you. Vital things to consider when undertaking something as gargantuan as a presidential election. After all, it’s what we knew about Cheney–his experience, past behavior, none was as important to glean as this fundamental thirst for power at any cost, which leaves all the rest of us flailing and crying (not that we had a choice in 2000). We can’t afford anymore flailing and crying–and a sense of dearest things slipping away while the self-anointed get their turn.

  14. jim
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    I shouldn’t be here. I don’t do this kind of thing. I have a wife at home. And kids. My company promotes political participation so I took the two weeks they gave us to work on this campaign. It was supposed to be a week, but I’m still here. I’m forty fucking years old and I’m making up lies to my kids because I have a crush on a 20 year old. She our group leader. Cherubic ruddy cheeks. Quick yet innocent eyes. She’s pre-med and smart as a whip. I’m in love with her future–all of the possibilities and opportunities that lay before her–as well as her ripe beauty. So I’m sleeping in a church gym 500 miles from home fantasizing about an impossible relationship. Our caucus is over now, but we’re still here posting on blogs like this one. We pop in, make a few quick arguments and leave. You’ll recognize us by not recognizing us as regulars. Some people grab usernames from old comments. I just use my own name.

    Anyway, of course the Obama campaign is out to disenfranchise Michigan voters. Obama doesn’t want our voices heard. Michigan will be a key battleground state in November. Disenfranchising us today will, in the heat of a general election, provide McCain with a powerful argument to use against the Democratic nominee. We cannot allow this to happen. The people of Michigan must be counted and their voices finally heard. What the people of Michigan need now is just action, not just words.

    God, I want to just run away and make love to that girl. I know it’s wrong. Why can’t I just go home?

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