Making Every Vote Count
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | Hillary Clinton | Kneel Before Zod | Rooting For Injuries — Comments (3) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
So the drama over whether to arrange do-over primaries in Florida and Michigan continues apace. And when it comes to Michigan, arrangements appear to have hit a snag:
The obstacles to a do-over election to pick Michigan's delegates to the Democratic National Convention seemed to grow Friday, after Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign officials told the state's top party official that they wouldn't accept Gov. Jennifer Granholm's idea of a party-sponsored primary.
Granholm had suggested a "firehouse primary," which would allow Democrats to cast their ballots again sometime before June. It would cost about $10 million.
It would be the same procedure Democrats have used in past Michigan presidential caucuses. Polls would be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and any eligible voter who hadn't voted in the state's Jan. 15 Republican primary could participate. The voter must be a citizen who turns 18 by the November election and declares himself or herself a Democrat for the day.
Obama's campaign doesn't like the idea, said Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer.
"That's what I've been told by his campaign, but it's not my place to inquire about motivations," said Brewer, who said he thinks a do-over primary has serious financial and logistical problems.
"And we can't do anything without the agreement of both the campaigns," he added.
Sen. Hillary Clinton has done better in primaries, Obama in caucuses.
In a conference call with reporters, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe didn't address a do-over primary election, and the campaign did not respond to Free Press requests for comment.
Read on . . .
Of course, this only plays in Hillary Clinton's hands, since she won the first attempt at a primary in Michigan. If Obama doesn't cooperate with do-over efforts, Clinton can claim that (a) all reasonable efforts were made to satisfy the Obama people and that (b) the Democratic voters of the state of Michigan should not be disenfranchised merely because Obama doesn't want to cooperate with do-over efforts. I don't know what the Obama people are thinking with their decision to refuse a do-over primary. If it is merely a matter of arguing for better logistics, that is one thing. But the story appears to make clear that the Obama faction just doesn't want to have a revote take place.
Obama's refusals may also help amplify the arguments made here against his candidacy:
. . . Obama's losses Tuesday in Texas and Ohio -- coupled with his Feb. 5 defeats in California, New York and New Jersey -- have not only shown the strategy's downside. They have also given supporters of Clinton an opening for an argument that winning over affluent, educated white voters in small Democratic enclaves, such as Boise, Idaho, and Salt Lake City, and running up the score with African Americans in the Republican South exaggerate his strengths in states that will not vote Democratic in the fall.
If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee but cannot win support from working-class whites and Hispanics, they argue, then Democrats will not retake the White House in November. "If you can't win in the Southwest, if you don't win Ohio, if you don't win Pennsylvania, you've got problems in November," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a Clinton supporter.
Even some Obama advisers see a real problem. "Ultimately, all that matters is how the nominee stacks up against John McCain," said one adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity, referring to the senator from Arizona and presumptive GOP nominee. "Right now, Barack is not connecting with the children of the Reagan Democrats. That's a real concern."
Lots and lots of Reagan Democrats--and their children--can be found in Michigan, of course.