March 28th, 2008
09:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Dean wants Clinton-Obama fight over before convention


Watch Howard Dean on CNN's American Morning.

(CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told CNN Friday his party's system for choosing presidential candidates is "not a mess," despite the maze of complexities exposed by the close, bitter battle between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

He also gave his clearest indication to date that he would like the fight wrapped up before the official nominating convention in August - as well as a guide on how to end it.

He said the undecided superdelegates - party officials who can choose whom to back - should weigh in once the voters have had their say.

"I'd like the other 350 (superdelegates) to say who they're for at some point between now and the first of July so we don't have to take this into the convention," he said on "The Early Show" on CBS. He made similar remarks on ABC.

Dean told CNN he's convinced the delegates from Florida and Michigan, who are currently not being counted, will ultimately be seated at the convention.

And he told CNN that party leadership has had "extensive discussions" with the Clinton and Obama campaigns to cool down their rhetoric.

"I don't think the party is going to implode," he said when asked about that possibility.

Full story 

(Udpates with Dean's comments on Superdelegates)

- CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Larry Buchas

    Dean's in an ultimate universe if he thinks is ok to sweat and burn now until the nomination.

    But I hope he's right Michigan and Florida will have their representatives. Good luck dealing with the Clintons.

    March 28, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. MARY


    March 28, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. PA

    Dean needs to talk to Bill and Hillary. Their new talking point is that she is winning in the primary states and the causus states should not count as much as the primaries. ?????????????????? How is that fair????

    They are trying to change the rules in the middle of the game and that is WHY people are upset!!

    March 28, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Davis Williams

    I am troubled that some Democrats want to end the Primary Election process before my state's Primary Election. Their intent seems to be to disenfranchise us in states that did not option for an early primary.

    March 28, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. Lewis

    that would be 'implosion'

    March 28, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. SCC

    Not a mess? What planet is he living on?

    Hillary Clinton is destroying the party. She needs to stop this nonsense and bow out gracefully before she's thrown out.

    Does Dean or the general public, for that matter, realize that thousands of Republicans are registering as democrats in states like PA so they can vote for Hillary? Anyone wonder why they want her to win so badly? They know Obama can beat McCain, that's why. They've got something on Hillary and will destroy her in the general election.

    People need to wake-up!!

    March 28, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. Independent

    No one in the democratic party can figure out how to steal the election away from the people. They are now floating the possibility of pledged delegates defecting. How completely absurd and desparate can they get.

    to sum up, IT IS A MESS! – Sorry Dean.

    March 28, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. Zach

    Dean was the wrong choice for this job. He has put his ego between Florida and Michigan re-election. It would be unfortunate if the voters of these two states are disenfranchised. American people of all states must stand up for the people of Florida and Michigan.

    March 28, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. George

    Yes, the Democats need to focus on Irak and the voters in Florida and Michigan have to have a fair chance to make their voice heard. Their votes have to be counted.

    March 28, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Swalker327

    Dean, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders need to force Clinton out of the race NOW. Even if she won the next 10 races she still can't catch Obama in delegates because of the way they are proportionately split. Even though I think Clinton is a liar and an elitist who feels as if she is entitled to the coveted White House, I think Obama should give her a seat somewhere high in his cabinet and shut her up and get her out before we end up with another Bush (MCAIN!!). What I think is absolutely hysterical is the Clinton supporters who say they would vote for McCain if Hillary doesn’t get the nomination. TALK ABOUT SHOOTING YOURSELF IN YOUR OWN FOOT – CUT YOUR NOSE OFF TO SPITE YOUR OWN FACE … I CAN GO ON AND ON!!! That's right - show the world how stupid we REALLY are!!! Keep the war going and the economy in ruins just out of spite…. That’ll show em’!!!

    March 28, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Redphilly

    He is right. We care about the economy. If our economy is sound, we are happy. So why wouldn't that be our first concern? After that is repaired, then we can concentrate on other matters. But fix that first and foremost.

    March 28, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. jw, canadian,ok

    Ch. Dean – You have personally screwed up the Democratic primary process beyond recognition. You personally may have put John 'McBush' in the White House, Dubya may as well give John the keys now and save us contributors another $250M.

    March 28, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Robin

    The problem is not the primary process, the problem is that for Mrs. Clinton is either her or nobody. It seems to her that Americans owe her the presidency. The fact is that Mrs. Clinton is obsolete. Either she is stopped in the primary or she will be stopped in the general election...The End.

    March 28, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. bernie

    perhaps Bill Clinton should be McCain's running mate since he goes around the country praising McCain so much. The sooner the Clintons get out of this primary, the better for the party and the American people.

    March 28, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Leron

    The primary system is most certainly a mess!
    Also – caucuses are incompatible with our form of democracy. A straight up or down popular vote for your candidate is all that should be allowed.

    March 28, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Tim from Ohio

    As Howard Dean mentions in this piece, the delegates from both Florida and Michigan will eventually be seated at the convention.

    Once this happens, Senator Clinton will take the lead with pledged delegates and will win the nomination. It's really simple.

    March 28, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. floridian

    As a life-long Republican I just love it. About half the Democrats want to disenfranchise voters in the 10 upcoming states while the other half want to disenfranchise voters in Florida and Michigan. And Sen. Clinton wants to disenfranchise those who have already voted by convincing the superdelegates to overturn the early primary results and to vote for her. Maybe they both need to throw in the towel. How about a Pelosi/Reid ticket? or a Gore/Pelosi ticket?

    March 28, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Debra

    The more they bring up on each other, the more they hand the presidency to McCain. I have been so annoyed at what the Clinton's have thrown Obama's way, I won't vote for her if she is the nominee. I know many like me, this isn't good for the Democratic party.

    March 28, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. actually

    the primary IS A MESS!!!! Our founding fathers even said in the U.S. Constitution that elected officials should have NO SAY in who gets elected President. They knew that elected officials electing other leaders would be HORRIBLE...

    Well guess what democrats, like 250 of the superdelegates are... DUH elected officials, like governors, senators, house of representatives... it's a mockery of the 1787 Constitution in my opinion. Can't wait for the former NY governor to decide this race from jail since he's one of the superdelegates.

    March 28, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. Tom in Philadelphia

    Chaos, confusion craziness . . . .

    What do you expect when something is run by Howard Dean

    At least he hasn't started screaming yet . . . Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

    March 28, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. mary

    I agree with Howard Dean. Stop the lies and personal attaqcks and concentrate on the real issues, which are the economy, Iraq,health care, clean air, education of our children, and finding a way to bring this great country of ours back to its high standard. The greatest country in the world.

    United we stand divided we fall.

    March 28, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Antoine

    I am getting tired of people complainning that FL and MI are being disenfranchised!!! They are not. Your states broke the rules and are mad because you got punished. Giving FL and MI a revote is like giving a kid caught cheating on a test a retest. If FL and MI get to revote then that would disenfranchise the other voters in the other 48 states. NC has to wait until May 6 to vote. Did we complain??? Let the campaign continue until June 3 and the candidate with the most delegates on June 3 should be the nominee. Period!

    March 28, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Carl

    If we can elect a president in one day, then we can decide the primaries in one day.... that simple

    March 28, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. LAW

    When Howard Dean tells you to calm down, you know you are not presidential material.

    March 28, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. Bob

    The Democratic party again shoots itself in the foot. A monkey could run next year, the GOP is walking wounded and the Dems look like anything but professionals. C'mon 3rd party system

    March 28, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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