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. deborah

    If you would just count my vote and those of my fellow citizens in Florida and Michigan I would not be so angry with you. If my candidate does not get the nomination because you refuse to count votes, I will be writing her in in November. And I hope all the other voters in the country who voted for her will do the same. Take that meglomaniac Dean.

    March 28, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Ken

    For those of you in Michigan and Florida you only have to look inward for your problems. YOU elected the officials in your state that CHOSE to change the rules in defiance of the party rules. In doing so they KNEW that they would not be seated and did it anyway. If YOU KNEW that a cop was behind you and you chose to speed anyway, almost certainly you would have to pay the price. YOUR avenue here is to vote for anyone but an incumbent in your state to ensure that this debacle doesn't happen again. In the case of Florida, while you may want your voice heard, and demand that this isn't fair, so the other 49 states voices must be heard and I for one am tired of Florida's screwed up election processes hijacking our elections! Clean up your house before you call the process a dirty house! It was disclosed that it was gonna be messy and you chose to come in anyway!

    March 28, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. old white lady for OBAMA





    March 28, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. who'd a thunk

    here's an idea, let obama have the nomination .....

    he'll get his clock cleaned by McCain in Nov.

    then in four years, the dems can send up a real leader with experience.

    the results will be four years of the older more experience generation
    having the last laugh....

    you youngsters do it your way, when ot blows up in your face,,,,,,,,,

    I'll just chuckle and say,,,,,,,,, we your elders tried to tell you but ,

    as usual, you don't listen, you think your inexperince gives you the know all that is all..

    it will be another 100 years before a black man is taken seriously ...

    come Nov.. the democrats will ( the youth) be stuned, how could we have been so wrong...........

    simple answer, like always, you just don't listen to the adults in your life.....


    March 28, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. chris nguyen

    howard dean should resign if michigan and florida votes were ignored and their delegates were not seated..

    March 28, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Phantom

    Furthermore, for all of the Democrats decrying the primary system, it works the same for the Republicans. In fact, once Mitt Romney dropped out of the Republican race, every primary from that point pretty much became a moot point. What about all of the Republican states that didn't get a say in nominating Senator McCain? If you're going to agitate about the "disenfranchisement" of Democrats, it's important to recognize that the Republican system is awfully similar. Certain states vote first in both systems. If a winner is determined out of those early races, the rest of the country does not get to voice their opinion.

    I urge all Americans to really consider what's being presented by the media in the next few months. We MUST consider what is being reported and how it is being reported. For all intents and purposes, the Democratic race is over. Hillary has a virtually insurmountable lead, but the media knows that they can stoke ratings by keeping the race alive. CNN and other media outlets have a VESTED INTEREST in prolonging the race. Again, if the situation were reversed, how do you think Senator Clinton would be reacting? Do you think she would tolerate a losing candidate with virtually no mathematical chance of winning staying in the race?

    March 28, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Angela

    Dean is an idiot. period!

    March 28, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Tim H

    The problem of MI and FLA is not Obama, it is Dean. Why did he allow no delegates to be seated? The republican said we will count half, and no one is screaming. This was disenfranchisement from day one and the stupidest decision that could have been made. Obama wants a revote in MI. he simply wants to make sure that everyone can vote, including those Dems like myself who realized that the vote was not going to matter and voted in the republican primary. Why should my voice not be heard? Obama is the only one trying to make sure that my vote will count in a do over. Hilliary only wants people who voted the first time to be allowed to vote. If we want all votes to matter, let me vote or shut up. Everyone can see that Hilliary only wants this for her own political gain. If she wants the voters to be heard, then she should simply agree with Obama's MI plan!

    March 28, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. George, Los Angeles

    Go Hillary! I believed in you from day one, and I still do.

    March 28, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Floridian

    Why should this be over before the convention? Isn't the convention where the nominee is CHOSEN, not CROWNED? There have been many times in history when the nominee was not known going into the convention.

    I agree that too much time is spent on the primaries. Have the primaries in June, then spend til November on the Gen Elecion. And if the nominee is evident by the votes, why waste time and money on the convention?

    March 28, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. stop the hate

    If the press wins and Obama is elected through questionable practices (sitting on the Wright story in Dec and not running it as REAL journalists would have) then I suggest that all Hillary supporters vote Nader.

    If the 28% of Clinton supporters vote Nader, then there would be a third party in which we could voice are concerns to. A third party would make sure that BOTH Dems and Reps would not only have to REMEMBER what they promised us during the election process but keep those promises. It would mean that Both parties would have to work for our vote. Any maybe make Dean think it is ok to throw away the voices and votes of two states just to make sure HIS candidate wins

    March 28, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Hillary staffers

    Look Hillary's supporters, everyone knew you all would continue to use the Rev. Wright crap. But, the rest of the world is seeing the entire video, no thanks to main stream media. Hillary's die-hard supporters will never vote for Obama and are using anything like; the Rev. to make their case. Sorry, Obama will be the democratic nominee in November. Stop your lies, the Clinton's have so much dirt that the Republicans will eat her butt for lunch. Look at her ratings, she is going further down in the polls. Must Obama's supporter would rather take McCain because at least he is honorable.

    March 28, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Ed

    Wasn't it Howard Dean that created this mess???

    March 28, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Bobby

    I have a solution to all the problems. Here goes. When President Bush's term is over send him to Iraq as their Prime Minister. He can then tell the Iraq's everything is ok. Good idea!!!

    March 28, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Phantom

    I apologize, that should have read "Obama has a virtually insurmountable lead."

    March 28, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Fred

    No democratic candidate can win now. Obama has been permanently damaged through his participation in a church. Hillary has proven that nothing she says can be trusted as the truth. Al Gore couldn't even pull off a win because he's defrauding the public with a carbon offset scheme and fear mongering about global warming. These are all issues where McCain can point to his opponent and prove them a liar.

    March 28, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. debra

    Clintons speech yesterday did more to Unify the Democratic party than Obama has ever done. So far he has alienated. White people, Old people, Jews. Am I leaving anyone out?

    March 28, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Ed

    Full speed ahead!! "Operation Chaos"

    March 28, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. allen

    Ann and all Clinton can't steal something that you won! obama didn't steal anything...he won because Clinton thought she was going to get the nomination handed to her and did not work for it. if you want to blame someone, start with her.

    And as far as not voting democratic if obama wins...that's fine too, but when mccain wins I don't want to hear you or your ilk whining about how unfair and stupid republican rule is because you are responsible for it!

    March 28, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Ed

    The election process is a mess only because Dems tried to improve it. And we want to let them run the country????

    March 28, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. dave

    what an arrogant fool you are, dean. you set the rules and you must stick by your word. words seem to be just words these days.

    March 28, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Andy H

    As an Independent I am tired of Hillary's cheap ploys & attacks on Obama. I was a big supporter of Bill Clinton so when the process started I was inclined to support Hillary. The more I have seen of Hillary the more I don't like what I see. At the start of the process I questioned Obama's ability to lead but after researching his time in the Illinois legislature and in the Senate I have been impressed with his accomplishments. At this point I am a big supporter of Obama and I believe he is what this country needs.

    I have been so turned off by Hillary that I can't vote for her if she wins the nomination. If you had asked me if I would have voted for a Republican for President in 2008 I would have said you were crazy. However my choices go like this Obama for President, if Hillary gets the nod I would vote for McCain despite the fact I disagree with him on many issues.

    March 28, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. D in New Mexico

    I'm done. I sent in my Democratic party resignation letter a few minutes ago to the DNC via email... and today I will go to my local public library to refile to vote as an Independent rather than a Democrat. Why? I'm sick to death of people like Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi trying to tell me how to vote ooooh so subtly. I am not a sheep. I have a degree – everyone in my large Hispanic family does – and we reliably vote Democrat. NO MORE! The DNC has proven itself to be corrupt and not working in accordance with even their OWN regulations. Enough. I will be writing in Hillary's name for President or not voting for President at all.

    March 28, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Enough

    I can't help but chuckle at the people who still think Hillary has a chance at being president. Where does that kind of stupidity come from? Never going to happen!

    March 28, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. marge

    How is it that Obama is to blame for Fla and MI.??? Some of these Hillary supporters need to get their GED's. They have a serious problem with comprehension.....

    March 28, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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