May 29th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Pelosi prepared to 'step in' to end race

Pelosi says she is prepared to 'step in.'

Pelosi says she is prepared to 'step in.'

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton has hinted that she is prepared to take her fight to fully seat Florida and Michigan all the way to the party's convention in late August, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that's not going to happen.

In an interview with her hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Democrat said she is prepared to "step in" if the presidential race does not resolve itself by the end of next month.

"I will step in," Pelosi told the paper. "Because we cannot take this fight to the convention…It must be over before then."

Pelosi, who will serve as chair of the convention, has largely stayed on the sidelines during her party's prolonged primary race. But the House Speaker has said Democratic superdelegates should not overturn the pledged delegate winner, and has warned of irreparable harm if they do so. Barack Obama officially won the majority of pledged delegates in last Tuesday's primary contests, though it's been clear for several weeks Clinton could not overtake him in that category.

Pelosi also indicated she opposes the Clinton campaign's desire that both Florida and Michigan's delegations be fully seated at the convention. The party stripped both states of their entire delegations last year after they moved their presidential primaries ahead in the nominating calendar.

Pelosi said she agreed the two states should be seated in some way, but said only "in a way that is not destructive to any sense of order in the party."

"If you have no order and no discipline in terms of party rules, people will be having their primary in the year before the presidential election," she said. "So there has to be some penalty."

The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee meets Saturday in Washington to consider exactly how to seat both states. It's likely the committee will vote to meet the rule-breaking states halfway - a move that will help Clinton close the delegate gap with Obama but not overtake him.

soundoff (915 Responses)
  1. JohnQ

    That's WHAT THE CONVENTION IS FOR!!! if the general election has not produced a clear-winner selection. GOD I HATE these folks trying to change the rules mid-stream because they don't like the direction of the outcome. The Democratic party put rules in place and now Pelosi and other Dem power sellers don't want to follow those rules? Let the convention run it's course. The country has spoken – the Democratic general election can't decide! Let the floor of the convention sort it out per Democratic party rules. Nancy Pelosi sit down and SHUT UP.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Robert in Toronto,ON

    That's the preverbial nail in the coffin. Pelosi will not allow it to go to the convention ergo – Obama will win.

    What I like is that Pelosi is the one coming out and saying it. So kinda negates that whole "sexism" arguement when it's another woman saying it's over for Clinton.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Angela

    Thank you Madam Speaker!!

    I think it is time that we start thinking as one country instead of the terrible state it is in now. I cannot wait to see how short-sighted people are we vote in November.

    I am sorry, but most people are short sighted when it comes to change. And remember one thing – Bill Clinton had ZERO EXPERIENCE when he was elected and now we have a 19 year old Mayor. I AM LOVING IT!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Fred

    The party is called "Democratac".If all votes are not counted the people has no voice.We're killing democracy.If we want CHANCE let
    speak All the votes,it's the democracy 's power.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Mony G

    To see Bill Clinton who I have the utmost respect for whine and moan is really sad. Hillary is a great candidate who unfortunately ran one of the worst primary campaigns in recent memory. She has taken the low road recently and has sour grapes about the FLA/MI fiasco that she approved before she found herself trailing Obama. HRC is like the NY Mets in last years playoff race, a major choke job. Whether Obama wins or loses the White House several things are undoubtedly clear. He has pulled off the BIGGEST political achievement in quite some time. His campaign has been near flawless in foresight , organization and fundraising. Political science scholars will for sure use Obama's amazing success in 08 as a case study on how to run a campaign. Thanks Nancy!!

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. greg

    I don't understand why HRC is still griping. She wasn't worried about Fla/MI. when she was ahead by a large margin. Her campaign made bad moves and Iowa clinched her fate.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Jeff

    This only makes logical sense. I never understood the Clintons' argument that the voting rights of Florida and Michigan democrats should be honoured at all costs in order to allow the Clintons to make the argument to the superdelegates to ignore the will of the voters. You can't have it both ways either the will of the voters matters as evidenced by the pledged delegates in which case Hillary loses or it doesn't in which case seating the Michigan and Florida is irrelevant.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. BIG ED

    OBAMA \Pelosi 2008

    I respect her very, very much but Hillary's Robert Kennedy comment was beyond the pale.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Deanna

    i started out as a hillary supporter early on, but the way she has been throwing the gender card around and doing what amounts to whining and complaining because she wasn't the favored candidate leaves a bad taste in my mouth. there comes a time when it is in the best interest of all involved to gracefully admit defeat and throw your support behind the chosen nominee.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Karen from Charlottesville

    Here's a woman who is the most powerful woman in America but is committed to her party and knows how to be a leader without throwing the kitchen sink. SHE should be our first woman president! It's about time for someone with integrity and thoughtfulness to step in.

    Obama 08/012, Pelosi 016

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. Anon

    Who does Pelosi think she is? Seems to me that it doesn't matter whether this is resolved by the convention...that is really what the convention is for. Regardless of who has what votes, Florida/Michigan, Clinton or Obama, they both have the ABSOLUTE RIGHT to run until the convention, the ABSOLUTE RIGHT to honor the people who voted for them in the primaries by continuing to campaign, and the Democratic Party needs for Pelosi to knock it off and respect the entire party, not her time table. Pelosi has seriously disappointed dems prior to this; someone needs to tell her to stop interfering.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. chitowngal07



    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Cecil

    I Agree, But Sen. Cry Baby Clinton And Her Supporters Will Continue To Kick and Scream To Get There Way!

    What Her Supports Should Be Saying is, Yes Sen. Clinton Used Bad Judgement In Agreeing With The Florida and Michigan Ban.
    But We Feel That "Some" Of The Delegates Should Be Seated.

    Obama 08

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Reggie

    Thank God for you, Speaker Pelosi!! I know the Clintons can't believe what is happening but the fact of the matter is that HRC lost. As a young African American college student, I was for her before she seemingly lost interest in the support of any of the demographics I belonged to whether it be African Americans, young people, or hardworking Americans of any other race. Not to mention, Obama's message appeals to so many people, including me, which is why he has such a strong backing from a broad coalition of Americans. It's time to unite behind the Democratic nominee, Barack Hussein Obama and support him all the way to the White House.

    OBAMA '08

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. christina

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but "way to go Nancy Pelosi!"

    Obama '08

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. CP - Texas

    Finsh the primary contests next week, then let Obama start the GE campaigning.

    Obama 08'

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Eli

    Pelosi is and has been jealous of Clinton. She along with the few heads of the DEM party have done everything in their power to stab Hillary Clinton whenever they could.
    Hillary Clinton as a Independent this fall. This is one of many lifelong DEMOCRATS that would vote for HILLARY as a Independent. The DEMS have been saying she is splitting the party WELL lets give them that. Let see who is loyal to the Democrats, the college students and the African Americans and the few Independents or the ones that have stood with the Democrats for the longest. Obamas supporters want vote in four or eight years unless he is there or another African American is running. SAD BUT TRUE. If all of his supporters had gotten up and voted the last eight years we would not be in the mess now that we are in. GORE WOULD HAVE WON.

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Deborah Stachowski

    She never wanted to step in when it came to impeaching Bush. How convienant, she will use her power to insure her candidate, Obama. In not counting all the votes she is just like the republicans.

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. MD

    I'm curious what she can actually do to "step in."

    But yeah, I definitely agree we need to get to some resolution in the near term.

    I've heard the question raised why people are so eager to have Clinton get out of this race. For my part, it's because of the debacle with Florida and Michigan this year, as well as her negative campaigning. I'm all for her making her case on her own merits, but when you start breaking down your party's candidate and weakening him before the general election, that starts to bother me.

    She's cut back on the negative campaigning, but she still seems to be running a race that is very polarizing and divisive. You need only look at the comments on this site to see that... how many Clinton supporters come here claiming they would rather vote for McCain than Obama? Look at the policies between the two and it's hard to believe how anyone who would support Clinton could then want to support McCain over Obama, but still...

    Her campaign is poisonous, people want her out because of the way it's dividing the party. What you would expect from her supporters is "I feel very strongly that she would be the best candidate for our party, but recognize that Obama is closer in line with what I believe than McCain." Instead we get "Hillary or McCain 08!!" which is just ludicrous. She needs to be gone now so we can work on getting a Democratic president in the White House.

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. granforchange

    Thank You!!! Enough allready... Hillary Has Lost, and the More she drags it out, It will divide the Democratic Party even More.. Time to say BYE BYE HILLARY, AND LET US MOVE ON, TO SUPPORT OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.. SEN OBAMA.... VIVA OBAMA !

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Darrius

    I'm dissapointed in the democratic party. They are taking a big risk by letting the primaries go this far, when it is clear who the winner is. The general election should not be close, with McCain following the Bush legacy. If the dems lose the general election, they have no one to blame but themselves for this nonsense!

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Franky

    Hey look, I'm not a hillary supporter, however, I have to say she is getting demonized for no reason. The race is close enough that telling her to quit was insulting. While I think she should use good judgement to not have this drag out until the convention because the Dems would surely lose even if she was the nominee after all that.

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Michael

    This woman is worthless. The only person she has been tough with since becomming Speaker is Hillary. George W runs all over her. All I can say is the knife fight begins. Go Hillary, your supporters got your back. Mr. Chinny Chin Chin and this bug-eyed frog will not cheat you out of this nomination!

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. king from toronto

    finally!! the leaders are ready to start to lead.rather than to be led.for a minute,i started to woder,who ran the dnc.

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. jeannie moore

    Thank you Nancy. I'm glad somone had a little bit of bravery. Why are you all afraid of the Clintons?

    May 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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