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. Crazy Canuck

    The Dems are shooting themselves in the foot, left right and centre. Pelosi has no business getting her nose in this mess. Hillary has a right to drag it out to the convention. Let the superdelegates decide this thing in Denver. The superdelegates are there for a reason: go to the convention, see how the first vote pans out, then speak out in time for the second vote. What's the point of having a convention if everyone wants the contest over well before it?

    As for your comment, Enlightened Voter, one needs to look at the Electoral College map to see why Hillary is more electable. Given the primary results, the states she won give her more electoral votes than Obama. This is what counts on Election Day. If Obama can't even win CA, NY, TX, OH, PA, etc., in his own party, how can he possibly win over McCain?

    And as for Obama's statement regarding the start of the "general election fight", it starts after the convention, not now.

    It's too bad really. Your country needs a change in regime badly, and instead, your leaders/parties are all fumbling the ball.

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Dems for Prez Obama

    Thank God she is stepping in. Hopefully by then Billary will have filed for bankruptcy BTW, how is she more electable when she can't win her own party's nomination?

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Billy

    If she is more electable, how come she couldn't beat Obama?

    The next president will seat the next 2 Justices, that alone is a woman's issue, if some want to jump on McCain boat because "her" favorite didn't win, think about that. You won't be able to correct that for at least another 2 generations (50 years folks).

    And in a U.S. population where women make up 52%, if Hillary was their gal she wouldn't be in this situation. Simply put, most women do not want Hillary Clinton as the first woman President (nominee).

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |

    Pelosi, the failure of the 2004 election, is now making sure her appointee will get the nomination through illegal manipulations of the party!

    This is not America! This is the New Democratic Party! What happened to "Let every vote count"?

    This SUCKS!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Common Sense

    About Time! Maybe Pelosi should be on the Ticket? She's already showing better judgement than BOTH Clinton's!

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Dena in SC

    Nancy, you are the best! You are the kind of woman that makes me proud to be a woman. I'm an Independent voting Democrat in 2008 after having voted for Bush in 2004. Hillary, I still love you but you let me down with your shenanigans.

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Wayne

    Historically speaking, the pledged delegate winner has ALWAYS become the nominee. Why should it be different for Obama? Because he's black? For all you people watching out there. This is an example of the black experience. The rules stated that to win you need 2026 delegates. Obama gets close to 2026 then there is a meeting where they change the number to 2210. Sure, they have some technical reason to explain it but on its face it simply does not seem fair. Blacks interpret these inequities as racism. For all other candidates the number is 2026 but for Obama...its 2210. Obama is to big of a man to admit that he is facing racism from the Democratic party.

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. MI Women 4 Obama!

    Thank you Nancy!

    It is so good to know that this will all be over by June 3rd! I think it was ok for Hillary to run thoughout the whole campaign – unfortuantely Hillary decided to do so in an underhanded way thereby leading to her demise. (Yea!)

    Good-bye Clinton's....go work on grandkids with Chelsea....have a nice life!

    OBAMA 08/12 !!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. JT

    I dont believe this mess. I have never voted Republican, but this is the begining of the end of the Democratic party for me. There is no way this country will recover from this mess any time soon. People feel cheated, and that their votes are worthless. I see this putting McCain right in there. Good move people, good move.

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Andy J, NY

    Both political parties in this country are a fricken mess

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. switching

    Well that will end my decision too. I have always voted for the dems but I will not if Obama is their choice. When you choose a surgeon or other professional you don't want someone with less than 2 yrs on the job. Or at least I don't. And his VP choice will not change my mind either.

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Helena

    Thank you Nancy Pelosi.

    CNN: you need to update your superdelegates count for Barack Obama – he only needs 45 superdelegates not 48.

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Michael

    Hillary, Independent for President!

    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. A CANUCK


    May 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Paul

    I am just glad it is a women stepping up. Can you imagine if it was a man saying these things? Pelosi cuts the gender bias out of the equation. Pelosi is a great voice of reason in this process. I can't wait for it all to be week?

    New Slogan for bloggers: Dem 08 (vs naming your candidate...)

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. rumpusgoopus

    To Mary in CT:

    What in the world do you want?! The people have voted, the delegates have been decided. Do you actually think a convention fight is better than relying on that?!

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. The Oracle

    Yea Mary, we should let the nomination get stolen from the candidate that won the most delegates, the most votes, oh and most importantly followed the rules.

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Fort Wayne

    Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid should spend their time figuring out how to get their respective Houses of Congress to act in the best interest of this Country and less time worrying about making the weaker of the two Democratic candidates their nominee. Pelosi and Reid have done absolutely nothing to move this country forward since taking over and really need to go. Let's not worry about who the next President is, that isn't going to make any difference in the direction of this country as long as Congress can't figure out how to get anything done. This from a Democratic supporter, just imagine what the Republicans must be thinking.

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Just Say No to Obama

    And we'll just write Hillary in on the ballot come election day!

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. The Truth


    Oh wait a minute…… Pelosi's a WOMAN………ummm


    Oh wait a minute……Their about the same age….hmmm


    The Supers know she lost…..
    Her top advisors know she lost…
    Her intelligent supporters know she lost….
    Republicans know she lost…..
    Most Americans know she lost….
    Bill IS LOST…………….Everyone received the notice!
    Enough of the nonsense Billary….Someone please someone hit the send button on their e-mail notifying her that she lost the race.


    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. meredith

    Nancy buttinski Pelosi stay out of it – the Superdeligates were "invented" to vote their conscience and to avoid a "trainwreck". Stay out of it. You only prove that there has been a conspiricy all along to make Obama the nominee. You will never get away with this. But Out!

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Ali Tabesh

    Thank you Mrs. Speaker; that's the way to go. We cant' afford another George Bush!

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    That "fat" lady sings.

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |


    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Femi

    Finally!!! The heat is on.

    May 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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