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. Bill in Illinois

    I don't always agree with Nancy Pelosi but she is right in saying that this needs to end now. Someone needs to get the message across to Hillary that she is doing more harm than good by staying in a race that she cannot win.

    Florida and Michigan both knew what the consequences would be and chose to ignore the rules set down by their party. Why should their delegates be recognized now? Are they above the law? I would let them go to the convention and I would split their delegates half for each candidate. That way their votes do count. Not the way Hillbilly wants them to but they are not being left out.

    I firmly believe that Hillary just wants to continue this to divide the party even more and cause the Dems to lose in November so that she can then say, "If I had been the candidate we would have won". She cares only about herself and what she gets out of something, not about anyone else!

    May 29, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. uma

    americans need a woman president but not at this time when stakes are high and absolutely not clinton. we need new faces,new ideas,new approach and new thinkers.of course after obama then madam speaker should be madam president.america needs people of intergrity like u madam

    May 29, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. carol

    Superdelegates should follow the pledge delegates of their states rather than grand total. I think speaker of the house should review what a superdelegate is.

    the Democratic party has lost touch with the American people. Clinton is still winning primaries and has a large turnout of support in states she loses.

    the primary and the convention should be followed to the end in this very close race for the democratic nomination. if elected officials do not let this happen they just may be reminded of the Regan Democrats in this next election.

    May 29, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Kelly

    I am concerned at the language being used. Nancy will "step in" makes it seem like she will prevent Hillary from being successful (ties into Hill's victim speech). Rendell says the committee Friday will not seat fairly. He says the superdelegates will "give it to him." This language again feeds into Hillary's thought that she deserves this, that she is entitled to this and anything other than that outcome means Barack stole it from her.

    Let's call it what it is. Barack started as the underdog. Hillary had all the advantages in money and machine and he EARNED the nomination. Hillary fought unsuccessfully and should the superdelegates give it to Hillary, SHE STOLE IT FROM HIM.

    I believe the polls do not show the fact that if Hillary runs in any capacity, the Republican anti-Hillary vote will be out in force and will galvanize McCain's base in a way that he cannot do without her being in the running.

    May 29, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. christina

    And Sheila from Tampa, you and all of the other IDIOT democrats that say you'll cross party lines are abysmal and repulsive! How dumb can you be? Obama has done nothing but try to unite the party that Hillary Clinton has "tried" to completely destroy. I wouldn't suppose race has anything to do with it??? I can hear you now, "Oh no! I'm far from being racist! Oh is that a black guy walking by? Quick, lock the car door."

    Become a McCain supporter; you and any other stupid person that thinks like you. The entire country will have you ALL to blame when the death tolls in Iraq keep climbing! Go jump off of a bridge you COWARD!

    Obama '08!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Butch Dillon

    Pelosi's sense of timing is impeccable. Given the nature of the Fl/MI delegate issue it was right to wait until the rules committee meeting convened and decided on a seating resolution. Pelosi knows exactly what will happen and is making it clear, in advance, that the weight of the party will ensure an implementation of that resolution. She is placing a fence around Clinton's destructive ambitions and warning the senator not to violate the boundaries of the committee's decision. Once again, clear-headed council from Speaker Pelosi.

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Mikey, Scottsdale AZ

    To President Elect Obama,

    Please, please, be careful you choose a VP you can trust my mind that very very short list would include Colin Powell, Joe Biden, or Wesley Clark.

    Healing a political party is not as important as healing a country and a world .

    Making an error here may obliterate all you have accomplished which has been spectacular and amazing.

    You are not only our Candidate for change, but our only hope for restoration !

    From a genuinely concerned 60 year old white male under $40K income with two eyes, two hands, two feet, and a burdened heart for America !

    God Bless & Protect You, Mr. President

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Concernend

    I believe that the American popular vote should decide who our candidate should be, NOT DELEGATES.

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Yaung

    Everyone needs to know his or her responsiblity. It seems Ms Pelosi knows what she has to do to protect the party's interest and more importantly the country's (USA) interest. I am proud of you Ms Pelosi.
    Most people seem to be afraid of Clitons.

    By the way I am from Canada

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Joe

    Thank you Nancy. We cannot allow Hillary to change the rules as she sees fit just because she lost. You would send a terrible message to the Democratic party if you let Hillary run the game instead of the party itself.

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. spoton

    what can peloski do other than interfere with the election process through trampling party rules under iron studded boot heels.will she threaten superdelegate in the house who are undecided with loss of coveted committees. is she to call on all superdelegates to vote as their states/districts or just the ones backing the candidate she has deemed the loser. she already has told them how they should vote which is contrary to the parties own rules.superdelegates are designed to vote their conscious or why have them at all.superdelegates are free to change their minds at the convention on say a second ballot if no winner on the first ballot.we would have won florida in 2000 if gore had played fair and asked for recount of all florida votes and not just select counties.wise up party lets be fair with the process.let it go all the way fairly.

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. rajah kahn

    After being threatened by Clinton's "political insiders", she stepped away from the scenario, so I am surprised that she came off the fence to speak about the nomination and the RULES. She is the House Speaker and she needs to do something to resolve this issue, rather than allow the Clintons to create more divisions and problems. and to pursue a DEAD cause because of her personal ambition and self-ego. One thong I must mention about Hillary, in her trip to Puerto Rico, it is a shame that she is asking those poor people for donations to her campaign. Is she that desperate???????

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. TAJ- MD

    If the tables were turned would Senator Clinton have the same augement? NO!!!
    I believe the NY governern was correct in his original statement –
    "The New York senator is showing signs of "desperation" in her continued push to get the full delegations of Michigan and Florida seated."
    Someone needs to step in before the party is totally divided.

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Hillary supporter!

    Yeah, go ahead and be exactly what Washington does–puts the people last and doesn't listen to them. Go ahead and step in and watch and see what destruction is–more division and you will have people stay home on election day b/c you, Pelosi wants to exert her "Washington power" and help her candidate succeed. You sure as heck won't unite me–you will alienate me from the party. I'm so sick and tired of all these high an mighty people–reminds me of high school!

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. dacks

    All of thids because Obama is a black man. Common can we change our way of thinking.

    Obama 08

    May 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. ok

    And she (Pelosi) is a woman! It's no sexism.

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Christian

    Hey Guys,

    Does anyone know what happened to Clinton's bold and courageous "Gas Tax Proposal"???

    Wowwy, I could have sworn that not too long ago she publicly threatened all of Congress to support her proposal on the eve of the Indiana and NC primaries ("Your either with us, or your against us!").

    Oh well, I guess she realized that it couldnt pander to enough votes for her (all she has to do is look at the NC returns).

    Turns out that Hillary's position on the Gas Tax changes as much as her campaigns Goal-Posts....

    So much for Hillary being the "Peoples Champ" who wants to give "everyone a break for the summer while going after the Oil companies", huh???

    Can anyone say.....HYPOCRITE!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Ed - Washington DC

    I’m an Obama supporter, but here are some words for the Hillary supporters who want to demonstrate in Washington on May 31 at the site of the Rules Committee hearing. Don’t do it.

    It’s a no win situation. The Rules Committee knows you are out there. But they can’t possibly change what they intend to do by your presence. Imagine if they did, and someone found out. At the next crucial juncture of the candidate contest, Obama supporters who don’t care to be one-upped will certainly be there.

    Picture that, if you will.

    I sincerely hope no organized group of Obama supporters show up for the Rules Committee hearing Saturday, out of fear that the Clinton supporters may gain some edge. The Obama campaign have this figured out – they are advising their supporters NOT to demonstrate at the Rules Committee Meeting, and instead to help with democratic voter registration. Apparently the Clinton campaign never figured this out.

    If I'm Nancy Pelosi or Howard Dean, I might give serious consideration to an announcement that any candidate or his/her campaign committee who encourages a demonstration that might interfere with the orderly deliberative processes of the Rules Committee may be subject to sanctions. But maybe it's too late for that.

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. No WMD ever found

    From Florida...Then take it up with your rep's. Don't vote for them. Get them out of office but don't blame the candidtates!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Chris

    I'd vote for Pelosi over Hillary for President... Hillary is just to self rightous, dishonest and a bully.

    Pelosi vs Obama would be a much tougher choice for me to make. I hope she runs in the next election. I'd like to see a woman in office – but NOT Hillary!

    Obama '08 Obama '12 Pelosi '16

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Daniel, NY, NY

    Why did she wait so long to show any leadership. This is why I am leaving the Democratic Party.

    McCain 2008!!!!!

    HILLARY 2012!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. TONY




    HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. blair

    NO ONE has the right to say anyone has to step down before the Convention. Get over it people. Hillary has EVERY RIGHT to take this to the Floor. It is called Democracy. obama has not even won yet and he has destroyed the Parties. Do not allow him to destroy the Constitution.

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Vincent from Ireland


    Finally, someone with some brains stands up!

    Hey Hillary, you hear that? That is the sound of your impending doom.

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Harry C

    Hurray Ms Pelosi you are finally going to show the America people that you have a back bone that will be nice.!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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