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. TP

    Every Hillary supporter who will write her in on the ballot in November is really voting for McCain, for sending their children to fight in Iraq and for overturning Roe vs Wade.

    May 29, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. omj

    Wow all of this hate from the Hillary supporters. I am so sick of the if not Hillary then McCain statement if that's how you truly feel then so be it. It's not Barack who is dividing this party it is you and your candidate so do what you feel. But don't blame Barack if for the next 4 years you are miserable.

    May 29, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. CKR

    Pelosi has been an Obama supporter all along. She is trying to help Obama by using this moment to publicly offer her support "to the candidate with the majority of delegates". She knows as well as everyone else that a "majority of delegates" is not the necessary number for a candidate to be the presumptive nominee.

    NO ONE has enough pledged delegates to be the presumptive nominee. The super delegates CANNOT officially vote until the convention. This WILL NOT be decided until the convention.

    We are not fooled by Pelosi – she is making the move that is in HER best interest, not the Democratic Party's best interest.


    May 29, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. mary

    Pelosi is a joke i thought having a women as house speaker was great. But she has done nothing and should be removed along with
    Howard Dean he is a joke two could not even make president
    he haw his slong. Who is distroing this party is not Hillery ever vote should count. I belive the way they do things need a change a big one
    next election. Hold all election on the same day no causes I think
    that how it is spelt no Rep. or Independents only Demo and winner take all get ride of the superdelagates they are unfair and are turn coats
    they have no wright to make decissions. And for you Obama
    supporters who bring Hillary down and call her names even if she dose not get the win you will need us to win the election Obama can not be elected with out us and as a Hillary supporter I am not voting for him for the way the media and Obama camp has said things about her yes and Obama to. Alot Hillary people feal the same way. By By
    Obama try again McCane will get it becouse of Experiance and i do not want another GB in the white house he can not even get his facts
    stright talk about Hillary. And he will not go to Iraq becouse he will
    find out McCane is telling the truth. and then what will he say about the war.

    you need us

    May 29, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Jim

    Nancy is worthless. Hoping this is her last term. Absolutely useless.

    May 29, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. sharon in NY

    Seems like Madame Speaker thinks the time is right for her own political gain. What HAS she done in her days of office so far? Nothing! So who is she to make the decision of millions of people who want to see this go to the convention? What's the sense of having a process if people like her, who sit back and watch the party's "destruction" (so some think it's being destroyed), decide that SHE will save the day? Let the process work as WE THE PEOPLE know it to work and butt out, Pelosi....let's see what happens at the convention. AND, I, like others, will write in Hillary before I vote for either of the other two!

    May 29, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    Hey Jeff- Love the way you Hillary supporters manipulate the evidence to suit your needs just the way she does. Hey whatever works for you buddy. Why not just count only the votes for her and call her the winner? Fortunately for me I like the facts which show Obama as the winner in all counts. And how do you guys count the hundreds of thousand in Michigan and Florida that didn't vote?

    May 29, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. PH in OK

    Ms. Speaker,

    I am so disheartened by your remarks to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Please explain to me why I should not give my full support to Congresswoman Hillary Clinton in taking her nomination to the DNC convention? Why is Senator Clinton being held to a different standard than previous candidates running for the Democratic nomination? I want our next President to be a Democrat and I believe Ms Clinton is our strongest candidate and she will win in November.

    May 29, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. elm

    Hil-Liar-y should pay her bills and step down.

    Aren't we all tired of their scandels and trash talk.

    No HillBillies in the White House. Hil-liar-y NEVER.

    May 29, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Jacque

    Hey Nancy – BUTT OUT! You've been on Obama's side during this whole election! Don't try to act Impartial now!

    The superdelegates don't vote until the convention, they are free to change their minds before then – Once the crap in Obama's closet starts to get out, perhaps they will realize Americans will never elect him as our president.

    Why didn't you "Step in" when Obama refused to let FL and MI re-vote?

    You and Dean are discusting!

    May 29, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Mike

    Gee. Thanks, Nancy. If you are as effective at this as you are at screwing up our state/country I'm sure you'll do a "fabulous" job. Give me a break.

    May 29, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. j

    Yes but will stepping in bring the party together or divide it further apart? HRC, please consider the party over your ambitions.

    May 29, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Monica, Texas

    Good job Nancy finally someone who makes sense and understands the big picture.....

    May 29, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Steve (Independent)

    The Party neeeds to unite and put the bitterness in this campaign for the nomination behind them. However, as long as HRC continues to hope and pray for a longshot, such as winning 100% of the remaining Delegates, combined with a minimum of 83% of the remaining Superdelegates, she is going to continue to be the catalyst for the implosion that will likely result in another 4 years of a Republican in the Whitehouse.

    Let's face it, she cannot win 100% of the remaining deligates, and I suspect ithat those will be fairly evenly split overall. Obama only needs 17% of the remaining Delegates and Superdelegates to reach the minimum, so it seems to me that this race is over...

    May 29, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. End IT

    Yes, PLEASE step in and tell the Clinton's that it's last call – they don't have to go home but they can't stay here!

    May 29, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. David Goldman for OBAMA












    May 29, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Blake, San Diego

    And after reading all of these blogs it is apparent that "The Feminine Mystique" is alive and well through all of the biased female Hillary supporters. As much as you think Obama supporters are "zombies, robots, etc.", you can't stop to look into the mirror and realize exactly what you're fighting for. "Oh lookie, a woman has a chance to be president, I should support her!" Give me a break. Like you really know, or care, about the issues.

    May 29, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    Cat fight! I see it coming......

    Democrats are incapable of compromise or leadership. Can't wait to watch the August fireworks.

    May 29, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. And so it goes

    It will be interesting to see how the Clinton campaign reacts to this common sense approach from their leadership.

    So far, the Clintons have blamed the current sad state of their campaign (out of money, out of respect, out of touch with the truth that they have lost) on a vast right wing conspiracy, a vast left wing conspiracy, the Obama campaign's dirty tricks, the DNC's unwillingness to bend the rules to meet the needs of the Clinton campaign, elitists, anyone who is not white, anyone who is college educated, anyone who lives in a city, anyone who is not union, the courts who won't hear their pleas, the Republicans, and on and on. I'm still waiting for them to blame their problems on little green men and mind-control experiments from Area 51. Doesn't it seem a bit odd that ALL those people are against them?

    The primary was the Clinton's primary to lose. Obama was an unknown with little money and little recognition. Through mismanagement and an incredible lack of ethics or truthfulness, the Clintons lost their way. And yet, they still don't get it. It's over.

    It's about time that the DNC and other Democratic leaders get Hillary in a closed-door meeting and get her to accept reality. She's broke, she's not respected, and she has lost. The only thing she will do from now on is make herself look increasingly arrogant, pathetic, and desperate. She has nothing to win at this point.

    May 29, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Elaine

    My thoughts exactly, Alice!

    "LMAO…who the hell does she think she is!!!
    All the way to the convention Hillary!!"

    What has Nancy done for us lately – absolutely nothing! Now she wants to determine the candidate? That's what the voters are for and the convention if necessary! Remember there used to be meaningful conventions every four years. They were actually fun to watch!

    May 29th, 2008 10:33 am ET

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. saysay


    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Carrie Pa

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is an honorable woman and deserves respect. She didn't create all this mess. Hillary is the one that wants to change the rules that she agreed to last year. The election was handed to Hillary. She lost it! Hillary has no one to blame but herself!

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. A Dem in November

    I would have been fine with Hillary taking it all the way to the convention, had she, her husband and campaign not deliberately try to destroy her fellow Demcorat candidate and divide this party.

    Hillary, who was the hands down favorite at the beginning, systematically made poor choices in people, words, and actions through this entire campaign. She, her husband and campaign are the reason there is so much anger, vitriol and division among the Democratic party.

    She has a right to continue, but that dosn't make it right, particularly in light of the way she is running her campaign.

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Jewel - NC

    Good Job!

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Kyle

    How can she be so stupid? Let it work itself out ... this is what a democracy is all about. I am tired of the so called big shot democrats running the party like a dictatorship. They are supposed to lead not get in the way!

    I hope they don't plan on Michigan and Florida voting for them in November because I am along with many of my Michiganders VERY dissatisfied with how we as voters / participants have been treated. We did not make the rules and we surely did not break them ... why don't they strip half of the super delegates instead of the peoples delegates! I have been a life long democrat and a true patriot and I can't believe that I am saying this but: "I may either vote republican (or another party OR not vote at all in November because the things the democratic party is pulling this year".

    I need to reiterate that the people/voters in Michigan and Florida DID NOT break the rules it was the leaders of our great states so instead of punishing the little guy why don't you punish the people who made the decision to hold an early primary in the first place.

    Back to Nancy ... she needs to sit down and be quiet, what is going on in the democratic party is a good thing and if you leave it alone you will most likely get better than anticipated results.

    So our (so called) democratic leaders need to pull their head out, sit down and shut-up and make some REAL decisions with the proper facts!

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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