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. Nancy L 64 in Tennessee

    Thank goodness! What image does Hillary project when she is willing to throw out the rules and her own promises to get what she wants? Sounds too much like the present administration's disregard for the rules it doesn't like or finds inconvenient. Republicans will have a field day with that – how do you trust her? (And Hillary needs to be saved from herself and Bill. He has the nerve to speak of disrespect, but what could be more disrespectful than his cheating on her multiple times? And she wouldn't have stayed in that church – but she stayed in that marriage.)

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    It doesn't matter. Who could possibly beat John McBush?

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. GO-Bama - OH

    You gooooooo girl!

    I would have completely backed Hillary, but I've seen enough of her tantrums. I believe Mrs. Polosi is very knowledgible of possible intervention consequences. It's better for her to get it out of the way now than later. The longer Hillary has to throw fits, the more divided the party will be because of Hillary's partison politics. Partison politics have completely ruined Washington especially since the Bush's and the Clintons have been in charge over the past 28 years. We need someone new and someone who can change things. Our government leadership should not be a family business.

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Dee, St. Louis

    I would rather see Obama lose the GE than for Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic nominee. The Clintons are finished. So, all of you Hillary supporters that makes us even, we Obama supporters will not vote on Hillary if she steals this election. Welcome President McCain. How do you like that threat!!!

    May 29, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. paul

    Without a doubt the Flordia and Michigan delegate fight is a mess. Obama will do whatever it takes to block Hillary from closing the gap. Isn't that what politicians do? The chances for Hillary to win now is slim, but, perhaps her fight isn't about winning the nomination, but more about positioning and paying off her campaign debt. What is for certain is that Hillary isn't going to be on the same ticket as Barack, but, you have to give her credit for fighting on. When you have two candidates with a 1% seperation, well, giving up isn't easy thing to do.
    This weekend will be the tale of the tape.

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. indygal

    I guess the endorsement of Fidel Castro is working for Obama. Poor Ted..and Caroline.. nothing worse than being made a fool of.

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. NickNas


    Want to see what a strong woman in Politice LOOKS LIKE?? Step away from your Magic Mirror and look at THIS one!!

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Steve, New York, New York

    Hillary is either an absolute "nut-job" or she is secretly supporting John McCain's presidential bid. Either way, Madame Speaker, please do step in!

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Charnel in NC

    It's time to wrap up the primaries. Good job! Now, please make sure no Clintons near the White House. They had their time. The Clintons don't own this country. They need wake up. Iron fists and cold war style won't work in this new generation. It's a new century and Sen. Obama will lead this greatest nation in to the right direction. Much appreciated your outstanding leadership!!

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Reddkatz

    This primary election has all gone quite childish. I like Hilary, however she really just needs to accept the defeat and support her party rather than trying to shuffle in every delegate she can get.

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. b

    Be quiet quiet!

    Try to get something done in Congress and allow the nomination process resolve itself!

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. George Armenta

    The Clintons want to change the rules in the 4th quarter of the game with 2 minutes to go. That just shows you that BILLARY is just a power hungry person and does not care about uniting the party. Oh yeah she is also $20 million in debt to keep her campaign afloat. Wonder what she would do to the country?

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. shirley

    Harold Ickes, Hillary's campaign manager, is a member of the DNC committee, he needs to absent himself from the DNC meeting on Saturday. It is an obvious conflict of interest for him to have any input on the issue regarding Florida and Michigan.

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Andrew

    Why doesn't Hillary run as an independent? She could team up with Ralph Nader.

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Jim Wade

    The DNC is a private party organization. They have the right to do whatever the hell they want. Follow the Rules Tools. If Florida and Michigan get away with it, just imagine the kind of shady stuff state officials will try to pull off in the future.

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. CES

    Where are you Gov, Howard Dean?

    May 29, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. john williams san diego, ca.

    under Pelosi , congress has 18% approval rating..lower than Bush...but she didn't campaign for leader because of her go girl

    May 29, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Barry

    Nancy P you just need to stay out of this.
    You are just politics as usual. You came in with such promise with all your talk and what have to done ? Nothing !!!!
    Have you changed anything!!!!!!!!
    So that is what you need to continue to do.

    Hillary will do what she needs to do and what is right for her and she is 100 times the person,
    politician that you will ever be.

    May 29, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. lilacs

    Time to start a new party that is fair to all americans and not just King Obama or King Mcain. neither has what it take to lead this country. Eight years of Bush and company has taught america nothing. Nancy want happen to every vote should count? You must mean just every vote for Nobama must count and to hell with everone else. Hope Hillary will run as an Indenpendant ,If not WRITE HER ON THE BALLOT COME NOVEMBER!!!!!NO OMABA NO MCAIN ,HILLARY ALL THE WAY.

    May 29, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. matt

    she is by far the worst democrat leader in the last 25 years

    get this woman out of here!

    Hillary and Bill clinton have been the face of this party for 16 years, and they are repaying them by screwing them..



    May 29, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Dal CA Republican

    Nancy could have and will back OBAMA. Yes CA was won by Clinton but if you look at the voting pattern then you will understand that the high tech areas and the costal communities where all the intellect and money is voted for BARACK OBAMA. The Central valley which is a conservative and red neck area voted for Hillary. It is no surprise when Hillary won in those mid west and eastern states which a lot of us know as red neck states.

    May 29, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. D Frank

    Hillary as an American citizen has every right to compete for the nomination right until the end. if she wins or loses the Democratic party will in the end be stronger and will still win the election

    May 29, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. A. Harrison in Georgia

    Why does it seem that the party leaders are speaking out both sides of their mouths?
    Don't seat them but you want everyone to vote Dem in November from both states?

    How can you win?

    May 29, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. James , Houston, TX.

    Senator Hillary Clinton, if is asked to step down from the fight of her being Nominated by the Democratic Party as being proposed by whomever should resign; File under as an Independant, Start a "NEW REALITY PARTY" and let the Chips fall where they May!
    Hillary Clinton without DOUBT is the BEST CANDIDATE.
    Also as a V.P. mate, perhaps Rep. Sheila Jackson, Ho. TX. is an excellent Choice. America wants change; YOU GOT IT!

    May 29, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. William

    Wait one minute! These two states break the rules set in place, and it is somehow wrong to not suffer the consequences? Sounds like Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and Rush Pillbaugh have been teaching you how to be a Republican. I your state election board chose to break the rules, you should take it up with them. They told you this would happen, so live with it.

    May 29, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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