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. Pete

    What does "step in" mean? Does she have any power to "step in" with? This sounds like a meaningless comment.

    May 29, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. HM

    Pelosi has a lot of impact on the overall presidential race. Her decision will help decide who takes 2nd & 3rd place.

    May 29, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. new york

    Why do we have the long primary race if they don't intend to have it run full. It is as if democrats only care for certain states and any towards the end of the race have no say in the race at all.

    If Pelosi doesn't want super delegates to override pledged delegates (which i agree with but thats besides the point...) why do the DNC have super delegates at all. Why not a national primary on one day decided by majority vote. Wouldn't that solve all problems? And peoples' voices would be heard individually with equal strength.

    May 29, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Barb

    I'm tired of politicians with visions of impending godhood. Let the political voting process make the determination. It's not up to the speaker to decide for the country how the voting process should run.

    May 29, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. cheekbrown

    I say that it is about time that House Speaker Pelosi stepped in. It is so clear that Hillary Clinton will try to destroy the party and Obama along with it if she does not achieve her manifest destiny of being the ruler of the free world.

    May 29, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. joaquin

    Way to go.

    Hillary's idea to take this to the convention is selfish. She does not care about democrats; all she cares is herself.

    She agreed to the rules; and of course, now that she is losing, she wants to change the rules and appear like the popular hero.

    That is called CHEATING

    May 29, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Art Ft. Lauderdale

    Finally, someone with some sanity!

    There's a reason we call ourselves DEMOCRATS, not Bamacrats or Hilacrats! This childish, selfish our team must win,attitude is going to cost us big, unless we remember who we are really fighting for. "WE THE PEOPLE" Two oilmen as President and Vice President and we get the highest oil prices ever!, Katrina, Iraq, Kyoto, Karl Rove, impeachable high crimes, Alberto Gonzalez, Enron, the mortgage meltdown high food prices and Osama still out there. We still have not avenged 9-11 for Pete's sake!

    Anyone who'll vote for John McCain because Hillary blew it, was never a Democrat to begin with.

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Beca

    Pelosi and her fellow Congress people keeps sending money for the war, has not done anything about the gas, and now she wants to ignore the votes from Fl &MI, and stop Hillary for going to the convention. I just love how undemocratic the Democratic party is. We are going to loose in Nov, don't blame it on Hillary!

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. KD for 08AMA

    Well it's about time. Why wait till the end of next month. I mean if she isn't going to support the superdelegates going in a direction opposing the majority of the pledged delegate votes, why even wait. Can we end this already? I mean look at the toll it's taken on Hillary– she looks like she's been campaigning for a decade already, and it's been only 17 months.

    Also has anyone decided how she was supposed to fix the economy if she her own campaign is in millions of dollars worth of debt... last I checked the economy deals with billions/trillions... so she'd be going from losing a war with paintballs to losing a war with bullets, and cannons.... sounds like a plan... I guess that's what she's learned through all her 'experience'.

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. lolworivmaw

    Tony....learn how not to be a total idiot.....You don't speak for all the Jewish community considering I am one, and don't speak for a race you're not even a part of. Learn not to be a stereotype look like an idiot

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. IHC

    Go Hillary.....If Obama take the presidency it will be the end of the world....think about it.

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. George


    Florida and Michigan move up their primaries. WRONG
    Hillary who is now losing wants now for them to count. WRONG
    Hillary thinks she can beat Obama. WRONG
    Fooling with the DNC is anti-Constitutional. WRONG
    Pelosi finally had some guts to step in. WRONG

    There you go. Five wrongs do NOT make a right.

    McCain '08

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. lou

    i think to many people are disrupting the race between clinton and obama it is just like gore and bush some how florida is always in there someplace i am not saying either one is right or wrong but the main purpose of all this is for the people of the united states of america not for themselves. i think everyone has lost sight of what is right and wrong. they both have there good points and bad so lets just hope for the best for the people and this country.

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Joenc

    Please, Pelosi step in this fight and you will find out that you don't have the power that you think you have. This would only outrage Hillary supporters and turn them against Obama. I am a diehard democrat and if this type of comments and behavior continue, I will be forced to vote republican in the general election. Hillary has all the right to fight this fight as long as possible, and by the way Obama hasn't won the democrat nomination quite yet, pleas realize this!

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Richard

    I a long time Democrate will NOT vote for arrogant OBAMA no matter what Pelosi says or does.

    President Hillary Clinton all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. michelle






    May 29, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. 5 dollar foot long

    The most worthless speaker in American history wants to add to her record of ineptitude by saying she will accomplish something then doing, either nothing, or making things worse than they were before. So glad she's a democrat

    May 29, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. stephanie

    I am so disappointed in Pelosi's lack of leadership. Stop being a trophy Speaker, roll up your sleeves, get some real work much moe evidence is needed of this adminsitration's crimes and misdeeds? Pelosi has not shown leadership anywhere else, I dont expect her to show leadership or backbone now....She will be weak and support OBama because the easy thing to do. As a superdelegate and party leader, she needs to stand firm and state who will be the better candidate against McCain, who leads int he popular vote, and who should thus get the nomination..that would be Clinton. Obama supporters are causing divisiveness an dbitterness int he party. Enough is Enough. Pelosi..if you want to make a difference int he country and the world..this is your chance to DO THE RIGHT THING!

    May 29, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Robert Madison, WI

    Pelosi is doing the right thing here. The problem with Hillary supporter bashing Pelosi over this is that Hillary Clinton is not bigger than democratic party.

    She is 100% correct that if this overflows to convention – this will be democratic loss in November.

    Pelosi understands that a repeat of 1972 is not only going to be ruin the chances in Nov, but could cause lasting damage at time when Democrats have a shot to secure congress for next 10-20 years.

    Clinton family has been great service to democratic party – and will continue to be – but they are not controllers of the party.

    Barack has won fair and square by the rules all candidates agreed too. Their always a winner and loser – in this case – Clinton lost in 2008.

    I'll be honest – Barack is no sure win against McCain. But neither is Hillary. However, what is sure is that party is fractured at the convention – we lose a chance that either of these two will get elected in either 2008 or 2012.

    Hillary should be preparing for 2012. While I am Obama supporter, if he loses in 2008 to McCain – I will vote for Hillary in 2012 should she bow out gracefully in such a way not to hurt the democratic party.

    May 29, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. JJ

    Pelosi for VP will be a great idea.

    May 29, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Alan

    Doesn't the Constitution have something to say about this? Such as all states votes should count (Florida and Michigan) including primarys. You democrats have come a long way since the 2000 election.

    May 29, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Bill - Tennessee

    Speaker Pelosi,
    Just what is the purpose of the Democrat Convention in Denver if it is not to nomiate the Democrat Presidential nominee. Of course, if you run it like you have run the House this past year and half, nothing would get accomplished anyway.

    What's your rush? It was the Dem. party that scheduled the convention for late August, if the party was so concerned about not having enough time to campaign before the General election, why wasn't the convention held in June rather than August?

    You should try doing the business of the people which you were elected to do and let the convention settle the fight between Clinton and Obama.

    May 29, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. captain

    As an Obama supporter who would vote for Hillary without hesitation if she were the nominee, I am dismayed at all the Clinton supporters whose basic position is, "Give Hillary the nomination or we vote for McCain." Is that truly your position? Threats?

    May 29, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. mary

    yes it,s time to look to the future and start uniting the party.Hillary should bow out gracefully .She ran a highly competitive campaign.She should end it after June 3 , while there still voters who have a lot of respect for .Hillary knows the odd are against her for winning the nomination,so it,s time for her to be supportive of the party.

    May 29, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    Something that ALL OF YOU IDIOTS DON'T GET: even IF ALL the Superdelegates vot for Senator Obama, they CANNOT LEGAL VOTE him IN UNTIL THE CONVENTION!



    May 29, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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