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. Sue Parker

    In my opinion Barack Obama needs to drop out of the race. I would NEVER vote for a person with so little experience to run my country. He doesn't care a whit for the little guy, look at his voters. Wealthy & collage students, he can't get the 'blue collar' vote because he has no connection with the 'real' people in this country. The blacks are voting for him JUST because of his black blood. If he were white he would have been out of this race a long time ago. The Super Delegates are afraid not to vote for him, they are too afraid of Race Riots if they do, I think this is the same reason so many regular delegates have changed their vote. After 40 years of registering and voting Democrat this year I will be registering and voting independent for Bob Barr. I would vote for a Republican before I would vote for Obama.

    Sue Parker

    May 29, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Craig Demeter







    May 29, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Dan

    So instead of people deciding this primary, we want politicians to decide. Gee, sounds like Florida 8 years ago! Let's just have the Supreme Court decide it! "For the people, by the people...". If Obama cares so much why doesn't HE step aside? Don't believe the hype!

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. dwc

    Why is Pelosi feeling so threatened? I'm sick of the whole Democratic Party because of people like her running it into the ground. Hillary has every right to go to the convention, afterall, it was ok for Teddy Kennedy to do it, why not Hillary Clinton? I have already decided I will vote McCain this year if Obama is nominated. If anyone believes the Democrats really are going to immediately pull out troops in Iraq without catastrophic consequences, they are kidding themselves. Obama has already started backpedaling on that issue. As that is the key emotional issue separating the Dems and Republicans, I see less harm going with someone who actually has foreign policy credentials and is not naive on other issues.

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. David, Chicago, IL

    And what would all you Bobama fanboys/fangirls be saying about Michigan and Florida and superdelegates, if Clinton was in the lead? I think we'd be hearing a different story, wouldn't we?

    As it is, now we're hearing how Bobama played hard, ruthless politics to get all his opponents off the ballot, so he could run unopposed in his first election. New Leadership, nah...just another cynical, ruthless cold-eyed politician who has fooled his constituency time and time again.

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Charlie

    FACT – FL and MI broke the rules trying to get more $$ and influence for their state with early primaries.

    FACT – Hillary initially supported sanctioning them – but now wants no penalty as it is the only way she can win

    I don't care what candidate you support – that is just morally wrong. How can people who support that not see the long term implications? If you reward MI and FL then you send the message to every state to keep moving their primary. You will reward bad behavior and pretty soon we will have primaries years before the actual election.

    Do the voters of FL and MI have right to be upset – yes. But their energies should be focused on the local party leaders who ignored the national party and led them down the wrong path. Hillary and Obama had nothing to do with THEIR state leadership deciding to break the rules! So own up to your mistake, vote the local bums out and take a more active local role. But to blame Obama or Hillary (as she did nothing until her own self interest were at stake) for FL and MI decision to break the rules is ridiculous.

    I don't think Hillary needs to step aside – but she does have an obligation to run a positive campaign. If she can win the delegates on her own merits – great. But Hillary made a bad call with MI and FL situation and is using divide and conquer tactics. That lost my vote.

    Our country is in trouble and we citizens need to rally together more than ever before. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from the core issues (War, Economy, Health, etc) and core principles (if you break the rules there are consequences) any more. If we do – if we allow ourselves to be divided into camps over emotional elements – then we deserve what we get.

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. @americans

    I can only give Hillarious credit for continuing a FAILED CAMPAIGN!

    Hillary definitely have balls and Bill have monica punani's juice all over his balls!

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Chris Loosley

    How did this stupid woman ever get to be the speaker of the House? She doesn't have a fraction of Hillary's expertise or leadership, she hasn't done anything of any substance in the House, and yet now she's claiming she can "step in" and affect the course of the election.

    Under what party rule is she going to do that? Nobody votes until the convention, so she's just posturing - yet again. As if she has a shred of credibility left after being completely ineffective as a leader.

    What a paper tiger!

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. multiparty

    Every one knows where you stand. You have never been impartial in this campaign. How did you get elected as Speaker of the house? You have no leadership... Since you took the house, congress has been ranked lowest to do the jobs that country wants them done. Give that job to some one please. There is no way that I will spend a dime in democratic party again.

    There gotta be better solution. We must have multi party system that works. Two parties are corrupt ( Obama is part of one). One tries to take the country to the left antoher to the right. Everyone who is in the middle are squeezed like middle income tax payers. We are the one who are funding the war, we are the one who are paying the kids go to college, we are the one who is bailing the drug, airlines, banks copmaies out and yes we are the one who are paying you to serve us. We want our money back with interest.

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Marcel

    What to expect from an Obama hippy brainwashed idiots that are supporting him?
    She has done nothing in the congress and now she wants to end the race?
    I would say to Hillary to come to Canada and wait for three years and be our Prime Minister,we know how to appreciate a smart woman!

    May 29, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Zachary

    Wow the Hillary supporters are all Femanazis that will hate Obama no matter what because is a man. Go ahead vote for McCain but when the world just gets worse than it is today you have only yourself to blame. I can't believe you would still support Hillary after the way she has acted as if this thing is all about her. This leads me to believe no matter what, you wouldn't vote for him. at least most women in this country aren't stupid and that is why OBama gets half of the women vote. Being sexist is stupid....................

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Josh

    What a heavy-handed, autocratic bunch of comments. Let the people decide, Czar Nancy. Or are you afraid the Democratic Party can't handle, you know, Democracy?

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Steve From Dallas

    GO Ahead Nancy...

    Dont wait for democracy to take its course....

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Bill

    Pelosi should say what is now obvious.

    Obama is not right for the democratic nomination, not right for the presidency, not right by orders of magnitude for the USA.

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. fairandstraight

    Great!! If this process is not over soon, I think Hillary will lose the rest of her mind. Have anyone notice how wide her eyes are torn open when she is trying to convince people that she is in the lead or the only one that can win? I actually got sorry for her.

    Pelosi, for the sake of the party, let this weekend put an end to this process. The only change needs to be made is when a candidate reach over half the elected delegates to be earned, he or she must end their bid or the superdelegates end it for them.

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Renee

    I'm glad that is going to take a stand on this. It has gone far too long and I don't think that it is for the good of the Democratic Party. I admire her determination.

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Tom

    I do think that Clinton has the right to run through the primary s which end next week. Few have told her to stop but after the delegate count is taken and Obama has won the required amount then let's get together and unite.

    Doesn't that make sense?

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Linda P

    To Mikey in Arizona!! Three good choices for VP! I think Powell or Clark would go a long way to heal our country in terms of world view. It's so sad that the Bush administration did Colin so dirty; would be great to see him 2nd in command.

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. David in PA

    What can Nancy Pelosi do to stop the race? If Hillary wants to take this to the convention there's no stopping her. The delegate count is not official until the convention roll call. Pelosi has been an awful Speaker and the House has done nothing since Democrats took over.

    May 29, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. DavidE73

    Why do all the commenters who are against Pelosi's intervention have female names? It reminds me of the famous comment of Coco Chanel: "Women who think they are intelligent, compete with men. Women who ARE intelligent, don't".

    May 29, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Bill

    With all due respect, I think Nancy Pelosi is confusing the Democratic party with the House of Representatives. No one person has the ability to "step in" and solve anything; it must be worked out with the DNC and the two campaigns. What an ego! The only power she has is to start bullying undeclared House freshmen – many of whom have pointedly not endorsed Obama. That's a recipe for resentment and rebellion, especially if it backfires in the Fall.

    May 29, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. john


    May 29, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. doubtful Democrat

    Then, whats the point in having elections in democratic setup ?

    Let all people have a say and caste their votes.

    Republicans will be laughing at what is happening.

    May 29, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. joann

    Hey Harry C – Pelosi stripping a candidate of their constitutional right is not "back bone" – it's says "I'm scared to death to work for a woman"; it's not her place to end an election when "she sees fit". Who's she! Just another example of how everyone has been "railroading" Hillary for 6 months now. There is a conspiricy going on and it's obvious – as crazy as it sounds look at the Map, look at the polls, look at the swing states, and out of 2025 deligates each possible – being behind 160 deligates is not enough for everyone to jump ship for. That should give superdeligates something to mull over and look at the popular vote, swing state votes, and who can beat mccain. Hillary will be our winner if they have "spines".

    May 29, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Karol

    Of course she will – this has all be planned out by her and Dean. Obama had them wrapped up as well as the media . ... to bad! When will she be put out of office??????? soon I hope.
    Go McCain

    May 29, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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