May 29th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
6 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. Ann

    The punishment sounds very silly to me, just like the game that kids play.

    May 29, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Tiachi

    Smart lady!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Ron

    While I don't agree that Florida and Michigan delagates should be seated, in whole or in part, as the rules and punishment have already been determined, I do agree that closure needs to happen sooner than later. As such, I am glad to see the Speaker of the House/Chairman of the Convention, Nancy Pelosi step and draw a line to let all the candidates and delagates know that closure will occur in June despite the threats of any candidate to protract the debate.

    May 29, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Vy, California

    my God! Pelosi you're our hero!!! someone's gotta stop that run away train wreck of a woman!

    May 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Sean

    It's about time. You can only be neutral for so long. Look at World War II. We tried to stay neutral, and in the end it cost us greatly.

    May 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. john

    EXCELLENT PELOSI. WE LOVE YOU AND OBAMA NEED YOU IN THIS TIME.

    OBAMA 08/12.

    May 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Shawn

    Well it is about time.

    May 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. SOPHIA,23, FLORIDA VOTER

    THANK YOU NANCY PELOSI.....SOMEONE ELSE IS MAKING SENSE HERE....DEMOCRACTS UNITE TO TAKE DOWN MCSHAME AND THE RIDICOULOUS BUSH POLICY!

    May 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Mary in CT

    Yeah, that's democracy in action: the Speaker will decide who the populous wants for their nominee...now THAT should give everybody a ton of faith ion the system.

    May 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. MoveOn

    Pelosi continues to reflect the inability of the Democrats to get anything done. She is unable to make a decision and waffles, just like Kerry, and pursues a course of inaction and ambiguity.
    Thank God she continues to set herself and her party up as a target for ridicule and inaction.
    Given the apparent brain tumor that Scott McClellan developed (What else could explain such abberant and turn-coat behavior), Pelosi will continue to negate the chatter and keep the focus on Billary and Bama.

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Mac in Nova Scotia

    Good for you Nancy. It is an act of kindness on your part to end this primary so that the Democratic Party can get on with the General Election and keep us from having a third term term of Bush/McCain.

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Sue

    Pelosi needs to get off her power trip. Many primary races have gone to convention without destroying the party. Ted Kennedy , for one. Honestly, we may as well just let the DNC and the power elites pick a nominee and just forget about voting...kind of like this time. So much for democracy...

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. From Florida

    How is it fair to count votes? Isn't this what the democrats fought for in 2000? A handful of party officials broke the rules, and that accounts for millions of votes not being considered. How is it fair for my vote to not be counted because of a situation completely beyond my control?

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Bafana

    I agree with you Pelosi,you are telling the truth.When the race just started, Hillary was saying that what matters is the number of pledge Delegates that one have.Sicne she knows now that she can not overtake Obama in the pledge Delegates count, she now says she is ahead in popular vote and it is the popular vote that counts.
    She is frustrated and want to get this nomination in all cost even if requires her to take the life of somebody.
    OBAMA 2008,YOU ARE OUR PRESIDENT

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. oil rules

    Pelosi is cute! However, if you are one of those dingbats that actually believe Bush stole the elction form Gore by disenfranchising Florida voters, then you have to believe that Clinton is getting a raw deal. Of course, the DNC and the candidates AGREED to not count any of the Florida votes well before the primaries started. So, it is the entire party that is screwing Florida and now they can't even play by their own rules. How weak can they be??

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    What took you so long?

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Wen

    People like Pelosi are a blessing to the Democratic party. Indeed, I am convinced the Democrats with Barack Obama as the presidential nominee will conquer in the campaign for the white house. I can see the handwriting on the wall.

    God bless Nancy Pelosi!

    God bless Barack Obama!

    God bless the Democratic party!

    God bless the United States of America!

    Wen, an Independent turned Obama Supporter, write in from Delaware.

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Another interested Canadian.

    Thank goodness someone is showing some common sense and is prepared to end this madness. Such a prolonged race with scarcely a hope of the outcome changing makes no sense and only harms the party's chances in the general election.

    There has to be time for feelings to be soothed and democrats pull together for the sake of the country.

    I hope Hillary's been warned about her campaign tactics as well. She has NO BUSINESS disparaging Obama at this late stage and ruining the party's chances. What the hell is she thinking? She has said she is a 'team player', let's just see about that!

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Heather

    I hope she does do something, because we're sure to lose in the fall if this goes to the convention. And Hillary seems unable to grasp that fact, despite all the references to history she makes, heh.

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Generation X

    Thanks Nancy.......
    Hillary before MI primary-
    "I personally did not think it made any difference whether my name was on the ballot. You know, It's clear this election they are having is not going to count for anything."

    Hillary after MI primary-
    "I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. "

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Veteran in Kansas

    Who does Pelosi think she is, if necessary sjhe will step in to end the race. If it goes to the Convention, even Pelosi is bound to the rules. A Canidate is not required to step down, and delegates are not bound as to who they vote for past the first round and if neither canidate has enough to be declared the canidate after the first round, its open.

    But then again this will more than likely, not be posted.

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Boered1

    Wow a party leader FINALLY stepping up and telling the WHINERS in FL and MI (not the entire state just those who cry "I broke the rules but I should still get my way") and the Clinton campaign to SHUT THEIR PIE HOLES! I LOVE IT even if it is too late!

    As a comment to those who keep wanting to say that it is Obama that is destroying and splitting the party I only have this quote from AP for you

    "Clinton loyalists are expected to demonstrate outside the hotel. The Obama campaign has urged its supporters to stand down. "We don't think it's a helpful dynamic to create chaos," said David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager. "In the interest of party unity, we're encouraging our supporters not to protest.""

    Meanwhile Hillary the great divider is ENCOURAGING HER SUPPORTERS to protest. Guess we now know for sure what the truth is don't we?

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Carl

    Please end this soon and unite. For the good of the party .

    May 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. Michelle, Indiana

    About time someone with a backbone stood up to the Clintons! Thank you Ms. Pelosi.

    May 29, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Wen

    People like Pelosi are a blessing to the Democratic party. Indeed, I am convinced the Democrats with Barack Obama as the presidential nominee will conquer in the campaign for the white house. I can see the handwriting on the wall.

    God bless Nancy Pelosi!

    God bless Barack Obama!

    God bless the Democratic party!

    God bless the United States of America!

    Wen, an Independent turned Obama Supporter, write in from Delaware.

    May 29, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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