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. John

    Overturning the pledged delegate count does not matter. If the democrats' had a winner take all system, Hillary Clinton would have won weeks ago. The popular vote, which Clinton will win, should be the deciding factor. Mrs. Pelosi, stop trying to inact rules that will impede the better candidate, Hillary Clinton, from winning!

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Glenn

    I do have one question – if Sen. Obama does end up being the nominee, but loses the general election, how will he be viewed when he limps back to the Senate? There is all this talk that Sen. Clinton is going to have a heck of a time returning to the Senate, but has anyone thought of what it will be like for Obama should he lose the general? Here is a man who is the first viable african-american candidate, who gives rousing speeches and can schmooze with the best of is a man who vocally states he is bringing more people into the party and who can put additional states in lets say he does and he loses the general election. I would hope that everyone would look Sen. Clinton in the eye, apologize for their mistakes in not helping her become the nominee, and get behind her when/if she ever decides to run again.

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Dot

    I'm so glad that the powers that be are not buying into HRC bullying. She reminds me of the kid at the ballpark who brought the ball so you have to play under her rules. Then when she finds she's losing, she wants to change the rules in her favor. She lost any respect I had for her. You cannot manufacture respect, honor and integrity, none of which HRC has. I give her credit for being a fighter and having courage to continue but those qualities alone don't make a good president. Barack will be a solid leader for this country, lets hope all of the shenanigans that she and Bill have pulled over the last couple months in their quest to knock Barack down, don't hurt him in the general election race. We need to get the republicans out of the white house.

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Jeff

    RE enlightened voter - Hillary Clinton is more electable based on the fact that she has won swing states and big states. YES, Obama is ahead is pledged delegates - but those delegates are from states that held caucauses and states that will go to McCain in the general election anyways. YES, Obama is ahead in the popular vote - until you count Michigan and Florida, which Hillary would easily win even if there was a theoretical revote. It's Hillary or bust for the Dems.

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. george

    Nancy show the Clintons the door.

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Deb

    The arrogance of the Left Wing never stops amazing me!

    I wouldn't count any chickens just yet!

    The moderate and conservative base of both parties’ will not support you!

    Nor will anyone who loves this country!

    Keep doing nothing Nancy!

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Margaret

    Why bother having people vote? They should have asked Pelosi and Carter who they wanted at the beginning. That would have saved time and a lot of money.

    Pelosi's "math" is unfair because the superdelegates should follow the popular vote. If we do not follow the popular vote, we are saying that some votes are more important than others. When the Democratic party no longer believes in democracy, we are in trouble.
    This nomination has been stolen, and the sad thing is that the way it has been handled is so offensive to Clinton supporters that it is highly likely John McCain will win and we will have 100 years in Iraq. Wonderful.

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Less, Austin Tx

    Finally, someone is standing up to do the right thing.

    Hopefully, Pelosi's common sense as to why this doesn't need to go on...and on...and on...will rub off on Hillary.

    Because if someone doesn't stand up and end this now, when Obama is being sworn in as President, Hillary will be out and about telling everyone that she is still the strongest candidate and can beat McCain in the General Election.

    Thank You Pelosi. . .

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Thompson

    Hillary says she will campaign hard for Sen. Obama However, deep down inside she still feels she is the one for the job. This feeling will not allow her to give Obama 110% of her effort in campaigning for Obama.

    Hillary should campaign as if she is the nominee, if she does there shouldn't be any divide in the democratic party (Hard Working Whites vs The Rest of the Democratic Party).

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. WeLuvObama

    This is great news. I was getting a little nervous. It seemed as if they were just letting Hillary have her way. It is time for the democratic party to unite and take on McCain. We can win this thing in November if we all stick together. Too all Hillary supporters that have not taken the time to do some research on Obama – please do that now. You will see that his policies are very similiar to Hillary's. We can't have 4 more years of George Bush's policy.

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Hanging Chad


    If this is how the Democrats run a primary, how can they be expected to run the country? The Democrats promised change when they took control of Congress, but we haven't seen any. Neither candiate has any substance to their campaigns, but it's at least entertaining. What's next, Hillary with her hand in her blouse claiming she's Napolian?


    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Linda

    Pelosi says she is prepared to 'step in.' Obama can't win, so that hag wants to crown him king

    May 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Finally some clear directive!

    Thank you Nancy. It's time someone made some clear directives here. Let's finish and get on with the tough work ahead in order to be successful in fall.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. joe

    In the end, this all about the Democratic party, not the Clintons. They can make claims about "popular vote majority" but there are clear rules on how to win the nomination in this party, and Pelosi plans to enforce them. At this stage, the question of which candidate is more electable is moot – that will all be decided by how well the party rallies around the nominee. If people want to play like spoiled brats and vote against our nominee, then it will be a self-fulfilling prophesy (and a self-defeating one as well).

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Guy

    No way will Sen. Clinton listen to Madam Speaker. The Speaker is a political lightweight compared to Clinton. Clinton is so ambitious and wants this nomination so bad she will do almost anything to get it. I worry about supporting someone who wants to have the power of the Presidency so bad, not very comfortable with people who want the most powerful position in the world so badly.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. DD

    Pelosi, stay out of this. Let the democratic process works its own way. Please don't use this as an opportunity for your own political gain. I'm sick of this lady.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Jose'

    Typical democrats.

    Forget the peoples vote, someone from the government needs to step in and do something since you don't know what to do yourself.


    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Alex in TX

    Ironic that she is the first person in the Demcratic party to step up with any balls.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Deirdre,OH

    Pelosi has been and continues to be squarely in Obama's camp. She is quite willing to have the delegates Hillary won fair and square in Florida stolen from her. Many of us understand giving just half of the delegates from Michigan, but Florida is another story. The only candidate that campaigned in Florida was Obama who ran ads (in spite of an agreement not to) for ten days leading up to the primary. (All the candidates were allowed to fund raise there and did.) Watch out Nancy, your fear of having a smarter, younger, better-looking, and more powerful woman in government is becoming more evident each day. It's really not a pretty picture.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. CW, St. Paul

    Anybody but McCain. Seriously. Let's keep a cool head about this.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. KK

    Go on head, Pelosi! You ahve more moxy than the law allows and I could not agree with you more. You have to put your foot down when this sort of nonsense takes place. When government fails to enforce its own laws, chaos ensues. THANK YOU for showing that there is a true reason for demoracy and laws. You are a trooper–a real home-toen SHERO!!

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Terry in NC

    Nancy Pelosi has one delegate vote that she is free to cast for anyone...quit telling everyone else how to vote or when to decide. We got the wrong woman for Speaker of the should have been Jane Harmon.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. lin lin

    Dont mess with Pelosi....she has pearls !!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Dave

    How about Mrs. Clinton's constitutional right to run her campaign until she decides to stop or the convention convenes and the delegates decide who is the nominee? Why does everyone think she should drop out just Obama can get the nomination. He has not won it. The rules call for the convention delegates to decide who is the nominee if it isn't resolved by the caucus and primaries. Seems like everyone in the Democrat party believes their rules should be accepted. I thought Ms. Peloisi and Harry Reid were going to end the Iraq War when the Democrats took control of the Senate.

    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. alice

    Play your game Nancy....I can't wait for you to say....Good Morning Mr President McCain!!!

    Who the hell do these people Dean and Pelosi think they are?????


    May 29, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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