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. Liz from Atlanta, GA

    That's awesome!!!! I can't wait for the first Obama vs. McCain debate. Was it just me or did he look a little insane when he was saying he would never surrender in Iraq??

    May 29, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Reggie from Texas

    Thank God for you, Speaker Pelosi!! I know the Clintons can't believe what is happening but the fact of the matter is that HRC lost. As a young African American college student, I was for her before she seemingly lost interest in the support of any of the demographics I belonged to whether it be African Americans, young people, or hardworking Americans of any other race. Not to mention, Obama's message appeals to so many people, including me, which is why he has such a strong backing from a broad coalition of Americans. It's time to unite behind the Democratic nominee, Barack Hussein Obama and support him all the way to the White House.

    OBAMA '08

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Anna r.

    At least in this case, Hillary could not claim sexism, could she?

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Brandon, Redmond, WA

    I am really tired of this Florida and Michigan crap. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each signed documents indicating they would not campaign in the two states, and Obama didn't have his name on either ballot. I truly believe that out of sheer desperation, Clinton had her name on both ballots because she knew at the time they could be useful in the future, which is exactly where she is now.

    I believe that no candidate should get any votes from either state as Pelosi is indicating, and it's time for the campaign to take its course and come to an end.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. tabby


    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Karen in Cape Cod

    Shame on you Nancy! What about the RIGHTS of the VOTERS?

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. pee-d-feet cause something stinks, indy

    It's about time....

    ORDER is the key term, the party needs to have order. Rules were made, the game was played, now this part is over.

    On to the General Election part....

    OBAMA 08

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. tim in carroll ia

    (CNN, you're working overtime to cut off comments as quickly as possible. One wonders why? Anyway, here are my comments on several previous Ticker items from today)

    Well, it's clear that Ed Rendell doesn't want to be Vice-President!

    And, by her letter to superdelegates, Hillary has made it clear that it is SHE who doesn't "get" it. The FACT is, we Democrats have chosen Barack Obama as our nominee – NOT Hillary Clinton!

    Do we really want another President who ignores the facts and bends obscure information for their own advantage and agenda. She seems to be taking a page out of the Bush book!

    By continuing to ignore the FACT caucus participants matter,
    the FACT that she has lost in a majority of states,
    the FACT that nobody won in MI & FL because they all agreed not to campaign there,
    the FACT that she has fewer delegates,
    and the FACT that the majority of leaders in our party are backing Obama –
    she is clearly pushing her own agenda! It is truly sad to think that one self-centered candiadte would try to submarine our nominee just to get another crack at the nomination in 2008.

    Guess what, Hillary – at Barack Obama rallies, parents are telling their children "Look, you can be anything you want to be". Voters are telling Barack to continue on because they believe in his leadership, message and vision!

    But most importantly, they are hearing an inspirational vision for a new America and true change for our future.

    Maybe you should attend an Obama rally soon and finally "get it"!!! The FACT is, You will be welcome, as long as you truly share the desire to elect our nominee – BARACK OBAMA – this fall so we can bring people together to change this great nation for the better!

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Chuck R

    Step in what? Step in where? Step in how?

    Clinton's name will be placed in nomination at the convention and she will get her fair share of delegate votes. The only question is will that be more or less than 50%.

    Every party hack that screams that we need to end this thing only makes it look worse for Obama. In 36 years of being active in the Democratic Party I have never seen such an odd tactic. One candidate can't beat the other so we simply demand that the candidate drop out? As Bill Clinton said its like being trapped in a fun house.

    Come June 3rd, Hillary Clinton will lead in delegates ELECTED in the Primary states and Barack Obama will lead in delegates selected by the caucus states. The Super Delegates will have to decide between the two which one they want to vote for.

    There is nothing that the Speaker can do to change those facts.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. not her please

    Thank goodness someone has what it takes to end this debacle. I'm not a democrat and rarely have voted democrat so i really can't say i care what happens to the party but i do believe in Obama and am looking forward to having the opportunity to vote for him. As a Pennsylvanian, i could not vote in the primary for him. Also, i think there are many other independents for him so, even though Ed Rendell says Pennsylvanians won't vote for a black man–i will and think even if he doesn't carry the hardworking white uneducated people in PA he may pick up many others who are not democrats. I will vote for him unless he puts her on the ticket –if she's on then i will have to seriously consider McCain.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. ldmdna

    Pelosi wll cause an even larger split in the party. It.s no secret, she has zero loyalty to Hilary

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. eleanor owen

    Thank you Nancy.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Ken

    So it is about order and discipline, rather than counting votes? Sounds un-American to me. I have never been impressed by Nancy Pelosi and I seem to be proven right. Sometimes democracy is messy. If Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Dean can't deal with that, step aside. The Democratic Party leadership is doing their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by their reluctance to let the process play out.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Shane

    If it goes to the cnovention floor, John Mccain will be our next President. However I do not blame Hillary Clinton for this nonsense. SHe's a Clinton and nothing they do surprises me. I also don't blame Barack Obama or the DNC or the Florida/Michigan voters. I blame the Florida/Michigan legislatures for "disenfranchising" their own voters. WHy would you knowingly and willingly move up your primary date in violation of the rules. You knowingly and willingly did it despite eing told that your residents' votes would not count and your states' delegates would be stripped. ITs crazy! ALso Howard Dean deserves a little blame for letting this fiasco go on this far. Where is his leadership? Hillary Clinton has been agitating her base for sometime now with her bogus calls for FLorida and Michigan to count. I expect nothing less from her. She's divisive and we all knew that years ago. BUt Howard Dean should of put the kibosh on that tactic by saying that Florida and Michigan will not count! PEriod! He should of told Hillary Clinton to stop calling for FLorida and Michigan because they simply won't count. End of story. Howard Dean failed us big time.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Darrell

    Thanks Nancy. Rules should be followed and if not a price should be paid.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. NBC

    Thank you Nancy......just say it!

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Sylvia Johnsen

    By rejecting superdelegates should exercise personal judgement, Pelosi is changing the rules!

    She should have done so before the race began.

    Clinton 08!

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Robert

    Yeah, step in Nancy; screw up things more for the party. Obama did NOT win the nomination; There is a difference between winning the nomination and ONLY being ahead. Fact is Obama is ahead, but did not win.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. Brian McBoston

    She better step in for Hillary then... the only ELECTABLE candidate who can win the demographics you need to win the states you need to win (OH, PA, MI, NJ, FL) to win the White House. I'll vote for Obama but I really don't think he can win. And, college students don't vote, we've learned this repeatedly. Obama's people will support Hillary; Hillary's people (rural Dems, Seniors, Catholics) will go for McCain! I know a lot of Hillary or McCain people... scary but true. Let's be wise to put up a winner and KEEP THE R'S OUT.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. GG

    This Pelosi is one jealous woman. She could not get a tiny fraction of the votes Hillary got.

    May 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. The Truth

    Finally someone with some common sense will step in. It's time to focus on the general election.

    Hillary has been delusional with regards to her having a chance to win the election. She should have gracefully bowed out after the N.C/Indy primary. Staying in the race proves that she is only in it for herself and really doesn't care about the harm she's doing to the party.

    It's time for Dems to unite behind Barack. Anyone who says it's either Hillary or McCain isn't a true Democrat and is voting solely on the basis of race, not the issues. This is a racist move and if that's what you are then vote for McCain.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Todd Independent Boston

    I am impressed, are cooler heads really going to prevail?

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Amy Holmes just said on CNN that 'Obama WILL not allow the FLA and MI delegates to be sat in a way...'
    If the truth matters, seating the FLA and MI delegates DOES not change anything, except a misconstrue a false popular vote figure.
    49.8/33 Fla and 55/0 Mi; Clinton Obama and she does not get close overtaking the pledged delegate count, though gains a slight PV lead.
    49.8/33 Fla and 55/10 Mi; Clinton Obama and he retakes the PV lead.
    10% folks!!!
    FLA and MI is the biggest smoke screen the press is having fun with. Notice Mr King is not running his big magic vote screen to show that FLA and MI are redundant to the final outcome. It would spoil the fun?
    Also, take the missing 17% in FLA, the majority of which are enfranchised towards Obama!
    Hillary's card carrying, activist, Republican roots are showing!

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. About time

    It's about time Pelosi spoke up... I like Hillary (although I'm supporting Obama), but she should have bowed out months ago.

    If she really does take the fight all the way to the convention, it's going to destroy the Democratic chance at the general election. If the Dems lose to the GOP in the general election, Hillary Clinton will become a pariah in American political history.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Jim

    Great, but WHY WAIT UNTIL END OF JUNE? Face the inevitable and tell Hill-Billy to get outta the way so we can start focusing on the General Election.

    She can "run" all she wants, but when she makes comments like

    "All the polls and I am the better candidate" (as if polls not elections determine election results??)

    and Bill talking about a Vast LEFT-WING CONSPIRACY against his wife....

    THIS IS NOT GOING TO WIN HER THE NOMINATION AND ONLY MAKES THE DEM PARTY LOOK LIKE LOSERS when its losing candidate cannot be stopped from badmouthing the leader, for no reason but for self promotion.

    May 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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