February 13th, 2008
03:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: 'Be careful what you wish for'


WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the world of politics, be careful what you wish for.

The politicians in Florida and Michigan thought that by moving up their primaries before Super Tuesday, they would exert greater influence on the nomination of their respective party’s presidential candidates. The Republican National Committee stripped those states of half of their delegates. The Democrats stripped those states of all of their delegates.

John McCain has a huge advantage right now in the Republican delegate count. That explains why there isn’t much buzz about what the Republicans did.

But it’s a very different story on the Democratic side.

Hillary Clinton “won” the Florida and Michigan contests even though she and her rivals promised not to campaign in those states. They didn’t. She did show up in Florida on the night of the primary to claim victory. She had a huge rally there.

The only names on the Democratic ballot in Michigan were those of Clinton and Dennis Kucinich. Barack Obama’s name was nowhere to be found there, though his name was on the Florida ballot. And with the candidates not allowed to campaign in either state, it wasn’t really much of an election - though Florida and Michigan Democrats certainly showed up in good faith to vote.

Now there are lots of background discussions and efforts underway to determine whether the millions of Democratic voters in those two states will actually be disenfranchised at the Democratic Convention in Denver at the end of August. That’s because the party’s nomination could come down to a floor vote.

If Clinton and Obama remain competitive after the March 4 contests in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, and the other remaining contests, including Pennsylvania's April vote, then it could come down to a brokered convention. Will the Florida and Michigan delegates be seated? There could be a huge and historic credentials fight, the first since 1972 when Democrats finally nominated George McGovern.

Here’s the irony: By moving up their contests, the Florida and Michigan Democrats wound up with exactly what they feared would happen to them if they waited until Super Tuesday. They became marginalized. Had they held their contests as originally scheduled, it potentially would have been very different. Let’s see if the problem can be fixed.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Sergey

    I'm from former Soviet Union. Mr. Obama's "Hope, Change" speeches reminds me my former Soviet Union leader's speeches. I was grew up on this kind of "Hope" promises. Electing future President based on emotions will lead this country to a very dangerous consequences.


    February 13, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. Sonya

    Obama is just a wind bag full of hot air. He has no foreign policy experience and we are in 2 wars. He will not be able to attend a meeting with the leaders of nations like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and such and be able to "mesmorize" them like he does the zombies at his rallies. These are learder that will be tough and he will not be able to hold his own. We need Hillary to take care of this. She, back in 1994 or 95, addressed the communist republic of China on human rights and gave them hell. She wasn't scared of their communist leaders. She has met on many occaions with all type of political leaders from all over the world and is the only one that can do it now. GO HLLARY!!!

    February 13, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. Rhetoric Obama

    Obama won in small states. Hillary gets big states. Small states small minded. Big states open minded. lol

    February 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. middle of the road

    Here's the point that many of you seem to be missing. If you seat these delegates because it is a close race you've just given every state the green light to hold their primaries whenever they choose. If the people of Michigan and Florida want their voices heard, they need to seek out those that made the decission to monkey with the process and take it out on them. We have rules for a reason; if we didn't, we'd have chaos. I personally believe our election system is outdated and needs an overhaul but I'm not holding my breath.

    February 14, 2008 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
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