May 27th, 2008
01:13 PM ET
12 years ago

Blitzer: Could the DNC move the goalposts this weekend?

Blitzer: Could the magic number shift this weekend?

Blitzer: Could the magic number shift this weekend?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee meets in Washington on Saturday and may decide to move the goalposts.

At issue: what to do about those Michigan and Florida pledged and super delegates. Right now, they don’t count in the presidential selection process because those two states moved up their primaries against DNC rules.

The current goalposts, as a result, stands at 2,026 – the number of delegates needed to clinch the presidential nomination. Without Michigan and Florida, there would be a total of 4,050 delegates at the Denver convention representing the other 48 states, the U.S. territories, and Americans living abroad.

The DNC Rules Committee could decide to reverse itself and seat the Michigan and Florida delegations despite their primary violations. That would move the goalposts to 2,210 – the new number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. If the committee did that, there would be a total of 4,418 delegates at the convention.

There is a third option that is being discussed right now: the so-called Republican option. It would seat the Florida and Michigan delegates at the convention, but only at half-strength. This proposal would punish both states but still seat half of their delegates – as the Republicans did. That, in turn, would move the goalposts to 2,118 – the number needed under this scenario to clinch the nomination. Under this third option, there would be 4,234 delegates at the convention.

In other words, we could see the goalposts move this weekend. But here’s the question – would moving these goalposts really make much of a difference in the nominating process given Barack Obama’s current lead over Hillary Clinton and the party’s proportionate distribution of delegates under all the scenarios?

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    Why move the goalposts when we could just move the whole game to somewhere like Saudi Arabia or North Korea so that we can play by their rules?

    Their ideas on succession is more to the Clinton's liking.

    May 27, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. linda

    Enough is enough, when you're trying to appease HRC ,she has lost the primary, Good-bye

    May 27, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. pa voter

    Is cnn also going to do the story about Obama's Uncle? The one who liberated the jews? I understand that is his latest try to get the Jewish vote, even though he had no uncles. Is this true? America needs to know what kind of person we have running for office.. I know you dont usualy print anything I say, but this is kind of important isn't it? This is something that needs to be checked.

    May 27, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Creative Woody

    Wolf, stop being a Clinton's boy. Why do they need to move the goalposts? In January, 2025 is what was needed. With or without FL and MI.

    May 27, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Chris from NY

    No it wouldn't. It hasn't and any which way anyone chooeses to move the goal post it still wouldn't. The Clintons know this that's why they are touting the popular votes excluding the caucauses. So, they can play all the game they can we are educated enough to knwo the difference.

    May 27, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Chuks

    John you are very stupid to call Obama a LIAR and a FRAUD! You can't even start comparing Obama to Hillarys past are you kidding me or are delusional? Ancient POT calling new Kettle Black? You want me to start roll calling the CLINTONGATE DIARIES? I don't think so.

    Obama is the man and YOU MUST VOTE FOR HIM whether you like it or not because I'm sure you know your namesake OLD JOHN MAC is ready to bring back the draft, kick out roe vs wade, and privatize Social Security.

    There you have it so shut up and be more sensible when you post.

    May 27, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Delta Dave

    The DNC created the rules and all candidates agreed to them. Any action by the DNC should take place after the nomination is secured, based on the situation that pertains at the end of the primaries, creating a fait accompli. Then the delegates could be seated as Hillary wishes and she can go home and bake her cookies, that is, the ones she hasn't already burned!!

    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Venus

    Hillary is out of goal posts!

    The DNC will do the right thing!

    Go Obama!

    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Why should the good people that came to the poles lose their vote.The DNC is basically telling those people, you can vote if you vote the way we want you to vote. Of 19 states to move up the vote date FL and MI are the only states to be punished. Funny they both voted for Hillary. Was this rigged?

    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah


    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. minnocent bystander

    Are you kidding me "Don't Vote". Do you honestly think a republican is going to win a white house with the disapproval ratings of the current. I've voted straight Republican ticket the last two elections, and believe me, I can't take any more of this. I'm voting Democrat regardless of the nominee. Obama will do just fine, in fact a walking mute would do better going up against a republican this time.

    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Addendum

    Maybe we could move the goal posts outside of the playing field. Why not? Who needs rules when the Clintons are involved? Has the definition of democracy in the U.S. become as warped as it appears to have become during this time in history? Maybe we can just let all the Ivy League college graduates run the country or is that what is already happening? Unless of course you are an African American Ivy League graduate. We need some major help in the U.S. and it's not going to come from the Clintons or McBushes.

    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Rod

    All of those Clinton supporters vowing to vote McCain or not vote are making a big mistake. Clinton and Obama policy positions are pretty close. You may consider it unfortunate that your candidate didn't win but don't vote for someone who is opposed to most everything that your candidate believes in.

    May 27, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. NoHillaryOnVpTicket

    They can move the goal post if they want... but not to help her win.... The superdelegates are already full of it in my eyes, because more of them should have come out for Obama during this past week.... it is obvious there decisions may be bases of race otherwise they would have already come out for Obama. Sick, Sad. Sorry

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Dilly WA

    The problem is that Clinton will appeal the decision if they are not seated as the unfair count is now (without Obama on the MI ticket & not campaigning in FL). She will then have until the end of the convention to drive eveyone nuts and futher divide the party. She will not agree to terms at this meeting because she knows Obama will get enough delegates to end this. Have we not learned She is not reasonable?

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Ryan

    Peggy May 27th, 2008 4:10 pm ET,
    Terry McAuliffe created the rules, so you can tar and feather the Clinton campaign chair first if that's the route you want to go. Dean just kept the rules the same.

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. 1926

    Well, I see Obama has a new suit, and what the heck is that in his lapel. Can it be, does he actually have a flag pin?What a jerk. Little does he know, sarcasm does not become him. It is a cheap trick. If he cant win on his merits, he doesnt deserve the nomination.

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. voter

    To Hillary Supporters: many are saying that the votes in MI and FL not counting is unfair and disenfranchising voters. Howerver, harold ickes, hillary's campaign manager, sits in the rules committee and voted to strip MI and FL of their delegates. Hillary signed the pledge to not allow MI and FL delegates to be seated. She also stated that MI does not count after they broke the rules and held the primary. How exactly is Obama responsible for not counting the votes in MI and FL? Second, ickes said the uncommitted votes in MI should not count. Hillary says she has the popular vote, yet she is excluding 5 caucus states in her argument. How exactly is she promoting democracy and her claim that 50 states should count, when she is disenfranchising the caucus states and the umcommitted votes in MI? answer please.

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. AZM

    Doesn't make a difference at this point...
    Obama will get the nomination... and fall short in November because of the 20 Million HRC supporters who will write in her name!

    No Bama No Way

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Janet, American via Canada

    Of course, the DNC, Candidates, and all delegates have to agreed for this party to move towards eliminating, the Republicans.

    Yes, Mi. & Fl., was punished, by the flip flopping candidate!
    This is appeasement of the worst kind, and the flip flopping candidate has to apologize to ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE for trying to divided this country! And, she knows who she is, and family!

    May 27, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Margaret from Orlando,FL

    The DNC better support counting ALL of Florida's votes now or we'll hang them by their chads in November. believe it.

    May 27, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Jerry

    Why is Hillary crying like a baby she agree with the rules with DNC it not fair to Obama that she is really trying to destroy Obama and the demoncratic party she need to blame the republicans in Florida and michigan legislator for changing the rules.

    May 27, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Who is a typical Obamus Supporter

    What is wrong with the Obmus supporters/ Why are they so full of hate and sprew terrible messages. Get a life and try to act civil.

    The typical Obama supporters are rude. They have no regard for anyone except themselves and their candidate. They have been utterly disgusting towards Sen. Clinton this primary season. They have used nasty tactics in the caucuses to intimidate older Clinton supporters.

    They stifle free speech by scaring opponents from speaking because they create hysteria over comments which they take out of context and to which they twist the meaning

    They are trying to keep Florida and Michigan votes from counting and are silencing voters because their candidiate did not win (and they blocked all revote efforts too).

    Shame on Obama and his rude immature supporters. I say no to Obama supporters and no to him as well.

    May 27, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Steve from Florida

    Sadly they probably will move them, which is the problem Dean really is facing. If he had stood firm and just said "no, we made rules, these states blatantly disregarded them, end of story", it would be a stronger resolve than what's going on. If nothing gets changed, it will be a boon to the DNC's credibility.

    That being said, even if they are moved, there's
    a) no fair way to seat Michigan as it stands, since Obama (by the request of the DNC) left his name off the ballot
    b) no advantage for either candidate, since the posts will just be moved further out of reach for both of them

    Also, while I respect their fervor, people who think writing in Hillary's name in November is a good idea and then say "Obama can't beat McCain" need to take a step back and realize their bad logic. Please realize that McCain will lose if you swallow your pride for the good of the Democratic party.

    May 27, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Don't Vote:

    Are you having some medical difficulties. It will take all of the newly registered Obama supporters to beat McCain. Hillary will affect voter turn out. Repulicans will rush to the polls to defeat her. Have you ever wondered why she has been seen drinking so much lately?? It's because even she can see a promising career gouing down the tubes. If she is not careful she wount win re-election to the senate when her term is up. P.s. Please do vote for McCain, we dont need you or any of these others so-called democrats. Do you think you are going to hold the party hostage??? Go away and take Bill and Hillary (tricks ) with you.

    May 27, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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