May 31st, 2008
03:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Levin attacks New Hampshire's 'privileged position'

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Michigan Senator Carl Levin used his time in front of the Rules and Bylaws Committee to attack New Hampshire's "privileged position" as the traditional first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

He also attacked the committee for ultimately granting New Hampshire a waiver that allowed it to maintain that status, despite a party plan designed to address complaints from other areas of the country.

Levin argued that Michigan had accepted the ruling that it would not be one of the four states allowed to hold its primary in January - objecting only when New Hampshire, which was not included in that group, was granted a waiver.

"[The committee] put us in the position of taking on the perpetual privilege [that] no state should have," Levin said.

"...We decided, we're not going to sit by and do nothing for another decade or two."

Levin is a longtime critic of the special status granted New Hampshire and Iowa, whose caucuses are the first presidential preference votes in the nation.

He criticized the Obama campaign for arguing that Michigan's pledged delegates should be split evenly between the Illinois senator and Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won the state's primary. But he also had sharp words for the Clinton campaign, which has said that delegates should be distributed based on the January vote, which would not result in the awarding of any delegates to Obama.

"We had a primary which was flawed, that's the bottom line," said Levin, arguing that state party chairman Mark Brewer's call for a 69-59 split between Clinton and Obama was the best option available.

RBC members - several of whom seconded his criticism of New Hampshire's status - pressed him on whether it would be fair to award delegates using any standard other than the results provided by voters.

"You're calling for a fair reflection of a flawed primary," complained Levin, who pointed out that the state had attempted to hold a new vote – and hinted that the dispute could wind up before the Democratic Party's Credentials Committee, which meets just before the party's presidential nominating convention in August.

Filed under: DNC • Michigan • New Hampshire
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Tex

    Levin is an idiot!

    May 31, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Brian

    It does suck that New Hampshire and Iowa seem to be ordained a the Jesus of the primary seasons.

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Willy

    Michigans favorite comb over congressman is back in the news.

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Ru B., NH

    So he's advocating that we should break state law? Isn't he sworn to uphold laws? I agree that Michigan shouldn't have been penalized because voter participation is WAY more important than some trumped-up set of rules by some party that's power hungry, but breaking our state laws isn't the solution to this issue.

    May 31, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |