We're about to hear the end of the big Michigan/Florida do-the-delegates-count snafu — and they're showing the whole debate live now! I just know you're popping the popcorn and settling in to watch the whole shebang — here are three things to know while you watch the showdown.
The Role of Republicans in the Florida Trouble:
Were the Democrats sabotaged? Though Florida's Republican-controlled state legislature determined the date of the primary and Republican lawmakers did push vigorously for an early contest, it started with a Democrat. State Sen. Jeremy Ring introduced the legislation to reschedule the primary He said, "one thing you can be sure of," he said that Florida will be relevant during the primaries.” He's also said that he wasn't duped by anyone. Then the voting. Not one Democratic member of the state House voted against the measure, and hardly any opposition in the Senate.
I promised three, and I will not ask for a change of the rules after the beginning of the game — for the rest, read more.
Has Hillary Always Wanted the Votes Counted?
Not exactly. Clinton said in 2007 "it's clear that this election they're having [in Michigan] is not going to count for anything." A little bit later, her campaign manager said, "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process. . . . and the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will . . . adhere to the DNC-approved nominating calendar."
Then on Jan. 25 (after Michigan and Florida) she said, "And so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan."
What's Likely to Happen Today?
Probably not awarding the delegates according to the popular vote and seating all of them, like Clinton would like. The Rules and Bylaws Committee probably will not reverse the sanctions completely — that's a decision that would set a bad precedent for other states and start the primary season for the 2012 election, around tomorrow. The committee members "have expressed little interest in the option of seating all the delegates." They will probably follow the recommendation of DNC lawyers who say that the appropriate legal resolution would either be to allow half the number of delegates from each state into the convention, or let the full delegations attend with half a vote each. Obama will likely get a party favor of delegates from his missed Michigan contest.