There are instances where politics actually intrigues me. In most cases I take umbrage to the corruption and generally have much disdain for the process. However, I was somehow drawn to the recent struggles to reseat Democratic delegates for both MI. and FL. I suppose this is likely due to the fact that the race for the Democratic Party was so close that clear decisions needed to made about the FL and MI primaries. Additionally, as I stated in an earlier entry, I was one of the reported 30K (roughly 5% of the total votes casted) voters who decided to write-in the name of their candidate. There was talk of nullifying the MI. Primary, as it was a "flawed" process. That is candidates names were not listed on the ballot. Not everyone received word that "
undecided uncommitted" was the proper and legitimate description of their chosen candidate. Very strange indeed.
The irony is that Obama's recent victory and subsequent nominee appointment makes this issue moot. Nonetheless, it begs the question of what to do with the new effort to radically change the current primary hierarchy? For those who are unaware, the MI. delegation decided to hold its primary in January, well before the traditional primary cadence of IA and NH. As I understand it, this change was fueled by the unwarranted privilege which has historically been granted to IA and NH. One might ask what privilege do these states get? Before I provide the details, let us take a second to survey the ethnic make-up of IA and NH. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that the total non-white representation is roughly 3% of the population in IA and NH combined (based upon 2005 Census Report).
Why are demographics important? One could argue that the issues that matter most to the majority group are quite different than that of the minority. Besides,the common rhetoric is that everyone should have equal representation in the voting process. Does the current process provide this opportunity?
Moreover, these states do not have a larger industrial base than MI. IA is more agrarian and NH has a growing technology foundation. Arguably, NH technology foundation is aided in large part by MA. That is a topic for another discussion. So it would stand to reason that people would eventually question the "order" by which these primaries were slated. Why should these states go first year after year? If the answer is, "We've always done it that way, get over it." You are likely to annoy some people and that is what happened in the case of MI.
I'm not as familiar with the underpinnings of the FL. delegates situation, I'll leave those details as an exercise for the reader. Both Mark Brewer and David Bonoir gave compelling testimony to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. Brewer and Bonoir proposed a total recount; however, the Bylaws committee was unwilling to grant total recount as it would have been unfair to the other candidates. There were some interesting subplots, as some Clinton supporters who were seated on the Rules Committee suggested that Obama was trying to befriend IA delegates by not putting his name on the MI ballot.
When all was said and done, the agreement was to seat 50% of the delegates. As stated earlier, it turned out to be moot.. Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee. Now that he is the nominee.. Who will be his running mate? Harold Ford or Al Gore? Maybe someone else.
My bet is on Al Gore, I'll expound on possible VP in a later entry.