Democratic leaders in Michigan made it official today: There will be no do-over primary.
The state party's executive committee said it would be impractical to hold another contest, which has been sought by Hillary Clinton. She won a primary in January, but because it was held earlier than national party rules allowed, the results were voided and the delegates are in limbo.
After a conference call, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Michigan Senator Carl Levin, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, DNC member Debbie Dingell, and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger issued this joint statement:
"We are united in our commitment to doing everything we can to ensure that a Michigan delegation is seated in Denver this summer. We also know that any solution needs to be acceptable to both Democratic presidential campaigns. While there may be differences of opinion in how we get there, we will continue to work together to ensure that a Michigan delegation is seated and that the logistics are in place for a Michigan delegation in Denver. We have every expectation that we will succeed in that endeavor, and then go on to win in November."
Barack Obama, who pulled his name off the Michigan ballot, has proposed splitting the 128 pledged delegates evenly, but Clinton has rejected that. She badly needs the delegates -- and the popular votes -- from Michigan counted to catch up to Obama.
UPDATE: Obama's campaign called again for an even split of delegates.
"Senator Obama firmly believes that the Michigan delegation should be seated in Denver. A 50/50 split of the delegates is an eminently fair solution, especially since originally Senator Clinton herself said the Michigan primary wouldn't 'count for anything.' It's now up to the Clinton campaign: they can agree to a fair resolution or they can continue trying to score political points and change the rules. It's time to move forward. Senator Clinton should accept an equitable solution that allows Michigan to participate fully in the convention," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement.
Florida is in the same boat, and efforts for a re-do there have also gone nowhere.
"The issues and voters of Michigan are too important to be dismissed," the Clinton campaign said in a statement. "Close to 600,000 Michiganians cast ballots in January and these votes cannot be ignored. We urge the DNCís Rules and Bylaws Committee to take all necessary steps to ensure the voices of the people of Michigan are heard and its delegates are seated at the Democratic convention this summer. Already, over 100,000 people have signed our petition calling on the DNC to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. We urge Senator Obama to join our efforts to ensure that the votes of the people of Michigan and Florida are counted.Ē
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.