The Campaign Spot

Howard Dean: We Can’t Afford Revotes in Michigan and Florida

Howard Dean is arguing against okay with* a re-vote in Michigan and Florida, but says the DNC can’t afford it:

The national Democratic Party won’t pay for two states to hold a second set of presidential primaries, National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said this morning.
“We can’t afford to do that,” Dean said on CBS’ “The Early Show,” one of several media appearances he made this morning. “That’s not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race.”

(A re-vote would also be one of the weirdest twists in an oddball year, to have had contests in both states and then have them essentially redone, months after Michiganders and Floridians went to the polls, stood on line, cast votes, and Hillary offered victory speeches.)
There’s an interesting contrast in the way the RNC and DNC handled the issue of Michigan and Florida voting early. The Republicans took away half of each state’s allotment of delegates for the convention; Dean and the DNC took away all of them.
Michigan and Florida Republicans certainly didn’t enjoy losing half their delegates, but they were big states, and half of a lot was still worth fighting for. Campaigns went on. Romney had perhaps his finest hour, winning Michigan, and Florida turned out to be decisive for McCain. Everybody was on the ballot, everyone campaigned, everyone pretty much felt the results were fair and square.
By comparison, the Democrats are in a mess that is impossible to resolve to the satisfaction of all involved. You wonder whether there was anyone around to tell Dean, “you know, not having any delegates at the convention from Michigan or Florida just isn’t going to fly. They’re two important states, and even if we don’t like them voting early, we can’t shut them out of the process entirely. Let’s find some slap on the wrist to get this issue behind us.”
* UPDATE: I misinterpreted his remarks; if Florida and Michigan want to pay for it themselves, he’s okay with it.

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