Dumb Politics

Ryan Day

Bill Clinton has stated that not allowing the Florida and Michigan primaries to count in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is “dumb politics.”
Let’s get something straight here; back in 2007 when Michigan and Florida decided that their Democratic primary elections were going to be held in January, the Democratic National Committee decided that their primaries would not count in the race for the Democratic nominee. Call it a punishment for jumping the gun. You can all call it immoral, unethical or a number of other things — like “dumb politics — but that’s the reality of the situation.
This means that since late 2007, all of the candidates for the Democratic nomination have planned their campaigns around the fact that Florida and Michigan will not count. Nobody bothered to campaign very hard in Florida, and Obama even removed his name from the ballot in Michigan. Is this unfair to voters? Yes, I think it is, but that’s just the way it is. In the system of American politics, politicians have to weigh their decisions carefully, and it was in no one’s best interest to spend a lot of time in places that didn’t count.Now primary season is drawing to a close, and Obama is looking more and more like he is going to take the nomination. Clinton continues to grasp at straws, and as it turns out, the best way to get the delegates she needs is to make Florida and Michigan count. Go figure. It is worth noting that if Michigan counts, the Clinton campaign wants to award none of the votes to Obama, as he was not on the ballot, and all votes that likely would have gone to him went to “Uncommitted.”
So now we have this hullabaloo about how it is unfair to Floridians and Michiganders to not count their votes. Bill Clinton comes out and states that it is “dumb politics.” Well, Bill, it may have been “dumb politics” to not count Florida and Michigan in the first place, but let me tell you what “dumber politics” would be.
“Dumber politics” would be to start off the primary season with the plan to not count Florida and Michigan, to let the candidates plan their entire campaigns around this face, and then, when the final delegate votes are being counted, to go back on the original plan and count these two states, knowing full well that one of the candidates wasn’t even on the ballot in one of these states!
“Dumber politics” is the kind of sneaky game that Senator Clinton is playing in order to try and muster up votes when the rules have been clearly stated since the beginning of primary season.
While the original logic of the DNC may have been flawed in discounting the primaries of Florida and Michigan, it would be even more flawed to go back and count those states after the race has been run. We cannot and should not reward this sort of political opportunism that we are seeing put into action by the Clinton campaign.