Michigan revote "dead"

A mail-in primary is reportedly still being explored, but the odds for that are said to be slim.

By Alex Koppelman
Published March 20, 2008 11:14PM (EDT)

The proposal that had seemed the best hope for delegates from Michigan to be seated at the Democratic convention this summer is, according to a spokeswoman for the state's governor, "dead."

Liz Boyd, a spokeswoman for Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm -- a supporter of Hillary Clinton -- told ABC News, "What I can tell you is that the idea of a state-run, privately funded primary is dead." In a statement, Granholm herself said, "I am deeply disappointed that [the idea] is no longer a possibility. Now that the Legislature has decided not to act, we will turn our attention to other options. There is no road to the White House that does not go through Michigan, so it is essential that Michigan voters have a voice in who will be our party's nominee and, ultimately, the next president of the United States."

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reports that he's "hearing that Michigan Democrats are going to try to make one final push for a vote by mail primary," but says "it's a long shot."

In a statement, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer blamed Barack Obama's campaign for the death of the latest proposal -- Ambinder has previously laid the blame at the Obama camp's doorstep as well. Singer wrote:

When it comes to the Michigan and Florida primaries, Senator Obama seems to only be capable of saying no: No to honoring the January elections, no to holding a new primary vote, no to a vote by mail. The only thing he seems to be for is divvying up delegates in a way that doesn't reflect the will of the electorate.

Senator Clinton disagrees with solutions that exclude voters and believes there should be new primary elections in Florida and Michigan if the January votes can't be honored. It is unacceptable to disenfranchise the voters who participated in January and if Senator Obama allows that to happen, there will be implications for Democrats in the general election.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton, meanwhile, had a statement of his own, in which he said, "We support a fair solution that allows Michigan Democrats to participate at our National Convention this summer, and we look forward to working with the Michigan Democratic Party and the DNC to achieve that goal. Senator Obama looks forward to building a winning campaign in Michigan in the fall as our Democratic nominee."

The Democratic National Committee stripped both Michigan and Florida of their delegates for violating party rules by moving their primary dates earlier than allowed by the DNC. Both states held their primaries in January; Clinton won both, though Democratic candidates signed pledges not to campaign in either state and Obama's name was not on the ballot in Michigan. The idea of a revote in Florida was officially rejected earlier this week.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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