Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Making meaning in Michigan's primary

Sen. Hillary Clinton's marginal victory over Sen. Barack Obama in New Hampshire's primary keeps alive the "uncommitted" vote in Michigan. Obama and Edwards supporters hope to create a block of at least 15 percent "uncommitted" in order to set aside seats for those delegates at the nominating convention. At this point the national party has not budged from its decision to take away Michigan's delegates, but Democrats on the ground think ultimately Michigan will receive its delegates.

But, if you are not a party insider, what sense can you make of Michigan's muddled mess of a primary? Has it been worth the trouble? Has the earlier date achieved any of the outcomes promised by those who made it reality? Do you see the national media charging around the state asking common folk about the economy? Do you see international media interviewing business leaders about our economic transition? Do you see major Democratic candidates campaigning? How about the GOP? Is Fred Thompson going to bother showing up here?

We have two interesting ways to participate in this "open" primary: Dems can cross over and vote in the GOP contest, jamming things up for Mitt and giving McCain a boost for a repeat performance of McCain's 2000 primary victory over G.W. Bush; and anybody can vote "uncommitted" in the Democratic primary to jam things up for Clinton and keep hope alive for Obama and Edwards.

We might also give thanks for fewer political ads on television.
Probably the best outcome of the Democratic National Committee rules.