Tuesday, 10.15.08 Posted By: Millie
John is in New York this evening, covering of course none other than the Michigan primary. He spoke with Melissa Long earlier today. He had been in meetings all afternoon and she mentioned she was glad he got caught for a moment to sit down for an interview!
John discussed the implications of a win for Romney – something crucial for him to essentially stay viable in the race. Melissa brought up a question that I had wondered about, too. How come people have not been focusing on the results of Wyoming, which Romney won??
John replied that Romney’s camp indeed has been touting that win. He added, however, that it’s a small state, and there are a “modest” number of delegates. He additionally pointed out that all the unprecedented changes to the primary calendar are also contributing factors as to why some states get more focus and attention than others.
Also discussed was McCain’s previous Michigan win in 2000, as well as what a win will mean for him tonight. John says McCain will be in “temporary command” of the Republican race if he emerges as the winner. The bottom line for any of the candidates, though, is that a win tonight means a boost in the polls and a much-needed gain in momentum.
John also touched on what’s ahead down the road after tonight, as larger states start holding their primaries and caucuses. He noted that candidates stumping in larger states will be spending much more as far as commercials are concerned, because they (the commercials) get aired in larger television markets. This means candidates with less cash in their pocketbooks will be at a disadvantage when it comes to getting their message out in larger cities.
Tonight’s results will *technically* be only from the GOP side, due to a controversy about Michigan moving its primary date up and the DNC’s subsequent decision to not allow democratic delagates to *count*. This decision leaves me scratching my head. Why is it that other states have also moved up their primary dates, yet it is not an issue with them? Why only so far in Michigan is this causing problems?
The loophole here is that Democrats can vote for Republicans tonight, essentially voting for one GOP candidate over another, just to keep their least desirable Republican candidate from getting more votes.
Despite all these issues tied up in Michigan tonight, John said a “deal” will have to be made later on down the line as to whether or not the Michigan democratic delegates will be counted after all at their convention later on in the year.
All of this controversy is still a bit confusing to me… Our groupmembers Joan and Jeannemarie both live in Michigan, so I asked them for their take on what is going on.
Here’s what Joan had to say:
I didn’t vote because I just can’t make myself go “Red” and only having Hillary (for all intents and purposes) on the Democratic side, well, it didn’t seem right for her to “win” Michigan simply by default. She kept her name on the ballot, but she didn’t do any “stumping” around here for a vote.
I enjoy watching my state get all this attention. But the way reporters are talking about it – did it not really sink in that we have such a high unemployment rate? They’d quote the numbers, but it doesn’t feel like until they “got it” until they started talking to actual Michiganders and heard our stories. It seems that now it has really hit home how tough we have it.
John Roberts interviewed three unemployed people in Warren, MI this morning. One woman was leaving Michigan for a job in Georgia to try to keep her house here in Michigan. She was unemployed from GM. CNN has been showcasing the Detroit area. They haven’t even touched other cities such as Flint or Lansing. Michigan is hard hit everywhere.
As Chris Lawrence reported this morning, everything seems to have a six degrees of separation with the car industry, and the American car industry isn’t what it once was.
And here’s what Jeanmarie had to say:
As a lifelong Democrat I should be excited about this year’s presidential primaries which feature the first viable female and African American candidates. While I am proud to be a part of the party where this is occurring I cannot help but be disheartened by the fact that those of us in Michigan will have little or no say in who our nominee will be.
For those of you unfamiliar with the controversy, Michigan – a state which leads the country in unemployment and is in dire need of fresh ideas – decided that it was tired of arriving late to the presidential nominating party. As a highly populated, diverse, Midwestern state we were tired of having election decisions made in large part by states that looked nothing like us and which did not necessarily share the problems of the industrial midwest. To try to have a greater say in the process the leaders of both major political parties in the state decided to move our primary date up. The fact that Democrats and Republicans in this state came together on this issue shows how important it is to us Michiganders.
The national powers that be, however, would have none of it. Instead of listening to the concerns and desires of states like Michigan the DNC decided that we should be punished like misbehaving children. How dare we try to voice our opinions and have a say in our future – father knows best. Thus, we were told by our national party that the Democrats would lose all of their delegates to the convention and none of the major candidates would campaign here.
For a state that has been crucial to the Democrats’ success in the past and to all of its loyal Democratic voters this was a slap in the face. As a result I find myself without a voice in the process and my loyal Democratic vote worthless. To make my vote count in some way, I decided to cross party lines for the first time in my life and vote in the Republican primary. My aim in doing so was to do my part to help ensure that the candidate I found the offensive of the viable Republican candidates did not win a majority of Michigan’s Republican delegates.
A number of my Democratic friends have done the same. As difficult as it was for me to sign my name and check a box labeled “Republican” next to my name I had to do it. It is important to feel that you are a part of the process and for me, this election cycle, it was the only way I could feel engaged. I am still a staunch Democrat and that will not change. Come this fall I will campaign for my party’s nominee as I have always done. I cannot change the decision of the DNC this election cycle but will make my voice heard next time they come calling for donations. If my vote doesn’t matter to the DNC, then neither should my money.
Jeanmarie Miller, Flint, Michigan.
Thanks to both Joan and Jeanmarie for their insight!