We spoke about this not long ago regarding Florida and now the same mistakes are being made with Michigan.
Republican presidential candidates will be standing on a Dearborn stage Tuesday afternoon, discussing manufacturing, jobs and the U.S. economy. Democrats, meanwhile, are shunning Michigan in retaliation for the state's decision to elbow its way into the early primary lineup. When Michigan moved its primary to Jan. 15, leaders in New Hampshire and Iowa leaned on the Democratic principals to stay away.
The result is a tangle, with the Democratic National Committee vowing not to seat any convention delegates Michigan chooses that day and Democratic presidential candidates facing a deadline of Tuesday to decide whether to remain on the ballot here.
Those behind Michigan's move are warning candidates that removing their names would be risky.
"We are going January 15," Dingell, a Democratic national committeewoman and the wife of Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), declared after a fiery speech here Friday. "No matter what, people are going to pay attention to what happens on January 15 . . . even if it's a beauty contest."
Meanwhile, Republican contenders are campaigning actively in a state in which their race looks wide open.
"We couldn't have planned it better ourselves," said Bill Nowling, the state GOP spokesman. "While they're busy shooting themselves in the foot, I'm not going to disturb them."
I understand they want to stop the leapfrogging, but as they are doing with Florida, it seems that they are shooting themselves in the head, yet again and disenfranchising their voters.
How can anyone think that is a good idea?
Instead, the DNC warned Michigan that any delegates chosen Jan. 15 would not be seated at next summer's convention in Denver, the same punishment that Florida Democrats are suing the party over. Rules and schedules are essential, one DNC official said, to ensure "fairness and predictability."
"I don't see anything we can do," the official said, "without all hell breaking loose."
As a practical matter, no Democratic nominee wants a floor fight over Florida and Michigan delegates, state officials say.
"The Democratic candidates are too smart not to find a way to campaign in Michigan and Florida," Levin said, "and they're not that self-destructive."
I must disagree with Levin, if these reports are true and if someone doesn't give, then yes, they might just be that self-destructive.
[Update] I said they may just be that self-destructive and it looks like I might have been right.
But Senator Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, Gov. Bill Richardson and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. said today, which was the deadline for ballot withdrawal, that they would sit out the Michigan primary.
The Democrats have been under tremendous pressure from Iowa and New Hampshire, to not campaign in Michigan and Florida, which have violated party rules by moving up their primaries. Michigan has leapt to Jan. 15 and Florida to Jan. 29, ahead of Feb. 5 when many other big states are voting.
Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as South Carolina and Nevada. are furious with Michigan and Florida, saying those two states have forced them to move their own voting dates up even earlier. Because they want to maintain their primacy in the primary calendar, Iowa and New Hampshire have to move to early January, meaning the candidates will have to be campaigning during the Christmas holidays.
But Michigan, in particular, has been seething for years that small states like Iowa and New Hampshire have had too big a role in shaping the nominations, saying they are not representative of the rest of the country.
The candidates have been caught in this interstate feuding, prompting some to call it quits in Michigan, despite its importance in the general election.
Time will tell if this will hurt them or not, but Florida and Michigan are important for the Democrats and I think this will hurt them.
We shall see.
AP says it is 5 that are not going to participate.
They add Dennis Kucinich to the list.
Although Michigan is a critical Midwest state in presidential voting, it violated Democratic National Committee rules by moving its primary earlier in the process. The candidates are honoring the DNC's wishes in skipping the contest.
Clinton broke with the leading candidates, with her campaign issuing a statement saying the New York senator will remain on the ballot. Chris Dodd also plans to stay on the ballot.
Should be interesting to see how Michigan voters respond to being shunned.