Detroit News editorializes, "[DNC Chair] Howard Dean's got a lot of nerve. [He's] blaming party leaders" in MI and FL "for the primary mess that is keeping the two states on the sidelines as the battle" between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "drags on and on."
"Yes," MI and FL Dems "could have been savvier in trying to leap-frog to the head of the primary pack. But had Dean done his job, the national party today wouldn't be at odds with two of its key states," and Dems "very likely would have a presidential nominee."
Dean "played the bully" back in Jan., when MI and FL "decided they wanted their voices heard early. Instead of a diplomatic response, Dean used threats to try to keep the states from moving up their primaries." The Dem candidates "fell in line."
GOPers, "meanwhile, more or less winked at the early primaries" in MI and FL. "All of the candidates campaigned vigorously in both states." John McCain's win in FL "propelled" him to the nod.
Dean, "who now finds cause to finger point, was more interested in rules than in results. He's offered little in the way of assistance in sorting out the muddle" in FL and MI, whose delegates "undoubtedly would help clarify the murky" Dem contest.
"Thanks in large part to Dean's mismanagement" of MI and FL, Dems "head into the final few primaries still fiercely battling each other, rather than focusing their attention on McCain." GOPers, "who at one time seemed to face impossible odds of hanging on" the WH, "are, at least for now, sitting pretty" (4/29).
Detroit Free Press's Riley writes, MI "got what it wanted by moving up its primary: It is the center of attention" in Dem politics. "And it is still possible that some [MI] voters may help decide the a nominee by their absence."
"When I asked DNC officials why they have rules that could ban some delegates, they said the rules are fair, when followed. ... Dean, as well as state party officials, says a resolution is possible, though they cannot speculate as to what it is. And Dean, if he is to be believed, swears the party will eventually unite behind one candidate."
"Right now," MI Dems await a 5/31 hearing before the DNC Rules and Bylaws Cmte. "The state also can appeal to the credentials committee. Both are expected to fail" (4/29).
This article appears in the April 29, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.