Dean: Blame the FL pols, not me
DNC Chairman Howard Dean on Meet the Press sounded to us more sympathetic to Barack Obama's position - no way can Hillary Clinton net a bunch of delegates out of Fl's officially meaningless primary - than Clinton's count all the votes stance. Dean: "First, you've got to respect the voters. The voters of Michigan and Florida were not the people that screwed this all up. It was politicians. Secondly, you have to respect the candidates. They went in on a set of rules that everybody voted for, including Michigan and Florida, before they changed their mind, but -- and so you can't really change the rules and alter the course of the race. And thirdly, you got to respect the 48 states that did respect the rules."
Dean said he expects Michigan will have some say in the nomination ultimately, but there's no indication he has any more sway with members of the rules and bylaws committee taking up challenges from the states than he did with the Democrats who set primaries in FL and MI. He also brushed off criticism of his handling of MI and FL.
"It wasn't my decision to make these changes. Florida and Michigan both voted for a set of rules, then they tried to push ahead of everybody else, and that makes it more difficult for everybody,'' Dean said. "... Part of my job is to keep order. It's understandable that the folks you call out because they think they're more important than everybody else are going to be upset about that. We did keep order, we do have an orderly process. I'll defend the process."