Dean Fights Florida on Primary Move
Howard Dean is threatening to not count Florida’s delegates if it moves its primary to January 29.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean continues to wield the threat of sanctions that would effectively bar Florida delegates from participating in the party’s 2008 convention if the primary is staged on Jan. 29. He reiterated this Tuesday in assuaging party activists from New Hampshire, who are worried that the traditional clout of their state’s “first-in-the-nation” primary — currently slated for Jan. 22 — is imperiled by Florida’s aggressive scheduling move.
“Their primary essentially won’t count,” Dean said of Florida in a videotaped exchange with members of Victory NH, a group seeking to preserve their state’s primacy in the presidential nominating process.
State party officials have cautioned Dean that any such sanctions could hurt the party’s efforts to win the key 27 electoral votes in the politically competitive state, where a highly controversial vote count narrowly decided the 2000 election in favor of Republican George W. Bush.
Dean’s right here. While having New Hampshire and Iowa decide the tempo of the nominating process has always struck me as silly, the parties have a right to decide the rules of their candidate selection.
My hunch remains that the race to move to the front of the primary pack will ultimately result in a national primary. That would ultimately end this tension and allow the campaign to progress at a more reasonable pace.