August 28, 2007

TIME: WILL DEAN’S WAR ON FLORIDA BACKFIRE?

So now, just as that state party is regaining full use of its limbs, it begs credulity to watch Dean and the DNC go out of their way to chop them off. This past weekend the DNC threw the book at the Sunshine State’s Dems for signing on to Florida’s recent move to hold its 2008 presidential primary election two months earlier than usual and a week earlier than DNC rules allow. Florida’s Democratic Party has 30 days to back out of the new Jan. 29 primary or face forfeiting all of its delegates and votes at the Democratic National Convention next summer, according to the draconian DNC ruling. (The Republican National Committee’s rules also frown on the earlier primary, but the RNC hasn’t demanded that Florida’s GOP reschedule it for a later date.) As Dean warned earlier this summer, if Florida’s Democrats insist on holding their primary in January, it “essentially won’t count.” To which Florida’s Senate Democratic minority leader Steve Geller says, “I question whether Howard Dean is working for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.”

Geller’s confusion is understandable for a number of reasons.

“War on Florida” seems a bit hyperbolic. I actually think there needs to be some national coordination and rationalization here somewhere, though I’m not sure this is the way to accomplish it.

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