This Week Summary

Some points from this week's "This Week W/ George Stephanopoulos."

  • Howard Dean Interview about Florida (all info from Dean unless otherwise specified)
    • The losing side needs to feel like they've been treated fairly so that Democrats are not left divided in the face of Republican opposition
    • Waiting for proposals from the states
    • Two proposals being discussed
      • Mail-in ballot
        • $5 million
        • Pretty much everyone agrees taxpayers will not pay for this
        • Nelson specifically working on this plan
      • Split delegates 50/50
      • George reports Clinton favors contest, Obama favors split, but Dean will not confirm.
      • State laws do not apply to Democratic caucuses and primaries, only the rules that the state parties agreed to a year and a half ago
      • Must be completed by June 10, according to Democratic rules
    • Democrats won back Hastert's seat in Illinois yesterday, which Dean takes as a big sign that the nation is ready for change
    • Doesn't want to talk about possibility of brokered convention until the voters have finished having their say; claims the voters will decide this and there won't be a tie.
    • Negotiated settlement will not be necessary.
    • Dean says he would prefer that the MI and FL delegates will be reseated, but no preference on how they do it as long as it is within the rules.
    • After July 1st, control of the convention shifts from teh DNC to the person who has the most delegates (the nominee). Dean is anxious to avoid a fight happening at that time.
  • Senator Levin on Michigan (all info from Levin unless otherwise specified)
    • Seems to say there is no practical and fair way to hold a new election
    • Discussing possibility of a mail-in caucus, but it is problematic for security and other reasons
      • Looking for practical, secure, fair and affordable solution
      • No indication they have any plan at this point, seems reluctant to commit to saying anything decisive
      • He says Obama campaign has said it will abide by the DNC's decision if a contest method is found
    • Says Michigan didn't follow the rules because New Hampshire jumped ahead
    • Governor has rejected paying for new contest, Levin thinks they could raise the money if it cost a couple of million.
    • Levin calls the potential of not seating the delegates "unthinkable." But he leaves open the possibility of a bloody convention battle, including bringing the previous vote to the floor. He does not offer a plan that satisfies his criteria above and makes me wonder if they're even converging on a plan to deal with the problem.
  • Governor Crist (Republican) on Florida
    • Would administer a mail in vote BUT
    • "The preference" is to seat the delegates that have already been selected
      • George says Clinton would prefer that, but it looks unlikely
      • Crist is pushing hard to use the existing vote
    • Crist has put forward a proposal in which the state administers new election, funded privately
      • It will probably take an act of the state legislature, because of FL constitution
      • He thinks that the state is in charge of elections, not parties
      • Even with this proposal, his heart isn't in it, he wants to shove the existing vote back at the DNC.
    • Crist for McCain's VP?
      • Replies with a campaign commercial for McCain.

I won't summarize the roundtable, but I'll throw out some points I heard. George Will (Will), Sam Donaldson (Sam), Cokie Roberts (Roberts), George Stephanopoulos (GS)
  • Will: Clinton has chosen to make Obama implausible and unwinnable as president, to McCain's advantage
  • Sam: Obama needs to effectively answer the 3AM ad.
  • Will: "Negative campaigning" is a redundancy. Why the squeamishness?
  • Sam: He should counter the ad, not have people whine about it
  • GS: Obama in a bind. If he counterattacks he's not the new politics. If he doesn't answer it he seems weak.
  • Will: WTF is "new politics?" -- doesn't exist.
  • Roberts: Can Obama work with people like Ted Stevens? How far will new politics take you?
(GS Plays Wolfson's "Ken Star" quote, Quotes Samantha Power's "oops")
  • Roberts: No choice but for Powers to resign. But the voters don't care.
  • Sam: This has not been a very negative campaign at all compared to the past
  • Sam: Obama is right to call for tax returns -- Ken Starr reference is ridiculous
  • GS: Is it smart for Clinton to bring up Ken Starr?
  • Roberts: We saw a resurgence of women saying "hold on" this week, explaining Clinton's bump
  • Will: Obama can't close the deal
  • Roberts: Clinton's big win resulted in minor increase in delegates therefore the system is nuts.
  • Will: Delegates vs. Popular vote? The superdelegates will go with Clinton based on all her large state wins -- this is the argument she will make
  • GS: Clinton has shifted from seating the existing FL and MI vote results to new contests because she thinks she can build on big state wins
  • Sam: Soft money can pay for new contests
Dream Ticket? (Obama Clinton or Clinton Obama)
  • Roberts: "Dream Ticket" talk is cynical maneuvering from Clintons
  • Sam: Disagrees, "Dream ticket" really works
  • GS: Loser will look like a sore loser if they don't run together
  • GS: Isn't it a super energizer for turnout?
  • Roberts: You can't ignore the minuses of the "Dream ticket" -- McCain is not that weak
  • GS: Net gains for first black and first female president. Much larger negative for first 70 year old president.
  • Roberts: McCain's VP becomes very important
Feel free to add any points you saw if you watched/listened to it.

You can watch/listen here.