Bill Clinton makes a strong argument for seating Florida and Michigan delegates, and suggests Hillary is being punished:
“I never thought it would be the Democratic Party that didn’t want to count votes in Florida,” he said at a rally at the University of Montana. “I thought that was a Republican strategy -- or strategery as the case may be. And I just ask you all this, do you really believe Florida would be getting this kind of treatment if the vote had turned out the other way?”
[. . .]
“Hillary offered a revote in Michigan; we offered a revote in Florida,” Clinton said. “In both cases, the other campaign said, ‘Nope, no re-vote, we will just see what to do when this thing is over.’ Why would we put Michigan at risk and pretend that these people didn't show up and pretend that somehow she is responsible and the voters themselves are responsible and she should be punished for what intermediaries did?”
Clinton said the removal of Florida and Michigan had a “superficial element of fairness” because Obama and John Edwards took their name off the ballot. But, he added, they did that because Hillary Clinton was ahead in the polls and there was a “very organized and funded campaign to get everyone to vote uncommitted.” However, Clinton herself said last fall that the Michigan contest was "not going to count for anything."
“So if we are gonna decide a closely held contest, it shouldn’t be decided with those kind of tactics and those kind of principles,” he said. “This should be a great empowerment election, and how ironic it would be, if after so many people have been empowered through internet giving and active participation, if the thing would be decided by the most disempowering top-down, and I think mindless decision I can recall in a month of Sundays.”
I have always thought the Democrats' disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan voters was a huge mistake. I understand the problem of every state wanting to have the fist primary, I just think the Republican approach of cutting the delegations of offending states in half to be, well more democratic, while still sending a strong message about following party rules.
While Bill makes a strong argument here, one should remember that seating the Florida and Michigan delegates is essential for Hillary to have any chance to defeat Obama. It's not like the Clintons tried to stop the possible disenfranchisement when the rule was adopted by the DNC.