When Michigan moved its primary date forward for the 2008 democratic primary because it was a desperate state taking a desperate measure to be heard, it changed the course of who would win the democratic nomination.
I believe Barack Obama was going to do the opposite of whatever Hillary Clinton did in Michigan, and then blame Hillary Clinton no matter what she did.
If Hillary Clinton had been the first one to take her name off the ballot in Michigan, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Bill Richardson would have called her a "front runner" who was willing to throw Michigan to the curb to gain favor with the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, that Hillary Clinton would do anything to win.
Think about that for a moment.
Barack Obama campaigned as the "change" candidate who wanted to go to Washington to clean house. Going after Hillary Clinton for taking her name off of the Michigan ballot would have been the ideal way for Barack Obama to get his message out of being the politician who is tired of all the games that established politicians are always playing.
However, Hillary Clinton DID NOT take her name off of the Michigan ballot.
Instead, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Bill Richardson took their names off of the Michigan ballot just before the deadline. Even though Michigan did not go ahead of either Iowa or New Hampshire, by Michigan moving their primary date to the middle of January it would obviously force candidates to split their campaign activities over THREE STATES, instead of two, and that did not make Iowa or New Hampshire voters very happy.
If Hillary Clinton, Richardson, and Edwards had joined forces and taken their name off of the Michigan ballot at the last possible moment, there would have been cries of racism from the Barack Obama side. But because the action consisted of three men against one woman no cries of sexism could be heard anywhere from the media.
So what was the result of Obama, Edwards and Richardson taking their names off of the Michigan ballot? By Hillary Clinton keeping her name on the ballot in Michigan; Obama, Edwards and Richardson could tell Iowa and New Hampshire voters that they were being threatened with losing their spotlight status as the first two states that help determine who the future democratic presidential candidates will be.
Obama, Edwards and Richardson could take verbal swipes at Hillary Clinton for keeping her name on the Michigan ballot and use it as a fundraising ploy as well.
I could see Barack Obama criticizing Hillary Clinton for keeping her name on the ballot in Michigan as he spoke to Iowa and New Hampshire voters. "...she now has threatened to change the very fiber of the tried and true process for how americans have elected their democratic nominee for the past 100 years".
The Michigan Maneuver was both incredibly brilliant, and EXACTLY what is wrong with politics. Barack Obama has played these political games his entire political career.
The problem I have with the cunning methods Barack Obama has used in the past to win; be it eliminating the competition earlier in his political career by challenging the validity of their signature petitions, to outing SEALED divorce court papers in another race, to removing his name from the Michigan ballot; is that none of these "maneuvers" actually prove Barack Obama has genuine political substance behind the cunning.
I understand Barack Obama's rationale for using clever tricks to win. If Barack Obama can "game" other politicians, then maybe those politicians are not going to represent their constituency as well as he would. Barack Obama has basically said that in the past as justification for his tactics. The problem with this slash and burn tactic is eventually you cross the path of those you have already burned, and usually at the worst possible moment.
Enter Evan Bayh, who waited until near the final moment before declaring he would not run again even though he was favored to win again. Bayh is not happy with the partisan politics that appear to have exploded since Barack Obama took office, and he's learned from the master how to game his decision for maximum impact.
I would like to see Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid lose this fall so the blight that has taken over the democratic party might start to lift, and I wish David Axlerod could grow a conscience.