Pelosi May “Step In” to Resolve Primary Fight

Posted May 29, 2008 at 12:50pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would “step in” to resolve the Democratic presidential nominating contest if a winner has not been settled upon by late June.

Pelosi made the comments in a meeting with the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday.

In that interview, the Speaker also predicted that the party’s nominee will have been determined by the end of the Democratic primaries on June 3.

If not, “I will step in,” Pelosi said. “Because we cannot take this fight to the convention. It must be over before then.”

A big step toward resolution of the contest pitting Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) will happen this weekend when the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee meets to decide the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegations.

The DNC is trying to broker a deal with those states, which defied party rules to hold their primaries earlier than allowed, that would permit some of their delegates to be seated at the national convention in August.

Florida and Michigan delegates are crucial to Clinton’s hopes of victory.

Pelosi, who chairs the convention and is neutral in the presidential race, said the delegates must be seated “in a way that is not destructive to any sense of order in the party.”

“If you have no order and no discipline in terms of party rules, people will be having their primary in the year before the presidential election,” she told reporters. “So there has to be some penalty.”

Pelosi said that the DNC has to arrive at some solution acceptable to both campaigns, which may involve seating half of each state’s delegates.

But if no deal can be brokered, the DNC credentials committee would have to come up with a solution before the end of June to avoid intervention by party leaders in a bid to settle the bitter primary fight.