Found two stories today on Huffington Post and The Carpetbagger Report about the delegate crisis in the Democratic Party. The Clintons are still pushing hard to get the party to seat Florida and Michigan’s delegates in light of the delegate fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. She says the Dems can’t afford to alienate Michigan and Florida who were stripped of their delegates for moving up their primaries. The Obama camp says Hillary can’t change the rules in the middle of the game, especially since Clinton won the bogus primaries.
Now rumors are floating that possibly the Florida and Michigan votes could get a “do-over” with a possible caucus. And if this comes to pass the Clinton camp will go bonkers because Obama has an A-plus in winning caucuses.
Anyway, it’s all madness! Simply madness! In political reporter Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix blog for Congressional Quarterly he writes about the kooky possibilities this fight could produce.
When Howard Dean was asked on Tuesday in a CNN interview if he would support ultimately seating nominating delegates from the two states that he had punished for leapfrogging the primary calendar, the Democratic National Committee chairman said, “You want everybody on board.” And he went on to announce that the delegate dispute “will be revisited by a credentials committee not controlled by me.”
In other words, a bruising convention-eve credentials fight is brewing – which means that Florida and Michigan, the states once derided as meaningless, could actually put Hillary Rodham Clinton over the top in the final delgate count.
If neither Clinton nor Barack Obama makes it to the convention in Denver this summer with a nominating majority, the battle for Florida’s 210 delegates and Michigan’s 157 votes could be decisive. Both of those primaries were won by Clinton, although the candidates didn’t campaign in either state and Obama took his name off the Michigan ballot.
And the more shenanigans could be a-foot, Crawford writes!
Both inside and outside games will emerge in this credentials fight. First, the rival campaigns must compete behind the scenes for the support of credentials committee members – a contest that could prove to be the most important “primary” of all.
Outside the backrooms, the Clinton campaign will surely mount a vigorous public relations drive aimed at turning the debate into a question of “voting rights” and “civil rights,” hoping to put Obama in the position of seeming to oppose such civil liberties. And the Clinton team will argue that Democrats simply cannot afford to deny entry to two of the nation’s biggest swing states in the general election.
On top of all this DNC Chairman Howard Dean is trying to figure out how he can stop the Democratic race from turning into an ugly, very public brokered convention fight if no clear front runner emerges. Rumors are now floating that if the race remains tight and contentious Dean may sit Barack and Billary down and force some sort of “resolution.”
Sayeth the New York Times:
“I think we will have a nominee sometime in the middle of March or April,” Mr. Dean said Wednesday on the NY1 cable news channel, “but if we don’t, then we’re going to have to get the candidates together and make some kind of an arrangement. Because I don’t think we can afford to have a brokered convention; that would not be good news for either party.”
But The Carpetbagger Report’s Steve Benen is curious about how Dean would pull any “arrangement” off.
Dean can sit down with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, aiming for “some kind of arrangement,” but what kind of deal could he offer? Obviously, both candidates want the Democratic nomination, and there aren’t any substitutes. The next best thing, of course, is being the vice presidential nominee, but I’m still skeptical this could happen, especially in “the middle of March or April.”
Even if we put aside the fact that the two candidates don’t appear to like one another, and have little incentive to pick the other as a running mate, I think there’s a more practical problem. By April, Obama and Clinton will probably still be about tied. Given this, I suspect both would tell Dean, “Why should I give up and accept the #2 slot when I’m this close to winning the nomination?”
To settle the delegate fight I’m suggesting a couple of rounds in the circle of death. Weapons optional, but encouraged, shown on pay-per-view or HBO. After all, if we’re going to take the party out in hell-fire and flames, let’s do this shit in style.