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April 04, 2008

Obama Wins Michigan and Florida By Default

At least, that's how I'm reading the situation. Tomorrow, Howard Dean and the Michigan Democratic Party will announce that there will be no re-vote in Michigan. Dean says that the only way the delegates will be seated at the convention is if the candidates can agree on a way to split up the votes.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and four top Michigan Democrats who have been trying to work out a way to get the delegates seated are expected to put out a statement Friday after the executive committee vote.

In the statement, they’re expected to say the DNC is committed to seating Michigan’s delegates at this summer’s convention as long as any agreement is supported by the party’s two presidential contenders.

Dean made a similar statement earlier this week after meeting with Florida Democratic leaders.

Obama and his supporters have been pushing for an even 50-50 split, while Clinton maintains that if there can't be a re-vote she somehow deserves at least 55% of the delegates since she received that much support in the primary for which she was the only named major contender.

Any way it goes, he wins as far as the delegate count goes. He sticks with his suggestion of a 50-50 split and she can either accept a wash or forget about seating the delegates. The only real decision she has to make is which option plays better: (1) gracefully agreeing that the delegates be seated in the name of fairness and democracy and the franchise (as she's been arguing all along); or (2) going down guns blazing in a barrage of accusations about Obama refusing to compromise or refusing to recognize the primary voters' decision, the "will of the people."

Every time Clinton has faced one of these situations during the last year I've said she should go with the graceful option because it will get her farther than an ugly scene (and I think, given how things are turning out, that I've been right). But every time it happens she goes the other way. So this time, no bet.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:51 AM

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