Sunday, June 01, 2008

DNC Settles Florida/Michigan Issue; Clinton Supporters Still Pissed

I'm too tired for a proper analysis of the decision that was made yesterday evening, except to say that this was more than a fair compromise and I would hope that the rumblings of sour grapes-- and threats of taking it to the convention-- from Camp Clinton are just momentary anger, and that the end truly is near. I have obviously never been a fan of Sen. Clinton, but even I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that this primary will wrap up in the next week or two. Uhh, I hope.

Anyway, here's the story off the wires-
Democratic Party leaders agreed Saturday to seat Michigan and Florida delegates with half-votes at this summer's convention with a compromise that left Barack Obama on the verge of the nomination but riled Hillary Rodham Clinton backers who threatened to fight to the August convention...

...The decision by the party's Rules Committee raised slightly the total delegates Obama needs to clinch the nomination. Clinton advisers conceded privately he will likely hit the magic number after the final primaries are held Tuesday night, but said the ruling threatened to dash any hopes of a unified party.

"Mrs. Clinton has told me to reserve her right to take this to the Credentials Committee" at the convention, said Ickes, who is a member of the Rules Committee that voted Saturday...

...The sticking point was Michigan, where Obama's name was not on the ballot.

Clinton's camp insisted Obama shouldn't get any pledged delegates in Michigan since he chose not to put his name on the ballot, and she should get 73 pledged delegates with 55 uncommitted. Obama's team insisted the only fair solution was to split the pledged delegates in half between the two campaigns, with 64 each.

The committee agreed on a compromise offered by the Michigan Democratic Party that would split the difference, allowing Clinton to take 69 delegates and Obama 59. Each delegate would get half a vote at the convention, according to the deal...

...Allan Katz, a Rules Committee member and Obama supporter, said the Obama campaign had enough votes on the committee to support the campaign's proposal to split the delegates 50-50 in Michigan. Ultimately, the campaign agreed instead to support the compromise negotiated by the Michigan Democratic Party as a way to resolve the matter....

...But the irate reaction from Clinton's campaign and her supporters in the sharply divided audience shows Obama will have a long way to go to bring the party together after a long and divisive primary.

"We just blew the election!" a woman in the audience shouted. The crowd was divided between cheering Obama supporters and booing Clinton supporters...

...The committee also unanimously agreed to seat the Florida delegation based on the outcome of the January primary, with 105 pledged delegates for Clinton and 67 for Obama, but with each delegate getting half a vote as a penalty...

...Obama picked up a total of 32 delegates in Michigan, including superdelegates who have already committed, and 36 in Florida. Clinton picked up 38 in Michigan, including superdelegates, and 56.5 in Florida. Obama's total increased to 2,052, and Clinton had 1,877.5.

The final remaining primaries are Puerto Rico (today) and Montana and South Dakota (Tuesday). This may be over soon. And then hopefully we all put aside this squabbling and move on to the big picture in November.

[UPDATE: Here's video of one of Clinton's hard-working white supporters staying classy.]

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