Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Michigan Democrats to ponder delegate issue

May 7, 2008
By Sean Lengell

- Michigan Democratic Party leaders will meet today to consider a compromise on seating the state's disqualified delegates at the national convention. The proposal, offered by four prominent Michigan Democrats, would give Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a 10-delegate edge, 69-59, for her victory in a race that did not include rival Sen. Barack Obama on the ballot.

"While we expect that neither candidate will explicitly embrace this approach, we believe that the [Democratic National Committee] should adopt it and both candidates should accept it because it is fair and because it would resolve an impasse that with each passing day hurts our chances of carrying Michigan and winning the presidency," wrote the proposal's authors in an April 29 letter to Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer.

Mrs. Clinton has insisted Michigan's 128 pledged delegates be seated according to the state's Jan. 15 primary results, giving her 73 delegates. Mr. Obama has suggested an even 64-64 split. But the 10-delegate advantage the proposal would award Mrs. Clinton would do little to help her chip away at Mr. Obama's sizable pledged-delegate lead, which stood at 157 before yesterday's primaries in North Carolina and Indiana.

Neither candidate has endorsed the plan by Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger and DNC member Debbie Dingell. "The math is really bad for [Mrs. Clinton] now," said John C. Fortier, an elections scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "If somehow Michigan and Florida are back on the table, she's going to need more delegates out of it than 10 in Michigan."

The Michigan party has negotiated for months with the DNC to hammer out a resolution that's agreeable to both campaigns, said Michigan Democratic Party spokeswoman Liz Kerr. "The political reality is the national party is not going to send the Michigan delegation home [from the August convention] three months before the general election" in November, Ms. Kerr said.

The national party punished Michigan and Florida for moving their primaries to January, stripping all their delegates to the party's national convention in Denver in August.

In Florida, Clinton supporters such as Sen. Bill Nelson have proposed seating the state's pledged delegates based on the results of Florida's Jan. 29 primary, but with each delegate getting a half vote. The plan would give Mrs. Clinton a margin of 19 delegates over Mr. Obama, instead of the 38 she would gain if the results of the state's disputed primary were counted.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean has said he is committed to finding a resolution to the Michigan and Florida delegate disputes before the convention. The DNC's Convention Rules and Bylaws Committee is scheduled to meet May 31 to discuss the issue.

Oh NOW Michigan matters!

Well at the very least this is giving Howard Dean fits and at the most it showcases how very divided the Democrats are. (I am smiling now)

I will be ready to "welcome" either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama to Michigan should delegates be seated and it looks like something will be worked out by the usual suspects

For Mrs. Clinton's appearances, my sign

For Mr. Obama's appearances, my new T-Shirt

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