Friday, May 23, 2008

Race Not Over Till Lady in Pants Suit Wins 

Has everyone noticed how Hillary sort of started to kind of seem like she was going away--and then totally didn't keep going away, and in fact like the opposite is happening?

My sense of dread from Wright Redux is starting to creep back in.  Rachel Maddow thinks we're on the verge of a serious calamity--that Hillary is really going to do what she says she's going to do and appeal the FL/MI rules all the way to the convention, which it is totally within her right to do.  This is Maddow's solution:

So, how does the Democratic Party get a nominee before the convention? Seems to me there's two things that need to happen. One small, one big.

First, Obama's campaign should stop believing what most of the press says, and start believing what Clinton says -- she isn't budging. If they don't mind the prospect of a divided convention, then fine -- if they do mind that prospect, they'll have to fight for their desired outcome. Clinton is now arguing that taking the fight to the convention is OK for the Democrats -- even noble. This argument won't be defeated if it is ignored -- Obama's camp will have to rebut.

Second, if the Democrats are to avoid a divided convention, the Florida and Michigan dispute will have to be taken off the table -- settled in a way that avoids the risk of a rules dispute that stretches the nominating contest out through the convention. I can think of only one way to do that, but there may be others.

Here's my way: based on my read of NBC's delegate math, I think if the Clinton campaign won 100% of what they wanted on the Florida and Michigan dispute, Obama could still clinch the nomination -- even according to the most pro-Clinton math -- if 90 of the remaining 210-or-so undeclared superdelegates declared for Obama.

If they so declared before May 31st, the Rules and Bylaws committee would have no reason to take up the Florida and Michigan dispute because it would be a moot point -- Obama's camp could concede every Clinton demand on the subject and still win the nomination.

What do you think? Will this definitely happen? Maybe happen? What?


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