February 9, 2008


This might be a call for 'super delegates': The Democratic nomination appears poised to come down to the 796 party insiders, who are free to vote for whomever they choose. The delegates' importance depends on Florida and Michigan. (Peter Wallsten and James Rainey, 2/09/08, Los Angeles Times)

In a year that has seen Democratic voters flock to the polls but produce two evenly matched candidates, some party leaders are becoming alarmed that the process for deciding an eventual winner is in disarray, and that the decision may come down not to ordinary voters but to the group of 796 insiders known as "super delegates."

Contributing to the tension is a continuing battle over the roles of Florida and Michigan, which were stripped of their participation in the party's national nominating convention due to a fight with the Democratic National Committee over the primary election calendar.

Now, with the prospect that neither Hillary Rodham Clinton nor Barack Obama will win a clear majority in the delegate count, a discussion is reemerging over whether voters in those states should return to the polls and help pick the nominee, voting this time in an election formally sanctioned by the party.

"We're headed for a train wreck if we don't get this resolved," said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), referring both to the role of super delegates and to the DNC's decision to penalize his state.

Red Sox, Pats, Celtics, Maverick vs whoever the bosses pick...even sport isn't supposed to be this much fun.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2008 8:10 AM

If it actually comes down to a backroom vote, I suspect the temptation to repudiate Clintonism will win out over any loyalty to Hillary. Obama has played his hand well, giving flowery speeches and making the Clintons look boorish and desperately hungry. If he wins the next 3 or 4 primaries, and continues to act like a graceful nominee, the Clintons might just implode.

His gentle (but firm) request about releasing her tax returns is one example. What can she say - it's not like an evil Republican is asking. And after her $5 million loan, the drumbeat will only grow.

Of course, Obama could implode, too - if the press starts asking him the questions we discuss on our side. But, that might not happen. Perhaps Hillary or Mark Penn should drop by - we'll help them out.

Posted by: ratbert at February 9, 2008 9:33 AM

I really like the idea of the DNC having Michigan and Florida redo the voting until they get their desired outcome. They could get Carter, Chavez, Assad, and a bunch of Ahmadinejad's gang as election monitors. The DNC lives in exciting times.

Posted by: mike at February 9, 2008 9:50 AM

How about Obama gently, but firmly, releasing his copy of The Barrett Report.

Posted by: erp at February 9, 2008 11:02 AM