March 10, 2008


The Democrats' nightmare: Expect the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to become even more hellish (The Economist, 3/06/08)

REMEMBER hanging chads, butterfly ballots, dodgy voting-machines and an election mired in the Florida swamps? Something similar to the 2000 knife-edge election has now befallen the Democratic Party, thanks to a contest that is likely to get increasingly nasty, and quite possibly litigious. And Florida is again in the thick of it. [...]

Mrs Clinton's only hope is to persuade the 796 “superdelegates” (members of Congress, senior party officials and other bigwigs) to reverse the elected delegate outcome—and push her over the 2,025 target.

This is where everything could turn ugly (and it is hardly pleasant at the moment). Mrs Clinton will need to present the superdelegates with an excuse to overturn the verdict of all those caucuses and primaries. It is still possible that she could win the popular vote, especially if she triumphs in Pennsylvania: that would help her case enormously. She will also no doubt point out that she has won in all of America's biggest states, bar Illinois and Georgia, as well as several swing states, including Ohio. But Mr Obama will have powerful arguments of his own, such as his appeal to independents and his victory in Virginia. So the chances are that Mrs Clinton sooner or later will resort to a somewhat legal approach: asking the superdelegate-judges in effect to dismiss the verdict of the first trial on the basis that the procedure was unfair.

Al Gore's chickens are coming home to roost.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2008 9:03 AM

Clinton should feign dislike of re-votes in FL and MI, but then acquiesce.

With the republicans done, they will show up to give Clinton large margins over Obama, especially with Rush and Ingraham flogging it.

Posted by: Bruno at March 10, 2008 3:20 PM

1) Why in the world should Republicans want to raid the primary in favor of Clinton? Surely we don't think that Effendi Obama is a stronger candidate just because we don't like to talk about why he is d.o.a.?

2) The is heavy irony afoot here, regarding Clinton'e position on counting the Florida delegates. Now keep in mind that the statutory basis of Bush v. Gore is absent from the instant matter. That case, we all remember, turned on Federal election law which fobade states from changing their voting rules in the middle of an election. But is that not exactly what Mrs. BJ would be asking a court to do?

The 2001 case is not exactly precedental here, and I agree with earlier observations here to the effect that courts would most likely abstain from telling the Democrat party how to manage its affairs. Nonetheless, it is entertaining to watch the chickens so homeward bound.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 10, 2008 5:26 PM