Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Campaign Droppings -- IX

From the "Just a Stupid Thought Department:"

The Democrats are heading for Armageddon in which the only souls rising to Heaven will be Republican. The delegate race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton looks as if it may come down to "Super Delegates," (Clinton lost one today with the resignation of Eliot Spitzer).

But those party insiders are going to go with Obama if, as expected, he finishes the primary season with more popular votes, more states and more pledged delegates. Clinton's only hope is to get the party to violate its own rules by changing them in the middle of the game -- a Bill and Hillary speciality. The change would occur by having new elections of some sort in Michigan and Florida, whose delegates were barred because the local parties were told not to jump the designated schedule of caucuses and primary and held them too early.

In Florida, everyone was on the ballot and Clinton won 50 percent to Obama's 34 percent, after no campaigning and when Clinton was much better known and the presumptive favorite. In Michigan, only Clinton was on the ballot but still managed only 55 percent to 40 percent "uncommitted."

Now Clinton wants either those results to stand and give her more delegates, or to have a "do-over." In any general election, Clinton will win, as she would if it is conducted as a mail-in vote. If it is a caucus of those motivated enough to show up at a designated place and time, Obama will win.

This is a Gordian Knot for which every possible solution advantages one candidate or the other.

Here is my solution. Keep the rules in force as they were adopted, take the convention voting privileges from Michigan and Florida delegations, and to hell with the argument that disenfranchising Democrats in the two states will make the key swing states go Republican in the fall.

But who knows that they will?

By November, there will be either Clinton or Obama representing the Democrats, John McCain representing Republicans and Ralph Nader representing Alien Nation. After two months of hard campaigning, the people of Michigan and Florida will be smart enough to choose which candidate is in their best interest regardless of whether they got to vote for the Democratic nominee.

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