Tomorrow is probably one of the most – if not the most – important days for Democrats this primary season, as the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee will be deciding what to do about the disputed Florida and Michigan delegates.
Hillary, of course, will be pushing for a full, unpenalized seating of Florida and Michigan delegates, and making her “popular votes” and “electability” arguments, while the Obama campaign – which has pledged to go “more than halfway” to resolve this dispute – will say it’s in favor of seating the Florida and Michigan delegations but obviously not in a way that would give Hillary Clinton any advantage over him. The BO campaign will also press their (correct) case that that the primary process is not about the popular vote but who has the most delegates, an argument they started laying the ground work for earlier this month.
Obama has asked his supporters not to protest tomorrow’s meeting of the minds (they’ll be there anyway), while Hillary’s contingent will be pounding the streets and making their own case for the DNC to “count every vote.”
Marc Ambinder tackles the argument some are making that the DNC accepting any of these Clinton challenges to the process (in terms of seating FL and MI) will dilute their power enforce existing DNC rules on the books as it relates to primary scheduling:
One argument made by those who don’t want the RBC to accept any of the challenges is that the DNC would lose all of its legitimacy and would not be able to enforce anything resembling a coherent calendar in 2012 or 2016; if states knew that their delegations would be fully or partially restored even if they broke the rules, they’d have no incentive to follow them in the first place.
But this isn’t exactly true: the reason why candidates Clinton and Obama didn’t campaign in Florida and Michigan had as much to do with the pledge they signed to stay out; one could envision a scenario where Iowa and New Hampshire and Nevada and South Carolina create a similar pledge for the next crop of candidates, and even though a plethora of states decide to go early, the campaigns will reluctantly sign the pledge for fear of alienating the earliest of early states. Of course, a potential candidate could view the carnage of 2008 and just as easily conclude that an angry Iowa isn’t as important as a major victory in Florida or Michigan. Then again, Republican Rudy Giuliani completed that calculus, and a lotta good it did him….
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the DNC party elites converge …