50 means 50, and far from over
by Jerome Armstrong, Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 04:06:39 AM EST
I'd like to take my friend Markos at his word, that Obama is running a 50-state strategy. As a fellow 50-state propagandist, I would expect that he shares the opinion that it applies not just to a presidential campaign, but also to the presidential nomination. With that in mind, lets look into this bit of mess that the DNC has gotten us into, and then look at the state of the delegate race.
Rapid supporters may claim that I am saying Florida and Michigan should be counted because I'm a paid shill for Clinton, but besides getting handed a one-way ticket out of here, you'd also be wrong. Go back here and find when the DNC first said something about Michigan's delegates not counting, and you'll find I wrote an out-spoken post against the decision. It has nothing to do with Clinton, and everything to do with the principle. In fact, if Obama hadn't taken his name off the Michigan ballot, he probably would have won the state, as could have Edwards. The DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee made a bad move, so did the Obama campaign, but Michigan held their primary. That it wound up in Clinton's favor is beside the point.
Speaking as someone who sent Howard Dean to the DNC to decentralize the power of that committee to the states, it was a terrible leadership for him to have allowed the Rules & Bylaws Committee to tangle the presidential nominating selection process by selectively attempting to strip two states of their delegates, while continuing to ignore the fact that Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina broke those same rules.
What's that? Yes, read the rules. I've posted about this before, and andrewalker08 has a must-read follow-up:
However, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina weren't punished fairly. In fact, they weren't punished at all.
And what about Florida & Michigan?
Well, we all know what happened to them.
Instead of strictly adhering to Rule 20.C.1.a. and reducing their pledged delegates by 50%, the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee decided to take it a step further. The DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee exercised the authority granted to them by Rules 20.C.5. and 20.C.6. which allowed them to "impose sanctions the Committee deems appropriate." And what were those sanctions the Committee deemed appropriate? Stripping two of the largest states in the union of their votes at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Now, as I understand it, the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee has not taken up the move by IA, SC, and NH in the their meetings; that the way it played out was, those states waited until after the DNC meetings on the matter, where they ruled against FL & MI, to make their move. The best case you could make, in their defense, is that it is still pending. But it seems pretty obvious, from looking at the reporting at the time, that their moves were just as self-interested and non-conforming.
Given the Obama supporters like him have stated that MI and FL shouldn't count ("they broke the rules"), I hope they'll be leading the charge to demand that the DNC apply their rules fairly-- or does the 48 state Obama strategy to get nominated turn into a 45 state strategy?
No. The DNC has over-stepped their authority in the first place. Just as NH, IA an SC are not punished, so also will go FL & MI.
Here's the state of the race that includes all 50 states:
Clinton leads Obama, 1127 to 1119, in pledged delegates.
Clinton leads Obama, 240 to 140, in super-delegates.
There are 393 remaining super-delegates.
There are 1301 remaining pledged delegates.
There are another 94 remaining delegates among the uncommitted, and John Edwards delegates.
Now, these numbers might shift one way or the other if you subscribe to one or another's of the MSM outlet's projection. I go with GreenPapers and DemConWatch, for the delegate and superdelegate counts, because they are more credible in their documentation and transparency.
It's not clear how this gets resolved. Obama can win this outright, but to do so through a tactical maneuver would be an illegitimate nomination. If he goes onto win Ohio, Texas, and other states, he will exceed the number of delegates to put the matter to rest via inclusion. Clinton's campaign is in need of something that changes the current dynamic, but as the numbers above show, she can still win. One thing is clear: this is far from over.