It was a tumultuous weekend for the Democratic party – especially Hillary Clinton.
The rollercoaster started on Saturday, when DNC leaders and lawyers converged in Florida, where they hashed out a deal on whether to seat that state and Michigan’s delegates. Both states held their primaries early, thus breaking Democratic party rules. The Democratic National Committee, of course, was not pleased and threatened not to seat any delegates from those states. But, as could be predicted, they didn’t want two irate states on the loose and agreed to seat delegates, but with some penalties:
A party committee voted to seat delegations from the two states at the August nominating convention, though with only a half-vote for each delegate. The deal, reached after a sometimes raucous daylong meeting, gives Hillary Clinton a net gain of 24 delegates, a margin that’s unlikely to stall Barack Obama’s momentum toward getting the nomination.
Despite the compromise and satisfaction on Florida, Clinton’s campaign remains defiant on Michigan.
The former First Lady’s adviser Harold Ickes, who is also a member of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, warned, “Mrs. Clinton has told me to reserve her right to take this to the Credentials Committee.” Ickes wasn’t the only one fuming. A Clinton and Obama supporter got into a bit of a spar, but all ended well. Some are wondering if the same can be said for the Clinton campaign. There are murmurs that Mrs. Clinton’s preparing to bow out this week.
If that’s true, she certainly didn’t give any indication on Sunday, when she won the Puerto Rican primary. The Senator vowed in her victory speech that the race will not end on Tuesday, when the final primaries are held. And, in a final plea, Mrs. Clinton turned her words directly toward superdelegates, whose endorsements will decide the nominee:
So, when the voting concludes on Tuesday, neither Sen. Obama nor I will have the number of delegates to be the nominee. I will lead the popular vote, he will maintain a slight lead in the delegate count. The decision will fall on the shoulders of those leaders in our party, empowered by the rules, to vote at the Democratic convention.
I do not envy the decision you must make. But the decision has to be made. And in the final assessment, I ask you to consider these questions. Which candidate best represents the will of the people who voted?
The superdelegates better make their decision soon. Party patience is running out, and nothing loses an election like irritated, worn out voters.