WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
In a bit of political theater, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Florida Democratic Party clamored to restore convention delegates that had been stripped by the national party. At stake: 185 delegates in a state where Clinton leads almost 2-to-1.The Obama campaign responded:
The presidential candidate said Friday — just four days before Florida's primary — that she wants the convention delegates from Florida and Michigan reinstated. The national party eliminated all the delegates from those states — more than 350 in all — because they broke party rules against holding their primaries before Feb. 5. All the major Democratic candidates also made pledges not to campaign in those states before their primaries.
Clinton could claim most of the Michigan delegates because she won that state's primary after the other major candidates pulled their names from the ballot.
In an earlier statement, Clinton said, "I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan," she said.
Not true. A majority of the other delegates gets to decide whether to seat Florida and Michigan, not just the candidate with the most delegates. If Clinton has an actual majority of the delegates, then she has the nomination, and the question of Florida and Michigan is moot anyway.
"Senator Clinton's own campaign has repeatedly said that this is a contest for delegates, and Florida is a contest that offers zero," Plouffe said. "Whether it is Barack Obama's record, her position on Social Security, or even the meaning of the Florida Primary, it seems like Hillary Clinton will do or say anything to win an election."
Many Democratic insiders believe the eventual nominee — whoever it is — will work to reinstate the delegates at the convention to promote party unity going into the general election, despite two overwhelming votes by the party's rules panel to strip them.
Under the rules for the Democratic convention, the candidate with the most delegates at the convention will control who gets seated — if the delegates follow the candidate's wishes.
In reality, this is really just a political position by Clinton, as she already has a large majority of the delegates in Michigan, and she hopes this stand will attract undecided voters in Florida. It's just really hard to construct a scenario that seats the two delegations if Clinton doesn't have a majority of the delegates going into the convention.