Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Finally, an Analysis of the Democratic Credentials Committee Process

I have a weakness for this kind of report, where the writer actually looks at the nuts and bolts and the mechanics of the real world in telling the story. So much of what passes for analysis and even straight reporting are preconceptions dressed up in hearsay and anecdotes. Anyway, I’ve been following the US Presidential primaries fairly closely, and this is the first piece that I’ve seen that has bothered to go into the details of the Democratic credentials committee to figure out what is likely to happen. It’s definitely worth a read. I have no way of determining how accurate it is, but it’s an exercise that is missing in every widely available analysis of the Democratic endgame that I’ve seen so far.

Incidentally, I usually follow Real Clear Politics for the numbers, on the upper left of its home page. The most important figures are there, complete with relevant links. Note that it has the popular vote numbers with and without Florida. That’s useful. Significantly, RCP doesn’t include Democratic numbers that include Michigan. RCP must be thinking, not unreasonably, that, while trying to get Florida counted as-is may be slightly tacky, bringing in Michigan would be… cheating.

Which reminds me, I’ve been surprised for some time that the Clintons aren’t pushing for a revote in Michigan and Florida. Well maybe just Michigan, then agree to redo Florida as well, as a concession. Mrs. Clinton needs to win the popular vote; that’s the only way she can swing enough uncommitted superdelegates her way to win the nomination. For that, she’ll need Michigan, which is not going to be counted without a revote, and a concession makes her look sane and reasonable anyway. Besides, only Democrats can vote in a Michigan Democratic primary, so she should have a very good chance there. This is in contrast to Florida, where independents and Republicans can vote as well. Mrs. Clinton should also insist on changing the rules (it can be done; the governor of Puerto Rico recently changed the format there from caucus to a primary in order to favor Mrs. Clinton) to exclude non-Democrats there as well. There’s a certain logic to that; double-voting (between the initial January primary in the Republican primary and the hypothetical second Democratic primary) should be minimized, or so she should claim. I also think that she should look to seal the deal before the delegate numbers harden.

Bill Clinton's condescension and rage aren't working.

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