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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:21 pm 
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I haven't been watching it, but Firedoglake has been liveblogging it—though not with their usual closeness.

I hope there are talks going on behind the scenes that are the source of the report on Huffpost. It would be so good if this could be over by the end of next week—settle MI and FL, then have the last primaries, then have all the superdelegates commit.

I've read a couple of places that if Clinton says she'll appeal it to the convention, that may well mean nothing—that she's just claiming a reason for her campaign to be allowed to speak up at the convention and claim the nomination, if Obama implodes for some reason between now and August. If he does not, by then it will be clear that an appeal would be useless, and nothing will be said. I hope that's true.

I really, really don't think that Obama will self-destruct. He and his campaign are way too canny. Rev. Wright feels like old news now, McCain has had similar problems, and gaffe-for-gaffe McCain is way ahead at this point. As for the race issue, I just read that Obama's 37-minute race speech has been viewed in its entirety on YouTube more than 4.5 million times.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 9:02 pm 
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There was apparently a meeting last night that started as a dinner meeting with Howard Dean but went into the early hours of the morning at which the Florida deal was agreed to, but who knows if that is true.

They didn't break for lunch until 3 p.m. EST, and they still haven't come back 2 hours later. Presumably they are having lunch together and are discussing this morning/afternoon's testimony.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 10:07 pm 
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It looks like the committee members are just being seated now, over three hours after they went to lunch. It should be an interesting night.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 10:23 pm 
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Clinton supporter Alice Huffman has just made a motion that the Florida delegation be fully seated.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 11:01 pm 
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The full seating proposal lost 15-12. The 50% proposal was approved 27-0 after that. That means all the delegates, voted and super, get to go, but they all get half-votes.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 11:20 pm 
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Fair enough. There does have to be some kind of penalty.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 11:23 pm 
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So that's FL. Now for the hard part, MI.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 11:39 pm 
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Chuck Todd of NBC is apparently reporting that the following is going to be the deal:

Quote:
- Florida will be seated based on the primary results and treated as half-delegates.
- Michigan will be seated 69-59 (the state's compromise plan) and treated as half-delegates, meaning a split of 34.5-29.5 for accounting purposes. Since the 69-59 would represent a departure from the primary results, that would imply that uncommitted delegates would explicitly be designated as Obama delegates. Obama will also receive Michigan's two add-on superdelegates.


This is from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com, an electoral-vote site I really recommend—the guy knows statistical analysis. He used to blog as "poblano" but posted his name a couple of days ago—he also blogs at a baseball site, Baseball Prospectus, and he's evidently a statistical guru there as well.

Silver says that when the dust settles Obama should be 64 delegates from clinching the nomination. He predicts (and his predictions have been pretty good ones) that Obama will pick up about 41 more delegates on Tuesday, meaning that 20 to 25 more superdelegates will be enough to settle it. Which means this may, indeed, be over by Wednesday or Thursday.

Link

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:15 am 
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We need a new nomination process. This is just insane.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:25 am 
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It's over. The deal Chuck Todd described is the deal; Clinton nets 5 delegates from Michigan and 19 from Florida.

New York Times liveblog

Clinton supporters were unhappy:

NYT wrote:
Our colleague Jeff Zeleny filed this dispatch capturing the thick tension in the room shortly after Michigan motion was approved and the meeting adjourned:

Quote:
Supporters of Mrs. Clinton jeered the decision, loudly booing and hissing the members of the group as their faces were shown on a large screen in the room.

One woman, wearing a blue “Team Hillary” shirt, shoved a man in a suit and tie with a small Obama button on his lapel. Another woman in a white Clinton shirt hung her head in her hands.

“That was a crime!” a man shouted. “McCain in 08! McCain in 08!” a woman yelled from the back of the room. “No-bama! No-bama!”


The Upshot: It would appear, based on several calculations, that the committee’s decision today raised the threshold for achieving the nomination to 2,118 from 2,026. So even granting Mr. Obama more delegates from Michigan and Florida, he will still need more than the delegates achievable — through estimates — upon the results of the primaries from Puerto Rico (55 altogether tomorrow) and South Dakota and Montana on Tuesday.

That brings us back to the superdelegates. Democratic Party leaders like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been leaning in recent days on the superdelegates — about or more than 200 who are uncommitted — to make up their minds and announce their decisions in the coming week.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:57 am 
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A clinton super-delegate also ominously threatened that the MI ruling might be challenged and they'd go to Denver.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:18 am 
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Let us sincerely hope that a lesson has been learned for the future.

What a sorry mess.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:37 am 
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By a week from today—maybe less—it'll be clear that they haven't got a leg to stand on.

They won't publicly give up with people yet to vote, but once there's nothing left to hope for, that should be it. Unless, as I said above, Obama implodes so badly that the party clearly needs to overturn the delegate count or lose in November, Clinton would have to be much less intelligent than she is to seriously believe there's any hope for her nomination.

If the Obama campaign is smart—and they are—they'll do their best to bring about a final delegate count that could withstand even Clinton's dream outcome from today's meeting—where she would be awarded a full count of delegates from both states, and Obama only what he won in Florida, with zero for Michigan.

A margin like that is quite possible.

If Clinton had gotten what she wanted, she would have netted 25 to 49 votes in Florida depending on how the Edwards delegates voted, and at least 73 in Michigan assuming no "uncommitted" delegates at all went for Obama. If all 55 uncommitted Michigan delegates also went for her, and all the Edwards delegates in Florida defied Edwards' endorsement of Obama and went for Clinton (both a tad unlikely, maybe?), she would net 177 delegates.

Which is still not enough to put her in the lead
—even now, before the last primaries and before the superdelegates commit. Clinton would still have to take most of the remaining superdelegates, including ones from states Obama carried in the primary.

It just isn't going to happen. She has got to be well aware of that.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:09 am 
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If she's not crazy, then what's she doing?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:23 am 
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My theory, which is mine:

She knows it's over, barring a game-changing event that disqualifies Obama.

She won't concede before the last primaries, on Tuesday. She would see that as failing to campaign as hard as she could—her withdrawal would discourage her supporters in those states and Puerto Rico, and she owes it to them to fight.

When Obama hits 2,117 delegates, the new magic number, that will be it for any likely Clinton victory scenario. She will stop campaigning.

But she will hang on to her threatened appeal of today's decision, because that will give her a way onto the convention floor if it does turn out that Obama can't or shouldn't be the nominee. The decision gets reversed, a bunch of superdelegates change their minds, and presto, she's the nominee.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:05 am 
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She's basically wishing that something will happen, and he'll be out.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:17 am 
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I've read tonight that the Obama campaign is hoping to get enough superdelegates to commit Monday and Tuesday that Obama will have attained the "magic number" by the time he speaks Tuesday night in St. Paul—kicking off his general-election campaign at the exact same facility where the Republican National Convention will be held this summer (Barack, I like your style!).

He won't wait for a Clinton concession, but he won't arrogantly claim the nomination (I hear). The campaign believes the press will put enough weight on that point.

It might happen that he would be out—obviously it would have to be something terrible, an unbearable revelation, accident, illness. . . . In that case it would be good to have another candidate ready to step in. So, I think it's time for Clinton to stop doing what harms her own candidacy—not just for Obama's sake but for her own and the party's.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:37 am 
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Florida is happy. Michigan is happy (relatively). Obama is happy. The DNC is happy. Everyone is happy except Clinton and her most rabid supporters.

I predict that Clinton won't appeal the decision, but rather, will have one of her surrogates do so. And somehow argue that invalidates Obama's victory, even though he will have gained the support of enough super-delegates to clinch the nomination even if the appeal were successful. She is not going to just fade away quietly. Nor will she start actively campaigning for Obama until after the convention, if then.

I hope I am wrong, but that is what I believe.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:40 am 
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What if HRC actually runs as an independent? Crazy, but then her persistence in this losing cause ain't been zactly rational.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:50 pm 
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Her campaign is already USD 20 million in debt. How exactly could she run as anything without a party behind her? She would have insufficient funds to win, and if she still took enough votes to keep Obama out, would not be welcomed back, ever. Lose-lose.

That all assumes rationality of course.

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