The Obama argument still revolves around the delegate math, and while his lead is hardly impressive percentage wise, nor will it be enough to get the required majority, it is enough for his campaign to crow, enough for Clinton to face a daunting challenge. But hold on, there is a glaring ASTERISK here for Obama, and it speaks to the same "will of the people" argument, used to support his campaign. If Obama were to win, without the imput of voters from two huge states, Florida and Michigan, that detracts from the purity argument. In fact, in a race this close, this contentious, Democrats should be bending over backwards to find a way to include the shunned states, afterall the voters shouldn't be punished because of party rules, devised by non-elected hacks. With Clinton's victories last night, it is hardly surprising to see a new push developing.
Today in Salon:
Should Florida and Michigan vote again?
It will be extremely hard for Clinton to close Obama's lead in pledged delegates, but it will also be hard for Obama to win the number of delegates he needs to decisively win without superdelegates. Lately I find myself wondering: Why aren't more powerful Democrats in both the Obama and Clinton camps lobbying for a revote in Florida and Michigan?...
If the 366 delegates from these two states were somehow again in play, the daunting arithmetic that makes it almost impossible for Clinton to pass Obama in pledged delegates would be far more forgiving.
A Revote In Florida and Michigan?
But the idea makes a certain amount of sense.
The thinking, here, is that the ONLY way that Clinton makes up her delegate gap is to get Michigan and Florida's earned delegates to count. The ONLY way they count is to re-run the vote under the umbrella of the DNC's rules.
The chutzpah here is that she already won Florida -- and is challenging Obama, essentially, to a fair fight... daring him... saying, "I can win this fair and square... same with Michigan... let's give the voters in those states a real voice."
Obama's response would no doubt me: "Well, wait a minute. You and I agreed to the rules. And now you want to change them at the last minute?"
He may not have a choice: if Florida and Michigan resubmit delegate plans to the DNC, if the DNC approves the plans, and if the states can find a way to pay for primaries, the contests would be on.
Potential complications: who's paying? A Florida primary would cost $10M (though I'd bet HRC's supporters could raise $10M in a moment's notice to pay for it), and Michigan Dems -- some of them -- might want a primary.
The most likely dates: mid-April or mid-June.
There are 747 delegates left, 1113 if you include Florida and Michigan. I expect more people to buy into this idea of a re-vote in the two big states, the idea is hardly inconceivable, not even a stretch with some political will. No matter which candidate American Democrats back, there is a certain intrinsic appeal in ensuring that all 50 states have say, particularly in a race that is so competitive. With all the talk about super-delegates, is it really attractive to have a partial process, essentially decided by the party hack in the DNC. Yes, Michigan and Florida didn't follow the party rules, but beyond that, should that mean the voters are punished?
If all 50 states vote, and nobody has the required delegate count, at the very least, the leader has the moral clarity to declare victory. In a muddled race, disenfranchising certain voters, from two key states, leaves a bad taste, the process clearly flawed. It will be interesting to see how this storyline develops, the Clinton camp obviously on side, but the Obama camp might see the merit too. Last night gave Clinton life, and in the process, expect the Florida/Michigan debate to get much louder.