Rules Are Rules

TPM has a followup to the No Way post I criticize here. Now Josh says:

There's little real doubt that Michigan and Florida delegates will actually be seated at this summer's convention. . . . Certainly it would be foolish not to have representation from two pivotal swing states.

The question of course is what if we have a divided convention, or one where the votes of Michigan and Florida prove key to the result? . . . That's what Hillary's trying to do here, lay the groundwork for seating those delegates . . . I see no way that that's not trying to change the rules midway.

Again, those pesky facts get in the way. If Hillary does that, it will be in accordance with the RULE that states that the Convention delegates CAN do this. When the DNC made its ruling, it allowed for these delegates to be seated by a simple majority of the convention delegates. Any one who took the time to think about this, as say, Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas did at the time, KNEW this and SAID this. Sorry, but it is Josh who is arguing for changing the rules now. Let's face it, this entire set up by the DNC has been a disaster. A lot of folks who were paying attention then said so. And they were right. But rules are rules, right?

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    I think Obama is painting himself into (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:04:37 AM EST
    a corner if he criticizes Hillary for suggesting the delegates be seated.

    It's up to the eventual nominee whether to petition to seat FL and MI...(see links above in my comments). When Florida votes next week, the voters will know that Hillary would seek to seat them if she's the nominee while Obama won't. Who do you think they will vote for?

    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by felizarte on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:28:56 AM EST
    Sen. Nelson is endorsing Hillary (per HufPost) and that goes too for many Floridians for sure.  They can't insist on on item in the rules and not accept the other items as well.  

    there's no way (none / 0) (#24)
    by along on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 05:14:32 AM EST
    Obama wouldn't seat them IF he's the nominee. What's in question is if they will count BEFORE there is a nominee, which will benefit Clinton greatly. For a detailed example, see my long scenario below.

    That's the whole story right there (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:36:15 AM EST
    This long whine about something everyone should know is ridiculous

    just was reading (none / 0) (#1)
    by athyrio on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11:58:11 PM EST
     a  post from a lady in Florida talking about the famous election of 2000 where Florida got so screwed up and she felt she was was violated as she lost her constitutional right to chose the president due to the supreme court...she now is saying that she feels that right is being taken away again....How sad....she is really upset and angry about it and only makes me wonder how many floridians feel the same way.....What a mess....

    If the DNC has rules to apply in this case (none / 0) (#18)
    by felizarte on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:24:52 AM EST
    why are they trying to categorize Hillary's call to have these delegates seated as CHANGING the rules?  And if these people who are saying that, knew about the existence of this contingency rule, and are still saying what they are saying, then it is difficult to conclude otherwise but that they are deliberately misleading and intellectually dishonest.  

    And I agree with a statement somewhere among the posts that Obama is painting himself into a corner by trying to be so vocal and critical of Hillary's position, because after all his name is on the ballot and he has been airing ads in Florida.

    I expect the team Clinton will have some more to say about this after the So. Carolina primary.


    I doubt it (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:38:27 AM EST
    I doubt they will mention it again for  awhile.

    As I understand... (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:08:32 AM EST
    ...any delegates from Florida or Michigan are going to have a very hard time find a hotel room in Denver.  There are no reservations waiting for them at any hotel remotely close to the Convention.

    At least it will be warm, so they can camp out under the beautiful Colorado night.

    Hi (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:09:34 AM EST
    The plains of Iowa can not be that far away either . . .

    Oh... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:40:33 AM EST
    Hey now!  That's a whole 'nother reality away.  And one heck of a boring drive.  

    Actually (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:44:03 AM EST
    I believe the DNC has contingency plans for hotel rooms. This was not unexpected.

    It was always expected that at some point the MI and FL delegates would be seated. It's a question of when.

    I'll look for the links to support this, but I've read it a few times.


    Well... (none / 0) (#11)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:48:58 AM EST
    ...they can stay at my place, but that's going to cost a pretty penny.  Otherwise it might be Broomfield or Castle Rock.

    From the FloridA Democratic Party's Website (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:51:24 AM EST
    Link here

    What about the delegate selection process? Why still go through with the process if the DNC isn't giving Florida any delegates?

    Although the DNC has said it will not recognize delegates from Florida, the Party plans to appeal to the eventual Democratic nominee for President to be seated at the Convention. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Chair of the 2008 National Convention, and DNC Chairman Howard Dean both confirmed that this does not minimize the importance and impact of the vote on January 29th. With this in mind, the Party will continue the delegate selection process to elect the actual delegates to the Democratic National Convention and will use the results of the January 29th Presidential Preference Primary to determine the apportionment of those delegates.

    Why didn't the DNC assign hotel rooms to Florida?

    We technically have no delegates at this time. However, when the nominee overrules the DNC and restores our delegation, we will have some of the 17,000 hotel rooms assigned to us.

    And... (none / 0) (#15)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:04:05 AM EST
    ...how many decent (we're not talking the Motel 6 on 6th Ave) hotel rooms are there within a 10 mile radius of the Pepsi Center are there?  I don't think it's anywhere near 17,000.  Their going to get whatever is left over.  Or it's going to be corporate condo's at the Executive Tower or some such place and that isn't going to come cheap.

    Now if they were from Iowa and had AE dip with them...


    So, if there is no Democratic (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:37:00 AM EST
    nominee in waiting when the convention opens, no MI or FL delegates.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:37:29 AM EST
    If Hillary has more delegates, they will be seated.

    Also, Nancy Pelosi said (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:57:15 AM EST
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will serve as honorary chair of the Democratic national convention next summer, said today that the party's presidential nominee will be the ultimate arbiter of whether delegates from the state of Florida are seated at the 2008 convention.

    Palm Beach Post, October, 2007, quoted here.


    Washington Post (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:01:03 AM EST
    link here:

    And some party leaders say the delegates from Michigan and Florida could end up attending the convention in the end. The rules of the convention allow the party's nominee to petition for reinstatement of the delegates, but whether the eventual nominee would want to wage a fight on behalf of Michigan and Florida against states that played by the rules, such as California and New York, is unclear.

    Rooms were set aside (none / 0) (#34)
    by Matt on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 08:34:56 AM EST
    We've been following the hotel room situation for Michigan and Florida at 2008 Democratic Convention Watch, and we've been told that rooms have indeed been set aside for the two states.

    rv's anyone! (none / 0) (#38)
    by hellothere on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:40:23 AM EST
    at least (none / 0) (#4)
    by andreww on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:13:46 AM EST
    we can all agree that this is a shame - and a lousy way to pick a president.  

    So anyone but Hillary was essentially hamstrung from the start.  Damned if they tried to win Michigan, damned if they kept their name on the ballot, and damned if they removed it.  This setup could have only ever benefited a national front-runner - in this case, Hillary.

    They were in a tough spot no question (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:19:24 AM EST
    And let me be clear, Obama's camp is doing the right thing going after Hillary on this politically. It's tricky but they have to do it.

    The problem was the DNC screwed this one up ROYALLY.

    What should they have done? Duh, what the freaking GOP did, take away HALF of the delegates.


    for the GOP (none / 0) (#6)
    by andreww on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:31:25 AM EST
    do only half the delegates get allocated completely?  
    Or is it that half go to the candidate(s) that won them and the other half are of the "uncommitted" type?  Although, if the GOP decides to place all of them then I guess it would be the latter right?  Just curious if they started out that way or not.

    Absolutely half (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:33:20 AM EST
    No uncommitteds.

    I suppose (none / 0) (#8)
    by andreww on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:36:45 AM EST
    much of the reason for my rage is that I'm very cynical about the power circles formed during Bill's time in the White House - and what they are/were doing to get Hillary elected.  So when a problem like this comes up, that all agree was caused by the DNC - even run by Dean - I am skeptical that it wasn't designed to help Hillary from the beginning.  With a former DNC chair running her campaign, I don't think it's a huge stretch.

    That evil Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 07:29:14 AM EST
    knows all, sees all, plans all. I saw her wiggle her nose.

    She got the Republican run Florida legislature to move its primary up in contravention of the rules. She got the Florida Democrats to go along with it.

     Then she  bewitched Howard Dean and the DNC to strip Florida of its delegates but leave wriggle room for seating. All the while knowing she would then come out for seating the delegation.

    I heard her cackle "I'll get you my pretties.... you and your f**king dog Toto too!"


    I like the way you think. (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 11:39:21 AM EST
    geez, it isn't hillary all the time. (none / 0) (#39)
    by hellothere on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:42:06 AM EST
    sometimes it is just plain lack of planning and thinking.

    Like the DNC saying we need a 50-state strategy (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 11:51:28 AM EST
    and then dissing two states.

    So is it really a 48-state strategy?


    it needs to be a 50 state stragedy. (none / 0) (#47)
    by hellothere on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:07:04 PM EST
    these are two large states and we need them in general election. what were they(dnc) thinking?

    Bordello (none / 0) (#17)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:06:49 AM EST
    Sorry..but this whole thing is becoming a bordello.  So much for change, so much for justice...the beat goes on, sophistry wins again.  

    At least the Deaniacs should be happy... (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 01:57:32 AM EST
    Howard's in charge.

    Let's hope the nominee's acceptance speech isn't at 2 in the morning this time.

    I think Josh Marshall's point (none / 0) (#22)
    by along on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 03:58:06 AM EST
    is summed up best by Matt at Demconwatch:

    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.

    Josh is saying that in the event of a truly divided convention, by definition that would mean neither Clinton nor Obama will control a simple majority of the delegates.

    A simple majority is the number needed to nominate: 2025, or half+1 of the total 4,049, which excludes FL (210) and MI (156). (Greenpapers)

    Consider this possible delegate count scenario after all contests are complete, which assumes Edwards stays in to the end AND that his delegates stay with him--a very iffy assumption:

    Clinton: 1970

    Obama: 1849

    Edwards: 230

    Neither Clinton nor Obama can control the votes of a majority. Of course, enough delegates on either side could switch, and put one over the top. But if it's this close, you figure they're getting intense pressure to stick it out till they win or get beat. In this example, assume there's already been some migration, and she's only 55 votes away, but now no one's budging.

    In which case, Edwards, as everyone has speculated, gets to play kingmaker. Not good for Clinton.

    What's more, EVEN IF  FL and MI were seated right there, before the Convention roll call, Clinton gains:

    MI (73 at least. 28 were not allocated, so those and some of the uncommitted may migrate to her)
    so let's make it:

    MI 90

    FL 110 (at least)

    But that still only puts her at 2170--38 shy of the NEW majority threshold of 2208.  Closer than she was before, but not over the top. Again, Edwards holds the key.

    So THIS is the gambit: faced with any number of close scenarios down the road,  Clinton would be much better off shaping public opinion NOW (that's the muscle Josh was talking about), to such a degree that the DNC agrees much earlier in the process to CHANGE THE RULES OF THE GAME and announce that FL and MI WILL be seated. This will legitimize the delegate numbers from those states, and serve to increase her lead that much earlier, and thus have a proportionally larger effect on the perception of the horse race, and also on the decisions of scores of Super delegates.

    I forgot one thing: (none / 0) (#23)
    by along on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 04:04:35 AM EST
    This strategy, of picking up 200 delegates ASAP, would also serve to blunt the effect of Edwards dropping out and endorsing Obama anytime after Feb. 5.

    how are we sure (none / 0) (#37)
    by Kathy on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:14:31 AM EST
    Edwards will give his delegate to Obama, and how are we sure the delegates will willingly go?  As I understand, the delegates, once released, can do whatever they like.  Am I wrong--does Edwards get to tell them who they have to support if he drops out?

    That makes no sense (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:35:04 AM EST
    IF they won'tbbe seated, then they won't be seated.

    Why all this fuss then?


    the fuss is (none / 0) (#45)
    by along on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:42:52 PM EST
    meant to make so much of show of support for MI and FL, defending their claims of disenfranchisement, that the DNC is pressured into making their delegates count. The fuss is for 200 delegates Clinton wants now.

    but I also agree (none / 0) (#46)
    by along on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:46:10 PM EST
    with your previous post that this gambit is just as much about the current pr, and shifting the focus to FL.

    DNC won't change the rules before the convention (none / 0) (#35)
    by Matt on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 08:44:06 AM EST
    I just don't see any way the DNC changes the rules before the convention, and in fact I don't think the rules allow it. Even if the nominee is decided, the MI and FL delegates won't be seated until the very start of the convention. Check the DCW blog on Monday for a post detailing how this would all work.

    from my point of view i don't think (none / 0) (#40)
    by hellothere on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:47:57 AM EST
    it would be good for obama. i don't see any lovefest between obama and edwards at all. and i keep thinking about that "conversation" clinton and edwards had after the debate.

    forgive me (none / 0) (#44)
    by Judith on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 12:32:01 PM EST
    what is the "that conversation" you refer to here?

    Disenfranchisement on Purpose (none / 0) (#25)
    by majkia on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 05:50:02 AM EST
    I am so bloody glad you all are so eager to disenfranchise me. Like some little democratic voter like me had any say whatsoever when the stupid primary is (and I'm a poll worker!).  Yet you all think it is just great the Florida and Michigan and all the Dems therein get no say whatsoever.

    Sounds like democracy to me!

    Florida and Michigan (none / 0) (#32)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 07:40:09 AM EST
    I can't believe that anyone seriously thought that the Democratis Party would exclude Michigan and Florida delegates. I can understand them wanting a voice in the future of their govenment. Personally I think they would give a better barometer of what this country is looking for than Iowa, New Hampshire or certainly South Carolina. To ignore them would be a major mistake come November. If we are going to take back the White House, we're going to need both of those states. (You note that the Republican party didn't shut them out).

    If there really is a (none / 0) (#33)
    by NJDem on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 07:51:50 AM EST
    brokered convention, why is everyone so sure king-maker Edwards will throw his votes towards Obama?  

    Didn't anyone else notice at the last debate how pissed Edwards looked when Obama made the "an AA, a woman and John" comment, and when calling him 'white guy'?  Edwards looked none too happy--and then he and Hillary had some private talk afterwards?  

    Just food for thought...

    i for one don't see edwards throwing (none / 0) (#41)
    by hellothere on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:51:21 AM EST
    to obama at all. as has been noted on here just what is obama's view of social security, the subprime meltdown, and kick starting the economy after these fools are gone? if many of us see the lack of real policy, then guess what so does edwards.

    Totally agree (none / 0) (#36)
    by athyrio on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 09:18:13 AM EST
    Obama'a campaign is down and dirty...something sure to divide our party....Makes me mad...