Monday, May 26, 2008

Clinton Campaign's New Michigan Math

Clinton Campaign's New Michigan Math

A high ranking Hillary Clinton campaign supporter has put another Michigan delegate plan on the table, though it's not likely to pass the Obama test.

Lanny Davis, a Clinton fundraiser without formal portfolio (though "wartime consigliere" is an apt description) proposes splitting the delegates 50-50. Oh, not all the delegates. The 73 that Clinton "won" in the calendar-breaking Jan. 15 primary would still go to her. No, Davis argues that Clinton should get half the uncommitted delegates, chosen by voters who actually voted against Hillary Clinton.

The logic? As Davis explains, in a guest piece for The Politico, "Some of those delegates might have been for Clinton as a second choice to candidates other than Obama, so it would be totally unfair to award all 50 delegates to Obama."

Davis' proposes either splitting the uncommitted delegates is based on polls taken in Michigan before Jan. 15 which showed a close race between Clinton and Obama, or simply dividing the uncommitteds in half, a solution he calls "more generous to Obama than to Clinton." This switches 28 delegates from Uncommitted to Clinton, and 27 to Obama. (Clinton gets the tiebreaker, suggests Davis, "since she led in all the latest statewide polls prior to Jan. 15.")

The net result would be a Michigan delegation of Clinton 101, Obama 27. The Michigan Democratic Party itself, a hotbed of Clinton love and Iowa caucus hate, is suggesting a delegation of Clinton 69, Obama 59. That's based on splitting the difference between the Obama campaign's earlier requests for a 64-64 split and the Clinton campaign's insistence on the 73 delegates "earned" Jan. 15. Thus, Davis' trial balloon, assuming he speaks for the campaign, actually increases Team Clinton's demand.

As for Florida, no new math here; Davis simply recommends accepting the results from the Jan. 31 primary, which also broke party rules.

The Democratic National Committee's rules and nominations committee is scheduled to settle the matter May 31.

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