Howard Dean and the rest of the small-minded party hacks at the Democratic National Committee created this debacle. They are the ones who insisted their petty rules made Florida’s presidential primary meaningless. Now it turns out a close race between two quality candidates could make our delegates awfully important in deciding the party’s nominee. So it’s up to Dean to figure out a reasonable fix for a fiasco he created.
One option that would be fundamentally unfair: allocating Florida’s delegates based on the Jan. 29 vote to enable Hillary Clinton to win the nomination. That would be like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers deciding after the regular season they wanted to count a win in a preseason game so they could make the playoffs.
It was a nice gesture by Clinton to promise – after the state’s polls closed and she clearly had won the most delegates – to seat Florida’s delegation at the national convention. Barack Obama, whom we recommended in the primary, should do the same. But this is a graceful way to unite the party only if the nomination already is decided and Florida’s delegates would not change the outcome.
The stupidity of stripping Florida Democrats of all of their delegates because a Republican-controlled Legislature moved up the primary was clear for months. The Republicans worked out a reasonable solution. They cut the number of their Florida delegates in half, and their candidates came here and competed. The Democrats weren’t so bright, and Clinton and Obama foolishly boycotted the state.