While Obama’s going to North Carolina, Hillary’s going to Michigan to try to get state lawmakers to come together on a plan for a re-vote.
Both campaigns are accusing the other of scuttling a solution of what to do about delegates from Michigan and Florida, and I can’t help but wonder if secretly both sides would prefer to not have a settled agreement.
If a campaign agrees to a plan, and then loses the nomination, well, that’s that. They agreed to the rules, played by them, and lost.
But if a campaign doesn’t agree, and has rules forced upon them by the DNC, then they can, if they fall short, argue that it’s unfair, that it’s cheating, that it’s a miscarriage of justice, etc. And they can try to take what influence they have – roughly half the delegates, roughly half the superdelegates, a bunch of sympathetic ears and voices in the media – and raise hell and try to get the rules changed to a scenario in which they do win.
As long as the rules aren’t clear, and there’s a couple hundred delegates that no one knows how will break down for each candidate, it’s nearly impossible to day, “the race is over, this candidate cannot win.”
If you keep seeing various proposals to resolve the issue shot down by one of the campaigns (or both), then keep this cynical ploy in the back of your mind…
UPDATE: The latest salvo from Team Hillary:
On February 8, 2008, Barack Obama stood in the aisle of his airplane and told reporters that he would be “fine” with a new primary in Michigan if it could be done in a way that gave him and Senator Clinton time to make their respective cases and the DNC signed off. Since then, such a plan has garnered broad support from top Michigan lawmakers and the DNC has given its blessing.
So Barack Obama is on board, right? Guess again. It turns out that his comments about being fine with a re-vote if the above conditions were met were just words. As yesterday’s headline in the Detroit Free-Press made clear, Senator Obama is the lone standout: “Michigan do-over depends on Obama’s backing, Senate leaders say.”