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Until a few short months ago it was the wet dream of virtually every politics junkie - now, as it is becoming more likely by the day to happen this year, the dream is turning into a nightmare. Below the flip: why a brokered convention is becoming increasingly probable; why this is bad news especially for us Obama supporters; and what can be done to avoid it and win outright.  

Why is a brokered convention becoming increasingly likely? - The argument was made first, I believe, by Chris Bowers the day before Super Tuesday (OpenLeft has been all over this issue). Today, Paul Kane at WaPo's online chat plays catch up:

Ohio is not at all where Clinton could wrap things up. We've done a bad job of explaing this, but it is now basically mathematically impossible for either Clinton or Obama to win the nomination through the regular voting process (meaning the super-delegates decide this one, baby!).

Here's the math. There are 3,253 pledged delegates, those doled out based on actual voting in primaries and caucuses. And you need 2,025 to win the nomination.

To date, about 55% of those 3,253 delegates have been pledged in the voting process -- with Clinton and Obamb roughly splitting them at about 900 delegates a piece.

That means there are now only about 1,400 delegates left up for grabs in the remaining states and territories voting.

So, do the math. If they both have about 900 pledged delegates so far, they need to win more than 1,100 of the remaining 1,400 delegates to win the nomination through actual voting.

Ain't gonna happen, barring a stunning scandal or some new crazy revelation. So, they'll keep fighting this thing out, each accumulating their chunk of delegates, one of them holding a slight edge and bothing finishing the voting process with 1,600 or so delegates.

And then the super delegates decide this thing.

 

1,100 out of 1,400 means one candidate needs to win nearly 80% of all pledged delegates yet to be awarded to clinch it. As Chris points out, Obama will need a hundred more to overcome Clinton's lead in super delegates - meaning he'll need something like 86% of all delegates yet to be pledged. Unlike Kane and others] I won't say that's impossible - but it's, uhm, not bloody likely...

But the Clinton campaign is broke! They won't be able to compete much longer! - Fellow Obamanians and Obamaniacs, let's not kid ourselves! If you can't respect your opponent (which you should in this case), at least be smart enough not to underestimate them. Even if all her fat cat donors were to have maxed out or gotten cold feet, Hillary has millions of devoted supporters who are every bit as devoted to her as we are to our guy (you know the peeps - there are enough right here on this board). They will shell out every last dime to keep the campaign afloat. And even if the Clinton campaign were to go completely dark in all media markets (which isn't going to happen), there may well still be enough people voting for Hillary to deny Obama the nomination (remember - all it takes for Hillary would be 15-20% of the vote in the remaining contests). And if you think the Clintons aren't going to stick this out to the bitter end, have you learned nothing of the stubbornness of dwarfs tenacity of the Clintons?

But a brokered convention is great! Somebody unbelievably cool (Gore, Edwards, Dean) is going to come in and graciously accept the nomination as honest broker! - That's bull. In this day and age, we like to think of the big-party nominees as elected by public mandate (even though that is strictly speaking not really the case). An outside candidate parachuting into the deadlocked convention to rescue the party is not going to be accepted - would have dramatic legitimacy issues.

Alright, then what is going to happen at a brokered convention? - Two scenarios: (a) The super delegates decide the day for one side - that would most likely be Clinton. Let's face it - we're talking party insiders here! Why would they ever give the mantle to Obama? (Because they view him as more "electable?"? Possible - but likely? I think not.) (Notice in parentheses, though, that some think that pressure from the DNC to avoid a brokered convention would benefit Obama. Which seems to imply, if I read this correctly, that there are a lot of insiders inside (uhm) the DNC who are favorable to Obama. I'm just not sure I'd agree.) (b) Clinton and Obama form a unity ticket.

The problems with a unity ticket? - First, Clinton as veep is plainly inconceivable - it would mean for Obama to accept Bill as co-vice-president and by extension as co-president. And how much say do you think would Vice President Obama have in a Clinton administration? Zero, most likely. Yes, Obama would get to shape the platform at the convention. But how much worth is that? Remember, it's not so much the policy positions that divide these two candidates - it's the world view or political philosophy or ideology or whatever you want to call it. And how do you write a world view into a platform?

Wait, it gets worse! - Once the realization that the veep slot may be the ceiling for Obama sinks into the public's consciousness, it will be a huge drain on Obama's energy. Ask yourself - how much would you be willing to work for an Obama vice presidency under the Clintons? We'd basically be back to Clinton inevitability, I'm afraid. We mustn't let this happen!

OK, what can be done? - First, the obvious and lame stuff: Obama needs to maximize his share in the remaining contests. Reach out to make inroads into "Clinton's" demographics - women and Latinos. And is there a way to turn out more frickin' guys? I'm really not trying to make this diary any more offensive that it already is ;-) but perhaps Hillary's greatest boon has been the fact that 55-60% of Democratic primary voters and caucus goers are consistently women. Next, the two big outstanding endorsements - Gore and Edwards. Obama needs to secure these at absolutely all cost (and Clinton will try to prevent him from getting these endorsements at all cost).

But none of this will change the premise - 80-85% of the remaining delegates is just pie in the sky. So we need the equation changed! The only way to do this is to increase the pool of the yet-to-be-awarded delegates. I'm talking, of course, of the DNC proposal to hold caucuses to award the currently non-seated delegations of Florida and Michigan. Add the 210 original delegates from Florida and 156 from Michigan and the percentage of the remaining delegates either candidate needs to win drops to 65-70%. This is still a tall order, but much more manageable. And caucuses of course have been much more favorable to Obama! That doesn't mean that he would have an easy time beating Clinton (and by a large enough margin) in  Florida this time around. But...

Can we do this?

Originally posted to brainwave on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 09:57 PM PST.

Poll

Can we?

56%130 votes
13%30 votes
7%17 votes
10%24 votes
1%3 votes
11%26 votes

| 230 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, comments, rude remarks (33+ / 0-)

    Straighten me out.

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 09:57:28 PM PST

  •  Good diary. (5+ / 0-)

    Maybe they will hold caucuses in MI and FL and Obama wins handily like he did on Super Tuesday?

    Gosh, I hate this Super Delegate thing.  What bullshit!!

    Party insiders should not decide by pure opinion who gets the nomination.

    This is America dammit.  

    •  A Warning about "Caususes" in Michigan... (6+ / 0-)

      I know everyone keeps thinking that a "caucus" do-over in Michigan would favor Obama because he does better at them than primaries.

      HOWEVER, here in Michigan, our "caucus" is one in name only--we had a "caucus" last time around, but it was run exactly the same as a primary: You walk in, check a name off of a piece of paper, stick it in a ballot box, and leave.

      No "persuasion", no huddling in groups, no moving from one corner to the other, no discussion. Secret ballot voting like any other primary or general election. The only difference between it and a primary is that it was run by the party, not the state.

      •  Do you see Obama having a shot to WIN? (0+ / 0-)
      •  But it would not be the case this time around. (0+ / 0-)

        Caucuses are cheaper than primaries. That's why some in the DNC advised them to hold caususes not primaries.

      •  There are fewer voting sites, and campaigns have (0+ / 0-)

        to 'educate' participants on where they have to go to vote.  Michigan Dems also used 'vote by mail' options, and were planning for an internet voting option this time (before the bastard primary was created).

        It is still a game which the best organized campaign could win... and it really doesn't matter that much whether people just cast their secret ballot or stay and talk about it, they still had to be organized to show up.  I think with the mail and internet voting options (presuming they'd be used), the Obama campaign, as well as independent groups of self-organized Obama volunteers, would be able to score a big victory here in a caucus situation... just as they did in all the 'flyover' Super Tuesday caucuses.

        •  To clarify, most caucus voters can't go to (0+ / 0-)

          their usual election poll site to participate in the party caucuses, which use far fewer voting sites, which are chosen by the party.... and this of course makes organization much more important than in a primary election hosted by the state, using all the usual election poll sites.

  •  Don't agree (8+ / 0-)

    The problems with a unity ticket? - First, Clinton as veep is plainly inconceivable - it would mean for Obama to accept Bill as co-vice-president and by extension as co-president. And how much say do you think would Vice President Obama have in a Clinton administration? Zero, most likely. Yes, Obama would get to shape the platform at the convention. But how much worth is that? Remember, it's not so much the policy positions that divide these two candidates - it's the world view or political philosophy or ideology or whatever you want to call it. And how do you write a world view into a platform?

    You instantly dismiss this possibility with some rather far-fetched assertions. Obama would - trust me - accept HC as his VP if it meant putting the super-delegates on his side. He's not an idiot. And the line about world view is obviously the toxic effects of too much Koolaid!

    Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

    by Batfish on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:06:12 PM PST

  •  Finding a way to let Fl & Mich vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, ryan t, forestgreen

    I would think is a good idea.

    I understand why Dean penalized them.  But I also think if we can find a way to allow these people to be a part of the primary process, that in itself would be excellent.

    The party let their voters down.  The voters are the ones hurt by this. Disenfranchising that many Democrats because their party bosses went bonkers is not the way to gain/keep party members in those states.

    I think allowing a do-over is an excellent idea.

    In God we trust. All else bring data.--and I am an athiest

    by crazyshirley2100 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:08:21 PM PST

  •  If we... (9+ / 0-)

    ...show up an the convention with more delegates than Clinton we can dare the Superdelagates to overturn "the will of the people".

    I don't think too many of them would have the guts to do it.  Not on national TV.

    But we can't show up at the convention with a thin margin...we gotta bust ass to get Obama's numbers up.

  •  nice summary, I understand it better now but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pseudopod, forestgreen

    If Obama doesn't get the nomination legitimately, I don't have a problem with him being VP.

    As a matter of fact, I don't know that the VP slot is really unacceptable to Clinton.

    Stranger things have happened.

    NetrootNews coming soon!

    by ksh01 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:09:57 PM PST

  •  Could you write a diary that does NOT..... (7+ / 0-)

    ...assume that every reader is an Obama supporter?

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:10:24 PM PST

  •  I agree with this much ; ) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brainwave, forestgreen

    Hillary has millions of devoted supporters who are every bit as devoted to her as we are to our guy (you know the peeps - there are enough right here on this board). They will shell out every last dime to keep the campaign afloat

    but seriously, good analysis, I don't know if a brokered convention can be avoided, even with Obama gaining some momentum in Feb, I still see this being VERY split, the only solutions, no matter how incompatible, may be a unity ticket. Or if one wins by super delegates, or MI/FL delegates, many will feel VERY upset, and there goes G.E for us.  Hopefully Dean is serious about working something out before we get to that point.  I prefer Hillary, but am Fine with Obama, lets just settle this at some point.

    At the same time, having a long process on democratic side could lead to a SUPER candidate, but that still excludes brokered convention. at this point, its SO hard to predict what will happen...

  •  I think If Obama can get through PA (9+ / 0-)

    with an overall delegate lead - including superdelegates, which I think is quite possible, I think there will be a lot of pressure on the remaining superdelegates to back Obama as the leader in both elected and overall delegate counts

    In any case, I wonder if we'll get some sort of superdelegate reform after this - either having fewer of them or what.

    Unless Clinton just gets swept everywhere, I too don't see how this isn't decided by superdelegates.

  •  i dont think democrats are suicidal (9+ / 0-)

    Having super-delegates determine the outcome would fracture the party irreparably.

    Im guessing loser of elected delegate count is pressured to withdraw.  If it goes to convention enough  superdelegates will likely be pressured to vote for winner of delegate count.

    There is no prospect of obama-clinton or clinton-obama

  •  Change is painful (11+ / 0-)

    This party cannot pass up the opportunity to grow and prosper by sticking to the same old game plan of relying on big donors and only playing in a few states. Obama is following the 50 state strategy and the Howard Dean fund raising model and proving it works.
    He is making the party bigger and stronger with more Independents and an energized youth vote.
    I hope cooler heads will prevail and not egos.

    Tired of white haired, old white men ruining the world. (Bald ones too!)

    by Stop Pandering on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:18:29 PM PST

  •  Much depends on Obama (5+ / 0-)

    I would hope....truly...that if Clinton takes the nomination, Obama shows he is a Democrat and helps to pull his primary voters through to the GE.  

    I can honestly say, as an Obama supporter, that if he does not take the nomination and his response is to take his bat and ball and go home.  I am through with him. He is a Democrat.  And he should jolly well act like one through thick and thin.

    I would also remind that voting is a habit.  Once people start voting, statistically, they keep it up.  I believe that dkos is buying spin when the folks here opine that if Clinton takes the general that we will lose all our new voters.  

    Just as I believe the Grand Old Party will pony up behind McCain after a couple of weeks of moping.  Limbaugh does not speak for the party.  

    In God we trust. All else bring data.--and I am an athiest

    by crazyshirley2100 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:19:04 PM PST

    •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldliberal

      That many people simply won't vote for hillary clinton.

      I'm not interested in being a member of a party that would pick a person like hillary over a person like Obama... If she wins fair and square.. so be it.. that would tell me that our party and country have truly lost their way

      This election is our only chance to get our country back

      •  70% of Dems polled (5+ / 0-)

        say they like the candidates just fine, either one. Some people might not vote for her who would vote for Obama, but hey, guess what, that cuts both ways. Just because he rings your bells doesn't mean everybody has to feel the same way.

        •  A lot of people (0+ / 0-)

          Watch american idol... this has nothing to do with ringing my bell.

          Things are much worse than they appear.. this is a very dangerous time in our history... if we elect another conservative leader (hillary or mccain) we are in big trouble..

          I could be wrong.. but that's my belief.. this isn't a popularity contest for me.. I don't care about obama's speeches.. what I care about is his vision.. it's plain in his writings....  

          And I think it's what we need now.. before things get much, much worse

          Maybe im preaching doom too much.. but I think that the financial system is much less stable than the experts are letting on

      •  Stevens. Retiring. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DMiller

        Do you hear what I'm saying?

        "Some folks look for answers...others look for fights."

        by The Termite on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:30:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lost our way? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Psychotronicman

        I hear that from some of the Edwards backers.  I don't buy it.  We are finding our way.  Democracy is not easy.  Change is not easy, as Obama says.  He is young.  If Obama does not gain the nomination, he will not die.  He will continue to move and shape the party, if he is the real deal.  And you will continue to move and shape the party if you are the real deal also.

        I believe that either candidate is well positioned to win the nomination and would certainly do much better than McCain at taking back America.

        In God we trust. All else bring data.--and I am an athiest

        by crazyshirley2100 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:35:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think people undrestand the peril (0+ / 0-)

          We are at an inflection point in our history.. and if we don't drastically change our course we could be in for very, very, very dark times.

          We need a visionary.... Obama is the only person in the race who MIGHT fit that bill.. I already know that neither hillary or mccain can handle the challenges that face us.. they simple are too entrenched in the old ways....

          Strong language.. but I truly believe this to the be the case

          We've been sent this man.. (and you know what I'm talking about if you read his writings.. he's brilliant and a very deep thinker)... and we need to put him in place and how that his vision is as true as some of us think it could be.

    •  Most Obama supporters... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Psychotronicman

      ...and by most I mean a huge majority approaching all, would support Hillary in the general if she wins the nomination in a manner that they understand and that is fair.

      "Some folks look for answers...others look for fights."

      by The Termite on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:29:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What exactly do you want him to do? (0+ / 0-)

      Are you saying he should go campaign for Hillary?

      I doubt very much that he would do that.  It is customary for to go home at that point.  Other than Giulani, when last did a primary loser campaign for the winner?

    •  I for one will not vote for Clinton. And (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Poet

      don't forget that many Obama voters are indies like me. They will vote for McCain in the general or not vote at all.

  •  The way we avoid a brokered convention is for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, blueness, leftneck, Capt Morgan

    Obama to sweep all of the states through March 4, 2008.  The next 9 look possible, but then things get more difficult on March 4.  If Obama can sweep through the rest of February and get enough momentum to win victories in both Ohio and Texas giving him a substantial overall delegate, then I think there would be a lot of pressure from the super delegates (including some of Hillary's current supporters) to step aside for the good of the party.  However, Obama has an uphill battle ahead if he wants to pull off that feat.  Although the remainder of February is favorable to Obama, sweeping all of the states remaining in February is no forgone conclusion.  And in both Texas and Ohio, he has a lot of ground to make up.

  •  They could always settle it by (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2lucky, brainwave, pseudopod, haruki, leftneck

    shooting free throws.

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert

    by InsultComicDog on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:20:00 PM PST

  •  Romney dropping out means that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, leftneck

    ...it will be over after the next big state (Tx, OH,...)primaries.

    Hillary holds tough in the big states and Obama doesn't pick up ground. Obama will then drop out after being offered god-like status in the senate. He won't see any point in going in to the convention holding less delegates, including super-delegates. He'll lose and split the party while ruining his future with the Democratic party and any chances at a future run.

    or,

    Obama manages a dead heat in the primary states and pulls close enough in pledged delegates ensure a tie in overall delegate count, including super-delegates. Hillary will drop out after being offered the future majority senate leader spot or some other highly powerful position. If she doesn't she risks losing her Democratic base support and not being re-elected to the senate.

    The DNC will make these deals to avoid a repeat of 68' which is certain to not only lose us the WH but also our slim majority in the congress. There won't be any hard feelings from Hillary or Obama, they're both grown-ups and know how the game is played. They are also good Democrats and are too respectful to risk destroying the party for their own hubris.

    Neither will accept the VP slot.

    'I don't want any commies in my car. Christians either!' Repo Man

    by Psychotronicman on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:20:22 PM PST

  •  I got a stunning vitriolic email from my mother.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brainwave, leftneck

    ...about both her and my father's support for HRC.

    It's pretty shocking the level of Obama-hate I was reading in that one. Still not sure about it, hoping it was heat of the moment.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:21:54 PM PST

    •  Find out and let us know (4+ / 0-)

      I know that although voting for Obama, I hold great warmth for the Clintons.  I also do not think for a minute that Hillary would let Bill upstage or control her once elected.  How much does he get into her Senate position now?  

      In God we trust. All else bring data.--and I am an athiest

      by crazyshirley2100 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:26:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Emotions are running high... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DMiller

      ...it'll pass. If Obama wins the nom Hillary will immendiately go to work for him mending the bridges that inevitably get burned during the primaries. And, hopefully so will Obama.

      (Michelle's statement was hair-raising to the Democratic faithful. Taking his ball and going home means his career as a Democrat is over. He'll be drummed out of the senate for the betrayal.)

      'I don't want any commies in my car. Christians either!' Repo Man

      by Psychotronicman on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:28:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not over it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bill O Rights, Psychotronicman

        I've got to tell you.  I've been about equal between them throughout and that statement just about did me in.

        •  Oddly enough I didn't think that... (0+ / 0-)

          ...anything Michelle Obama would say during the campaign would have any impact. But, that may have been the biggest mistake of the Obama run so far. It certainly hardened many Hillary supporters resolve to win.

          I'm not over it either.

          'I don't want any commies in my car. Christians either!' Repo Man

          by Psychotronicman on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:37:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Michellle's husband said as much... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Psychotronicman
            when he threatened that Hillary would not get some of his voters.

            This blog is friggin skewed and not representative of the 50/50 actual vote nationwide count. When you realize Hillary's votes were in states that a Dem candidate can win, Obama looks weak.

            •  Yep, because more indies... (0+ / 0-)

              ...go to McCain if it's her VS. Clinton that Obama.

              That's not taking your ball and going home that's just the facts. I wouldn't work on the Clinton campaign EITHER. Though I'd vote.

              I'd work on the Congressional Dem campaigns. Because they'll need it with an anchor at the top of the ticket.

              There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

              by MNPundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:31:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Ever pull a trailer full of molasses? (8+ / 0-)

    It will pull fine unless you get it about 10% off balance going around a corner. Then it's going all the way over.

    I don't care how tenacious the Clintons are, if Obama is 10% to 15% ahead at the end of April (and he will be) then most of the superdelegates are all going to come over in the interest of party unity.

    Obama doesn't need to 'clinch' this thing. He knows it and the Clintons know it.

    Obama's not worried about any of this math right now and neither should any of us be.

    Just keep donating and keep winning. The sky is not falling. There will be no brokered convention. We'll have our nominee by June. It will be Obama.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:28:53 PM PST

    •  agreed, (0+ / 0-)

      with this caveat: this will be Clinton II's last shot at the White House. Would she be stubborn and reckless and selfish enough to fight tooth and claw to snatch away a "victory," by any means necessary--meaning, first, superpressure on superdelegates, and then, seating of the Florida and Michigan "delegates"?

      •  No. She knows where it has to end. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueness, haruki, Psychotronicman

        And it's no where near the 'clinch' number everyone is throwing around.

        She's a good human being and she'll protect her legacy as supporting the Democratic Party and working Americans.

        That's no reason to slack up! We still gotta get that 10% to 15% and keep it until the end of April!

        Michigan and Florida will be seated just like they are, because after the superdelegate slosh, they won't make any difference in the outcome. Obama himself will request they be seated.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:51:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  dern, (0+ / 0-)

          I'd like to be as confident as you! I just remember 1972, and the lengths to which Hubert Humphrey was willing to go to deny the nomination to McGovern. You think Clinton II is more of "a good human being" than he was?

          •  Yes. And beyond that she's smart. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueness, haruki

            People are getting WAY ahead of themselves worrying about a brokered convention. I would be if I thought Obama's momentum had been halted. It hasn't.

            Everything is working in his favor now. Time (very big). And Money.

            Forget about Michigan and Florida and the stupid 'clinch' number. Obama isn't thinking about them, for good reason.

            It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

            by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:59:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I actually think the superdelegate slosh (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueness

            will begin soon. As soon as we come through this weekend and then Tuesday well ahead... and then once Obama's poll numbers start rising in Texas (they will), you'll see superdelegates coming over at an increasing rate.

            Wouldn't surprise me if Obama and Clinton were nearly even in superdelagates a few days before Texas and Ohio.

            When Dean talks about "doing things", he's talking about his influence upon superdelegates (where he has plenty).

            It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

            by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:16:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I've been hard on hillary (0+ / 0-)

          But I truly hope you are right.. I don't have anywhere near the faith in her character than you do.

          But seriously.. I truly hope you are right

  •  as a HRC supporter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Psychotronicman

    I favor some kind of do over in Fl and MI--but those states won't change the math.

    The only solution is a unity ticket with Obama as VEEP--setting us up for 16 years of leadership.

    •  *sigh (0+ / 0-)

      If only that were possible but I just don't see it. Neither candidate would really benefit from the position.

      I do know this: If there was a Hillary/Obama ticket the ones not coming out to vote would be the Republicans. They know it would be unbeatable and the contributions for McCain would dry up instantly.

      'I don't want any commies in my car. Christians either!' Repo Man

      by Psychotronicman on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:34:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama will be well ahead after Tuesday (0+ / 0-)

      and superdelegates will start spilling over. Why do you think he'd accept VP?

      Because he's winning?

      Please try to make sense.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:48:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This Paragraph In Your Diary Is Completely Wrong: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrMicro

    1,100 out of 1,400 means one candidate needs to win nearly 80% of all pledged delegates yet to be awarded to clinch it. As Chris points out, Obama will need a hundred more to overcome Clinton's lead in super delegates - meaning he'll need something like 86% of all delegates yet to be pledged. Unlike Kane and others] I won't say that's impossible - but it's, uhm, not bloody likely...

    Kane's math takes into account all of the super delegates, even the ones that have pledged already.  My comment title is hyperbole; it is not all wrong, just the part about 86%.  He only needs 80% to overcome the total of all of the super delegates, not just the ones who have already pledged to vote for Clinton, but 80% wins it even if the super delegates already promising to vote for Obama change their minds and vote for Clinton.  Look at the numbers again and think about it, then maybe edit the diary.

    Real change in America - real change in Washington - will never occur if all we do is replace their insiders with our insiders.

    by jerseycorn on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:31:23 PM PST

    •  Don't think so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Psychotronicman

      Kane is talking about 1,400 remaining (to be) pledged delegates, not total delegates.

      That means there are now only about 1,400 delegates left up for grabs in the remaining states and territories voting.

      So, do the math. If they both have about 900 pledged delegates so far, they need to win more than 1,100 of the remaining 1,400 delegates to win the nomination through actual voting.

      1,100 of 1,400 - that's 80% of the delegates still to be awarded.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:37:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh wait, I think I understand your point now (0+ / 0-)

      But I still don't agree ;-) Bowers is saying Obama needs 100 extra pledged to overcome Clinton's advantage in supers. Of course that's assuming that Obama either won't be raking in super delegates the way Clinton does or won't be able to rely on them coming through for him in the end.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:12:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Regardless (0+ / 0-)

        As you indicate yourself in your first reply (despite the title of the comment), 80% is the correct number, not 86% which is the number given in the paragraph I pasted from the diary.

        Real change in America - real change in Washington - will never occur if all we do is replace their insiders with our insiders.

        by jerseycorn on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:18:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What pisses me off (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SlowNomad, ryan t

    Is when Superdelegate Bill Clinton whines about how un-democratic something is, but doesn't whine about how un-democratic it is that his vote counts for over 10,000 times my primary vote, because that helps his wife.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:36:02 PM PST

  •  Superdelegate count left (0+ / 0-)

    If the 2008 Convention Watch website is correct and I counted right, there are:

    91 US Representative,
    29 US Senator, and
    12 Governor Super delegates left, plus Gore and Carter.

    That's 134 super delegates.  We then have the 76 unpledged superdeleagetes elected by the state conventions which elect delegates to the democratic convention.  that leaves something like 200 to 250 DNC superdelegates left, and the lions share of those are STATE DNC members, ie the people who got Howard Dean elected as DNC chair.  Are those really people who could really be considered "insiders" or not?

    I'm not sure Clinton being the supposedly insider candidate (something which I think can be quite disputed at this point) necessarily means superdelegates will fall her way.

  •  MI and FL are a red herring (0+ / 0-)

    Let's say someone pulls in 60% of the vote in each state.  It's still only a net gain of about 68 delegates (back of the envelope, but the actual delegate count won't be that much different - if anything, the differential will probably be less).  That's not going to be enough to make a difference.  Like it or not, the supers will decide this thing.  Obama's only hope is to continue to win primaries and shame the supers into voting for him.

    The party has other reasons for letting MI and FL back into the game.  I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with those reasons.  Just don't expect them to eliminate a brokered convention.

    I cry for those orphaned by Hillary's mistakes.

    by DelRPCV on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:46:35 PM PST

    •  Sorry, sticking to my math (0+ / 0-)

      65% is a lot more doable than 80%, anyway you slice it. It's still a very tall order though.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:06:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've got a problem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brainwave

    I'm a florida resident and longtime independent. Shortly after new years I tried to change my voters registration in order to support Obama in the beauty contest. But I was informed no changes were permitted after the end of december. Since Florida has a closed primary I was left out.

    If they're going to allow a change of rules, and if there's to be a do-over, and if it's really going to count, I want independents to be permitted to participate!

    What are the chances all parties agree to allow every Floridian who wants to have a say to be heard?

    "Be you ever so high, the law is above you." - Thomas Fuller

    by Heimyankel on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:48:58 PM PST

    •  Well the first question is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heimyankel

      what are the chances of the state of Florida agreeing to holding caucuses? I didn't get to talk about this but I don't think even Michigan (which still has a Democratic governor) is eager to this. Taxpayer money, answering to Republican constituents, and all that.

      It could be a historic opportunity though - if the state Democratic parties were to run the caucuses themselves (I happen to believe that the parties should run their contests). But the chances of the FL Democratic party being interested are apparently not great either. And anyway that probably wouldn't help you as an Indy.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:03:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's possible (0+ / 0-)

      The Florida officials are open to the idea but they need 10 million to pay for it.  The outcome from a caucus will be very different.  I don't see the older vote having as much of an impact. It takes much more effort to go to a caucus.  Plus, some of the districts are ridiculous and some people will have to drive long distances.

      Anything can happen.

  •  How about this settlement? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brainwave

    Clinton agrees to serve a single term as President until 2012 when she'll turn 65. Obama will then run for  President in 2012 (he'll be 51), and can serve 2 terms.

    Clintons can pitch it as an economic repair job, clearing way for Obama in 2012. The thing is 2012 can either represent the birth of a new world or the apocalypse depending on which prophecy you believe.

    I'm mad as Gravel, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

    by ceti on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:57:37 PM PST

  •  A coin-flip would be better than a brokered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ryan t

    convention.
    This "super delegate" shit is for the birds. If it were up to me, I would disqualify all of the super delegates, then get a new "magic number" from whatever would be the majority of "regular" delegates. Whoever reaches the majority of "regular" delegates is the nominee. If it's a tie, flip a goddamn coin. Anything but letting the "super delegates"(party insiders) decide who will be our nominee.

  •  Here's one way to resolve this... (0+ / 0-)

    Michigan holds a caucus.

    Florida gets 1/2 its delegates seated, based on the results of its primary.

    Superdelegates are required to vote for any candidate that receives an outright majority of pledged delegates.

    Note: Edwards has 33 pledged delegates counting 1/2 his Florida delegates, so this scenario would create a little bit of a "buffer zone" for either candidate.

    The clinching number would then be 1785 out of 3569 pledged delegates (now counting Michigan and 1/2 of Florida in this denominator).  The way that the math works out, that means a candidate would have to win 50.5% of the non-Edwards pledged delegates.  

    Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

    by poblano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:36:54 PM PST

    •  an absurd and impractical solution (0+ / 0-)

      never-ever happen.

      i'd rather see the two candidates play rock, paper, scissors--best 4 out of 7.

      Nothing beats rock--right?

      •  Because ... you're a Hillary supporter? (0+ / 0-)

        How is this unfair?  Hillary gains a 19-delegate advantage in Florida from an election that was unsanctioned.  We have a real contest in Michigan.  And frankly, that 33-vote buffer zone is about the point at which superdelegates would begin to defect to Obama anyway.  

        Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

        by poblano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:54:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  change the rules now--why exactly? (0+ / 0-)

          Do think the democratic party fell out of the sky for the express purpose of helping Obama get the nomination.

          The man chose to run an insurgent campaign, which meant he had to win big--he knew it going in.  Like Bill Clinton did in '92--remember that--or were you in diapers?

          Why shouldn't the people who work the hardest to build the party and are the most informed have a say in who could very well be leading them for the next 8 years.

          As opposed to a bunch of schlubs some of  whom probably voted for George Bush at least once.

          •  You really dont get it (0+ / 0-)

            The people who have been building the democratic party ARE voting for obama...

            The superdelegates can not override a pledged majority from obama.. (or clinton for that matter.. but espeically for obama).. it's total suicide.. a nuclear option.. it guarantees a loss in the fall

            •  that is nonsense (0+ / 0-)

              most of them are newbys--former republicans even.

              Earlier in the week, the Obama Fan Base was bragging on that 12yo precinct captain in Colorado--maybe you think he should have as much power and influence as somebody like Dick Gephardt--who is a superdelegate for HRC.

              That is insanity!

              Get your majority first and it better be a big one!!
              Than we can talk!

              Why shouldn't the people who work the hardest to build the party and are the most informed have a say in who could very well be leading them for the next 8 years?

          •  Schlubs = voters? Seriously, go to hell. (0+ / 0-)

            And if you're scoring at home, if Hillary wins the nomination in spite of losing in the pledged delegate category by more than 33 ... she will not get my vote and she will in all probability not win the presidency.  

            Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

            by poblano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:06:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  but... (0+ / 0-)

    a bunch of the superdelegates determine their vote by how their state turns out... and will decide before the convention... so it still isn't necessarily that it'll all happen at the convention.

  •  who here has been to a national convention? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Moresby, doinaheckuvanutjob

    raise your hand!

    Hmm nobody--that figures!!

    The superdels are a necessary evil--half the people there are newbys--and need experienced hands to show them around.  Things have be done and issues have to be decided--that won't get done without them.

    Hillarys advantage with the supers was a known factor with Obama going in.  That is the nature of an insurgent campaign you have to win big.  Changing the rules now is just as wrong as changing the rules in Fl and Mi.

    The Obama Fan Base has got to stop their damn whining about this.  My personal prediction is that supers won't decide this thing anyway.

  •  My guess is ... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama drops out of the race if he doesn't win both OH and TX.  I don't think he will.  

    But that's really what the race will come down to.

    Disagree, flame me, but that's what's gonna happen.

    I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking. -- FDR

    by Moresby on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:19:22 AM PST

  •  Just elminate the Super Delegates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy Scriven

    or make them support the person with the most pledged delegates.

    1964 Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston, 1997 Masters Tiger Woods vs Field, 2008 Barack Obama vs Field

    by ZenMaster Coltrane on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:42:51 AM PST

    •  As long as you are willing to change the rules (0+ / 0-)

      in mid-stream, that is okay, if you also include Michigan and Florida AS ALREADY VOTED.  Or are you only willing to change the rules if it helps Obama?

      If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

      by dhonig on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 04:18:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama leads the pledged delegate count (0+ / 0-)

    Most superdelegates have not endorsed anyone.

    Those who have endorsed may change their mind.

    And then there is FL, MI and the Edwards delegates.

    Noone knows what will happen to those.

  •  Gore/Obama ticket. Hillary on the Supreme Court. (0+ / 0-)

    Just checking... how many of you would be good with such a compromise?

  •  Doomsday is not going to happen. (0+ / 0-)

    First, Dean came out to prevent a brokered convention and all the rest of this nonsense.

    Do you think for a second that Kennedy and all the rest of the 'party elders' would tolerate a brokered convention? Heck no. Dean was fully backed on this, I have no doubt. And he will have Obama and Hillary on board for it.

    Someone is going to win this fair and square, by winning enough primaries and leading in delegates at the end. Superdelegates won't decide it, nor will Michigan and Florida.

    If they are tied without the necessary majority, a unity ticket is inevitable, or a unity platform on which one or the other will run and be endorsed by the other. And that will be fair to all parties.

    Now I've seen everything-- the threat of a brokered convention or a unity ticket as an organizing tool. Well, if that motivates you, go for it, you have my blessings.

    Factual reality soundcheck over.
    Please resume your organizing and enjoy it.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:00:24 AM PST

  •  If Obama won a solid majority of the pledged (0+ / 0-)

    Delegates ( say 55%+) the superdelegates would have no choice but to go for Obama or lose the general election, the whole process would look farcical otherwise. With that in mind I think that there may be a convention withotu a majority made up entirely of pledged but that it won't be a major disaster so long as Obama wins a solid majority. Failure to win a majority through pledged delegates alone does not equal a brokered convention.

    Keep in mind that the vast majority of superdelegates have made no move in either direction and that Clinton superdelegates can always change their minds.

    Cthulhu 08, why vote for a lesser evil? Economic -6.12 Social -7.23

    by Timothy Scriven on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:18:03 AM PST

  •  So your solution (0+ / 0-)

    is to replace a democratic primary in Florida with all the candidates on the ballot with a grossly UNdemocratic caucus, because it favors Obama?  So as far as I can tell, you are perfectly willing to "change the rules in the middle of the game," or as so many here have put it, "play Calvinball," as long as it favors Obama?  Fuck that.

    All the candidates were on the Florida ballot.  Nobody campaigned in Florida (and before you start bitching, look up how "campaign" is defined in the agreement, look at Obamas national ad buy, and his own violation of the agreement last September).  Additionally, as so many Obama supporters have pointed out in response to Hillarys request for a debate, there were NINETEEN debates before the Florida primary, so the voters (just as you are all arguing now) had more than enough information to make up their own minds.

    If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

    by dhonig on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 04:22:08 AM PST

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