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Obama vs. Clinton: Who won the Democrats
The Democrats
 

W

hat happened
The Democrats' rules committee reached a compromise to seat all of the contested Florida and Michigan convention delegates, but with only half a vote each. A compromise on Michigan—where Obama's name wasn't on the ballot—split the delegates, 69 to Hillary Clinton, 59 to Barack Obama, based on results from the primary—and pre-election polls. Clinton said she might challenge the ruling. (USA Today) After Clinton’s lopsided win in Puerto Rico Sunday, Obama is less than 50 delegates shy of the 2,118 needed to secure the nomination. (Bloomberg)

What the commentators said
The DNC rules committee meeting “was never really about Obama vs. Clinton,” said Walter Shapiro in Salon. It was set up to “paper over” the disputes surrounding the unsanctioned Florida and Michigan primaries. The Florida resolution was “comparatively easy,” and the Michigan settlement was “intellectually ungainly, but politically astute.” If there was any winner, “it was probably the Democratic Party.”

The DNC’s “food fight and disenfranchisement festival” was good for the party? said Jeff Jarvis in the blog Buzz Machine. The “chaos and vitriol” at the rules fight seem instead to prove that the Democrats are well on track to “blow an election” that should be “an easy victory.” And the “arbitrary" allotment of Michigan delegates makes a joke of the party’s “oft-voiced commitment to voting rights.”

If the Michigan apportionment was arbitrary, said John Cole the blog Balloon Juice, it’s because the state’s “election did not count.” All the candidates, including Clinton, agreed to that beforehand. So her campaign’s new argument that her Michigan electors were “stolen” or “hijacked” is “outrageous.” The DNC didn’t rob Clinton of four Michigan delegates, it stopped her “attempt to steal dozens” from Obama.

Clinton’s last best hope is convincing Obama superdelegates to defect, said Ben Smith in Politico. And her reminder that “superdelegates aren’t locked into their choices” is a “technically valid reason” for her to stay in the race, even if Obama locks up a majority of delegates this week, as seems “likely.” But valid or not, the “political reality” is that superdelegates tend to flow “toward the winner.”

The whole rules fight “seems like much ado about nothing,” really, said Michael Crowley in The New Republic’s The Stump blog. This “DNC feud” was never about the “measly four extra delegates” Obama got in Michigan, but about Clinton leaving the race “on her own terms, with the greatest possible aura of strength and potency,” as she prepares for “the next act.”
 

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