Two states which have held essentially meaningless events may yet have a say in the selection of the Democratic nominee for President (see related story). The Democratic National Committee has steadfastly stuck to its guns and refused to seat convention delegates from Michigan and Florida, the two states that jumped the gun on the party-approved open season for presidential primary events. Now, the DNC is offering an olive branch which may make room for the early birds after all, possibly opening up two more battlegrounds for the candidates still standing.
Ironically, if either had agreed to abide by party rules, they’d have a great deal to say about the results. However, there has long been simmering resentment of the inordinate effect on the process enjoyed by Iowa and New Hampshire. And this time around, there was a strong fear that the matter would be decided by 2/5/08, a fear that has largely come true on the Republican side. For the Republicans, states which have not yet held a primary event will largely be reduced to rubber-stamping the presumptive nomination of John McCain (R-AZ) or sending in a few delegates with a philosophical message by assigning them to Mike Huckabee (R-AR) or Ron Paul (R-TX).
The idea being floated by the DNC, according to the Associated Press, is to give Michigan and Florida the opportunity to hold caucuses of registered Democrats, allowing for full and fair competition between Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) and allowing full representation to the two states at the convention. Both will be important to Democrats in November.
RBR/TVBR observation: There are many hurdles to the proposal, not the least of which would be the possible objections of the Clinton campaign, which has an edge in the uncontested races held in each. And a competitive contest may not happen until the convention is convened in Denver — which would deny in-state media outlets a chance to partake of the media windfall which might accompany a contest staged within the next month or two.