Saturday, May 31, 2008

The End Is Near

"Fla., Mich. Delegates Each Get Half a Vote" (WaPo)
But it was the Michigan plan, approved by a 19 to 8 vote, that drew sharper opposition because of the way that state's delegates will be awarded. Under the plan, Clinton will be given 34.5 delegate votes in Denver to Obama's 29.5 delegate votes, a percentage distribution recommended by leaders of the Michigan Democratic Party but opposed by the Clinton campaign officials, who said it violates the results of Michigan's Jan. 15 primary.
"New Magic Number, 2118, Means Obama Needs Just 25 More Supers" (Al Giordano)
Today’s Rules and Bylaws Committee decisions mean that Obama has, in the bag, 2052 delegates, just 66 short of the 2118 needed at the convention.

Tomorrow in Puerto Rico he will pick up about 24 delegates. And on Tuesday in South Dakota and Montana he will pick up about 17, for a total of +41 more pledged delegates, bringing him to at least 2093 delegates, which means he needs only 25 superdelegates to clinch the nomination.

And for anyone that thinks this is going to the convention in any meaningful way, look at the pathetically small size of the pro-Clinton demonstrations outside the hotel in DC today. Tens of thousands had been promised. A few hundred showed up. Clinton’s convocatory power for those kinds of shenanigans is already done.

All these weeks of threats and tantrums have proved lame. And more evidence of that is coming in the next 72 hours.
"Obama used party rules to foil Clinton" (AP)
Unlike Hillary Rodham Clinton, rival Barack Obama planned for the long haul.

Clinton hinged her whole campaign on an early knockout blow on Super Tuesday, while Obama's staff researched congressional districts in states with primaries that were months away. What they found were opportunities to win delegates, even in states they would eventually lose.

Obama's campaign mastered some of the most arcane rules in politics, and then used them to foil a front-runner who seemed to have every advantage—money, fame and a husband who had essentially run the Democratic Party for eight years as president.
"DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee Reaches Agreement on Seating Florida and Michigan Delegations" (DNC)
"Today, after careful consideration and debate, the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee reached an agreement on the two challenges before the Committee on seating delegations from Florida and Michigan. The Committee voted to seat the full Florida delegation with a half-vote each. The RBC accepted the Michigan Leadership Plan as presented today by the Michigan Democratic Party with the exception that each delegate receives a half vote. In addition, the Committee agreed that delegates from both states should be slated under Rules 5, 6, 7, and 12, outlining the candidate's right of approval. With this decision, the revised total of delegate votes needed to secure the nomination is 2,118.
"No Road Map for Democrats as Race Ends" (NY Times)
Mrs. Clinton has kept her counsel about what she might do to draw her campaign to a close. But when the rules committee of the Democratic Party divided up delegates from Michigan and Florida on Saturday night, Harold Ickes, a committee member and Clinton adviser, said she was reserving the right to contest the decision into the summer.

Still, despite the fireworks, Mrs. Clinton’s associates said she seemed to have come to terms over the last week with the near certainty that she would not win the nomination, even as she continued to assert, with what one associate described as subdued resignation, that the Democrats are making a mistake in sending Mr. Obama up against Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Her associates said the most likely outcome was that she would end her bid with a speech, probably back home in New York, in which she would endorse Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton herself suggested on Friday that the contest would end sometime next week.

But that is not a certainty; Mr. Obama’s announcement on Saturday that he would leave his church was just another reminder of how events continue to unfold in the race.
"Obama Resigns From Trinity United Church" (Huffington Post)
The Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet has Obama's remarks at a press conference in South Dakota on his decision to resign from Trinity United Church Of Christ In Chicago:

"I have to say--this is one I did not see coming," said Obama. He said it has been months since he has been at the church, on Chicago's South Side. "I did not anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subjected to such...scrutiny.

Obama sent a letter to the church with his resignation on Sunday; Obama called the press conference after the letter leaked to veteran Chicago journalist Monroe Anderson, a contributor to Ebony and Jet. Otherwise, Obama said, he would have not made his resignation known at this time.

"My faith is not contingent on the particular church I belong to and I do not believe that I am going through a religious test," he said.

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