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A Sensible Decision re Florida & Michigan

Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get half-votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Party officials agreed Saturday to seat Michigan and Florida delegates with half-votes, ruling on a long-running dispute that has threatened the party’s chances in November and maintaining Barack Obama’s front-runner status as he moves closer to the nomination.

The decision was a blow to Hillary Rodham Clinton as she was on the verge of watching Obama make history as the first black Democratic presidential nominee. It prompted an irate reaction from boisterous Clinton supporters in the audience and her chief delegate counter, Harold Ickes.

Ickes angrily informed the party’s Rules Committee that Clinton had instructed him to reserve her right to appeal the matter to the Democrats’ credentials committee, which could potentially drag the matter to the party’s convention in August.

“There’s been a lot of talk about party unity — let’s all come together, and put our arms around each other,” said Ickes, who is also a member of the Rules Committee that approved the deal. “I submit to you ladies and gentlemen, hijacking four delegates … is not a good way to start down the path of party unity.”

The resolution increased the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination to 2,118, leaving Obama 66 delegates short but still within striking distance after the three final primaries are held in the next three days.  Link to complete AP Story>>

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