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Hillary Gets Ruled and Bylawed

The Huffington Post 

Hillary Gets Ruled and Bylawed

Thomas B. Edsall   |   May 31, 2008 08:48 PM

The Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee decision on Saturday to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations to the Democratic conventions with their voting strength cut in half is a major boost for Barack Obama, and a clear signal that the long and bitter fight for the nomination is on the verge of ending.

With the deck stacked against them, the Clinton forces may have had no choice but to abandon their demand that every Michigan and Florida delegate be seated with a full vote for each. In making the concession, the New York Senator not only settled for a net gain of just 26.5 delegate votes instead of 56, but gave up a crucial issue to take to the August convention in Denver.

“The Clinton campaign lost their biggest rationale for staying in the race,” said California-based Democratic consultant Bill Carrick. “Any potential for Senator Clinton to pick up a large block of delegates is gone and the superdelegates will likely move to Senator Obama and end the race.”

Jim Jordan, who managed John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid during its preliminary stages, was more explicit. “Even the Clinton folks acknowledged that this was their last gasp. So that’s it. Time to turn to what matters, winning in November. And it’s time for Senator Clinton herself to start salving the party’s wounds.”

Officially, the Clinton campaign declared that it was not giving up its right to appeal the decision of the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) to the full convention over a relatively minor issue – four Michigan delegates given to Obama — but, by accepting the resolution of the Florida seating issue without dissent, the campaign lost its strongest case.

Obama emerged from the RBC proceedings with a grand total of 2,052 delegates, just 66 short of the 2,118 required to win the nomination. Clinton has 1,877.5 delegates, 240.5 short of the number needed to win.

There are still three primaries to go — in Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Montana. Polling shows Clinton holding a double digit lead in Puerto Rico, while Obama holds a comparable lead in South Dakota and Montana. The three jurisdictions will send a total of 111 delegates to the convention, so that it is possible Obama could reach the magic 2,118 by the end of the day Tuesday, but he is likely to also need additional support from superdelegates who are free to make their own choice of a candidate.  Link to the Huffington Post complete story>>>

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