Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Fight for...Pledged Delegates?

With each passing day, something new enters the fray in the Democratic nomination race. First it was the race going past Super Tuesday without a presumptive nominee. Then the talk of a brokered convention grew to a fevered pitch (Sure the idea had been out there, but before the Super Tuesday split, no one quite wanted to take it seriously.). The protracted race for each and every delegate then ushered superdelegates into the view as the potentially decisive group. With that came questions of the fairness of having party elites possibly swing the nomination against what the will of the people was in the delegate selection events.

Now though, comes the big kahuna (Yes, Hawaii Democrats are holding their caucuses today, so I thought I'd give them a nod.). Politico is reporting that the Clinton camp has a strategy in place to go after Obama's PLEDGED delegates if she needs them to secure the Democratic nomination (There's no doubt that the Obama camp would follow suit.). Now of all the doomsday scenarios that have surfaced on the Democratic side, this chaotic free-for-all would take the cake. All four thousand plus delegates at stake in a grander scale version of what we witnessed in the televised Iowa caucuses on January 3. Yeah, remember the one woman backing Richardson in the CSPAN-covered Democratic caucus who made you want to vote for anyone else, even if it meant Mike Gravel. Well, that was in a room with around three hundred people. What we're talking about here is four thousand people plus the Clinton and Obama campaigns trying to decipher who the nominee for the party will be. That type of event may actually bring back wall-to-wall coverage of the convention this August in Denver.

I honestly thought that the campaigns may actually campaign in states where second round caucuses were being held before a drastic measure like this was considered.

Well, I've rattled enough cages with this one. I'll be back shortly to discuss what's on the line tonight in Wisconsin, Washington and Hawaii. If last week was convenient with a set of east coast contests, this week is far less hospitable. The action in Hawaii kicks off at midnight in the east and given how difficult the count in the GOP caucus was in Washington on February 9 (They're still stuck on 99.99% of precincts reporting ten days later.), I'm not optimistic that those numbers will surface very soon after polls close there.


Robert said...

According to CNN, both camps have pledged not to poach pledged delegates. Apparently someone in the Clinton camp said they were going after Obama delegates. An Obama spokesperson said that they would never do that. If there is widespread desertion before one of the two concedes, the "winner" will suffer.

Also, Wolf Blitzer has indicated that Michigan and Florida will probably hold caucuses to legitimze their delegates just like you indicated in an earlier post.

When do results from Wisconsin start coming in?

Josh Putnam said...

Not soon enough.

Josh Putnam said...

Yeah, this is the darkest of dark scenarios for the Democrats. Is it likely to happen? I don't know. Desperate times call for desperate measures I suppose.

I'm going to have to do some investigating on the Florida/Michigan caucus possibilities tomorrow.