Rich Lowry

A committee of the DNC is meeting to consider what to do with the two states this weekend and will probably come up with a compromise to partially seat the delegations. There's still the embarrassment that if the votes from Florida and Michigan (where Obama pulled his name from the ballot and technically received no votes) are counted in popular-vote totals, Hillary very narrowly has more votes than Obama. He's probably going to get the nomination through superdelegates defying the popular will as measured by that old-fashioned yardstick of votes.

The metric the superdelegates are using is who won the most pledged delegates (Obama leads by roughly 150). This is entirely reasonable, given that pledged delegates were the prize both candidates were competing for. But the Democratic delegate-allocation rules can make the Electoral College that Democrats maligned back in 2000 look robustly representative by comparison.

Obama won more net delegates from Idaho (12) in winning the state by 13,000 votes out of 20,000 cast than Clinton netted from New Jersey (11) in winning the state by more than 100,000 votes out of 1 million votes cast. Obama dominated in small caucus states -- where a tiny percentage of tiny electorates participated -- and through strange wrinkles in the rules won more delegates in states like New Hampshire and Nevada where Clinton notionally won.

But if Clinton hopes to be the Al Gore of the 2008 nomination process, the loser lionized by the great and good as standing for thwarted democracy, she can forget it. 2000 was a long time ago.


Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
 
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