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Florida Won't Count For the Dems...Another Trap Door Closes For Clinton

Well, Hillary now has one less punch to pull in this race...

Today the Florida Democratic Party decided there will be no more primary voting in the state, and that its 210 Democratic delegates will not be allowed to count. This is not good for Hillary, but good--or at least neutral--for Obama. Above all, I think it's the right decision, and I hope for the same result in Michigan.

As far as I understand it, Florida and Michigan thumbed their noses at the Democratic Party and decided to hold their primaries before Super Tuesday. Thus, they forfeited their right to count in the Democratic nomination race. There was a movement to have this undone in Florida and, as far as I know, in Michigan, too. Certain groups were trying to force some new scenario where there would either be a new vote, or where all of the currently cast votes would be counted (Florida Democratic voters voted on primary day, but Obama's name was not on the ballot).

Hillary was in favor of the latter scenario, in which the state would simply flip some kind of light switch and all of the Florida votes would count. This obviously benefited her because Obama did not even hold fund-raisers in Florida and did not even put his name on the ballot, which by the way was in accordance with the rules. Hillary held some fund-raisers and her name appeared on the ballot, thus some people voted for her. In the "light switch" scenario, Hillary would have benefited by gaining more delegates. Obama would have gotten nothing and, depending on what happens in Pennsylvania and a few other states, this situation could have helped put Hillary past him.

Hillary was not in favor of the "new vote" scenario, in which a re-vote would have been cast some time in June, and funded by private money. I find it interesting that Obama's attitude toward the re-vote was basically "Bring it on." He knew that even if he didn't win the state, the race would have been close and he would have taken a few delegates from Hillary and held on to his delegate lead.

It's a moot point now, and I have to say I'm glad they didn't basically call a "do-over" and let Florida count. Florida made the choice to move up its primaries, for whatever reasons, knowing full-well the Democratic Party would strip away its delegates...even the Republicans stripped away half of their delegates, or something.

In a race this close, with the stakes so high, people can't just start crossing out lines in the rule book and penciling in new ones. It doesn't work like that...or at least, it shouldn't. It's not the Bush administration we're talking about here...

If all of the factions concerned could have come up with an acceptable solution, then maybe they could have done it...but in reality there was no way they could have re-instated Florida without seriously pissing some people off, so somebody, thankfully, gave the final word: No.

It's a victory for common sense and for the notion of actually "playing by the rules."

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