Obama Floats Florida Compromise
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Now that Barack Obama is officially the pre-presumptive Democratic nominee, heâ€™s going to have to decide what to do about â€œpunishingâ€ Florida and Michigan for moving their primaries too close to the sacred lead spots held by Iowa and New Hampshire.
In Florida yesterday, he floated this idea:
Delving deeper into Floridaâ€™s Democratic delegate debacle than he ever has to date, Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday that â€œa very reasonable solutionâ€ would be to count Floridaâ€™s disputed primary votes and cut the stateâ€™s delegation to the convention in half.
That may be a bit too Solomonic. Cutting the baby in half risks making everybody involved half unhappy. Obama has misjudged the mood among â€œaverage Floridiansâ€ about this issue:
The Illinois senator, just shy of securing the nomination, stressed that he intends to win Florida and doubted the controversy over Floridaâ€™s primary would cause any serious damage to his prospects.
â€œI donâ€™t think that the average Floridian is spending all their time thinking about this,â€ he said, as his campaign bus cruised from Tampa to Kissimmee.
â€œI think what theyâ€™re thinking about is $4-per-gallon gas. I think what theyâ€™re thinking about is â€˜my health care premiums have gone up 25 percent and my deductibles have gone up and Iâ€™m trying to hang on to the health care that Iâ€™ve got.â€â€™
We are going to need all the happy Democrats in Florida we can muster in November. Since Obama will win the delegate count even if Clinton gets her larger shares in Florida and Michigan, he should countermand mean Dr. Dean and seat both delegations.