Obama Floats Punishment for Florida: Cut Delegation in Half

Now that Barack Obama is officially the pre-presumptive Democratic nominee, he’s going to have to decide what to do about “punishing” Florida and Michigan for moving their primaries too close to the sacred lead spots held by Iowa and New Hampshire.
Obama should undo what mean Dr. Dean threatened to do and seat the entire delegations.
In Florida yesterday, he floated this idea:

Delving deeper into Florida’s Democratic delegate debacle than he ever has to date, Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday that “a very reasonable solution” would be to count Florida’s disputed primary votes and cut the state’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 “average Floridians” about this issue:

The Illinois senator, just shy of securing the nomination, stressed that he intends to win Florida and doubted the controversy over Florida’s primary would cause any serious damage to his prospects.

“I don’t think that the average Floridian is spending all their time thinking about this,” he said, as his campaign bus cruised from Tampa to Kissimmee.

“I think what they’re thinking about is $4-per-gallon gas. I think what they’re thinking about is ‘my health care premiums have gone up 25 percent and my deductibles have gone up and I’m trying to hang on to the health care that I’ve got.”’

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.

One comment

  • May 22, 2008 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    That’s what the Republicans, quite sensibly, did — took away half their Florida delegates. What Republicans did not do, and Dr. Dean did, was bar candidates from campaigning in the state before the primary. I don’t see how to un-do that now.

    I stopped caring what happens to the Florida delegates a long time ago. I was just glad we didn’t hold a second election.

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