Her approval rating’s tanking, her lead in Pennsylvania is down to five(!) if Rasmussen’s to be believed, her own supporters are touting Obama as the next president, and the only movement in her direction seems to be anecdotally along the great divide. Portrait of an army in slow, steady retreat: She can still inflict plenty of casualties, but she can’t win. More evidence of that this morning from Politico:
If the fight over whether to count the results in Florida and Michigan makes it to the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton will not have enough pledged votes on the 169-member Credentials Committee to deliver a majority decision in her favor, according to an analysis conducted for Politico.
Her only hope of getting the key committee to vote out a “majority report” supporting her position rests on her ability to persuade an as-yet-undetermined number of the 25 members appointed to the committee by party Chairman Howard Dean to cast votes for her position.
The DNC’s Credentials Committee consists of 144 pledged members (Florida and Michigan are not included) plus the 25 party leaders and elected officials appointed by Dean. The 25 Dean appointees include a mix of Dean loyalists, Obama supporters and at least several individuals who have endorsed Clinton…
Clinton has, however, already won enough pledged members to meet the 20 percent threshold required to vote out a minority report, meaning that both Democratic candidates could have their positions voted on by all seated convention delegates.
By Politico’s count, the breakdown among the Committee stands at Obama 65, Hillary 56, with 23 committee members still to be decided by the remaining primaries plus those 25 “super” committee members appointed by Dean-o. Thanks to the Dems’ proportional system, Obama can’t win the 20 seats he’d need to clinch a majority unless he crushes her utterly the rest of the way, which he won’t.
So here’s what’s shaping up: A close Committee vote on whether to seat Florida and Michigan, probably to be decided by those “Dean loyalists” who’ll have to choose between disenfranchising the states by refusing to seat them or ratifying the bogus vote in Michigan where Obama wasn’t even on the ballot. Dean himself has taken the hardline “rules are rules” approach in all this and I suspect he’s more beholden to party bigwigs than to disgruntled DNC members from Florida and Michigan, so I’m guessing this bodes well from Obama and disenfranchisement. (Unless, of course, Obama’s lead in the popular vote is wide enough by the convention that he’ll still lead even if the two states are counted, in which case why not seat them?) That leaves Her Majesty with the nuclear option, as I understand it from the article: Force a vote among all the seated delegates to try to go over the Committee’s head and have the states seated anyway. Since Obama will have a majority of them too, what are the odds she’ll succeed? All they have to do is say “we respect the Committee’s decision” and vote their interests.
The golden scenario would be if the Committee did seat the two states and in doing so somehow gave Hillary a lead in the popular vote, leaving Obama with a tough choice. Does he then force a vote of all the seated delegates to try to unseat Florida and Michigan? If he does, think the GOP will be reminding voters of it come November? Exit question: If Hillary knows she doesn’t have the numbers on the Committee, is she going to the convention anyway? Just to look ’em in the eye and dare them to pull the trapdoor on her?
Update: Eye of the tiger, baby. Although at this point, she’s sort of like Apollo at the end of the fight with Drago.