The Compromise Myth

When it comes to seating Florida’s delegation, the DNC keeps sayingit’s going to come to a compromise that’s acceptable to both campaigns. “We allagree that whatever the solution, it must have the support of both campaigns,”said Howard Dean and Florida Democratic Chairwoman Karen Thurman in a jointstatement today. But is there really a scenario on which both campaigns aregoing to agree?

I doubt it. The campaigns’ stances are simple. Everyone saysthey want the delegations to be seated. But no one agrees on what thatmeans—how many delegates each candidate will get, whether to seat superdelegatesbut not pledged delegates , or whether to treat Florida and Michigan equally. (Obama’s absence from the Michigan ballot complicates things.) From Obama’s perspective, he won’t accept any scenario in which theFlorida and Michigan delegations affect the race.Likewise, the Clintoncampaign won’t accept any scenario in which they don’t. That means the only waythey’ll come to a mutually acceptable compromise is if Obama’s delegate lead iswide enough that seating the Florida and Michigan delegationswon’t help Hillary catch up. In other words, if Obama has his way, thedelegations will only get seated as long as they don’t matter. But then thatwould tick Hillary off, taking the negotiations back to square one.

The DNC seems to think it can find a solution without takingsides. I’m still not sure that’s possible. No one said Howard Dean’s job waseasy .