Clinton's Finger On The Nuclear Trigger
Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday May 7, 2008
IT'S called the "nuclear option", and some say it would would rip the heart out of the Democrats and destroy all chance of their winning in November.As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wound up punishing campaign schedules before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, talk of the Clinton camp going nuclear emerged. The Huffington Post, a liberal website, reported that the Clintons are working on a strategy to take to the Democratic Party's 30-member rules and bylaws committee the issue of the Florida and Michigan delegates disbarred because those states moved their primaries forward in defiance of the national party. If the Clinton camp succeeds in seating these states at the national convention it will give Senator Clinton more elected delegates than Senator Obama. On Monday, Senator Obama pleaded with voters in Indianapolis to help him finish the gruelling contest and avoid a convention showdown. "I don't want this campaign to be about flag pins and sniper fire or a former pastor," he said. "I think we can do better."Senator Obama's big drawcard at his last Indiana campaign event at the American Legion Mall was Stevie Wonder. His campaign also announced another celebrity endorsement, from Tom Hanks.Wonder did just two songs before rain fell. And the forecast was that Senator Clinton would win Indiana - by a margin of about 6 percentage points.Senator Obama still looked to have a solid lead in North Carolina, but nothing like his 20-point margin of three weeks ago. If he wins by six points or less, Senator Clinton is likely to trumpet the result as a win. With one win apiece in the last two big states, the race would almost certainly continue until the end of the primary season on June 3, after which party officials would strongly urge the super-delegates to go public with their positions. And then there is the nuclear option. There are real problems with the strategy: first, Senator Clinton would need to persuade her loyalists on the rules committee to back the plan. Second, it would not look good if the nomination was in effect decided by just 30 people in a closed room.Third, Senator Obama would appeal to the credentials committee at the convention, setting the stage for one of the ugliest convention brawls in history.
© 2008 Sydney Morning Herald