FL and MI can’t be seated, game over for Hillary?

Maybe the question is, is it now really over for Clinton? It might be said that Hillary Clinton’s last, best chance was to fully seat Michigan and Florida at the convention and restore their delegates. Even then, Obama would still have the lead in pledged delegates. However, it would have given her a reason to argue for the nomination considering she has won some major states in this contest.

Word today is that lawyers working on behalf of the Democratic Party say that Michigan and Florida cannot be fully restored, story from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.

Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party’s legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is “as far as it legally can” go.

Saturday’s meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, with Clinton supporters among those encouraging a protest outside demanding that all the states’ delegates be seated. Proponents of full reseating have mailed committee members Florida oranges and pairs of shoes to get their attention.

DNC officials are concerned about a potentially large turnout at the “Count Every Vote” rally outside the event and have asked the hotel staff to increase security to keep everyone safe. The DNC says the roughly 500 seats available to the public inside were taken within three or four minutes of becoming available online Tuesday.

The DNC analysis does not make recommendations for how the Rules and Bylaws Committee should vote, but gives context from the party’s charter and bylaws for the committee to consider.

The analysis said there are two options to include half the delegations — either allow half the number of delegates from each state into the convention or allow the full delegations to attend, but give them each half a vote. “The rule does not actually specify whether the reduction is to be accomplished on the basis of delegate positions or delegate votes,” the analysis said, giving committee members some justification for sending the entire delegations with half-votes as some leaders in the states want.

The analysis also underscores a prickly problem: If the Rules and Bylaws Committee decides to restore any of the states’ delegates, there is not a simple way to divide them between Clinton and Barack Obama.

That’s especially true in Michigan, where Obama had his name pulled from the ballot. He didn’t have the option of removing his name in Florida, but all the candidates signed a pledge not to campaign in either state.

Clinton won the majority of the vote in Florida and Michigan and has been arguing that the delegates should be fully restored according to the results of the January primaries. But even if they were, it would not be enough for her to overtake Obama’s delegate lead.

As it becomes clear that Obama likely will win the nomination, he has been working to win over voters in the two states with visits in recent days. He plans to return to Michigan on Monday.

The DNC staff analysis argues that the Rules and Bylaws Committee was fully within its rights to strip all 368 delegates from the two states when they scheduled primaries in January. Party rules said their nominating contests could be no earlier than Feb. 5. Michigan voted on Jan. 15, Florida on Jan. 29.

Sounds like a small portion of the delegates, maybe half, will eventually be restored to give each state a seat at the convention. This won’t help Clinton’s cause toward the nomination and I’m betting this is the final nail in her coffin this election season. The Democratic Party has now chosen to begin rallying around Obama.

Here’s a video report on this situation from the Associated Press:

If the Obama and Clinton campaign are close to an agreement, that means there will be compromise and the half delegate seating is probably likely considering neither campaign wants to entirely alienate Florida and Michigan voters.

Sound off below, does this matter and is this Hillary Clinton’s exit in June?