Democrats hope to avoid bitter brokered convention

Thus the reason why people like Al Gore haven’t endorsed, because it may divide the party a bit.

Here’s the story on it from the New York Times:

Former Vice President Al Gore and a number of other senior Democrats plan to remain neutral for now in the presidential race in part to keep open the option to broker a peaceful resolution to what they fear could be a bitterly divided convention, party officials and aides said Friday.

Democratic Party officials said that in the past week Mr. Gore and other leading Democrats had held private talks as worry mounted that the close race between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton could be decided by a group of 795 party insiders known as superdelegates.

The signs that party elders are weighing whether and how to intervene reflects the extraordinary nature of the contest now and the concern among some Democrats that they not risk an internal battle that could harm the party in the general election.

But they also provided an early glimpse at the complex set of tradeoffs facing party leaders, from their desire to make their own influence felt to their worries about offending the candidates and particular constituencies — not to mention the long, sometimes troubled relationship between Mr. Gore and the Clintons.

What’s interesting here is that the Democratic Party is trying to avoid a scenario where the candidate is chosen by superdelegates. This hearkens back to the story I did couple days ago about the racial rift over the superdelegate demographics as well. If it comes down to the superdelegates choosing a nominee, there will be some turmoil over that and the party leaders know it.

What nobody has mentioned thus far is the possibility that, despite the conservative angst over McCain, should the Democratic nominee come down to a brokered convention, the GOP could be more united than the Democrats come November. That’s pure speculation of course but it’s interesting how things have developed in the past few days over the superdelegate issue.

More from the article:

The issues party leaders are grappling with, they said, include how to avoid the perception of a back-room deal that thwarts the will of millions of voters who have cast ballots in primaries and caucuses. That perception could cripple the eventual Democratic nominee’s chances of winning the presidency in November, they said.

She said the nomination should not be decided by delegates from Florida and Michigan allocated on the basis of voting in primaries there last month, as the Clinton campaign has proposed. Mrs. Clinton got more votes in both places, although neither candidate actively campaigned there and Mr. Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan. The party had penalized those states for holding their primaries earlier than the party wanted by stripping them of their delegates to the convention.

“We can’t ignore the rules which everyone else played by,” Ms. Pelosi said.

Then there’s this problem for the Clinton campaign:

We’ll watch this continue to play out. I’m guess that within a few weeks, perhaps March 4th, we may know who the Democratic nominee will be and this whole messy superdelegate issue will be avoided for the most part.

Plus, word is now that Clinton is leaving Wisconsin early, basically ceding the state to Obama.