Rift Over Florida/Michigan Revote Widens Between Campaigns

While Hillary Clinton seems to be favoring either apportionment of existing delegates or holding a new mail-in primary entirely, the Obama campaign is none too pleased with the situation and fears a new vote will be wrought with problems. On the one hand, I don’t blame him and I actually think there is good reason to tell both states that they knew the rules and decided to break them anyway. On the other hand, there could be some leniency and a complete revote would solve the problem in many respects.

The story on the growing rift from the Washington Post:

The Florida Democratic Party is pushing forward with a plan for recontesting its primary, largely with mail-in ballots, despite vigorous opposition from Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation as well as concerns from the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

Florida officials have struggled to come up with a way to redo a January primary that was invalidated by the Democratic National Committee because it was held too early in the process. Opponents of the plan, which could be unveiled as early as today, fear that it would disenfranchise voters and cause another fiasco in a state still haunted by the debacle of the 2000 presidential election.

How Florida and Michigan, which is also considering how to redo its primary, resolve their situations has become a critical issue in the nomination battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) because the states carry enough delegates and stature to potentially sway the deadlocked race.

Clinton took a hard line on the controversy yesterday, saying she would absolutely not accept a negotiated apportionment of Florida’s delegates, as the state’s House delegation has suggested. Her win Jan. 29 would give her a net gain of 38 delegates, cutting Obama’s 106-delegate lead by more than a third.

“In my view there are two options: Honor the results or hold new primary elections,” Clinton told the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

But Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said “we have real deep concerns about a mail-in election.” Plouffe wondered if a mail-in vote would be fair to all voters and whether it could be pulled off, given that Florida has never done it before.

Here’s a video report on the new plan from local Florida news:

Feelings are going to be hurt all around. Honestly it may be better off the the health of the Democratic Party in general to just abstain from a revote or mail-in primary at all. If the process changes things there are bound to be allegations of wrongdoing. Unfortunately we’re in unchartered territory since this usually isn’t a problem in presidential races.