POLITICS

Florida: Today In In Unseated Convention Delegates

03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Oh, Florida, you bring us such confusion. How else to describe the torturous process of settling the eventual fate of the Florida delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Yesterday, we were left to figure out how this statement wasn't some sort of contradiction:

In a statement, House members from Florida said they were committed to working with the DNC and state officials to find a solution to ensure that their 210 delegates take their place at the convention. However, "Our House delegation is opposed to a mail-in campaign or any redo of any kind."

If a redo is a non-starter, what work is there to commit to? Well, regardless of what the Florida House delegation thinks should happen, state party officials are pressing the case for a mail-in redo, despite the "vigorous opposition." The campaigns have drawn their lines in the sand, with the Clinton camp flatly stating that "she would absolutely not accept a negotiated apportionment of Florida's delegates, as the state's House delegation has suggested," and the Obama campaign registering concerns that a mail-in vote might not be "fair to all voters and whether it could be pulled off, given that Florida has never done it before." Amid the back-and-forth, Florida Senate leader Steve Geller, has made his own position clear as well:

"I don't care what the Clinton or Obama campaigns think...I don't represent Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. I'm the Senate Democratic leader of Florida. My goal is to get the votes of 4 million Florida Democrats to count."

But a new wrinkle has emerged - the fate of the Florida-based superdelegates. According to Atlantic blogger Marc Ambinder, Florida DNC member John Ausman has filed an appeal with the party, claiming that the penalties imposed on Florida as a result of their decision to move their primary do not apply to superdelegates:

...the charter explicitly states that the following members of the party are automatically granted the status of delegates no matter what: "members of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic members of the United States Senate and the Democratic Members of the House of Representatives, former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee."

Ambinder also notes today that Republican nominee John McCain has decided to contest his party's ruling on the Florida delegation as well. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, McCain "supports overturning RNC-imposed sanctions that cut those states' delegations by half."

At first blush, McCain's stand on the matter seems superfluous - after all, his nomination is secure and Florida will be represented at the GOP Convention in St. Paul. But methinks there is some "strategery" at work, here. By taking up the cause, McCain is giving his party a chance to distinguish themselves from the dysfunction that plagues the DNC on the same matter. Additionally, if the party steps in to honor McCain's wishes, it will do much to boost the perception that conservative party officials have fully embraced their nominee.

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