Howard Dean Feeling the Heat

The DNC chairman is out this morning with words of comfort for the Clinton campaign.

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said Wednesday the party was committed to seating Florida’s delegates at this summer’s convention as long as any agreement is supported by the party’s two presidential contenders.

“We are committed to making sure that we do everything in our power to seat a delegation from Florida,” Dean said. “We believe we will seat a delegation from Florida.”

But the party chairman said it was critical that Obama and Clinton were “comfortable with the compromises that have to be worked out.” The two campaigns did not have representatives at the hourlong meeting.

And therein lies the problem. Up til now, Hillary has be the only one banging the ‘voter disenfranchisement’ drum, for obvious reasons. Obama has been comparatively silent. Why? The conventional wisdom is his campaign will not benefit from the seating of Florida or Michigan. Yet, current polling in Pennsylvania shows Obama might have a better chance this time around than in early February.

But, remember this. Obama doesn’t have to do agree to anything right now. His delegate and popular vote lead effectively protects him. Depending on how things go in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana, Obama might not have to say a word about Florida or Michigan. Hillary, on the other hand, absolutely needs Florida and Michigan. Her 5% percent chance of capturing the nomination goes to zero rather quickly without these two states.

It’s clear that Howard Dean is caught in the middle of these two, and their huge constituencies. Pressure demands that he does something. Problem is, he’s damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.

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2008 Election, Barack Obama, DNC, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Florida, Michigan

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