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Plan In The Middle

"Yet another proposal to resolve the mess arising" from MI's primary "has been floated, this time by a group of prominent" Dems. "This latest plan would split the difference between the positions" of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (Broder, "The Caucus," New York Times, 4/29).

Under the plan, Clinton would get 69 MI delegates, Obama would receive 59 (Trowbridge, Detroit News, 4/30).


"Clinton has argued that she should get 73 delegates based on the results" of the 1/15 primary, "which she won -- 18 more than Obama. Obama, who removed his name from the ballot, wants the 128 pledged delegates split evenly, 64-64." The compromise, suggested in a 4/29 letter to MI Dem Chair Mark Brewer, "fell halfway between the two proposals," giving Clinton a net gain of 10 delegates.

The four MI Dems who made the proposal are Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, DNCer Debbie Dingell, and union leader Ron Gettelfinger. Their letter: "While we expect that neither candidate will explicitly embrace this approach, we believe that the DNC should adopt it and both candidates should accept it because it is fair and because it would resolve an impasse that with each passing day hurts our chances of carrying Michigan and winning the presidency" (Barks Hoffman, AP, 4/29).

The proposal "generated plenty of discussion but little apparent progress" 4/29. "Reaction from the campaigns and their supporters was cautious."


Obama spokesperson Ben LaBolt: "This letter makes clear that the Michigan primary, where Senator Obama's name did not appear on the ballot and the candidates did not campaign, should not be the basis for how the Michigan delegation is seated."

Clinton spokesperson Isaac Baker: "There will be many suggestions about how to settle this issue. The bottom line is that Michigan's votes must be counted so that they have a voice in selecting our nominee. This matter is now before the DNC, where it should be, and we look forward to a quick and fair resolution."

The proposal "is likely to be discussed" on 5/31, when the DNC's rules cmte "will meet to consider challenges" to the MI and FL bans. Two DNCers from those states, Joel Ferguson and Jon Ausman, have asked the cmte "to reinstate half of their states' pledged delegates ... and a full slate of superdelegates." But the MI Dems' letter "specifically rejects" that proposal (Trowbridge, Detroit News, 4/30).

This article appears in the April 30, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.

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