Florida and Michigan
If Obama were ahead at the convention, but the FL and MI votes would give the nom to Hillary, how could DNC resist the pressure to seat those delegates? In that case, DNC would ’select’ the nominee just as the Supreme Court selected Bush. Even more so, since the Court only ended the recount, they didn’t throw Gore’s votes in the dumpster.
There are only three scenarios: (1) If Hillary is leading, she’ll seat the delegates. (2) If Obama goes into the convention with a bigger lead than the FL-MI spread, he’ll seat the delegates. If they don't matter, they'll be seated. (3) What if they are decisive to the outcome?
The only scenario where they might not be seated — Obama leads by less than the FL-MI spread and refuses to seat them — is a nightmare. Mr. ‘Hope’ would become ‘Mr. Fraud/Mr. ‘Typical.’ Obama would run with less legitimacy than Bush. Mr. ‘Unity’ would start all out total war in the Democratic Party. Rejected by the voters, Obama would be the 'appointed' nominee of the Democratic Establishment. I’m sorry, but is Howard Dean smoking crack? He needs to put this to rest right now — not wait for a potential holocaust at the Convention. I don't even think he can wait until after Super Tuesday.
The events of this primary undercut any technical argument Howard Dean can make. Time's Mark Halperin said after the Philadelphia debate, 'the Democratic race is largely about Iowa.' Pundits were reading Hillary the Last Rites on the eve of New Hampshire -- in their minds, the Democratic nominee would be selected within a week by two small, rural states with largely white demographics (similar to Dean's home Vermont). The elected legislatures of Michigan and Florida, states with much larger populations, including large cities with far greater diversity, voted to offset the exorbitant influence of Iowa and New Hampshire. Only on the shakiest of hypertechnical grounds can Howard Dean claim to supersede the elected MI and FL legislatures, as well as the expressed will of Michigan and Florida voters, in favor of the status quo -- what Kilgore calls the Iowa-New Hampshire duopoly.
I for one would support Hillary and Bill in doing anything–-anything!-–to prevent Obama from winning through massive disenfranchisement. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920. Martin Luther King died to secure the right to vote for blacks. Now the first black Democratic nominee wins through massive disenfranchisement? The first woman Democratic nominee loses only through massive disenfranchisement? The Obama ‘Hope’ campaign would turn into a stain on American history. Howard Dean needs an emergency catscan if he thinks that dog will hunt.
Wonkette thinks Edwards might go either way. The only sense I make of Edwards' primary strategy (kiss up to Obama/attack Hillary in Philly and NH debates) is he's always believed Hillary would win. Edwards reversed that strategy in SC (kiss up to Hillary/attack Obama), possibly because he was going for the anti-black vote. Assuming Edwards understands his own people--and winning trial lawyers are vaunted for their sky-high emotional intelligence--I'd say Edwards still thinks Hillary will win. It doesn't matter whom he endorses -- his supporters are either whites who won't switch to the black candidate or anti-Hillaryites who won't switch to Hillary. So his endorsement will be in his own self-interest; he's not a kingmaker and he knows it. Piss off the next President (Hillary)? Or piss off the netroots (he can still make money off of them)? All I can say about John Edwards is I'm glad he's a Democrat.