Everyone leads with the Democratic Party deciding it will seat all Florida and Michigan delegates at the party’s convention this August, but it will grant those delegates only half a vote each. The decision nets Clinton 24 total votes at the convention and increases the number of votes needed to win the nomination to 2,118. To varying degrees, all the papers say the compromise is too little, too late to be of much help to the Clinton campaign.
The Los Angeles Times describes the deal as a compromise between Obama supporters’ plan to split the two states’ delegates equally and the Clinton camp’s desire to see all the delegates seated with full voting rights, apportioned strictly by ballot results. While Florida was split along ballot lines, Michigan proved trickier. The Washington Post reports that the committee decided to rely on exit polling as well as ballot totals while working out the Michigan delegate allotments. In the end, they awarded all uncommitted Michigan delegates to Obama, along with four delegates that would have gone to Clinton under a ballot-only deal. While the Obama campaign expressed satisfaction with the decision, at least one Clinton spokesman has said Clinton may appeal the decision later this summer. The New York Times says the new count leaves Obama 176 delegates ahead of Clinton.
The party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted on the decision at a public meeting, following five hours of testimony and three hours of backroom negotiations. Votes were greeted with cheering, booing, and hisses, with Hillary supporters reacting especially strongly. The WP catalogs the displays of outrage at the meeting, while the LAT focuses on Clinton supporters’ feelings of betrayal at the hands of the party and the media.
In its analysis of the decision, the NYT concludes that while the party’s ruling won’t force Clinton out of the race, it may help her come to terms with her increasingly long shot at the nomination. The paper cites “associates” of Clinton’s in claiming that she’s slowly becoming resigned to the idea that she will not be the nominee. The paper also says the decision may help undeclared superdelegates come off the fence. The paper claims aides in both camps expect that within 48 hours of the final two primaries on Tuesday, Obama will have enough superdelegate support to clinch the nomination.
The WP runs a preview of today’s Puerto Rico primary, which is expected to be Clinton’s last win.
Each of the papers also includes an item regarding Obama’s decision to sever ties with Trinity United Church of Christ. Obama’s affiliation with the church had been a source of controversy for months, most recently because of a guest preacher’s sermon that accused Clinton of weeping over “a black man stealing my show.” Obama stopped short of denouncing the church, according to the NYT. The WP reports that Obama will most likely not pick a new church until January.