Today’s reminder that the Democrats are engaged in a bitter intramural fight for the presidential nomination: Rick Moran at Pajamas Media compares the upcoming Pennsylvania primary (upcoming as in April 22 … 40 days or so) to the Battle of Gettysburg for its potential to dictate the final outcome in the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton showdown:
A Hillary Clinton win in Pennsylvania â€“ especially a big win â€“ will probably start a movement of Super Delegates in her direction. It wonâ€™t be decisive given that a number of Supers will hold off endorsing anyone until the convention. But it will almost certainly allow her to catch up and perhaps even surpass Obama in total delegates.
This is hugely important because it will cut into Obamaâ€™s argument that he has the most democratically elected delegates as well as a probable edge in the raw popular vote. But Obama has wracked up the majority of his delegates in caucuses as well as smaller states where Republicans are traditionally strong. His argument loses some of its steam when set against the partyâ€™s desperate desire to win the presidency.
Given the stakes, it is almost a certainty that some sort of nominating contests will take place in Florida and Michigan, overturning a ruling by the National Committee that took away all of their delegates to the convention as punishment for moving up their primary dates. But what do you do with the 3 million Democrats who have already voted in those states and gave Hillary Clinton decisive victories?
It is an unbelievable tangle that absolutely must be sorted out before June 6 when party rules say that the nominating contest is over. Holding primaries â€“ usually funded by state legislatures â€“ is prohibitive. An idea to hold a mail in primary is a possibility but a logistical nightmare. Florida Democrats have already decided on a mail in revote but it is unclear whether the Obama campaign or the National Committee will allow it. Michigan seems amenable to compromise but thereâ€™s no guarantee that anything can be worked out that would allow for a nominating contest before the June 6 deadline.
All of this is in the future. For now, the party will watch the two candidates slug it out over the unbearably long stretch of 6 weeks until Pennsylvania votes on April 22. And slug it out seems to be the plan that both campaigns have adopted.
Like most attempts to draw historical analogies, you don’t want to scrutinize the Gettysburg metaphor too hard. It doesn’t exactly work that well beyond the potential for the “turning point” and the ironic fact that it will come in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
That being said … Barack and Hillary: Keep on sluggin’.