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Rep. Wexler offers Barack Obama's "major concession" on Florida

What had been a fairly uneventful debate before the Democratic National Committee's rules committee on the Michigan/Florida primary imbroglio finally was enlivened when fiery Rep. Robert Wexler of Boca Raton appeared on behalf of Barack Obama.

His appearance also produced the proceeding's most laughably arcane exchange (and believe us, much of the discussion during the morning session only could be appreciated by lawyers).

Wexler, in his typically high-decibel fashion, made the case for allowing the Florida delegation to be seated at half-strength at the party's August convention in Denver. He presented that as a "major concession" by Obama because that would mean a delegate pickup for Hillary Clinton, who won a primary that the party had ruled would not count for anything.

Of course, what Wexler pushed for falls 50% short of what the Clinton forces want -- the seating of a FULL Florida delegation, which would give her even more delegates.

Two of the Clinton stalwarts on the rules panel, Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy, sought in questions to puncture Wexler's "major concession" stance, and the result was a clear demonstration of the tensions between the two camps that is unlikely to dissipate anytime soon.

And then there was that moment of arcana.

Ickes, with a sly smile of his face indicating that he believed he was about to ensnare Wexler, asked the congressman his position on "the concept of fair reflection."

Wexler, no doubt speaking the thoughts of many, replied with his own smile that Ickes would have to "educate me" on that concept.

Ickes thankfully took a pass.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (16)

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Hillary Clinton is acting like a spoiled little rich girl..."If I can't have it Obama, then you can't have it either". She would rather see McCain elected in the November rather than she can run again in 4 years. It is most obvious that she cares more of her own vain attempts at the Presidency than that of the Democratic Party.

Yes Mr. Ickes, what is your concept of "fair reflection?' Please educate us all. "WE" leave i t to you!

What a waste of time and money (Obama is the inevitable nominee) just to appease Hillary! She is an attention addict; feverishly fighting to get just one more fix!

All-or-nothing Hillary supporters claim they will defect and vote for McCain (or not vote at all) because Hillary is an also-ran!

Is Hillary a loyal Democrat or the head of a cult?

Hillary, the Queen of Spin and a Legend in Her Own Mind!

Who is Barack Obama to offer any concessions?

HE IS NOT THE NOMINEE YET and someone should let him know that fact. So typical of his whole campaign, let's just assume and then we can make it so.

He isn't in any position to make concessions he and his campaign are not a part of the DNC's Rules and Reg. Committee. That was a very insulting statement and I think that, do to that fact alone they should give Hillary all of the delegates she earned originally.

Concessions my butt..........................

Gee, let me guess you are Clinton supporters, so to heck with the DNC rules.

If the positions were switched and Obama had won Michigan and Florida, then there would be no question about seating the delegates & in total! The DNC wouldn't want to appear "racist"!

Obama is acting like a spoiled little rich boy--one of privilege! He was the one who decided not to leave his name on the MI ballot in order to court the voters, the WHITE, voters of Iowa and NH. But, now he wants to be GIVEN 50% of the delegates. How braizen! These are actions of one who feels entitled to the spoils of the campaign.

It's a sad day when I watch Obama's forces act, sound and look like the thugs that ran Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

This country is in such horrendous condition and now 50% of the Democrats want to turn it over to a person with less than 17 months experience in the US Senate because he makes you "feel good". I guess then when you need a brain surgeon to remove a brain tumor you will select the surgeon who makes you feel good instead of the surgeon with years of experience in his field.

Florida & Michigan should not have their votes counted. Period! The states tried to cheat and they got caught. The voters want to whine about it but they should just shut up and put up and then VOTE out the elected officials who brought this about. Fair is after all FAIR!

Democrats prove again that they cannot pick a winner. Thanks to you freaks, McCain will win. I don't think that outcome is all that bad.

We are truly blessed to have Barack Obama as our hopeful future president. He is magnaminous, interesting, intelligent and a gentleman. How blessed we are. He is not perfect though and would be the first to say so. But, none of us are. Together, we can heal our country and solve our ills. Yes. We can.

Wilma is right.

Esp. about the brain surgeon part.

It has been sad to watch this primary the past two months - but here's a clip that sums up the LEGACY that our 42nd First Lady has left to our young daughters and my granddaughters.

OBAMA is the Morming sun and Clinton,the vanishing moon. Those who were in the darkness of night mistook the moon to be a star. It is high time 'Billary' stop playing race game, give way to OBAMA and work for defeating republicans or be prepared to go down in history as self centered hypocrats who pretended to be champions of civil rights and opponents of racism for personal gains and sold the country to warmonging rightwingers.
Americans should think about Hillary's claimed experience to be in charge on day one and at 3 AM. Remember 911. It was not in the less than nine moths of Bush time (1/20/2001 to 9/11/2001) that Bin Laden and Co planned and prepared the attack. They probably were doing final preperations when BIllarys were busy with the intern, impeachment and so on and had no time to be awake at 3 AM to think about dangers from Bin Laden.
You have had enough at the cost of the country. Please retire before it is late

AlI can say is that Congressman Wexler was awesome! As an American, I was truly impressed by yesterday's proceedings. Kudos to co-chairs Herman and Roosevelt. The Rules & Bylaws Committee had a daunting task. They are to be commended for finding a way to respect Florida and Michigan voters while at the same time not allowing Sen. Clinton and her supporters to make a mockery of this process. Finally, Democrats are standing up to the Clintons and reclaiming the party. Regrettably, the Clintons represent yesterday, and we're all thinking about tomorrow.

I'm a feminist and believe Hillary's scorched-earth, hopelessly inept, shamelessly nasty campaign has proven a disaster to feminism's cause and will set us back at least twenty years. The Party should NEVER have seated Florida and Michigan. What are rules for if they can be changed to please the whining bully?

(Concession: 1 a: the act or an instance of conceding b: the admitting of a point claimed in argument.) Seems as if even I can concede something to someone else. Even something as simple as: conceding that my friends opinion is better than mine. Maybe I can even concede something major, like, umm... dunkin donuts is better than krispy kreme. Imagine that, I can actually make a concession even though I am not my parties nominee. BRILLIANT! Some dodos, unfortunately, get hung up on "just words". The issue here is that the primary process stinks. Note to other Hillary supporters - gotta work on your trigger finger. Where were the Florida and/or Michigan protests before Super Tuesday?????You can't wait until the 2nd half to ask for a review of the penalty that happened in the 1st quarter. Let me rephrase: yes, you can wait, and now you see what happens if you do. Shame on the other supporters for not realizing that we would lose 10+ straight primaries and be in an deep delegate hole. If you can't even figure that out... maybe the 3AM phone call should be on forward to Bush.

"HE IS NOT THE NOMINEE YET and someone should let him know that fact."

Wow. Offering concessions is a sign of delusions of grandeur? By that logic, anybody who has the audacity to drop out of the race without first checking with everybody else to see if it's OK must be a megalomaniac.

Neither campaign can *dictate* to the party the rules of the nomination process, and whatever you'd like to imagine about Obama, it's ludicrous to assert he doesn't know this. However *both* campaigns can offer concessions to the party leadership -- the one *everybody* knows will be making the decisions -- and that's essentially what Obama's done. You can be sure it's been after considerable negotiation with the rest of the party as well.

"He was the one who decided not to leave his name on the MI ballot."

Which is to say, he decided to play by the agreed-on rules of the game.

"now he wants to be GIVEN 50% of the delegates."

This is a rather gross misunderstanding of the compromise.

Seating the FL and MI delegates at *half weight* is the deal. In Florida, this would mean that Clinton would get about 50 delegate votes and Obama would get about 30 -- 50% of what they each won in the primary election. In Michigan, it's less clear what this means because 30% voted uncommitted, but again, Clinton will get more delegates there than Obama will.

The long and the short of it is that under this compromise, Clinton will gain an advantage proportional to the margin she won by in two states in which ALL candidates (including Clinton) agreed *wouldn't count at all* last year. Instead of being somehow unfair to Clinton, it's actually rather magnanimous.

"It is most obvious that she cares more of her own vain attempts at the Presidency than that of the Democratic Party."

I suppose it's possible this is true, but that's not what I see going on here. I see two strong candidates who are both convinced they have a shot and both think they could do a better job as President than the other.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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