A Snag For Proponents Of A Redo In Florida

The joint statement by House Democrats in Florida opposing Florida 2.0 represents a victory by the Obama campaign, which has, as a matter of tactics, tried to add a layer of uncertainty to the ongoing discussions between the state Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee.

The statement comes as the state party is putting the final touches on draft language for a statewide mail-in primary; its officials and attorneys are working closely with lawyers for the DNC. (No formal agreement has been reached within the party to actually proceed with a re-vote.)

DNC officials stress that Howard Dean is as resolute as ever: he is not going to compromise and there is no formal mechanism even if both campaigns "agree" ... the only routes are the rules committee process or a rules-and-bylaws committee sanctioned re-vote.

Florida Democrats used to be frustrated. They're now panicked, feeling pressure from elected officials, activists, donors and candidates. They're fighting among themselves over who is to blame and there is no agreed upon end-game. Many believe that the Obama campaign is unnecessarily pressuring its supporters to throw up roadblocks

The party has a few weeks to figure out what it wants to do. They're putting aside the money problem, at least for money, assuming, probably correctly, that if a primary is set, the money will come.

The state generally sends overseas and military ballots out 45 days before the election, so assuming that the election would be held between June 1 and June, that first round of ballots would be sent out in the middle of April. Then, at the end of April, the bulk of the ballots would be sent out. Satellite locations would be set up to allow people to vote in person, if they wanted to. Registration would remain open until the end of April, allowing anyone who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary to register by then and allowing the candidates some organizational wiggle room.

HRC won, if you'll recall, 49 to 33. Can Obama exceed 33% of the vote? That's his floor -- and the floor for his expectation. He is almost certain to improve on this number, which would, under certain circumstances, give him the equivalent of a moral and perceptual victory in the state.

What worries Obama managers in Chicago is the timing: if Florida is seen as a real re-do, and if the media portrays it as a wide open contest, a clear Clinton victory would give her a big bounce of momentum right as the primary window closes.