The RBC Meeting: A Preview

On Saturday, amid intense press coverage and protests generated by Clinton allies, the Democratic National Committee's rules and bylaws committee will meet to decide the status of several challenges to the RBC's earlier decision to penalize Florida and Michigan for their calendar violations. Here are some points to keep in mind:

(a) the decision, whatever it is, will not influence the identity of the eventual nominee.

(b) the decision, whatever it is, will inevitably be as much of a political decision as it will be a rules-based decision.

(c) Hillary Clinton has more overt support on the RBC than Barack Obama, but Obama probably has as much overall support as Clinton.

(d) The DNC's decision to schedule the RBC meeting four days before voting ends remains a curiosity in the minds of the Obama and Clinton campaigns; why the DNC didn't simply let the challenges be handled by the duly appointed credentials committee in July is a question; the DNC is caught here between the imperative of DOING SOMETHING to seat Florida and Michigan and abiding by, and standing by, its interpretation of the rules.

(e) Some Clinton campaign surrogates quietly encouraging vocal protests at the meeting; this will almost certainly backfire and wind up steeling the committee's spine. So what's going to happen? The best information I have at this point is that the RBC seems to be ready to accept a solution that would seat roughly half of the delegations. Whether the delegations are seated in the ratio of Clinton's margin over Obama in both states (over uncommitted in Michigan), whether both candidates are given the same number of delegates, whether all the superdelegates are released or only some of them, whether Michigan is dealt with differently than Florida -- these questions do not yet have answers yet. We truly do not know and the campaigns do not know either.

Almost certainly, Hillary Clinton will be disappointed at the results. But there won't be much sympathy for her. She will have succeeded in changing the total number of delegates needed to reach the nomination, and she will have been awarded MORE NET delegtes then she received organically from her victory in a state like Ohio."She may threaten to protest the RBC's decision to the credentials committee, but I doubt that her supporters will stomach a credentials fight.