The Battle for Florida

A campaign blog.
Jan. 29 2008 2:36 PM

The Battle for Florida

Today’s Democratic Florida primary is a political inkblot test.Given that no delegates are being awarded (for now), you can pretty much interpret the"beauty contest" results however you want.

As a result, the propaganda battle between the Clinton andObama camps has reached fever pitch. Both sides have held conference callsoutlining their cases for why Florida’sprimary does or doesn’t matter. Here’s a quick rundown of their arguments:

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Clinton : Florida is an important state that deservesa role in the democratic process. I will do everything I can to seat itsdelegates at the national convention.
Obama: Because Florida violated thefour-state pledge, the Democratic National Committee stripped the state’sdelegates. Florida is therefore meaningless.

Clinton : A record number of people are turningout, both in absentee ballots and early voting tallies.
Obama: There’s acontroversial property tax ballot measure drawing people to the polls. Also,the state has no delegates.

Clinton : Obama violated the four-state pledgeby running national TV ads that broadcast in Florida.That shows he’s taking the race seriously.
Obama: Sorry, nodelegates.

Clinton : Even if we couldn’t campaign in thestate, there is tons of ground organization on both sides, suggesting that thisis a real contest with significant results.
Obama: No haydelegatos. Comprende?

Clinton : Florida matters because I’m going to win.
Obama: Not anydelegates, you’re not.

Maybe it’s a little more substantive than that, but notby much.

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.