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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bargaining time

Virtually everyone agrees the Obama-Clinton race for the Democratic nomination is over. Today's NYT:
The moment came shortly after midnight Eastern time, captured in a devastatingly declarative statement from Tim Russert of NBC News: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC.
Expect a superdelegate avalanche to start growing more pronounced this week.

The next stage of the contest is a negotiation and Hillary Clinton loses much of her leverage if she stops campaigning altogether. Thus, she is making appearances in West Virginia today. She might crush Barack Obama in West Virginia and both sides know it. Presumably, both sides also know that while this result would look bad for him, it would do almost nothing for her electoral chances.

Thus, both sides should be talking now about the terms of her withdrawal from the race. HRC has personal debt to retire and will have concerns about delegations from MI/FL, the platform, and perhaps the Veep. She likely wants to place some of her staff on Obama's campaign and may want the power to name some potential Cabinet members.

My guess is Obama caves on the debt question and figures out a way to seat the delegations for MI/FL. However, he will reveal less interest on most of the other demands. He will accept some Clinton staffers who are known to his people.

The McCain-Obama race has started.

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