Now that Barack Obama is near the finish line of the Democratic race, the long deadlock over the disputed delegates from Florida and Michigan might finally be breaking.
Florida state Democratic Party spokesman Mark Bubriski told The Associated Press today that Florida officials have been talking with campaign representatives of Obama and Hillary Clinton about recognizing all or some of Florida's 211 delegates.
In Michigan, Democratic leaders have settled on a plan to give Clinton 69 delegates and Obama 59 as a way to get the state's delegates seated at the national convention. Clinton won the Jan. 15 Michigan primary and was to get 73 pledged delegates under state party rules, while Obama was to get 55.
The Democratic National Committee stripped both states of their convention delegates for holding their primaries in January, earlier than party rules allowed.
Clinton, who also won the Florida primary, has been pushing for months to count the delegates. Obama, who pulled his name off the Michigan ballot, has objected to proposals so far. But he has built such a big lead in pledged delegates and popular vote, with only six contests left, that even counting Florida and Michigan likely will not make a significant dent.
UPDATE: Clinton's campaign this afternoon released a letter she wrote to Obama urging him to cut a deal to count the Florida and Michigan delegates.
"It is not enough to simply seat their representatives at the convention in Denver," she writes. "The people of these great states, like the people who have voted and are to vote in other states, must have a voice in selecting our party's nominee."
Clinton also writes: "This has been an historic and exciting campaign. Millions of new voters have been brought into the process and their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and the principles for which you and I have fought and continue to fight is unprecedented.
"One of the foremost principles of our party is that citizens be allowed to vote and that those votes be counted. That principle is not currently being applied to the nearly 2.5 million people who voted in primaries in Florida and Michigan. Whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will be hamstrung in the general election if a fair and quick resolution is not reached that ensures that the voices of these voters are heard. Our commitment now to this goal could be the difference between winning and losing in November."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.