Yesterday, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled on Florida and Michigan's delegations to the Democratic National Committee Convention. The final ruling gave Florida and Michigan their full delegation, but reduced each delegate's vote to 1/2. Also, in order to more fairly seat Michigan's delegation after Sen. Obama removed his name from the ballot according to his view of the oath he gave following Michigan's early primary, Hillary Clinton was given 69 delegates, and Obama was given 59. These numbers reflect not only the actual primary ballots, but also the exit polling that showed many of Obama's supporters voted for Clinton because only her name was on the ballot. This wound up giving Obama an extra 4 delegates out of Clinton's total. This was worked out as a compromise to Clinton's request that Obama receive no delegates from Michigan and the rules, as laid out last year, that no Michigan delegates would be seated.
This now gives Obama a delegate total of 2052 to Clinton's 1877, with the goal post set (firmly I hope) at 2118. Obama now needs 66 of the remaining 280 unpledged delegates (24%) and Clinton needs 241 (86%). Switching those four delegates would mean Clinton would need 239 (86%) and Obama would need 68 (24%). Unfortunately, as Sen. Clinton made clear beforehand, any seating of Michigan's delegation that gave Obama any votes would be completely unacceptable to her, and as such Harold Ickies, her representative at the meeting, has stated he will fight this ruling to the Convention.
What follows is part of a comment I left over at BAC's blog:
...[T]he votes by this committee could have no effect on [party unity], no matter how they voted. The only way we will see unity is if Sen. Clinton, and her ardent supporters, stop vilifying Sen. Obama as the devil re-incarnate and work to bring unity themselves. The people have spoken; Obama has won more states, more pledged delegates, more "super" delegates, more caucuses, more primaries, and more popular vote.
Sen. Clinton has fought an incredible campaign, but she has lost fairly. If she continues to drive wedges between her supporters and the DNC and the Democratic presidential nominee, not just women, not just Americans, but the whole world will be forced, by her, to suffer under a third George W. Bush term.
As much as we might wish (the more salient of us at least), nothing Sen. Obama could say, nor anything any of his supporters could say, can prevent Hillary Clinton from driving that wedge in if she so wishes. There is no magical speech Obama could make; sometimes the ball is just in the other person's court and there is nothing one can do about it. Insults have been bandied, feelings hurt, but we are willing to lay those aside and apologize for any we have delivered. But we cannot take that step without Sen. Clinton and her supporters.
Unity can only be brought by both sides working together.