Friday, March 28, 2008

Dean to Dem supers: Declare by July 1!

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said today that he would like the party's superdelegates to declare their allegiance to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama by July 1. This is presumably to give party fathers a chance to broker a deal to avoid a nasty convention floor fight that would surely include a nasty credentials committee meeting and would likely end with a splintered Democratic Party going into the general election.

On Fox News Channel just now, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel said that "someone should give Dean a clock with Greenwich Mean Time," because the last contest is on June 3, and there is no reason the supers can't make up their minds by June 4. In fact, he said, they are "obligated" to do so.

It's obvious that Beckel was referring to a moral obligation, and not a legal one; "we can stop the bleeding," Beckel said, "and get this thing over with."

"It's about time" Dean showed some leadership on this issue, he said. If he can't, Beckel said, "we need to take his credentials and give them to someone who can."

See? I told you the Democrats were getting antsy. Beckel is downright grumpy, and that's indicative of the feeling of party insiders all over the country: Donna Brazile had just given the same analysis about Democrats' feelings about the race in the "Strategy Session" segment in the previous hour on CNN.

Usually in campaigns, it's the candidates doing the messaging. This time, it's the party leaders themselves, on message and signaling to their candidates that they've had just about enough.