Democratic Leaders Meet to Choose Nominee

** You can watch the slugfest live on CSPAN complete with loons Levin and Conyers from Michigan.
It’s great political theater.
…Pass the popcorn, Nahanni.

The Democratic elites are meeting today to choose the nominee for their party.

A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY) protests outside the Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting in Washington May 31, 2008. The Democratic Party will search for a compromise over disputed convention delegates from Florida and Michigan on Saturday in what could be Hillary Clinton’s last chance to gain ground on presidential rival Barack Obama. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

The democratic appointed leaders will meet behind closed doors until 1:30 PM EST.
Hillary Clinton looks like the stronger candidate since the Wright controversy but the media chose Obama as their favorite.
The AP reported:

Democrats searched for a compromise Saturday to seat disputed delegations from Michigan and Florida at this summer’s party convention and clear the way for a quick end to the marathon struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The challenge is to “come together at the end of the day and be united,” Howard Dean, the party chairman, told members of the convention’s Rules and Bylaws Committee gathered at a hotel across town from the White House.

Obama is a mere 42 delegates short of the 2,026 needed to clinch the nomination, in the Associated Press tally, and appears on track to wrap up the party prize in the coming days. Several Democrats said during the day he intends to signal the beginning of his general election campaign next Tuesday by holding a rally in the arena in St. Paul, Minn., where Republicans will to hold their convention this summer.

Clinton trails by about 200 delegates. She has pressed to have the entire Michigan and Florida delegations seated, both to narrow the gap and to buttress her claim that she has outpolled her rival in the popular vote in the primaries and caucuses.

Several hundred protesters maintained a noisy but peaceful presence on the sidewalk outside the hotel where party activists met.

However, the Clinton campaign insists that the campaign may not be over on Tuesday after the last primary.

UPDATE: Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) just explained why Michigan had every right to break the rules this year and hold their primary early.
It is remarkable how easily a democrat can justify breaking rules.
Ben Johnson, a former Clinton staff member, adds that some states went early because Iowa and New Hampshire are white states and could not be trusted:

This, of course, does not explain why Iowa chose Obama.

–Obama spokeperson David Bonier just asked the committee to split the delegates 50-50.
He was loudly booed!

Here is a “best of” video from the morning session including Donna Brazile and Harold Ickes:

The real action ought to start after lunch when the Democratic leaders essentially decide who will be their candidate.

The meeting just breaked until 4:15 PM EST.
When they come back they will debate the resolutions.

UPDATE 2: (5:50 PM EST) The break is going longer than was intended.
The Democratic leaders are in the backroom “hashing” things out.

–A Lanny Davis fight breaks out in the hall!

(6:00 PM EST) The Democratic leaders are coming back to the meeting room.

UPDATE 3: Harold Ickes, a Clinton supporter, threatens to continue the controversy. This doesn’t look like it is going to end here.
There are lots of interruptions from the gallery.
The committee is supporting that half of each state’s delegates be reinstated.

The motion carries that half of the Michigan delegates will be reinstated.
The protesters are chanting… Denver! Denver! Denver!

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