Dean has a week to defuse delegate fight

May 27, 2008 at 12:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 27 (UPI) -- U.S. political analysts are waiting to see if national Democratic leader Howard Dean can make a deal on convention delegates from Michigan and Florida.

The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee is to meet this weekend to decide whether the delegations should be seated at the national convention in Denver or if they will remain banned because they held their state primaries ahead of schedule.

The ruling could have a major impact on the close race for the nomination between Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

Analysts told The Boston Globe Tuesday they had their doubts Dean, who is chairman of the national committee, would be flexible enough to work out a compromise and avoid a potentially embarrassing public battle over the delegates.

"You come in the room and he's pretty set on who should be the best guy at this, or where the party's money is going to go," said Joe Trippi, who managed Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.

Trippi added that Dean could surprise the experts after his experiences in hotly contested primaries.

"I think he's become a better mediator, a bit more conciliatory on this whole issue," he told the Globe.

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