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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

1. It’s interesting that the Scott McClellan story is the first real Washington story to intrude on the campaign coverage. I find the story fascinating, but I also consume way more political coverage than most people do, and it’s possibly the case that the confessions of a former press secretary are liable to be treated with outsized importance by the press pool he was engaging with.

2. In the credit-where-credit’s-due department, that was a clever little boxout the McCain campaigned performed on Barack Obama’s visits to Iraq.

[UPDATED] 3. If you have the time and the tolerance for legalese, the DNC lawyer memo prepared for the Rules & Bylaws Committee is worth a read. The particular section to pay attention to is “Issue 3″, which is covered on pages 5-6. The memo hints that the preferred solution to Michigan’s “uncommitted” delegate problem would be to give the four candidates whose names did not appear on the ballot (Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Biden) the collective right to vet and approve the uncommitted delegate slate, through a means they “could work out among themselves”. Since Edwards and Richardson have endorsed Obama, this would very amount to the equivalent of giving Obama control over the uncommitted delegate slate.

One thing the RBC won’t do is to apportion the uncommitted delegates based on extrapolated exit polling results — based on my reading of this document, there is no legal authority to do something like that. They will either effectively hand those delegates to Obama (through the means described above) or they will let the selection of the individuals to fill those delegate slots fall to the state of Michigan, which has already selected its district-level delegates, all but a couple of whom are officially or unofficially committed to Obama.

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