The things most Americans associate with political conventions — funny hats, signs with state names on them, confetti and balloons, boring speeches — are even less relevant this year. The Democratic convention might, in fact, actually matter. “I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next ten contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan,” Hillary Clinton told the Washington Post this weekend. “And if we don’t resolve it, we’ll resolve it at the convention — that’s what credentials committees are for.”
“Yes, of course…the credentials committee,” America responded, playing it cool, trying to remember if they’d learned about this in middle school. (They didn’t.) But those who have looked into it say Clinton’s prospects at the convention aren’t that great anyway. Cue the balloons and funny hats!
• David Paul Kuhn doesn’t see Clinton having much of a chance with the credentials committee, based on an analysis of the delegates who serve on it. If anything could work in her favor, it’s that nobody has paid much attention to the minutiae of convention rules since 1980. [Politico]
• Greg Sargent gives us an Idiot’s Guide to the Credentials Committee, with one especially salient point: The committee doesn’t even need to hear Clinton’s case, and he doubts it would hear any proposal flat-out opposed by either campaign. [TPM Election Central]
• Christopher Beam discusses the cool-sounding “minority report” scenario, in which the entire convention would vote on the Michigan and Florida proposals if at least 20 percent of the credentials committee favors it. However, since Obama will likely have a majority of the delegates anyway, the full-convention vote shouldn’t make a difference. The only chance Clinton would have is if there’s still a large number of uncommitted superdelegates at the convention, and that is unlikely. [Trailhead/Slate]
• Andrew Romano notes that everybody says they’re going all the way to the convention, when in fact they usually drop out much earlier (see: John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee). However, he suspects that Clinton actually means it. [Stumper/Newsweek]
• Jonathan Weisman reports on Michigan congressman Bart Stupak’s new plan to seat his state’s delegates at the convention based on a mix of the primary results and the national popular-vote results. The plan falls somewhere between what Obama and Clinton would prefer, and while it would give Clinton some more delegates, she would also forfeit the possible momentum that could result from a late-season revote, which doesn’t seem likely to happen anyway. [Trail/WP]
• David Corn doesn’t think that in the general election it will matter whether or not Democrats seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. [CQ Politics]
• Katharine Q. Seelye and Julie Bosman look back at other convention fights and conclude that while they’re often ruinous for the party, it remains to be seen whether this year’s wounded Democratic nominee would fall to John McCain. [NYT]
• E.J. Dionne Jr. believes that Clinton will continue running until it’s in her interest to drop out, which it isn’t at this point. But considering the harm she’s inflicting on the Clinton legacy, she may want to at least consider how she campaigns if she wants to preserve what’s left of it. [WP] —Dan Amira
For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.