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Reid, Pelosi Planning Quick End to Democratic Campaign

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Author Topic: Reid, Pelosi Planning Quick End to Democratic Campaign  (Read 13 times)
Kris Conover
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« on: May 29, 2008, 11:06:12 pm »

Reid, Pelosi Call for Quick End to Democratic Campaign
By Paul Kane

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both have predicted a swift end to the Democratic presidential campaign once South Dakotans and Montanans cast the last ballots of the marathon primary season on Tuesday, signaling there is little support among the party's institutional leaders for a drawn-out fight by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to secure support from unpledged super-delegates.

Reid and Pelosi, speaking yesterday and today in separate events during political travels in San Francisco, suggested the race would likely end next week -- a conclusion that almost certainly means Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) would secure the nomination, given his narrow but comfortable lead right now in both pledged delegates and super-delegates.

In an interview this morning with KGO Radio, while promoting his new book, Reid said he spoke this morning about the campaign with Pelosi and to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean last night. "We agree there won't be a fight at the convention," he told radio listeners, appearing to suggest that Obama would have sufficient delegates to presume victory next week.

Later, at the Commonwealth Club, Reid predicted definitively that the race would conclude shortly after the South Dakota and Montana contests, without specifying who the nominee would be. "By this time next week, it'll be all over, give or take a day," Reid said.

Pelosi, in an hourlong meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board, predicted the nominee would emerge within a week of the last votes next Tuesday. "I think it is all going in the right direction," she said in the Wednesday interview, which was published in the newspaper today. She said it would be resolved "in an orderly fashion" as early as next week.

In particular, Pelosi was adamant that the race would last through August and the convention in Denver.

"We cannot take this fight to the convention," she said. "It must be over before then."

(Click here for the podcast from Pelosi's editorial board meeting.)

Currently, the magic number for the nomination is 2,026 delegates, a figure that Obama campaign officials believe they will be within roughly 10 delegates of after the voting this weekend in Puerto Rico and the June 3 states. That figure could grow if the DNC bylaws panel agrees this weekend to return up to half of the delegate totals to Michigan and Florida, which were stripped of all their delegates because they pushed their primaries into January against DNC rules.

Reid and Pelosi endorsed the idea of giving some partial recognition to Michigan and Florida, but Pelosi -- who is chair of the convention -- said some retribution must be exacted from their decision to buck the DNC-sanctioned calendar.

"If you have no order and no discipline in terms of party rules, people will be having their primary in the year before the presidential election," she said. "So there has to be some penalty."
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