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Monday, March 24, 2008

Dems consider mini convention to pick nominee

Dave Helling, McClatchy Newspapers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Democrats, looking for a way out, are pondering a new idea: an unprecedented "mini convention" to bring their punishing presidential season to an early close.

The proposal surfaced during another week of pushing and shoving between the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns and a growing concern that the party may be hurting itself beyond repair.

Without some resolution, they fret, Republican John McCain will win the presidency.

"If we continue down the path we are on, we might as well hand the keys of the White House to John McCain," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.

The mini-convention would bring together nearly 800 superdelegates after the last primaries are held in early June.

Given the current math, superdelegates - party officials and elected leaders - will decide the nomination, one way or another.

"There would be a final opportunity for the candidates to make their arguments to these delegates, and then one transparent vote," Tennessee Gov. Philip Bredesen suggested in the New York Times.

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