The Note: Dems Face Civil War in Bitter Clinton-Obama Battle

While we figure how to cope with life with one less revolution, six questions that could determine the Democratic nomination:

1. Which insult hurts more in a Democratic primary -- "Ken Starr," or "monster"? (And are these better labels to give or to receive?)


2. Which two words sting more -- "Tony Rezko," or "Clinton library"?

3. Which number matters more -- $55 million, or $4 million?

4. Which Barack Obama will we see -- tough guy, or nice guy?

5. Which Hillary Clinton answers the phone (at 3 am, of course) -- re-do Hillary, or voters-have-spoken Hillary?

6. Who can do something about any or all of this, before the Democratic Party eats itself alive? (Hint: The answer is probably not Howard Dean.)

Amid the fratricidal atmosphere enveloping the campaign right now, all that stands between the Democratic National Convention and peace from those scofflaws in Michigan in Florida (and maybe to avoid a brokered convention altogether) is $30 million, give or take. (Sorry, but isn't that just a good two weeks online for Obama?)

This is not how Dr. Dean wants to be spending his money (as if the DNC could afford it anyway).

But you sort of have to feel bad for those rogue states that just happen to matter a great deal in general elections -- all they really did was buy into the storyline of the earliest nomination fight ever.

Yet this would border on unforgivable: After starting us off earlier than we expected, now they could keep the contest going longer than ever.

While second bites at the apple may keep the spin doctors away, do the math -- the answer to polishing off an election that primaries and caucuses haven't settled probably isn't another round or primaries or caucuses.

That's if something can come together at all.

"There may be only three ways to end the impasse over the fate of Michigan and Florida's delegates, Democratic activists say -- with the Clinton campaign furious, the Obama campaign mad or the voters angriest of all," June Kronholz writes in The Wall Street Journal. "The Michigan-and-Florida issue remains almost intractable."

"The stakes are huge," Dan Balz writes in The Washington Post. "Florida and Michigan would have had 366 delegates between them. If Clinton or Obama were to score sizable wins in revotes, the states could have a major impact on the delegate margin between the candidates."

The money is the stumbling block.

Per the Detroit Free Press: "Despite growing enthusiasm and encouragement in some quarters for new Democratic nominating contests in Michigan and Florida, officials raised concerns Thursday about the cost, who would pay and whether there's time to put them together."

In Michigan, the solution may be a "firehouse primary."

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., tells the Detroit News' Mark Hornbeck: "It would be on a Saturday and accessible to average citizens because turnout would be huge. It would also cost a significant amount of money."

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., says his state can run a new primary for $18 million -- but that Florida shouldn't have to come up with the cash to re-do an election the state still stands by. "So the question is, will the Democratic committee, will they pay for a re-do of a full-up election?" Nelson said on ABC NewsNow's "Politics Live."

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