From NBC's Mark Murray
For the past hour, Michigan's representatives here at the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee have offered this proposal: seat its delegation in full, with full voting rights, with a 69-59 Clinton-Obama split of its 128 pledged delegates.
State party chairman Mark Brewer said the proposal was based upon the primary (in which Clinton got 55% of the vote and "Uncommitted" got 40%), exit polls (which showed the support breaking Clinton 46%, Obama 37%), and write-in ballots for Obama (which weren't accepted).
"There is a fair way, there is a reasonable way," noted Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, who followed Brewer. "It is a fair path forward.
But both men faced tough questions, especially from Clinton supporters on the panel, who want the January 15 primary to reflect the delegate split. Clinton supporter Tina Flournoy asked why exit polls were being used when they've proven unreliable in the past. Brewer responded, "Because you had an incomplete ballot, which didn't give us a true reflection" of voter preference.
Elaine Kamarck, another Hillary backer, pointed out that "Uncommitted" has been a preference in past Democratic contests, and that it was problematic awarding those delegates to a candidate who wasn't on the ballot. Brewer answered that this was a "unique and extraordinary" situation. Every bit of evidence in Michigan, he added, was that those uncommitted votes were for either Obama or Edwards.