— From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oh to be a fly on the wall inside the extended "lunch" the rules committee is taking. The scene here is full of speculation and buzz. No one seems to actually know what's going on, and there is hopeful anticipation that the committee will come back with a decision. The longer the members are out, the more possible that reality becomes. Or, the more divided they really are and the less chance something on Michigan is accomplished before late tonight, if not tomorrow or much later. The committee was due back at 4:15 pm ET.
By the way, does this remind anyone of 12 Angry Men, or rather, 30 Angry Men and Women?
Rules committee members have told First Read they'd like something close to unanimity--a 15-13 vote would not be good, one member told us. It would show yet another sign of a party divided. (15-13 because only 28 are voting members. The two co-chairs do not vote unless there is a tie. Actually, on Florida and Michigan, only 27 would vote, since committee members cannot vote on resolutions from their state.)
Inside the meeting room, onlookers -- guests, members of the media, members of the DNC -- are up chatting and speculating. They are abuzz on the floor and hanging from the balcony, leaning over the railing.