WASHINGTON – Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Monday that either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama must drop out of the Democratic presidential race after the June primaries in order to unify the party by the convention and win the election in November.
But Dean didn’t say which candidate should drop out, only that it should happen after primary voters have been to the polls.
“We want the voters to have their say. That’s over on June 3,” Dean said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Dean also said that while the party rules say Democratic superdelegates can wait until the party’s Aug. 25 convention to make up their minds, that would be too late to unify the party and defeat the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.
“We really can’t have a divided convention. If we do it’s going to be very hard to heal the party afterwards,” Dean said. “So we’ll know who the nominee is and that’ll give us an extra 2 1/2 months to get our party together, heal the wounds of having a very closely divided race and take on Senator McCain.”
Dean said he won’t have to tell either Clinton or Obama when it’s time to leave the race.
“Either of these candidates, if it’s time for them to go, they’ll know it and they will go,” Dean said. “They don’t need any pushing from me. You know when to get in and you know when to get out. That’s just part of the deal.”
This, of course, wishful thinking on Dean’s part. He has no power to force either candidate to drop out, and no argument persuasive enough to convince either one of them to drop out. This race is going to go on long past the last primary, and straight into the convention. At the point, there’s no reason for either one of these people to give in, because they’ve both got an equal shot at winning at this point.