Interviews with those considering how to handle the two states' banished convention delegates found little interest in the former first lady's best-case scenario. Her position, part of a formidable comeback challenge, is that all the delegates be seated in accordance with their disputed primaries.
Last year, the panel imposed the harshest punishment it could render against the two states after they scheduled primaries in January, even though they were instructed not to vote until Feb. 5 or later. Michigan and Florida lost all their delegates to the national convention, and all the Democratic candidates agreed not to campaign in the two states, stripping them of all the influence they were trying to build by voting early.
Clinton has been arguing for full reinstatement, which would boost her standing. She won both states, even though they didn't count toward the nomination and neither candidate campaigned in them. Obama even had his name pulled from Michigan's ballot.
The Associated Press interviewed a third of the panel members and several other Democrats involved in the negotiations and found widespread agreement that the states must be punished for stepping out of line. If not, many members say, other states will do the same thing in four years.
Many are long-standing party officials with close ties to the Clintons. The former first lady has 13 members publicly supporting her, including campaign advisers Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy who are working to build her delegate count. Eight are openly aligned with Obama. Nine others are officially undeclared.