|Howard Dean said a deal is unlikely before the summer.|
A deal to allow delegates from Florida and Michigan to participate at the Democratic National Convention is unlikely before summer, party chairman Howard Dean said yesterday.
But he expressed confidence that an agreement would be reached to seat the delegates.
Dean said presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be part of any deal, and the candidates want to focus first on the coming round of contests.
Next on the schedule are the Pennsylvania primary April 22, and the Indiana and North Carolina contests May 6.
"It's going to take some time to work that out because these candidates are really focused on these primary battles in . . . Pennsylvania and West Virginia and North Carolina and so forth and so on," Dean said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "But I think we can work it out, and I want to work it out," he said.
In a separate interview on ABC's "This Week," Dean said a solution will have to wait until after the last Democratic contests in South Dakota and Montana on June 3, and after the remaining superdelegates have said which candidate they support.
The Democratic National Committee stripped Florida and Michigan of their convention delegates, a total of 366, for holding primaries too early in the process, violating party rules.
Clinton and Obama agreed not to campaign in either state, and Obama joined other candidates in removing their names from Michigan's ballot.
Clinton won both primaries, and she and her campaign have been pressing for those results to be recognized.
"Remember, Jeannette Rankin was elected before women could vote. So who says men don't vote for a woman," Clinton told an audience crowded into an airport hangar in Missoula, Mont. The state's primary will be held June 3.
A Republican and lifelong pacifist, Rankin lost her House seat after one term, in part because she voted against authorizing US entry into World War I.
She was elected again in 1940 and became the only member of Congress to oppose entry in World War II.
Rankin was an ardent feminist who championed birth control and women's suffrage.
Clinton reaffirmed her vote to authorize the US invasion of Iraq, saying she believed at the time it was a vote to send in weapons inspectors rather than to launch immediate military action.
"I'm more than willing to be held accountable for it, because that's the way it is in life. You are judged on your actions," she said.
McCain, who has not won over many conservatives in his party, made clear he planned a broader campaign than those waged by President Bush when he faces Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the November election.
The Arizona senator said he would go after votes of blacks and Hispanics, two traditionally strong Democratic blocs, as well as independents and young voters who have been attracted to the Democratic campaigns this year.
"I'm not sure that the old red state, blue state scenario that prevailed for the last several elections works," McCain said, referring to the way television networks depict Republican and Democratic states. "I think most of these states that we have either red or blue are going to be up for grabs."
Campaigning in Montana over the weekend, the Illinois senator renewed his promise to appoint a senior White House adviser on Indian issues if elected, and to host an annual meeting of tribal leaders.
Obama also cast his usual message in more Western-friendly terms, talking about clean-coal technology as a way of protecting Montana's beautiful mountains. He also spoke of civil liberties as part of the state's tradition of independence.