If there were a mathematical equation for the jockeying for position to be the next speaker of the House of Delegates, it would look like this: c > p.
There are more candidates (c) than positions (p).
We have at least six delegates in play for five top positions: speaker, majority leader, whip, finance chairman and judiciary chairman.
This conundrum might be a little easier to solve if it were just a matter of leaving one person out, but it's more complicated than that. Each of these House members believes he is best qualified to hold the top position of speaker.
Add in some ego and you have a problem that, unlike math, does not have a perfect answer.
It's difficult to imagine now that the key players in the House leadership selection process - Delegates Brent Boggs, Mike Caputo, Tim Miley, Don Perdue, Doug Skaff and Harry Keith White - can come out of it without some hard feelings.
Yes, everyone goes into the race pledging to keep the discussions professional, but inevitably, for some, it becomes personal.
There was a meeting of Miley, Skaff and White that produced no resolution. Boggs noted that he was not invited.
That was followed by a meeting with all the players except Skaff that produced the same result.
On Talkline, White publicly expressed his interest, and strongly suggested that he was teaming up with Skaff to form a partnership of the old guard and the young guns. The next day, the Daily Mail quoted Skaff as saying he hadn't joined with anyone.
White felt he was left hanging, but he and Skaff either patched up their differences or concluded that their mutual interests would be accomplished by working together.