Category Archives: super delegates

>OP ED: Why is she still running?

>Why is Hillary continuing to fight for a nomination most observers believe to be lost?

One of the most popular assumptions should be the first to be eliminated. It is the theory that suggests that she is driven by madness – an irrational and obsessive lust for power allowed to run wild by demented denial. Perhaps it is her formative years devotion to the Chicago Cubs that has made her believe that “all but certain” victory is never certain.

I think these are not the reasons.

Clinton & Co. is far too shrewd to become the victim of such gross self deception or unreasonable expectations — and even if SHE has succumbed, it fails to explain the support she receives from savvy party leaders, seasoned political aides, much of the voting public and a crafty “been there/done that” husband. If it is just the matter of a crazy lady, why are there still so many super delegates withholding their daggers? There is more to Lady Hillary’s tenacious quest than personal blind ambition or unbridled optimism.

First and foremost, despite every attempt to cajole her out of the race – to seal the victory – Barack Obama does not have it yet. Close, maybe. All but certain, arguable. But still no cigar. The declarations of demise have been premature. There is still a pulse – weak and fading – but still there. There is always that long-shot possibility and SOMETHING will happen between now and the convention.

If Obama is nominated, as seems most likely, it will be by the slimmest of margins – more of a technical or circumstantial victory than a mandate of any sort. Her popular vote and delegate count are within a hair’s breath of Obama. Despite the popular consensus of inevitability, it is obvious to every politico and pundit in the world that Obama’s calculated lead languishes within the traditional margins of error. The Democrat party is a house divided. Obama is the candidate of only half the party faithful. A sea change based on some shocking disclosure is always possible – and with numbers so close, it may not take a very big shocker to crate that sea change. It would appear that out of 300 million Americans, it will only take about 150 super delegates to decide on the Democrat candidate.

Though her maladroit allusion to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy was never intended to mean that she included Obama getting knocked off as a victory strategy. It is true, however, that with months to go before the convention’s coronation, many things other than assassination can happen. Obama’s Chicago political machine background is far from fully vetted. There are other issues and other “friends” that can bring revised judgment on the junior senator from Illinois. Maybe there is a blockbuster scandal hidden beneath a rock that Clinton has uncovered.

But even that seems too little of a hope to warrant the expending of both cash and political capital at rates necessary to maintain forward motion. What makes the most sense is 2012.

In all likelihood, Clinton and her people know that she is not going to get the nomination this year. They also know that there is not likely going to be some dramatic event to pull the rug out from under Obama. Never know, but odds against.

It is safe to assume that Clinton still wants to be president, and if 2008 is not going to put her into the race, then the next best thing is to go for it in 2012. Suddenly her seemingly Quixotic campaign makes sense. She builds political infrastructure – lists, donors, endorsements, friends, knowledge, new registered voters.

She also shows political muscle. How many candidates can win primary after primary against the “inevitable” candidate. Several pundits suggest, to their bewilderment, that she is losing bargaining strength with the Obama folks. The prospects of a vice presidential nomination have diminished as she pressed on. She may have put her self out of consideration for Secretary of State of Attorney General. She may have lost Obama’s clout to make her head of the Senate – replacing Harry Reid. What these pundits fail to appreciate is that Clinton has absolutely no interest in bowing to bargain with Obama. She is going after independent political strength.

A lot of Democrats express concern that the never ending Clinton campaign is hurting Obama’s chances in the General Election. Exactly! An Obama defeat would mean an open nomination in 2012. And who would be in the strongest position to take that nomination? You got it. Lady Hillary.

I think Clinton shares my view that Obama is not electable in November – so what harm in making that a bit more certain. In fact, the more decisive the defeat, the less likely she will have to battle him again for the nomination four years hence.

Clinton knows that a signification portion of her voters are never going to vote for Obama. He is too liberal and too black. Many of those new voters she is recruiting in the latter primaries will be McCain voters with Obama heading the ticket.

If it is McCain in 2008, the next presidential election is a good opportunity. Not only will the Democrat nomination be up for grabs, but the normal second term prospects for an incumbent president are altered by McCain’s age. He could easily be a one termer.

So, methinks rather than being mad as a hatter, Clinton may be sly as a fox. While Obama campaigns for 2008, Clinton has already begun the 2012 campaign.

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>OBSERVATION: DON’T STOP NOW, HILLARY!!!

>We have all been reading a lot lately about the prolonged agony known as the Democrat presidential campaign. It is the fashion to express weariness over the pugilistic presidential match between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Ask any citizen if he or she is tired of the daily reports from the hustings, and you will get the socially acceptable answer, “yes.”

Methinks beneath the veneer of disdain lies a truer answer that comes from our delightful darker nature. As one fellow blogger confessed, “I don’t care who wins, I just want this battle to wage on.”

Exactly! This is great theater. It is the best reality show on television. No television script writer would have conjured a more thrilling plot. For sure, Republicans have the added joy of watching the Democrat party self destruct, but even without that partisan benefit, this is still great entertainment. The first serious black candidate faces the first serious female candidate. A former president is the hubby of the lady candidate. And who could have invented such supporting antagonists as the fiery race-baiting Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the unrepentant terrorist-cum-college professor William Ayers and political padrone indictee Anthony Rezko.

And what great subplots. Shuffling the primaries until they make no sense at all. Disenfranchising two of the most important states. Debate over whether one of the candidates is a Christian or a closet Muslim. A candidate who recalls a young girl presenting flowers as deadly sniper fire. You cannot make this stuff up – and we don’t have to.

On the GOP side, we have a guy who was imprisoned for five years in Vietnam, and now hopes to be the oldest – and crankiest — man ever to run for president of the United States – and he campaigns WITH HIS MOTHER.

This makes American Idol look like an Ames Iowa community access cable show. And we want it to stop? Hillary! Please. Please. Please do not drop out. There are still more primaries. Think of all the Jeremiah Wrights, William Ayers and “bitter remarks” that can go off like land minds at any moment. Make those super delegates sweat. Better yet, make them deal like middle eastern bazaar merchants at the convention. Bring on the fight over the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegations.

Maybe that’s too much to hope for, but let’s stop pretending we’re not enjoying the drama and trauma of it all.

>REACT: Obama gets stoned in key state

>Barack Obama took a drubbing in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania. Of course, they peddle the “we closed the gap” spin. What else can they say? The Obamacans cleverly set a very low pre-election standard of victory. “If we can keep Clinton to a single digit victory, we win,” they proffer. Well, they didn’t. Even with a phenomenal 92 percent of the black vote, obama got creamed in almost landslide proportions.

Obama spin may make make good fodder for the fawning press and general public, but it will not wash with the party pros – right now known as super delegates.

It should be kept in mind that Clinton’s victory comes to a candidate thought to be on the ropes. Despite recent calls for her to step aside, she continues to prove that he opponent is not a comfortable choice among even Democrat voters.

Obama actually did better with white voters in the early primaries. Once he found it necessary to increase his percentages in the African American community by advancing the “us” concept, he naturally created a “them.” It appears that a lot of “them” have abandoned Obama.

As we have stated before, Obama wins, or comes close, mostly because of the extraordinary support of the black community AND the high percentage of black voters in those Democrat primaries. Is you apply the same racial statistical break down to the likely voters in the General Election, Obama gets swamped. He only carries Washington, D.C. for sure. That is the reality faced by the super delegates as this contest heads into the convention.

Obama may have looked like the African-American version of the White Knight early on, but more recent revelations have obviously turned away voters. As the theory goes, if the early voters had known about some of his positions, his more recent Afro-centric outreach, Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the Tony Rezko trial and Bill Ayers, Obama may not have done so well. Maybe he would have floundered early on. This is what the super delegates have to consider or they are meaningless.

The junior senator from Illinois is looking more and more like a General Election loser. This will motivate the super delegates to do what they were empowered to do – to serve as a safety mechanism to head off the nomination of an unelectable candidate. There role has never been to rubber stamp the candidates with the most votes.

Keep in mind that the super delegates are only important when the race is extremely close. While one candidate may have a majority of votes or delegates, the margin is so small as to make it politically meaningless. At this rate, neither candidate will go to the convention with a clear mandate. It will be up to the power brokers to figure out who the best nominee will be. Electablity is the only issue. Maybe that is not the most democratic resolution, but it is the best option they have.

FOOTNOTE: Some have suggested that I am one of those conservatives pumping for Hillary as the most beatable candidate. Not so. In fact, I have stated in previous blogs my opinion that Obama is by far the more beatable candidate.

>OP ED: The Dems heading to a super converntion

>Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! The Democrats seem to have created quite a problem with their politically correct rules governing the nomination of their candidate for President. It was supposed to all be “super” – Super Tuesday and super delegates.

The powers that be, mostly the Clinton folks, gerryrigged the primaries to create a Super Tuesday. It was supposed to be the day of Hillary’s coronation. In hindsight, the folly of their thinking is obvious.

The leaders of the party also punished Michigan and Florida for having the temerity to move their truly significant primaries ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire – states were being first is their only relevancy. Banning Michigan and Florida was no big deal. By the time the convention rolled around, Hillary would be the pre-determined candidate. The errant states could then be seated as a courtesy, without any impact on the outcome.

This did not work out as planned, either.

Suddenly Michigan and Florida can play an enormously important role. Since Hillary carried both states without a contest, the Clintonites are all for seating the delegations. Having originally agreed to respect the ban, they belatedly discovered the spirit of democracy and think those voters should not be disenfranchised. The Obamacans are in a bit of a quandary. Of course, they are not about to hand over all those delegates to the candidate breathing down their neck. But, they also do not want to seem to be … well … undemocratic. Getting the voters in such key states in a hissy fit may have repercussions in the General Election.

There is lots of talk about a re-do. Neither the candidates, nor the Democrat party is willing to cough up the do-re-mi to pay for another election. The leaders of Michigan and Florida have made it pretty clear that they are not about to stick their constituent taxpayers with a bill for a second election because the Democrat wise guys in Washington screwed up. This could mean a very ugly credentials fight on the eve of the National Convention. With the presidential nomination at stake, this will not be a pretty fight.

But even after they settle that feud, neither Obama or Clinton may have enough elected delegates for a first ballot victory. Now comes the question of the super delegates.

Jesse Jackson is beating the drum with the idea that the super delegates simply cast their votes for the candidate with the most elected delegates rather than steal (his word) the election for the other candidate. Of course, he is betting that the “other” candidate will be Clinton. Despite that, there is a hint of democracy that wafts through Jackson’s obvious self-serving intent. What his suggestion lacks, however, is practicality.

Keep in mind that the super delegates are all the party bigwigs who did not want to risk being aced out of the convention by the voters. These are wheeler-dealers – and to wheel and deal for a presidential nomination is political nirvana.

It is also true that these leadership types were given these positions to exercise good political judgment, just in case the voters did not. There is always the chance that the votes may wind up giving the lead to the less electable candidate. These pros can easily distinguish the “less electable candidate.” That’s the one who offers the poorest deals.

The Jackson et al plan would basically neuter the super delegates. We would probably have to refer to them as the “meaningless delegates.”

If Clinton snatches the prize from Obama on the basis of seating the Michigan and Florida delegates and taking a majority of the super delegates, there will be a whole lot of healing needed. But such an outcome will at least silence the incessantly gripping echoes of 2000, when Bush won a technical, albeit fair and square, victory according to the rules if not by popular vote.

How sweet it is.