Monday, May 26, 2008

She may be dancin', but it ain' gonna get better for ole Hillary

The Obama 17: Superdelegates in the Wings

By Jim McTague

The road to victory for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is straight out of a nightmare: It keeps getting steeper and steeper the closer she gets to the end. By late next week, it may become obvious even to her that she'd have a better chance at Power Ball than pulling out a backroom victory against Barack Obama.

A highly placed Democratic Party source we've dealt with for many years tells us that Obama over the next several weeks will announce support from as many as 17 superdelegates, bringing his total delegate count from the current 1,965 to 1,982. This means that he need win only 40% of the 110 pledged delegates up for grabs in primaries in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota to secure the nomination. Obama-campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said it sounded as though our source was guessing; our source says he got his information from the Obama campaign. We add that the number does not include 17 delegates won in early primaries by former candidate John Edwards, who recently jumped on the Obama bandwagon.

Clinton's strategy is to win most of the 111 delegates and then persuade 201 currently uncommitted superdelegates to support her. She argues that she would have a less difficult time defeating Republican John McCain in November because she's won primaries in key swing states, like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Primaries in Florida and Michigan did not count because the states violated party rules. Clinton hopes to persuade her party's rules committee on May 31 to seat delegates from those states anyway so as not to disfranchise their voters. She received the most votes in those unofficial primaries. Obama wasn't on the ballot in Michigan.

Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, which describes itself as a "progressive think tank," predicts the party will seat part of the Michigan and Florida delegations, not all of them. Democratic officials in other states want them punished for bad behavior, he says. Rosenberg, who was a member of Bill Clinton's campaign staff in 1992, says he believes Hillary is hanging on because "she believes she's the better candidate."

Original article posted here.

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