What’s Hillary’s argument to the superdelegates? Update: Hillary leads in Texas, Ohio

posted at 10:40 am on February 15, 2008 by Allahpundit

Serious question. If the party elite gets to pick the nominee, what’s the case for them picking her over Obama? Assume she wins what she has to win on March 4 to stay alive but limps on through the rest of the season, losing most contests. He ends up, as now, with more delegates, more states, more momentum, more money, more personal appeal, and more historic significance. Given all that, why would any uncommitted superdel back her over him? Most of the ones who would do so out of loyalty or fear have presumably already committed. If it comes down to simply buying them off, he’s in better position than she is to do that — as he’s already proved. Sprinkle on some racial politics, with the Dems’ snow white power brokers very leery indeed of thwarting the first black nominee (especially with black superdels breaking his way), and she’s up shinola creek. Her one serious argument is that she does better with the Dems’ traditional base than he does (for now) and may be stronger in purple states like Ohio and Pennsylvania (but not Missouri, Minnesota, or Iowa). Anyone seriously see that happening, though? They’re going to deny the nomination to a guy whose popularity has attained cultish levels because he didn’t win the “right” states — especially with the prospect looming of Hillary-hatred tipping independents towards Maverick in the battlegrounds? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Extra credit question: Why do they have superdelegates in the first place? I’ve read this piece and Captain Ed’s post and I still don’t understand. It sounds like they wanted a way to stop the left from carrying some Nader-type who’d get crushed in the general all the way to the nomination, which makes the superdels not only anti-democratic by circumstance this year but by conception. They should get rid of them and let the primary voters have who they want, and if they elect someone who can’t win and doesn’t represent the politics of most of the party, they’ll learn their lesson in the next election. Just like the GOP in 2012!

Update: Survey USA has her up 17 in Ohio, Rasmussen has her up 16 in Texas. But storm clouds are a-gatherin’.

Update: The bad news? Another poll has Obama up six on our gal in Texas. The good news? It’s ARG.


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AP
In all cases like this it always comes down to one of two things:

the carrot or the stick.

With Hillary, I think she’s more a stick person.

Always Right on February 15, 2008 at 10:43 AM

If someone picks the lock on the testicle lockbox, she’s really going to have problems.

I just cannot envision a graceful exit for this vile woman.

As T.O. once said: Get the popcorn ready…

JammieWearingFool on February 15, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Extra credit question: Why do they have superdelegates in the first place? I’ve read this piece and Captain Ed’s post and I still don’t understand.

I have a feeling that superdelgates will not be around come the next elections. The DNC can legislate the Superdelgates away on their own.

TOPV on February 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM

I can’t imagine the havoc she’ll cause in the Senate when she’s no longer positioning herself for a presidential run. Unbridled marxism and totalitarian nanny state here we come!

trubble on February 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Extra credit question: Why do they have superdelegates in the first place?

Because there are always different rules for the elites in the “Democratic” Party. We might as well start referring to them as the Politburo.

CP on February 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Anyone seriously see that happening, though? They’re going to deny a guy whose popularity has attained cultish levels because he didn’t win the “right” states, especially with the prospect looming of Hillary-hatred tipping independents towards Maverick in the battlegrounds?

If she can manage to keep the pledged delegate count close, I think that a comfortable win in Ohio is a strong argument to superdelegates. I don’t think independents will care as much about the intra-party machinations of the Democrats than their base will. The blue states, with the possible exception of NH and one or two in the upper Midwest, are likely to stay blue in November, so the Democrats will want their strongest candidate in the battleground states that matter. Hillary has won in NH, and nobody knows how Obama would have done in Michigan or Florida. If she wins in Ohio, backing Obama will be a bit of a gamble for superdelegates, whose main goal is to select the nominee who will win in November. Hillary knows this, which is probably why she’s spending so much time in Ohio lately.

Big S on February 15, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I’m definitely in the minority here, but I still think Hillary would have a better chance vs. Maverick in the general. B. Hussein Obama is as lightweight a candidate as has ever been on the national stage. The guy practically stutters without his ever present teleprompters. His poliicies (which you have to really dig to find) make Jimmy Carter look like Reagan. He’ll carry NO southern states (and don’t believe for a minute that the Latinos are going to warm to him, not with El’Maverick on the other side). And as many problems I have with Mav, consider what the two of them will look like on the debate stage together. Hey, seniors vote. Sorry, “young’ns” don’t.
Oh, and if it were Hillary in the general, Clenus would be able to pull every dirty trick in the book against Maverick that he isn’t being allowed to now by the MSM.
So, let folks go ahead and think BHO is unstoppable. So were the NE Patriots.

Sugar Land on February 15, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Extra credit question: Why do they have superdelegates in the first place?

The idea of a true ‘democracy’ in the eyes of Democrats went of the way of the Dodo some time ago. You must remember that the Dems truly believe that ‘the people’ are too stupid to govern themselves, run a business, raise a family, etc. Why the heck trust them with an election? We did elect Bush TWICE afterall… Sure the Dems will say the right things and give an impersonation of ‘voter’s rights’, but the use of superdelegates helps take that right away. If ‘the people’ start to rally around the wrong person, don’t worry, the SuperDelegates will swoop in to save the day!

We the people are best left debating whether Clemens used steroids or when Britt will ‘AnnaNicole’ herself. Mmmmmmm, that’s good koolaid!

SwampRat on February 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

I’m definitely in the minority here, but I still think Hillary would have a better chance vs. Maverick in the general. B. Hussein Obama is as lightweight a candidate as has ever been on the national stage.

I think the way to look at it is that Obama has a higher ceiling than Hillary, but a lower floor. He could win or lose in a landslide, depending on how he performs, and what happens in the world between now and November. Hillary will maintain the general shape of the electoral map, with a few states like Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, and Virginia taking the roles of important battlegrounds. This year, with a Republican funding disadvantage, the narrowing effect Hillary would have might actually benefit the Republican nominee, since he could concentrate his resources on a few markets.

Big S on February 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Hillary has a good shot at the March 4th races. If she wins, she could do well in future races. Tony Rezko’s trial gets under way until March 3, which will hurt Obama. Also, Obama is a fringe candidate. Once someone points out his positions (this is a guy who wants to give driver licenses to illegal aliens after all), he will do poorly in the general election (where most voters are moderates). So she can argue she is more moderate than Obama.

bnelson44 on February 15, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Big S on February 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM

I agree. By the way, if Obama runs, expect McCain to run to the center and pick a moderate Republican as a running mate, not a conservative. He needs to run against Obama in the Fall, not Rush.

bnelson44 on February 15, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Sugar Land on February 15, 2008 at 10:55 AM

I don’t agree because if you’ve noticed the big push this election cycle has been change. Voters don’t want the old establishment, and it’s easy to paint McCain as part of that old establishment.

My other argument would be the independent vote. Elections are only won with a large majority of independents, and I think Obama has a better shot at garnering the independent vote.

I think your arguments about the elderly, latinos and the south are spot on though.

Luckedout on February 15, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Hilliary is done. She was done when she chose to not be a Clinton to Obama, and instead tried to be a normal person. Clintons cannot win unless they cheat the system and destroy their opponents with lies/slander/blackmail/murder. Obama will be the Dem nominee, and he will be POTUS.

It comes down to this: the vast majority of US voters make their decision on who to vote for in Nov. They will have two options when they finally start paying attention. The first will be “the same bland old white guy that talks about some war on terror and stuff – just like Bush”, the other will be “that African American young guy I have heard about from my friends. Wow, he really gives great speeches. Voting for the first black president will say so much about me. I could be a part of history.” Etc.

Obama will sweep the black vote, will get all the Dems, and will horde the independents. The only people that will vote McCain vs. him are the ones that are paying attention and actually looking at Obama’s plans. And we all know how very few US citizens are actually paying any attention at all.

Just how I see things playing out.

Voidseeker on February 15, 2008 at 11:10 AM

I feel certain that the only way Hill makes it to POTUS is as Obama’s VP and him having an ‘accident’.

Yes, I do believe the Clinton’s are capable of just that. Too many people around them have suddenly died under questionable circumstances, to the benefit of the Clintons, for it to be ignored.

Not to be misunderstood here: would love Hillary to run against McCain as the GOP would have a shot to win – and if they win we MIGHT be done with the Clintons for good. If Obama is the nominee the Clintons will just wait to try again as it was a “fluke”.

But regardless of who the Dems put up I will not be voting for McCain.

Voidseeker on February 15, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Gee, party elite getting together and rigging the primary process to favor one candidate over all others. Why the surprise the Democrats are doing this when the GOP clearly rigged the election for a Rudy/McCain victory. By the time the social conservatives realized they had been duped by the leftists, it was too late to do anything about it. But, the party elite may have been a bit too clever considering the true outrage among the base because the nominee is going to be John f-ing McCain instead of a real Republican.

Looking forward to ’12 when the conservatives kick the McCain brand of socialism out of the party!

highhopes on February 15, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Update: Survey USA has her up 17 in Ohio, Rasmussen has her up 16 in Texas. But storm clouds are a-gatherin’.

Hillary is going all out in TX and the Texans know it. She will probably do OK there. It isn’t a winner take all state though.

bnelson44 on February 15, 2008 at 11:36 AM

One big unknown at this point is what happens to Obama when he starts getting serious scrutiny, and when his policy “ideas” are dissected. If we would rather have McCain going against Hillary, then the VRWC (vast right wing conspiracy) blogosphere should start doing McCain’s opposition team’s homework on Obama for them and get it done while he’s still a candidate–ie. yesterday. If McCain spends a lot of his time from this point on tearing Obama’s “policies” to shreds, toting up the cost, their utopianism, their bureaucratic (socialist) orientation, their unworkability, etc., and if (the biggest if) his campaign can get some traction with the much vaunted swing voters in this effort, that would give Hillary (the one with all the “experience”) something to pitch to the superdels. Since tearing up Obama’s policies is something that is going to have get done when he’s the candidate, why not start early? It would also make McCain look more like a conservative, which couldn’t but help McCain’s standing with the base.

smellthecoffee on February 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Of course they were designed (in 1982) to stop “another McGovern.” And you are right to say that is essentially anti-democratic.

But, with so many Dems claiming the supremacy of the popular vote in 2000, the passage of time, and (I think) some clever positioning or ground-prop by the Obama team, this year the notion that “superdels must respect the will of the people” has gained great currency. Quite rapidly too.

A few months ago, it was understood that Obama would have to overcome The Borg’s likely advantage in superdels. Today, it is, astonishingly, a different case. He merely has to be significantly (unambiguously) ahead in both pledged dels and pop. vote.

The whole shift in the way the superdel struggle is being viewed is THE untold story of this election. It will be the “Donna Brazile election.”

commissar on February 15, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Thanks for the Protein Wisdom link, AP.

Of course the superdels were conceived of as anti-democratic (just before JJackson started running, coincidentally). There is no rationale for them otherwise.

BTW, earlier this week, I rounded up a cross-section of the state head-to-head polls (mostly from SUSA). At the moment, Mac looks better against Obama in the battleground states, which reinforces HRC’s argument.

Karl on February 15, 2008 at 12:48 PM

The Clintons still have the FBI files…and woe be unto the Superdelegate who ignores that fact…

landlines on February 15, 2008 at 1:03 PM

commissar on February 15, 2008 at 11:57 AM

I agree. The superdels were to preserve the ability to deal in the smoke filled room while giving the appearance of allowing the people to choose the nominee. After McGovern, the democrats didn’t trust the folks to pick their nominee. It’s further evidence that democrats trust people to make decisions far less than Republicans do.

I think that after their rhetoric in 2000,(which is just rhetoric and not principle. They would have said the opposite if it served them.) and the attention given to the superdels this time around, the DNC will be forced to get rid of this practice soon. Well, they would if the democrats made any effort to be intellecutally consistent.

TX Mom on February 15, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Leading in Texas? that cant last long. c’mon Texas snap out of it.

johnnyU on February 15, 2008 at 9:48 PM