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Obama clinches 2026 with 15 more superdelegates; Axelrod slaps down Hillary VP meeting talking point [View All]

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 09:39 AM
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Obama clinches 2026 with 15 more superdelegates; Axelrod slaps down Hillary VP meeting talking point
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Edited on Fri May-23-08 09:42 AM by ProSense

Undeclared Superdelegates: The Gang of 165 (+ 32 in Limbo)

By Al Giordano



(Graph by DemConWatch.)

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To get to the current magic number of 2026, Obama needs just 69 more. Since he will surely get, at bare minimum, in the most conservative estimate of the three upcoming primaries, 35 of the remaining 86 pledged delegates to be chosen by Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota, and at least 19 of the 39 remaining add on delegates chosen by state Democratic committees (adding up to a guarantee of at least 54 more Obama pledged delegates, bringing his total to 2017 delegates), what it really means is that under the current math, Obama needs only 15 more superdelegates to clinch 2026 delegates.

Thats out of 165 non-add-on supers that have yet to declare for a candidate: in other words, with less than 10 percent of the remaining undeclared supers, Obama is the nominee. If he gets just one a day between now and June 5, when the primaries end, hell clear that hurdle. End of contest.

But what happens if suddenly Florida and Michigan are fully seated and the new magic number changes - as Senator Clinton insists - to 2210 delegates?

As I explained the other day, under the supposed worst-case scenario for Obama - if the Rules and Bylaws Committee were to seat both the rogue delegations at full strength with no penalty for either pledged or superdelegates from those states - Obama will net 80 pledged delegates plus three supers from Florida, and 55 pledged delegates plus five supers from Michigan, for a subtotal of 143.

Add those 143 delegates to his guaranteed 2017 and you get 2160 - just 50 short of 2210.

The 165 (non-add-on) undeclared superdelegates left come in these categories:

Governors: 6
Senators: 15
US Reps: 49
Party Elders: 4
DNC Members: 98


Seven of those DNC members - Chairman Dean and other officials - are prohibited by party rules from endorsing before there is a nominee, so cut the available DNC members to 91. That means that the total pool of undeclared superdelegates left is 165. Add 32 undeclared Florida and Michigan supers to that tally, and there would be 197.

To get to 2210, Obama would need 50 of those 197, about 25 percent of them. Hes already got a plurality of governors, senators, members of the US House and - this is new - he now leads 151.5 to 148.5 among DNC members.

50 superdelegates: That would be all that would be needed - even under Clinton rules - or about 3.5 a day between now and June 4. (Thats not 3.5 more than Clinton - its just 3.5 a day no matter how many or few go into her column, as long as she doesnt get more than 75 percent of them.)

Who are these remaining undeclared superdelegates? They come in various categories. Many are on the fence because it is in their nature to not want to upset or offend anyone, be it a candidate, or their constituents on each side. Others have projects or ambitions that require support and good will from players in both camps. A few - like some members of Congress - probably will not even attend the convention or vote in the nomination fight because they dont want their GOP rivals to whack them in ads for supporting either of the liberal presidential candidates. And a great many have already made up their minds to vote for Obama, but are waiting until all states have voted to announce their decisions.

Which is why I had to laugh aloud at an email I got today with the strangest of conspiracy theories. It posited that the remaining superdelegates might somehow force Obama to pick Clinton as his running mate. That is too funny. I have looked over the list, I know many of these undeclared supers, and these remaining undeclared ones are, by and large, the most milquetoast and neutrality-loving wanna-be-friends-with-everyone types in the entire party! Theyre the least likely to try and impose anything on a nominee.

So, whether this will be decided by The Gang of 165 (of which just 15 would need to break Obamas way) or the larger Gang of 197 (of which just 50, about one out of every four, would be needed to sew up Obamas nomination), it is a piece of cake, a sure thing, a lead-pipe cinch that Obama will soon be the nominee.

Which is why, I suspect, that after giving Senator Clinton enough rope to continue to behave ridiculously as she did today in Florida for the next ten days, the Obama campaign may - a day or two before the May 31 Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting - pull the chair out from under her and call for seating the whole shebang, looking gracious and magnanimous in victory, and leaving her presidential campaign hanging by the rope of its own making.


*** Mo money, mo problems: All the speculation about whether or not Clinton wants to be Obamas veep -- including Times report that Bill is pushing for it -- has ignored this point: Hillary becoming vice president would be a financial hit on the Clintons. Why? Because Bill Clinton would most likely have to give up all of his paid speeches, as well as many of his other business deals. Of course, this would have been the case had Clinton become president, but that sacrifice would have been worth it to Bill. Would the sacrifice be just as worth it on the veep front? With Obama promising an overly ethical and transparent White House, can his vice presidents spouse be giving paid speeches and entering business partnerships with anyone that might have business before the US government? Perhaps the easiest way out for Obama is for Jim Johnson to ask the Clintons to submit to a thorough vetting on the financial front, including seeing the list of the library donors and restricting Bill's ability to make the living he's been making the last eight years. Of course, with the Clintons making $109 million since leaving the White House, they can survive if Bill is giving fewer paid speeches.

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Obama strategist David Axelrod on MSNBCs Morning Joe said they havent engaged in any talks with Clinton about Veep, other negotiations...

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