According to The New York Times and others, what was once an alarming possibility now appears likely: The Democratic nomination will probably be decided by superdelegates—those party bigwigs who exist to keep the will of the people in check. If that happens, expect to see the ugly side of politics out in the open. It’s already begun to surface.
Many of those superdelegates are elected officials, and too many of them have received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of campaign contributions from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
It’s one thing to dispatch a Michelle Obama or a Chelsea Clinton to lunch with a prospective supporter. Like baby kissing, we all expect that sort of thing. And it’s not unusual for politicians to throw cash each other’s way. After all, it’s a tried and tested way of joining the leadership of a party.
But with John McCain already running for president, the Democrats will have to cope with a 24-hour news cycle chronicling their every desperate campaign maneuver, including cash for super support.
And it’s only going to get worse.
The last thing the party that lost a presidential election to electoral shenanigans and a Supreme Court needs is the image of cigar-chomping party elites overruling the will of the people, however they choose.
New York Times:
WASHINGTON—Senator Barack Obama emerged from Tuesday’s primaries leading Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by more than 100 delegates, a small but significant advantage that Democrats said would be difficult for Mrs. Clinton to make up in the remaining contests in the presidential nomination battle.
Neither candidate is expected to win the 2,025 pledged delegates needed to claim the nomination by the time the voting ends in June. But Mr. Obama’s campaign began making a case in earnest on Wednesday that if he maintained his edge in delegates won in primaries and caucuses, he would have the strongest claim to the backing of the 796 elected Democrats and party leaders known as superdelegates who are free to vote as they choose and who now stand to determine the outcome.
Mrs. Clinton’s aides said she could still pull out a victory with victories in the biggest primaries still to come, including Ohio and Texas next month. But Mr. Obama’s clear lead in delegates allocated by the votes in nominating contests is one of a number of challenges facing her after a string of defeats in which Mr. Obama not only ran up big popular vote margins but also made inroads among the types of voters she had most been counting on, including women and lower-income people.