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The Race For The White House

Updated on February 12, 2009

Superdelegates Must End This Race Now

It is just before midnight and the results from Lake County, Indiana are the only remaining ballots that can determine the outcome of the Indiana Primary. Hillary Clinton is clinging to a 20,000 vote lead, but Lake County is practically a suburb of Chicago, which is Barack Obama Country. This is not as tense as I was back in 2000 when I was up until 3 or 4 a.m., waiting to find out the results in Florida. Yet there is a strong sense of anticipation here that something big is going to happen. CNN has been holding out calling this race for hours, saying it was too close to call. In the end, whether Hillary Clinton wins or loses by a point, it's not going to amount to much in the broad scheme of things. Barack Obama still leads the pledged delegates by about 150. He still leads the popular vote (not that that means anything at all, unless you're Hillary and you want to throw in the results from Michigan and Florida where the votes didn't count).

Barack has just won North Carolina by about 200,000 votes statewide, which will only add to his margin in the popular vote that everyone except Clinton supporters agree should be counted. In short, Hillary is running out of amunition to convince superdelegates that she - not Barack - should be the nominee of the Democratic party this year.

Now that Indiana and North Carolina are out of the way, we've got less than a handful of states remaining to vote. I suspect at this point that the single largest bloc of votes remaining to be had is held by the infamous superdelegates. At present, Clinton holds a small lead over Obama in pledged superdelegates, though those folks can change their mind on the floor of the convention. Hillary Clinton could be finished tomorrow if the superdelegates decided en masse to throw their support behind Barack Obama.

This is what they need to do. Sooner than later, these party officials have got to say that enough is enough and tell Hillary that for the sake of the Democratic party, she's got to face reality that 2008 just wasn't her year. Let's remember that this race was hers from the beginning. She was the 800 pound gorilla and now she's playing catch up.

Make no mistake - I loved Bill Clinton. I believe he would have been one of the greatest American Presidents, had he not screwed up so massively on the family values front. At the outset of this campaign, I was predisposed to at least feel good about Hillary, and if it turns out that she can win the nomination, I'll be proud to vote for her in November.

But that shouldn't happen. Barack Obama has won more states. He's won more delegates. He's got more Americans voting for him than she does. The only thing she can hang her hat on is that Michigan and Florida should be seated at the convention.

Here's the problem with that. Florida and Michigan voters knew, from day one, that their votes would not count. They knew because the DNC told them that if they changed their primary dates, they would not count, Democrats did not campaign in these states. Who knows what the outcome would have been if there had been a real election in either state? We'll never know.

Barack Obama has inspired millions of Americans who have never voted in an election before to cast their votes in support of his candidacy. Democrats know that they cannot win the national election if they only win the states on the east and west coasts. Hillary Clinton is winning the states that Democrats are going to win in November, regardless of who the candidate is. Barack Obama is winning states that we need to add to our column in order to win in November.

Do the Democratic Party a great big favor Superdelegates. Decide who you're going to vote for, get it over with, and let's move on to John McCain.



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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      . I remember one, in which he was talnikg about how the intelligence is manipulated to make us believe the government knows more than it can tell us, and we have to trust it with whatever it's about to do.This excuse was used over and over again, and almost always the intelligence proved to be false.Silber said the decision-making is never one of hard, cold thinking, but one of judgement. In other words, the government does nothing that the People could not do.But the elite in Washington believes the People is not well-informed, and does not deserve to be listened to. Its will can and in fact must be disregarded.Sir, I did not read your article, but your title reminded me of this.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Well mamicadaa nuts, how about that.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      . I agree 100%. But there's a snag here. And mind you, I mean what I'm about to say to get the wheels clrttnucsiveoy turning and thinking.While you blast (rightfully) the dangerous role of basic economic ignorance and the silly expectations therefrom in the voters' minds in the realm of democratic elections, the hard fact remains that there are many PhD economists, some with popular blogs and web-influence, who are not only partisan Democrats but also ideologically liberal. Krugman is a notable one. Others with popular blogs are DeLong and Thoma. There are others still. Visit Angry Bear and peruse the links on the right column.IOW, despite their sound grasp of basic economics and markets and beyond, the end result is that these professional economists generally support the same candidates and buy into the same rhetoric as many of the very voters you criticize. I think it's all fine and good for you, or Caplan in his book (which I've read), to make this case about economic biases and ignorance and its effects on democracy and voter mentality. I think it's great to recommend a book like Hazlitt's. But this doesn't tackle the larger problem that needs to be addressed:What does this talk about understanding basic econ and markets mean when many PhD economists who have studied well beyond the basic and fundamental tenets of economic thought support the unkeepable promises of candidates and buy into the unrealistic rhetoric that seduces laymen voters?What would a Krugman-like economist say about Bastiat or Hazlitt and the iron clad notions they put forth that they seemingly ignore through their actions? and WHY?In summary, economists who share your view need to start addressing the conflicts with economists who disagree with you before bemoaning the average voter. The average voter is an easy target. Blasting Joe Six Pack for silly views is easy. What to you say to Krugman? or DeLong? or any number economists who agree with them?That's a book I would buy.

    • crashcromwell profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Florida

      I'm not sure why, because I copied and pasted, but the link in my comment above to the blog that is tracking the delegate issue came up dead. Here's a link to the blog's front page:

    • crashcromwell profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Florida


      I am not throwing in the towel in November. A lot can and will happen between now and then. As I said in my comment above, I believe the best way to unify our party is for these two candidates to form a ticket together. In that regard, the supporters of both will feel vindicated. I still believe that the vast majority of Americans are opposed to the war in Iraq. I still believe that most Americans will make the connection between Bush energy policy and the high gas and oil prices we are paying. I also believe that John McCain is not a domestic kind of president, and his emphasis on foreign affairs will ultimately cause Americans, who are hurting, to look to the next viable alternative.


    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I agree with you Storyteller. it is a pity that we have not had a woman president yet. Until fairly recently being native born, 35 or older and male were legal requirements for the job. But it looks like Hillary is not the one and I agree that she should pack it in for the good of the party--but I bet she doesn't and that too is kind of sad. It's ironic that with two good, qualified candidates to choose from, we Democrats just may manage to shoot ourselves in the foot again and we will have four years ( if he survives that long) of president McCain. Great hub, Crash. Thanks

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      10 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      It's not about Hillary, really. It's about women. Thanks.

    • crashcromwell profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Florida

      If Hillary Clinton ultimately loses the nomination, I don't think it will be due to her gender. I'm not supporting Barack Obama because he is a male. I look at these two candidates and I see two people who are very ideologically similar. That's why I could vote proudly for either one of them.

      At the end of the day, I think the reason I am inclined to support Barack Obama is that he doesn't come into this with baggage. Rightly or wrongly, Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure. She's going to have a hard time swaying Republicans and some Independents to come her way. It's not a coincidence, I think, that Barack Obama has made it a theme of his campaign to set aside politics as usual. It was a proactive way that he could separate himself from Hillary Clinton.

      Races like this come once in a lifetime, perhaps longer. When was the last time anyone can remember having two candidates who went down to the wire like this in a nominating fight. Usually you have a field of high-quality individuals who put their ideas forward, and in time a clear front runner emerges. Having a race that goes this far along is so unusual, we should actually consider ourselves blessed.

      Why, then, am I calling on the Superdelegates to end this thing? I waited until this moment to make such a call because I realized last night, watching the election night coverage on CSPAN and CNN, that Hillary Clinton was running out of steam. The handwriting is on the wall. Does she have the good sense to see that it's over? If she does, she's staying in the race for reasons I cannot fathom. The bottom line is that the Superdelegates now have the largest bloc of votes that can determine the outcome of this race.

      At this moment, there are 795 Superdelegates. That number could change, because there are some special elections coming up, and each seat the Democrats win will add one Superdelegate to the total. Also, the big question is what the DNC will do with the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Not only are the pledged delegates being barred from the convention, but so are the state's superdelegates. Florida has 23 and Michigan has 27, which could add another 50 votes to the mix, depending upon what they do.

      At last count, not including any delegates from Florida and Michigan, there were 271 uncommitted Superdelegates. Barack Obama is 180 votes short of reaching 2025. So it is within the realm of the possibility that the Superdelegates could decide this race tomorrow, if they so-chose.

      The odds are that the majority of these players will give Hillary the chance to compete until the June 3 contests are done, and then see where things are. According to the remaining contests have a combined total of 217 delegates. Is it possible that Barack Obama could get the 180 delegates he needs from them? Sure. Is it likely? No. Even a damaged Hillary Clinton will win more than 37 delegates in those contests.

      So the bottom line is that Obama and Clinton are both going to need help from the Superdelegates. But if you look at the numbers, let's say that Hillary wins about 50 percent of the remaining delegates, and adds 108 pledged delegates to her total. That still puts her only at 1794, meaning that she would need 231 additional Superdelegates to get to the magic number of 2025. That would mean that Barack Obama would only get an additional 40 Superdelegates. Is that likely to happen? I doubt it.

      There is no dishonor for Hillary Clinton to lose this race. She can still come back in 8 years, after serving as Vice President Clinton, and serve two terms of her own. Hillary Clinton will be 61 by election day, which means that she would be 69 in 2016. That's 2 years younger than John McCain is today.

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      10 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      That our country has never had a woman president continues to amaze and diminish me.

      Angola, Argentina, Lesser Armenia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Byzantium, Cambodia, Canada, the Central African Republic, the Cherokee Nation, Chile, China,

      Denmark, Dominica, Easter Island, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Faeroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel and Judah,

      Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia,

      Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Micronesia, Monaco, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua,

      Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Roman Empire, Russia, Rwanda, St. Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Scotland,

      the Seminole Nation, Senegal, Sheba, Spain, Sri Lanka,

      Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, Wallis, Yugoslavia, Zululand

      All these countries have entrusted women with the highest position in the land. Why not the United States of America-- or France or Australia? What does this say about us? Yes, I respect the historical black perspective. But I still wonder.

      Why not?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hmm well put. I personally don't like either very much, but I'm hoping Hillary can pull a rabbit out of her hat. Either way if she can or can't, it needs to be decided soon.


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