Sunday, March 09, 2008
So far the 2008 Democratic nomination process has yet to produce a clear victor, unlike the GOP, which will send Arizona Sen. John McCain to the general election in November. While some Democrats insist the crown belongs to Barack Obama and that Hillary should get out of the race, the simple fact is that both candidates are in a virtual dead heat. The junior Senator from Illinois leads in delegates by about 10% and by about 2% in popular vote. Hardly an Obama mandate, and certainly no justification to claim the nomination. But that's not stopping Team-Obama from insisting that come convention-time in August, if he's still ahead in delegates then he should be the nominee.
But here's what very wrong with that supposition: the party requires 2025 delegates to snag the prize. Not 2000, not 1900, not 1800 and not 1700, where Obama is likely to end up when the action moves to Denver this Summer. If it's as simple as giving the nomination to whoever has the lead by then, then why does the party have it's 2025 rule? Why then isn't the rule that whoever has the most delegates, not 2025, wins? Why is no one but me asking this question? Am I missing something? I think this is a very simple issue. If you get the 2025 needed delegates, you win the nomination. If you fall short, then the Super-Delegates must analyze all the critical factors of the campaign and assess the overall viability of each candidate. That's how the system is currently set up. Those are the rules. Why is it that the Obama camp can cry foul and accuse Clinton of attempting to change the rules (re: re-seating Michigan and Florida's delegates) but seemingly has no problem arguing against adhering to the 2025 minimum rule?
I think it's pretty arrogant for Obama and his team to essentially be saying..."We're gonna campaign long and hard to convince enough Americans to vote for us so we can get the 2025 minimum delegates to win the nomination. But if we fall short of that minimum, even several hundred short, then we're gonna claim the nomination's ours anyway as long as we're ahead." I ask again, if that's how it's all gonna work in the end, why have a 2025 minimum?
I'm sorry Obama fans, like it or not, both candidates are basically tied. Certainly close enough that neither of them can rightfully claim anything right now with five months to go until the convention. That's a lifetime in politics. And on April 22nd, the landscape can change even more, especially if Clinton wins in Pennsylvania, and wins big. For one thing, her winning streak of big Blue states will have continued; she could tie or even pull ahead on the popular vote; and she could appreciably narrow the delegate deficit. And if that's the case, the Super-Delegates' job becomes even more relevant. They must ultimately choose who is the most electable candidate, not merely who has the lead, especially a small one, in delegates.
To show just how murky the waters have become, former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, told host Tim Russert that the Super-Delegates will be hard-pressed not to follow the will of the people. That they could not overturn the American voters' wishes. But when asked by Russert if that would be the case should Clinton win the popular vote, Daschle back-flipped and said its the pledged delegates, "elected by the people," who should ultimately be making this decision. C'mon, Tom, would it really be going against the 'will of the people' if the Super-Delegates ultimately support the candidate with the most popular votes?
So let's get real here. It's time the mainstream media begins to ask the question....why have a 2025 minimum if simply finishing with a simple deleagte lead is grounds to claim the nomination? Until I hear a logical answer, and not one mired in partisan rhetoric, the issue is pretty black and white. No minimum, no nomination.