At first it was just ridiculous listening to him talking about changing the rules on Michigan (yes?) and Florida, and even talking about Puerto Rico's vote (they can't vote for president but can vote for the nominees, oddly enough). And he repeatedly ducked explaining Hillary's racist-sounding "candidate of the working white man" quote that is the current controversy. But as he talked, he started sounding entirely reasonable after all:
- The total popular vote so far is 16.5 million for Hillary and 16.7 million for Obama. In an election he would win; but this is a nomination, not an election, and in some sense this is not far from a tie.
- The job of the superdelegates isn't just to echo the popular vote. If it were, there'd be no point in having superdelegates (except as flattery, which it also is). The superdels, like all delegates if the convention were for example to be unable to come to a decision in the first vote, have as their first obligation to decide who the best candidate is for the Democratic Party--'best' in this case meaning only, and entirely, "the one most likely to get elected." In this near-tie vote situation leading up to the convention, there is nothing wrong with or even strange in suggesting they vote for Hillary if they decided she would be more likely to win the election. It wouldn't be a betrayal of party principle, or the voters; it would be what it is: Politics.
- And, finally, another commentator said Hillary is Hanging On mostly because, though she seems like a long shot now in mid-May 2008, "anything can happen," including a major screwup by Obama, a remark or act or bit of past history of Barack's that can be *twisted* into seeming like a major screwup, some world event that changes perceptions of the candidates (e.g. her stupid and scary Bomb Iran remark last month would make her sound Presidential if, say, Iran threw a nuclear missile at Isreal before the convention), or, also God forbid, some fatal or crippling accident to one of the candidates. All these are unlikely, but the one certainty about electoral politics is that nothing is certain. And, in light of the above, what happens doesn't even have to actually cripple Barack in the election--it just has to convince a few superdelegates that Obama has been seriously compromised, and -- Bam! -- the nomination goes to Clinton.
It will be a weird few months. I have to say, it is at times like this that I am glad I am a libertarian, and all this hubbub in both mainstream parties is just so much political eye candy for me - it's like watching a football game in which I have no team playing.
I just thank goodness there *is* a Libertarian Party on which I can waste my vote. It beats having to choose between (to exaggerate enormously) Stalin and Mao....