Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Superdelegate Scorecard

As Barack Obama sweeps through the primaries and caucuses, Hillary Clinton is still leading among the party faithful by an estimated 60 votes among the more than half of the 796 superdelegates who have made a commitment.

While the candidates are virtually tied among governors and members of Congress, the Clinton lead comes almost entirely from the Democratic National Committee, the insiders who set the organization's rules, raise the money and are likely to have long-standing ties to a family that gave them power in the 1990s.

"Change" is not the most appealing theme for this group but, if they turn out to be the deciders at the convention in August, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plea that they not overrule voters in choosing the nominee, Chairman Howard Dean will have a mess on his hands.

According to The Hill today, "Acrimony gathering inside the party has spurred some Democrats to begin discussing reforming the nominating process and perhaps getting rid of superdelegates altogether."

But as for now, most superdelegates are standing firm about their choices. One of them, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri vows to stick with Clinton and "would vote for her unless he died first."

If he does and she loses in November, his constituents may arrange for his political funeral later.

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