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I really don't understand this, and I consider myself a serious political junkie.  As Hillary began to accumulate primary victories, more and more superdelegates went to Barack.  Why?  Aren't the party insiders (superdelegates) more likely to support the insider (former president's wife)?  What was up with that?  Thanks for the education.  This is a serious question, not snark.

Originally posted to wilky on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  And overturning the Pledged Delegates (13+ / 0-)

      would be suicide for the party.

      Just imagine:

      "White folks take away the vote of the people!"


      The Popular Vote metric not only does not count in this competition, but it is incalculable.  There are apples, oranges, jellyfish and transmissions to be compared (primaries, caucuses, Michigan and Florida) - any possible calculation can be just as arguably refuted by a dozen others.


      "A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things." - Admiral Grace Hopper, Computer Pioneer

      by chrisblask on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:30:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and.... (5+ / 0-)

        I agree with this, and add that many of the supers who voted for Barack realize that the voters are watching. Awhile back, before Obama had enough supers and was just getting more than Hillary had, I recall reading on Kos that he had elected officials and she had non-elected individuals. Those in public office have to remember that voters are watching and that is what it comes down to. Obama has large coat tails so that anyone running when he does is likely to do well. Elected officials voting for Hillary would be seen as   supporting old politics, not change. Supporting the wrong candidate (loser) has an effect on their political career.

        The supers wanted the people to decide and wanted to be on the side of the will of the people.  

        "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi

        by yogishan on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:36:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  well.. (7+ / 0-)

    travel back in time, before Iowa, and Hillary Clinton had the endorsements of over 150 superdelegates.   I guess those SD's didn't care about the will of the people but anyways.  Hillary didn't offer the undecided SD's a whole lot of good reasons to endorse her.  

    They probably scared a bunch of them with their framing of Bill Richardson as Judas..  you don't win people over with fear, come on.

    MYDD - The land of phantom recs and virtual mojo.

    by soros on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:23:19 AM PDT

  •  Iowa was the first hint (14+ / 0-)

    that Barack would do well -- after Super Tuesday if was obvious she ha no longterm game plan, beyond being propped by state machines and unions.

    Also, bear in mind that the Clintons made enemies on the way up.

  •  The Bottom Line: (22+ / 0-)

    The pledged delegate count is the ultimate leverage. There was NO WAY that the politicians were going to overturn the pledged delegate count just because Clinton wanted them to. They know that the cost of doing that would be far greater than whatever cost would be incurred for resisting Clinton.

    With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

    by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:24:51 AM PDT

  •  Simple (9+ / 0-)

    The delegate races are influenced by congressional district victories as well as state-wide victories.  Thus, as Hillary won state-wide contests towards the end, Barack continued to rack up delegates from some congressional district victories within those states.

    Having already won the lion's share of delegates in the first 75% of contests, he grew closer and closer to the elected delegate majority in the last 25% of contests.  This was when Hillary finally found some friendlier states for her message of moderated change.

    The supers, seeing Barack get very close to being the guy with the most elected delegates, wanted to get on board before the contests were over.  That also explains the flood on the last day of elections.

  •  Because they could do the math. (20+ / 0-)

    By the end of April, if not sooner, she had no chance of getting the lead in pledged delegates and they supers did not want to see a candidate with the most delegates loose the nomination.

    Hillary's claim to having more votes is based on several wrong assumptions.

    1.  That you should only count the number of people who go to caucuses as having voted.  In fact, in caucuses a much lower percentage of voters attend so a caucus state has many fewer "voters" by her count than if it held a primary.
    1.  She counts FL and MI in her totals.  Barack was not even on the ballot in MI and FL was not a campaign.
    1.  Anecdotally many supers were taken aback by the kind of campaign she ran.
    1.  For most of the time after Super Tuesday Obama led the head to head polls vs McCain.
    1.  With the highest negatives of any candidate many supers came to believe that Obama was the best candidate even if poor uneducated old white people in the Appalachians were voting for Hillary.

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:24:56 AM PDT

  •  Obama won the race in February (12+ / 0-)

    it didn't matter if Clinton picked up relatively narrow wins after that, Obama kept it close enough so his February winning streak wasn't negated.

    North Carolina/Indiana was the final nail in the coffin, as Obama pulled off a blowout in NC and it was clear from exit polls that, if it weren't for Limbaugh mischief, he would have won Indiana too.

    Also, national polls showed Obama emerging as the clear favorite of Democrats, and many state polls, especially California, showed he would have won those states had their primaries occurred later in the season.

  •  Obama showed he was the stronger candidate. (13+ / 0-)

    He raised more money from more people. He brought out bigger crowds and more door-to-door activists. He represented change better, in a year when it's clearly a change election.

    He attracted more Independents, and broadened the reach of the Democratic Party into regions where the party had been ignored, and where down-ticket races are now hot and promising.

    He attracted the next generation of Democratic voters.

    He showed himself able to win, both through personal strength as a candidate and remarkable political organization and skill.

    He represents the future of our Party.

    His wife is gorgeous and awesome. Well she is, although I concede that's probably not a reason for the SuperDs.

    "Not only do I want an elite president,
    I want someone who's embarrassingly superior to me."
    -- Jon Stewart, 4/15/08

    by pat208 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:27:12 AM PDT

  •  Not snark, but certainly Disingenuous. (5+ / 0-)

    Notice: This Comment © ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:29:06 AM PDT

  •  Because of how blatantly obvious it was that (7+ / 0-)

    he out-planned, out-campaigned, out-fundraised, and out did her in practically every metric. I never doubted he would.

    "Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will." ~ Antonio Gramsci

    by From a distance on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:29:48 AM PDT

  •  BECAUSE OF SEXISM!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Oh wait, she conceded?

  •  also, as I've argued before (9+ / 0-)

    The Clintons are party outsiders. Their rise in the 90's was an insurgency campaign that sought to overturn the old liberal orthodoxy with a more socially moderate, corporation-friendly brand of Democrat. They don't really have many strong allies among the old guard liberals, and many resented them for putting more of a focus on holding the White House than preserving the Congress.

    Obama, in many ways, represents a restoration of an older progressivism.

  •  Think of the NBA (5+ / 0-)

    Obama had longed ceased campaigning for the primaries when Clinton was amassing those useless victories in KT, WV, and PR.

    This race was over by the end of March, in spite the best attempts by Hillary and the media to keep it close.

    The superdelegates are the ultimate politicians and they knew this game and were never fooled.

  •  If you don't know the answer to this question (8+ / 0-)

    then I seriously question your labelling yourself a political junkie. I suggest you begin by educating yourself on the democratic political primary process of awarding pledged delegates and when and how super dels come into play. This info can be found by an internet search of pledged/super delegates.

    •  Yep, and he should fix the title. (0+ / 0-)

      All ???

      Notice: This Comment © ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:35:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You don't need to get snippy, (0+ / 0-)

      as al gore once said to gw bush.

      I"m an Obama supporter, but Hillary won more votes and a 35-delegate advantage in pledged delegates post-february, yet the superdelegate endorsements came obama's way by about a 5 to one margin during the time she was winning.  that's what i'm asking.  i don't think it's a stupid question.  it's at the root of why her supporters think the superdels "stole" the nomination from her.

      •  At no point did Senator Clinton ever have a lead (7+ / 0-)

        in pledged delegates.

        What are you talking about?

        "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

        by MichiganGirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:50:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  First (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, MichiganGirl, orangeuglad

        let's stop talking about popular votes.  It is and always was a meaningless metric in this process, especially since all states do not "vote" the same way (caucuses v. primary).  If you must view the popular vote, recognize that any fair reading thereof (as history will report) reveals Obama won the popular vote.

        Second, and more to the point, it was over in February.  Clinton's wins late in the process were too little too late.  Employing the Ghouliani strategy of "you just wait until..." didn't work any better for HRC than for Ghouliani.  By the end of February, Clinton had no mathematical chance of winning the majority of pledged delegates.  Even she knew it.

        On a related point, it's worth noting that the reason Hill lost the February states is because she had a poor strategy of "inevitability" and wrapping it all up by Super Tuesday.  She had no plan, no money and no state organizations to fight beyond Feb 5.  A politically stupid (and fatal) blunder.  It took her a month to recover.

        Obama had the right message, the right strategy, and ran circles around Hillary.   It's highly doubtful that the majority of SDs were going to break for the candidate who looked lost and inept AND lost the pledged delegate race.  Sure, she "found her voice" later in the process, but it was over long before then.

      •  Sorry, the intent was not meant to be snippy. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, MichiganGirl, orangeuglad

        The intent was to point you in the right direction for education, which you seem to need by your further statements of Hillary having a popular vote lead and pledged del lead post February.  The "Clinton" popular vote count is misleading because it does not include caucus states and includes votes from Michigan, which was a flawed primary in which all candidates signed an agreement that confirmed it did not count and most candidates removed their names from the ballot. However, if the caucus states were included in the "Clinton" numbers and Clinton's votes were counted from Michigan she would still be behind in popular vote count. Most importantly, popular vote count is not the measurement for winning primaries. Both parties determine primary outcomes by pledged delegate counts and, in this case, Obama had an insurmountable lead after Indianna and NC, but the party granted Clinton her request to go on, not aware that she would use the popular vote count to undermine and mislead her supporters to believe she had a chance and then taint the party and Obama as the villians who took the nomination away from her.  The unfairness of her actions caused many superdelegates to slowly move to Obama, who won the nomination fair and square.  

        Again, I apologize if I came across snippy, but I recommend you do an internet search of the delegate proces to help you understand so you, as an Obama supporter, can educate Clinton supporters to the truth.

      •  Doesn't Montana's Popular Vote Count? (4+ / 0-)

        Sen. Clinton's alleged popular vote lead (omitting the caucus states) never amounted to more than approx. 3,000 votes.  So her 11K pick-up in SD was less than Obama's 28K in Montana.

        16 pledged delegates, 9 unpledged
                      Vote         %            Deleg.
        Obama    102,373     56.4%            9
        Clinton         74,792       41.2           7
        Others          4,258          2.3          0

        She lost by every metric.  Why wouldn't the superdelegates flow to Obama?

        "You can tell the truth but you better have a fast horse." - Rita Mae Brown -8.38, -5.54

        by majcmb1 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:19:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why focus on post-February? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, Wee Mama, costello7, orangeuglad

        Let's say a baseball team makes 10 runs in the first two innings, and the opponent gets nine  in the remaining innings.  Who wins?

  •  Because... (7+ / 0-)

    ... the "more electable" candidate is the one that, yknow, actually wins primaries and knows how the system works.

  •  When you base your campaign (9+ / 0-)

    on dishonest talking points, gain the support of the people who you are trying to defeat in November, and appeal to low information voters with gimmicks you tend to alienate people who know better. POLITICIANS HAVE THEIR OWN CAMPAIGN STAFF WHO KNOW THE TRUTH.

    So the real question is not the SD's judgment but why you don't understand it.

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:32:36 AM PDT

  •  I know the media (7+ / 0-)

    were spinning this as a horse race that was neck and neck, but after super Tuesday, it never was.  It was clear in March from the math of how the Dem primary is decided that Obama would win.

    To see this for yourself, you should check out some of PocketNines diaries and/or check demconwatch for a good history of this primary.

    This primary has become not one damned thing after another, but rather one damned thing over and over.

    by middleagedhousewife on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:33:01 AM PDT

  •  Obama won in Feb (7+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at

    Before this graphic Obama gained 69 superdelegates in February. Clinton was -2 during the same period.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:34:18 AM PDT

  •  Hillary +35 or so since Feb (pledged dels) (0+ / 0-)

    ...therefore, did the superdels feel obligated to stick to the early-state math, even though she clearly won the last three months, both in terms of popular vote and pledged dels?  hmmm.

    •  Maybe they realized that most of the states she (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luvmovies2000, janmtairy, orangeuglad

      was winning at the end, no doubt with the help of Rush Limbaugh, were not likely to go blue in the fall, not to mention Puerto Rico where they don't vote in the fall and so they discounted those victories and gave more weight to Obama's strong victories in potential swing states such as Virginia and North Carolina.

      Middle Aged White Jewish Mom for Obama

      by nycmom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:42:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good point -- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ohio and PA are important, but those races were very close.  The late swing of pledged dels to Hillary is largely due to WVA, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico.  WVA would be nice in the fall but it's only 6 EV's.  Kentucky's hopeless, and PR is disenfranchised.

    •  so Hillary made up 35 delegates (3+ / 0-)

      But Obama got +46 delegates on one day (Maryland, DC, Virginia)

      So a tightening of 35 delegates over that period of time doesn't mean that much.

      When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

      by onanyes on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What would you recommend they do instead? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, majcmb1, costello7, orangeuglad

      Ignore the 30+ states that had already voted in February and January?

      Overthrow the wishes of the majority of voters in most of the states in the country, just because they had the bad taste to hold their primaries in or before February?

      The majority of the country were part of that "early state math" and had already VOTED by the end of February, so I truly don't get what you're talking about.

      "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

      by MichiganGirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:55:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  talking about the "we wuz robbed" feeling... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that many Hillary people have, as they continue to point out that she won the late states, and that somehow this should indicate that she's the stronger finisher, e.g., best candidate for the fall.  I don't agree, but if Obama is going to bring back the Hill people, we need to see how this looks to them.

        •  It doesn't matter. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, orangeuglad

          She'd have always won those states, no matter if they were held at the beginning or the end of the primary schedule.

          Are you arguing that because the states that she always polled well in happened to hold their contests at the end of the primary schedule, it shouldn't matter whether or not she lost the majority of states?

          And if you are, why should anyone take you seriously?

          "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

          by MichiganGirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:15:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK. I see my comment below is a little too harsh (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          paluxy1945, luvmovies2000

          for where you're coming from.

          Hillary's supporters feel like they were robbed because they believed the words coming out of Hillary's mouth, and she was misleading them.  OK, that's kind of harsh, too.  

          I believe she believed she could actually get away with her bizarre math, and crazy arguments, but I would have been pissed if Obama treated his supporters that way.  

          Didn't they have an inkling that what she was telling them was ridiculous?  Even the pundits were laughing at her every new metric, and constantly changing goalposts.

          If I were them, I would have wanted to be treated by my candidate with more respect for the truth and for my intelligence.  She misled them, and if they should be mad at anyone, it's her.

          Obama's doing particularly well with one important demographic - voters.

          by orangeuglad on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:16:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  aoeu (0+ / 0-)

        Only the penultimate state to vote counts as it's well....the most-est ultimate state!

        turtles consider
        every single vote deeply
        yet always vote dem

        by TealVeal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:23:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also, after JRE dropped out and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichiganGirl, costello7, orangeuglad

      after Obama's February run made him the frontrunner, he was facing aggressive negative campaigning both from Hillary and the Republicans; whereas the Republicans were not attacking her and were in some cases actively promoting (and voting for) her for purely tactical reasons. That surely affected the results in the later primaries.

      This too was not lost on the SDs.

  •  I think it was this: (6+ / 0-)

    Clinton appeared to come on strong when in fact, the elections were more responding to the fact that many of these wins were in Appalachian states (West Virginia, Kentucky, large parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania).

    Had these elections come earlier in the calender, there would have been no perception of momentum.

    Also remember that her wins in those states paled in comparison to the huge win Obama had on the Chesapeake Primaries, when he collected a slew of delegates which, in effect, gave him an all but insurmountable lead.

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:38:18 AM PDT

  •  Because they're risk-averse (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luvmovies2000, mobiusein, orangeuglad

    They want to go with a winner, and once they saw that Obama (a) was going to have more primary/caucus-derived delegates, and (b) had a "presumptive nominee" sheen, such that supprting Clinton would be perceived as "stealing the nomination from him," they went with Obama.  Superdelegates are, sociologically, natural Clintonistas because they are from the party machinery and they've been in Democratic politics for a while; but those same characteristics worked in Obama's favor once he had an electoral head of steam behind him.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:38:29 AM PDT

    •  that's an excellent point (0+ / 0-)

      i've wondered all along if it isn't more about who they think will help down-ticket as opposed to who they think "deserves" or "has won" the nomination, given that the vote overall was so close.

      •  It wasn't close though. (5+ / 0-)

        It really wasn't close at all... Well, it isn't close if you count all the states.

        If your metrics include counting two contests that were illegitimate and not counting 14 caucus states that WERE legitimate, then I suppose you could consider it close...

        You'd be wrong of course, but that's an entirely different matter.

        "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

        by MichiganGirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:00:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He still won the nomination. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, Wee Mama, paluxy1945, costello7

        Your comment seems to indicate you think otherwise.  He achieved the majority of pledged delegates during the Oregon primary, May 20th, at which point it was no longer possible for her to catch up in pledged delegates, and from then on it made sense for the supers to move to him, if they were to follow the will of the voters.  

        However, they still hung back until this past Tuesday, giving Clinton time to gracefully see the light and withdraw...which she didn't do.  Instead she hung on, making comments like "RFK was assassinated in June," as an explanation for why she was still fighting in the race, even though it was  no longer mathematically possible for her to win without overturning the will of the voters who had voted!  (I may never forgive her for that comment and her refusal to apologize to Obama for its implication).

        Let me also say, that if my candidate, Obama, had continued fighting against the almost sure nominee past the point at which he could have fairly won by  following the rules; if he had tried to pull a fast one with fuzzy math; if he had kept telling his supporters, "I can still win if we don't count those votes, and we change these rules, if we raise a stink about the bogus elections in FL & MI, saying we must count every vote, and then use the superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters in the 48 states who followed the rules," I would have been sorely disappointed in him.  I would have lost my respect for him and my ability to support him at that point.

        I'm very relieved to finally be able to support a candidate who is a fair and honorable person.  And very classy.

        Obama's doing particularly well with one important demographic - voters.

        by orangeuglad on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:04:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Once SuperTuesday occured (4+ / 0-)

    and Clinton didn't have the commanding lead which her people were certainly banking on and likely had pointed out that strategy to many of the supers... once that failed to pass, it gave a strong incentive for many of them to take a look at Obama... So they held off.

    After 11 Straight victories, many of which topped 20% margins.. we started to hear stories about how Obama had lots of Supers ready to come out for him, but they were holding back for some reason.  It's very likely that some Supers had already privately promised to back him, when the time was right.. but hadn't done so because it seemed like a trump card to play in time of emergency.

    Oh/Texas.. the media harped upon how Clinton HAD to win these states or she was cooked.  She lost Texas, but won Ohio and managed to push back the idea that her campaign was over - even though, in reality, it was.  From that point on, a Clinton victory was going to overturn the perceived real victory - so the race could very well have ended as a means to bring Unity to the party.  Many Supers were likely ready to endorse Obama and get the ball rolling, but in deference to the Clintons - allowed her to push the bar back to Pennsylvania so that she could find her own exit from the race.

    Then Pennsylvania happened. She won by margins which many did not predict.  Her team publically was calling it the turning point in the campaign - but Supers knew that the Turning point had come and gone, and it wasn't her that came out on top.. there weren't enough contests remaining, and all that needed was a single perceived failure and they could start coming out to end the thing.

    Then IN/NC - that night was disasterous for the Clinton campaign.  Losing NC by a larger than predicted margin, and winning IN by a fraction of the predicted margin.  That was the night when everyone knew it was over.  All of those Delegates which had privately promised to endorse Obama were now ready to go public..  the plan was probably to stagger them so that Clinton could see the momentum going Obama's way with regards to Supers - and withdraw on her own.

    And that's why the Supers came out as you saw them.  It really didn't have much to do with her "starting to win" - because she had already lost, and at this point it was merely to build the momentum so that Clinton could see the writing on the wall and Exit on her own. Those wins kept giving her hope -- but there just wasn't enough contests remaining for her to ever overcome Obama's lead.

    BTW - I sell Tinfoil hats for $249.99 each, just send me the money via PayPal and I'll be shipping one out to you.. not recomended as gifts to loved ones though; leads to relationship problems.

    Flowers Bloom for my Ex - though Honeybees are pretty cool too.

    by Yoshi En Son on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:40:36 AM PDT

    •  I have a whole collection of tinfoil hats... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luvmovies2000 back to the George Wallace shooting in May, 1972, which cost McGovern the opportunity to run a three-way race from the left against Nixon and Wallace.

      And many more!

      told you I was a junkie.  thanks.

  •  From Iowa on..... (6+ / 0-)

    Obama had the lead in pledged delegates.  

    The make-up of the final states favored Clinton tremendously. Obama was NOT going to do well in KY and WV; but people forget his strong showing in IN.  He reversed her lead in the polls (which always existed, by the way); and had it not been for Operation Chaos would have won IN.  A loss of 1 point?  Come on.  The final states were not a show of growing national support for Hillary.  In fact, national polls and individual state polls showed a steady growth for Obama, and that was while there was increasing hardened support for Hillary.  I'm not saying support in terms of growing numbers, but her hardened support artificially kept Obama's numbers down.  

    He had soared past her in CA, for example.

    The dynamics of the race had Clinton the inevitable nominee and double digits ahead of Obama until Iowa.  From that point on, her share of voters declined steadily. Not always noticeable in the short run, but nevertheless true. The supers knew this, regardless of her rhetoric about white working class voters.  They knew full well that she was not going to win PA or MO or OH without strong support from the black community.  Never discussed was Hillary's "black" problem, just Obama's "white" problem.  So much for media bias.  

    His fundraising, grassroots, 50-state infrastructure, influx of so many new voters (and they're not all young -- he has brought in cynical voters from all walks of life)  is what will build the future of the party, and that building starts right now.  

  •  Because it became obvious that Hillary (4+ / 0-)

    is not a Democrat.

  •  Hillary turned out to be all hat and no cattle (3+ / 0-)

    She entered the race the acknowledged front runner, if not assumed winner, with millions of dollars, 100% name recognition, and dozens of superdelegates in her pocket. She made arrogant assumptions about an early victory. She failed at the ground game.

    What is sometimes overlooked is that Obama held the elected delegate lead from the beginning. The surprise is not how many supers went for Obama but how long the supers held off.

  •  many were committed to their state (5+ / 0-)

    And Obama won a lot more states than Hillary did.  That was part of the brilliance of his campaign.  When he won those small, "unimportant" states, their superdelegates came with.

    McCain's real "base"... the sycophantic Washington press corps.

    by Leggy Starlitz on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:46:46 AM PDT

  •  Some democrats, like Tom Daschle were hurt (4+ / 0-)

    by Bill Clinton at the end of his presidency.  Don't forget that Congress was turned over to the Republicans under Bill Clinton's watch and many Democrats lost either clout or their jobs.  Tom Daschle lost his seat directly because of Bill Clinton's scandal.  
    The pledged delegates were a huge mandate for elected super delegates to follow, but history with the Clinton's was a factor too.

  •  Why did the superdelegates cross the road? (5+ / 0-)

    To get to the other side?

    After all the complex Hillary metrics of popular vote in non caucus states..
     electorial votes if we were Republicans..

    It's refreshing to have a simple answer.

    Because he won the most delegates.

    In a democracy, the most important office is the office of citizen.- Louis Brandeis

    by crystal eyes on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:51:39 AM PDT

    •  So any time someone gets off to a good start... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...the nomination is assured?  My original question was not, "why did obama win the superdelegates after he finished the primaries with the pledged delegate lead, but why did he win them in droves during the period when Hillary was cutting into his lead?  That's the question that is worth a real, nuanced debate.

      •  Do you ask why the basket ball team (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, Wee Mama, orangeuglad

        that was ahead of the opposing team in the first 3 quarters by hundreds of points and still did nearly as well, but not quite as well as the team that's STILL down by hundreds of points during the 4th quarter; won the game...

        Or do you think that the refs should just award the team that did slightly better than the other team in the 4th quarter the championship, even though they were still down by 200 points at the last buzzer?

        "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

        by MichiganGirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:09:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do ask why the Olympic team would pick (0+ / 0-)

          ...the athlete who set the world record last year instead of the one who was running the fastest this year.  I think that's a better analogy.

          •  We're not talking about what happened during (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama, costello7, orangeuglad

            last year's season though, are we?

            We're talking about what happened THIS season and Obama  still won enough games this season to go to the championships.

            Clinton didn't.

            You're focused on who won the last period, when that doesn't matter at all... This game is won by the team that has the most points at the end and that's Obama.

            "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

            by MichiganGirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:33:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  We're not just looking at a good start (4+ / 0-)

        The contests this year were frontloaded--to favor HRC, by the way--with the bulk of states voting on Feb 5.  Obama and Clinton split the front four (with O holding a small delegate lead) and (claims of the Clinton camp aside) Obama won Super Tuesday.  Then he reeled off 11 straight wins.  By that time, far more than half the country had voted and he held a commanding lead.  Had Obama completely collapsed down the stretch (like the Mets in 07), the Supers might have given HRC a second thought.  But he didn't.  He held his own where he needed to.  Everyone knew HRC was going to win the primaries in OH, TX and PA.  They knew it from Day One.  They demographically suit her.  She blew it by not contesting WI.  And, contrary to HRC talking points, IN was always set up to be a tie.  She needed to break serve--to win NC and/or OR, basically, to warrant even being considered (since she'd already lost the delegate count long before).  WV and KY?  Just a couple of dead enders.

        You can lose the early states and still win.  Bill did.  But if you fall 100 or more pledged delegates behind in a race with proportional awarding of delegates, its probably time to get out of the race...gracefully.  Certainly, McAwful said before Super Tuesday that after Feb 5, Hillary would be up by 100 delegates and Obama would have to drop out then because there would be no way for him to catch up.

      •  She cut into his lead only after May 12 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but why did he win them in droves during the period when Hillary was cutting into his lead?

        He netted 120 or so pledged delegates between Feb. 10 and 20 when he won 11 straight contests.

        On March 4, when Clinton won OH,TX  and RI primaries, she gained only 4!!! [ out of 370 in play ]

        That was made up by Obama easily when he netted 9 delegates in WY and MS within one week.

        On March 15, Obama netted another 9 from Iowa convention when Edwards deleagtes defected.

        She netted 12 in PA on April 22, but Obama erased that 2 weeks later when he netted 13 out of NC and IN. (Clinton also gained some SDs between April 22 and May 6.)

        By this time superdelegates have made up their minds and Obama managed to release them in drip-drip fashion so that it will not appear that Clinton is pushed out before the primaries are over.

        As far as Obama was concerned, the campaign was effectively over after May 6,he never campaigned actively in any of the last 6 primaries.

      •  She kicked a last-minute field goal (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, MichiganGirl, orangeuglad

        after he had already scored a touchdown.  An impressive finish for her, but when you declare the winner, you add up all the points, not just the points scored in the closing minutes of the game.  Thank goodness for sports, or we'd all be mathematical dunces.

  •  Time for a Change -- Fiece Urgency of Now...take (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    your pick.

    "For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Donise on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 06:52:23 AM PDT

  •  Every state where he actively campaigned (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, jj24, orangeuglad

    He cut her lead significantly if not beat her outright.  She had her highest numbers of support at the beginning of the primaries and lost considerable share from then on.  

    •  that's a good point... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the expectations game is as important as anything else, and as long as he beat it (e.g. Indiana) the better off he was.  The only surprise I can recall in a negative way was, bizarrely, South Dakota.

      On to November!

  •  You may get your answer (4+ / 0-)

    if you click NY Times report

    "Sure, Senator Clinton was the favorite early on, but that was simply because of the institutional support that she already had," said Jason Rae of Wisconsin, a superdelegate who endorsed Mr. Obama in February. "In the beginning, people were unsure of Senator Obama. But as they continued to see primary after primary, and him excelling, and him attracting all these new voters, I think the superdelegates really started feeling more comfortable with him."

  •  Maybe she was just wrong on being most electable (4+ / 0-)

    The media kept saying "what's wrong with him, why can't he just put this away?"  But maybe the question should have been "what's wrong with her?" She had a downhill slide to the nomination and he had a huge uphill battle, and he still won.  

  •  See Andrew Sullivan's post: He gained while she (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, costello7, orangeuglad

    trod water.

    There is a graph that makes it pretty easy to see and understand.  I also think that there were many supers who were turned off by some of her statements in the last few weeks (particularly the "hard working white people" and RFK statements) as well as her husband's petulant outbursts at perceived media slights and bias.  

    Middle Aged White Jewish Mom for Obama

    by nycmom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 07:09:44 AM PDT

  •  won in Frebruary and Obama appealed to Supers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are many appealing points in Obama campaign compared to the "more of the same" Democratic establishment campaign run by Hillary

    Pro Obama

    50 state campaign
    huge supporter base willing to support cash to the campaign (never seen before)
    carrying the young means carrying the future
    centrist appeal
    none polarizing and nice person
    not part of the old DNC establishment
    grass route bottom up approach
    ability to reach and involve many people - needed to really change country
    appeal to independents

    lets put is simply - not a Clinton

    Supers were appalled by Hillary's "Me" campaign
    and her wins were terrifying rather then encouraging

    negative disgusting campaign
    Rove like talking points to appeal to the right
    "Hardworking White America" had a racist undertone


  •  they work with them... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    costello7, orangeuglad

    i have always wondered how much the support also had to do with the fact that the a lot of the supers (is it the majority?) work with both of them in the congress and senate.  i mean, i would imagine that the supers have a better idea of how obama and clinton are personally.
    for example, the congressional rethugs always railed against the clintons.  i never understood and thought it was just ideological issues/name-calling.  but now, i hate to admit it, but a lot of what people said about them is true.

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