It’s official, Team Clinton has officially committed to continuing the fight of the Democratic nomination.
It seems (and indeed, may in fact be) delusional, but the Clinton campaign’s current path to victory includes:
Remaining Pledged Delegates:
The immediate goal of the Clinton campaign is to keep Obama from winning too many of the Pledged Delegates available through the last two primaries this week. Of course, even if Obama wins ALL the remaining Pledged Delegates, which he won’t, he still wouldn’t posses enough Delegates to clinch the nomination. But sanity ranks the effectiveness of this first tactic in keeping the nomination from Obama on about the same plane as the boy-gets-girl ending of every “Nerd” move produced through Hollywood. It’s fun to imagine improbabilities via a movie, but sad to witness the futility of misplaced hope in real life.
Remaining 200 undeclared Super Delegates:
A cursory review of news sources would probably lead one to believe that still undeclared Super Delegates are flocking, en mass, to the inevitability of Obama’s nomination. It is certainly true that Obama is inching ahead of Hillary, but it hasn’t exactly been a daily avalanche of declared support for Obama. I’ve previously noted the mere fact that these Super Delegates aren’t drawn to Obama like flies to messianic honey may be due to their secret, unrequited hope and preference for Hillary’s nomination.
It should be noted that Obama is rumored to have accumulated an impressive reservoir of private “declarations” of support from a number of these publicly undeclared Super D’s which his campaign is holding back from public acknowledgement until the opportune moment. I believe this is true, but he doesn’t have 200 such Super D’s.
I think it is fascinating to realize there is really no reason, at this point, for 90% of these undeclared Super D’s not to declare. If they don’t declare by Wednesday of this week (within 1 day of the final primaries), then we know the Clinton campaign may actually know something we don’t (even more “Pastor Disasters”, as is rumored?). They won’t make up the Delegate gap, but perhaps they will hold on to 25% - 50% of these undeclared Delegates.
Enticing Declared Super D’s to Switch Allegiance:
Vying for two above-mentioned categories of Delegates may breathe some temporary life into Clinton’s campaign, but it won’t secure her the nomination. Without further tactical advance by Team Clinton, it is overwhelmingly likely that Obama will still eke out support from sufficient remaining Delegates to secure the nomination. This is what leads us to examine Clinton’s last, best hope to becoming the Democratic nominee.
The last key to the Clinton strategy is to convince existing Super D’s to switch allegiance. As I wrote about here, this is, technically speaking, a completely viable option for a Super Delegate. For the sake of convenience, media organizations like the Associated Press and CNN keep track of declarations of support from Super Delegates as a way of handicapping the nomination process. But Super D’s are NOT bound to these declarations. They don’t cast their vote of support until August. Until then, they are free to publicly vacillate in support of the candidates or even remain undeclared. Hillary’s campaign hopes are completely banked upon convincing these Super D’s to switch allegiance.
How likely is this tactic to work? Again, as I depict here, the Super D’s are pinned to the mat of reality by a monolithic media meme in Obama’s inevitable victory. The sheer repetition of his assumed nomination creates an incredible inertia of presumed public opinion against which most elected officials just won’t fight – even if they know he is the weaker candidate for the party. Thus the reason I classify this final tactic as a delusional jousting at windmills. Yet, Hillary is wisely campaigning with just such a Super Delegate this week:
“Clinton invited Virgin Islands Super Delegate Kevin Rodriguez, a recent convert, to travel with her to South Dakota where she planned to campaign Monday. Rodriguez had initially supported Clinton, switched to Obama, and recently returned to her camp.”
Still, as Hillary inarticulately alluded last week, an awful lot can happen between now and the convention. Consider Obama’s plummeting ratings among white Democratic women and on the “trust” of voters in general. If the media meme can be broken, Super D’s may be convinced to switch.
I think the media is now fully invested in an Obama victory over Clinton. But continuing revelations of impropriety, racism, dangerous inexperience or poor judgment – if persistent or sufficiently shocking – may create the crack in Obama’s reservoir of Super D declarations to create a new flood of support which changes the tide of this election and buoys her drowning candidacy (to truly stretch a metaphor).
Technically true? Absolutely.
Likely? Time will tell. . .