Monday, May 19, 2008

'Obama Not Declaring Victory Tomorrow After All'

Todd Beeton writes at MyDD here.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, the Obama campaign had intended to declare victory tomorrow night after the Oregon and Kentucky contests put him over the majority of pledged delegates threshold. Wisely, it appears that they have thought better about that decision. . . .

Of course, it's clear from Obama's language on the stump -- the way he's shifted to an anti-Bush/McCain stance and the way he refers to Clinton's campaign in the past tense -- that the campaign has moved on to general election mode, but I'm glad to see their walking back from declaring outright "victory" tomorrow. Not only would it have been arrogant, but quite frankly, it would have been stupid since their declaration of a majority of pledged delegates depends on the exclusion of Michigan and Florida, which, while the formulation is consistent with the official pledged delegate count as it currently stands, it's likely to shift once the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meets on May 31st to resolve the seating of Michigan's and Florida's delegations. In other words, it's a fluid measure.

Not to mention the incongruence of a campaign that's been so adamant about "math" and "the rules" to pretend the majority of pledged delegates means anything approximating victory in and of itself at all. It's a made up metric although not an irrelevant one. The fact is, like the popular vote that Hillary Clinton touts, a pledged delegate majority should certainly play into the calculus of superdelegates when deciding whom to support. In a contest this tight where the winner will be put over the top by the independent judgment of the supers, moral arguments such as these are as important as any other.

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