Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dem leaders: It's over. Hillary: Its not over until I get to sing

The Democratic Primary has dragged on for over a year, tiring even the most fervent political junkies. Several strategic gaffs by party leaders and state foolishness have led to contention and disenfranchisement of two major states, but Obama maintains a narrow lead over Hillary Clinton even if you allocate Florida and Michigan delegates very disporportionately to Clinton.

With party leaders lining up (indirectly) with Obama in this fashion it's probably only a matter of a few weeks before we'll see a large enough block of superdelegates move to Obama to put him over the top. This ability to manipulate the results "after the voting" is partly why the Democrats have superdelegates in the first place, though I have seen no good explanation for what is obviously a system that horribly mangles the "one person one vote" philosophy that is supposed to lie at the heart of democracy. The electoral college system is bad enough, yet at least it is an attempt to balance state's rights with national rule rather than disenfranchise voters. The Democrats have managed to add in a power elite component to boot - superdelegate votes have thousands of times the impact of a normal party member vote.

Predictions? Very tough in this case. The Clintons are *very pissed off* and it is not clear they will put what leaders think are the party's best interests ahead of their own concerns. Complicating matters is that it's not clear party leaders have a good sense of what is in the best interests of the party. Contention keeps you in the news and my view is still that the Clinton Obama battles are not going to hurt Obama's chances in the regular election. As a candidate of "change" it is to his advantage to appear early and often on TV screens across America while McCain sits almost unnoticed in the corner.