Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hillary's cagey new math

If you've been following the neverending Democratic presidential nomination saga, you're aware that Hillary Clinton has recently moved the goalposts. Up until a few days ago, the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, according to her campaign and everyone else, was 2025. This number does not include delegates from Michigan and Florida. However, after months of making noises about insisting on Michigan and Florida being included, Hillary went official, raising the number to 2209.

Far be it from me to question a politician's motives. Let me just note some figures. Obama currently has an estimated 1859 delegates. There remain 217 undeclared named superdelegates. If all these superdelegates decide after June 3 (the last Democratic primaries) that it's time to wrap this up and declare for Obama, he's well past 2025, at 2072. If we include the remaining unnamed superdelegates (54), he's at a maximum of 2126. That's 81 short of 2209, meaning this thing can't end until the convention.

Political wisdom is pretty much united that one of the most damaging things that could happen to the Democratic nominee's chances is to continue this fight between the last delegate voting contests (June 7) and the August convention, including an actual convention fight.

To me, the course of action is obvious. Remove her last excuse. Convince 81 of Hillary's pledged superdelegates to switch to Obama. (Also, let's go ahead and get those Michigan and Florida delegations seated; they'll boost Hillary's numbers, but also Obama's, significantly reducing the number of superdelegates who would need to switch their support to put this frigging zombie out of her misery.)

I'm researching the contact information for Hillary's superdelegates. Call them, fax them, email them. Figure out what makes them tick (a lot of them are corrupt political operators, not likely to budge based on principled appeals--I'm specifically thinking of Dr. Joe L. Reed).

Patti Higgins, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party
Phone (907) 360-2561
Fax (907) 258-1626

Dr. Joe L. Reed, Chairman, Alabama Democratic Conference
Associate Executive Secretary, Alabama Education Association
Home (334) 263-2222
Ph (334) 263-4040 (ADC)
Ph 334-834-9790 (AEA)
Fax 334-262-8377 (AEA)

Rev. (or Rep?) Randy B. Kelley
Home (256) 492-1091

Hon. Yvonne Kennedy
Home (251) 438-9509

Gov. Togiola T.A. Tulafono (American Samoa)
Office (684) 633-4116
Mr. Pati Faiai, Chief of Staff

I've been doing Google searches on superdelegates' names culled from the two links at the end of this post. So far the richest lists of contact information have been the following page for Alabama, as well as Political Base, which has already gathered a lot of contact information.

Sourcewatch's list of Hillary's superdelegates

2008 Democratic Convention Watch's list of superdelegate endorsements

CORRECTION: I referred to June 7 as the last date of "delegate voting contests"; in fact, the last date is June 3.


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