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US Presidential primaries: end game « Previous | |Next »
June 3, 2008

The end of the primary session comes with the contests in South Dakota and Montana. In the last week or so Obama and McCain have behaved as if the Democratic race has been won as they have focused their attacks on one another, ignoring Clinton. So when will Hillary Clinton exit?

Clintondeath.jpg
Peter Brookes

Despite winning Puerto Rico Clinton is dead in the water. The Democratic nominating process just ends.

However her campaign lives in an alternate universe. Clinton's strategy (or one of them) for the last few weeks has been to argue that the candidate who receives the most votes in the primaries represents the considered choice of the rank and file of the party and that superdelegates should thus cast their vote with that candidate.

However, the Democratic presidential nomination is decided by delegates, not the popular vote. Granted there's a good argument to be made that it should be decided by the popular vote but for now, it isn't. The primary process is not set up to measure the popular vote. It's set up to measure delegates.

The question of Michigan and Florida's delegations was finally settled. Both states -- which defied DNC Rules and moved their primaries forward -- will see their delegations sliced in half. Michigan, where Obama wasn't on the ballot, will be split 69-59 Hillary. And at the end of the day, Clinton will receive a net gain of 24 delegates, leaving her trailing by 176, and effectively ending her candidacy.Obama is effectively 46 delegates away from clinching the Democratic nomination. It's hard to see how Clinton could keep such a fight going all Summer long -- it's more likely that her own super-delegates would start switching to Obama in order to send a clear message that the race is over.

What is the point of Clinton continuing the race after Obama reaches the magic number of 2,118 delegates? Numbers are numbers.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:53 AM | | Comments (8)
Comments

Comments

Gary
Even if catching Obama in the delegate count is out of reach, there's no reason (from Clinton's point of view) for her not to press on and pad out her delegate numbers as best she can, both to make the loss look closer and to increase her own leverage to whatever degree she can.

If Clinton tries to keep the contest going after the primaries, it seems likely that some of her backers could withdraw their support.


Gary, I'm sick to death of the numbers game in the U.S. primaries,I would have thought the real question should be asked,what in Gods name are the American people thinking considering this women as President?

The very name Clinton should conjure up visions of corruption,and sordid sexual innuendo.Apart from being Bill Clinton's wife, and by all reports, a money hungry lawyer ,what expertise does this women think she has for the job ?

One of her campaign slogans"Ready from day one" begs the question ready for what? Because if this women gets the nomination from some funny back room deals,not only will the L.A. riots look tame in comparison,nothing in U.S. politics will change at all.

She is a believer in the trickle down effect of Reagen economics, and it will be onward to the financial crash that is slowly becoming more evident as each day passes.

Out of thousands of delegates those seem like pretty close numbers to me. Not exactly a landslide.

Will Hillary be VP?

Obama's won, made his speech, the crowd has gone wild, packed up and gone home, but Clinton is still refusing to concede defeat.

what's she trying to prove?

Lyn,
It does look to be over, at long last, even though Clinton won South Dakota. The long expected flow of superdelegates to Obama will clinch it for him. Though Clinton hasn't officially bid farewell to the presidential race itself yet, she has reportedly said goodbye to staff at her campaign headquarters just after most staffers there "had been told they would no longer have to report to work after Friday.

Lyn,
simple. Clinton wants the vice presidency. Hillary Clinton has said she will not concede tonight, but is "open" to becoming Obama's running mate.

Lyn
odd that Crikey's Bernard Keane would write:

The Democratic Party has made its biggest mistake since... well, the last presidential election. Worse than that, really. Barack Obama is a disaster of McGovernesque proportions, and his nomination will give the McCain camp confidence that what should have been an unwinnable election will be within reach.Let’s be clear. Obama is the weakest, least substantial candidate from either side for a generation or more. At least Michael Dukakis had run Massachusetts. Obama hasn’t run anything, has been in the Senate for five minutes, and has an undistinguished record in Illinois. All he’s got are words – eloquent, uplifting, energising and wholly vacuous words. And nothing else. Particularly, no experience.

He finishes by saying that 'it might stick in the craw, his supporters might loathe the idea, but bringing Clinton on board will be the smartest thing Obama will do all year.'

Odd because Clinton was not able to persuade her party that she was the one.


Nan,
A lot of people seem to think Obama would be an idiot to choose Clinton. I image his advisers would be aware of that.

Gary,
It's odd, but not surprising. This is the age of celebrity politics and Obama has been brilliant at it. As much as we might think politics is too important to trivialise, for most people it's not much different from Big Brother or Idol - they go for the most entertaining and likeable person.

Keane says 'all he's got are words', which gives the game away. He's got way more than words. Charisma, a great smile, a young body that can wear a good suit off the rack, a photogenic wife. These things matter.