2008 More Washington Superdelegate Intrigue
posted by February 7 at 9:15 AMon
Well, well, well. The Obama campaign “inadvertently” leaked to Bloomberg News a copy of a spreadsheet in which it predicts the delegate tallies in upcoming states, and check out what it suggests about two of my favorite topics right now, superdelegates and the Washington caucuses:
The document suggests something that’s increasingly becoming clear: It’s become virtually impossible to win this contest through the quasi-democratic processes that produce pledged delegates, and that the even murkier process of wooing superdelegates is going to play a central, and growing, role.
The scenario considered in the Bloomberg story forsees the widely anticipated Obama roll through the Potomac Primary, and Clinton victories in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Crucially, it doesn’t forecast any blowouts with huge delegate margins; Washington State’s caucus, by this projection, offers Obama his widest margin, 20 delegates.
We’ll see soon enough whether that Obama delegate projection is correct for Washington State. But those lines about the importance of superdelegates reaffirm something I’ve been saying repeatedly as I try to figure out where two of our state’s still-unpledged superdelegates, Gov. Christine Gregoire and Rep. Jim McDermott, are going to land. On that front:
Yesterday, my column in this week’s Stranger produced a constituent call to McDermott’s office that produced an unclear statement on McDermott’s status, which led me to email McDermott’s spokesman for the definitive word, which definitive word was:
This is the people’s time to speak. The time will come when Jim casts his vote. For now he is concerned about young people participating passionately for whomever their candidate is, whichever party.
I emailed back:
Will Jim commit to following the will of the people of Washington as expressed in their caucus votes on Saturday? (Other superdelegates in other states have done this.)
And this morning I received the following non-answer:
Jim remains uncommitted. When that changes I will, of course, let you know.
Meanwhile, some tea leaves on Gregoire: She’s said she will announce her endorsement before the caucuses on Saturday. Hillary Clinton, who was not previously scheduled to come to Washington, changed her schedule at the last minute yesterday and is now showing up for a rally on the Seattle waterfront this evening. I had the same reaction as Slog commenter Justin:
Hmm, our female governor who has promised to endorse a candidate ahead of Saturday’s caucus still hasn’t said a word. And, at the last minute, Hillary Clinton decides that something is important enough to bring her all the way to Seattle (where she knows she’s going to lose) for a whole hour on a Thursday night.
Is anybody else connecting the dots here?
I’m no political expert, but I’ll bet that Gregoire is going to endorse Clinton at Pier 30 on Thursday night.
And I would add to the tea leave mix: My email in-box tells me that Gregoire was in Seattle this morning for a meeting with the Downtown Seattle Association. Maybe she’s here for the day, and heading to Pier 30 this evening?