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More Dem Superdelegates Now Favor Obama

From the DNC organ, the New York Times:

For First Time, More Superdelegates Favor Obama

May 10, 2008
By JOHN M. BRODER

The trump card Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton held in her faltering bid for president — her support among the superdelegates who can control the fate of the Democratic nomination — began slipping from her grasp on Friday as Senator Barack Obama moved into the lead on this front, with uncommitted delegates declaring their allegiance to him as others deserted her.

Mrs. Clinton publicly vowed to fight on for the nomination while campaigning on Friday in Oregon. But a new, more conciliatory tone crept into her stump speeches, as she shied away from the more spirited attacks on Mr. Obama that characterized her recent primary battles, instead engaging him more gently on the issues while aiming her fire on Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee.

The superdelegate movement toward Mr. Obama, of Illinois — giving him a net gain of six on Friday alone, with more expected — increased the pressure on Mrs. Clinton, of New York, to at least refrain from divisive remarks, particularly after her comments on Wednesday that lower-income white voters would not support Mr. Obama if he became the Democratic nominee. Aides now say she regrets the comments.

Democratic officials said what had been a trickle of superdelegates declaring for Mr. Obama was turning into a steady stream in the wake of Tuesday’s primaries, when Mrs. Clinton lost by 14 percentage points in North Carolina and narrowly won Indiana. Mr. Obama is just 166 delegates away from the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the nomination…

Clinton advisers say attacks on Mr. Obama are no longer enough to change the momentum or the outcome of the nomination race. So continuing to attack him on the campaign trail, at this point, would probably inflict more long-term harm on Mrs. Clinton than on Mr. Obama, her advisers said.

Mr. Obama made his own peace offering to the Clinton camp, albeit a tactical one, suggesting he would be open to helping her retire her campaign debt. “I’d want to have a broad-ranging discussion with Senator Clinton about how I could make her feel good about the process and have her on the team moving forward,” he said. “But as I said, it’s premature right now. She’s still actively running, and we’ve still got business to do right here in Oregon and in other states.”

The tonal change in Mrs. Clinton’s campaigning away from sharp engagement with Mr. Obama could reflect cold political calculation: with elements of the party now coalescing around him, her own political legacy may be at stake in the few weeks remaining before primary voting comes to a close on June 3.

“What Hillary does in the next month is important,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, a House leader who has remained studiously neutral so far, in an interview on Friday at a New Yorker magazine event. “If she spends her time contrasting with Senator McCain, drawing distinctions that help the Democratic Party, that’s productive. If it’s done in another way, that’s not productive.”

Mr. Emanuel declared Mr. Obama the party’s “presumptive nominee,” but his aides emphasized he was merely saying the senator was the front-runner.

The pressure to resolve the nominating fight also heightened speculation about a Clinton-Obama ticket. Although Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama refuse to talk about such a possibility, it is increasingly in the interest of each candidate to avoid savaging the other on the chance they could run together.

Mr. Obama, asked at a meeting with voters in Beaverton, Ore., about the possibility of offering Mrs. Clinton the vice-presidential slot, said: “I have not won this nomination yet. I think it would be presumptuous of me to suggest that she’s going to be my running mate when we’re still actively running.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, one of Mr. Obama’s most prominent supporters, dismissed talk of a ticket. “I don’t think it’s possible,” he told Al Hunt of Bloomberg Television…

Bill Carrick, a longtime Democratic campaign consultant who is neutral but who has close ties to many in the Clinton inner circle, said, “She’s very, very sensitive to the position she’s in now.” He added: “Definitely as she campaigns in these upcoming states she will stress her commitment to the Democratic Party and the stakes in the fall. She’s clearly sending a message to those voters that it’s in their interest to support the party in the fall, whoever the nominee is.”

The erstwhile “newspaper of record” tries to make it official. And, more importantly, tries to get Mrs. Clinton to tone it down.

Hopefully Hillary will not be dissuaded and she will fight on. (Besides, what else does she have to do? It’s not like she has a job or anything.)

It is also laughable to pretend that the contest between herself and Mr. Obama has been anything but genteel.

Still, why is it the job of the New York Times and the rest of the media to persuade her to drop out anyway? Why are they tryijng to get her to play nice?

Are they trying to save their masters money and prevent any hard feelings that may hurt their longer term quest for absolute power?

(These are all rhetorical questions, of course.)

Clinton advisers say attacks on Mr. Obama are no longer enough to change the momentum or the outcome of the nomination race. So continuing to attack him on the campaign trail, at this point, would probably inflict more long-term harm on Mrs. Clinton than on Mr. Obama, her advisers said.

Sure they did.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, May 10th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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