Jonah Goldberg over on NRO made an incisive observation this morning on The Corner regarding a vacuum in the Clinton’s campaign’s messaging.
It is well known it is pretty much impossible for Clinton to win enough pledged democratic delegates to mathematically ensure victory on the Democratic Convention. This is why Harold Ickes apparently now has an 80 hour a week job at Clinton campaign HQ devoted to superdelegate lobbying.
What is less well known is the same math applies to Obama. Neither candidate has a realistic chance of securing enough pledged delegates to render the super-delegates superfluous.
Since it seems likely Hillary will have less pledged delegates, though, Goldberg observes that her campaign should find a way to insert a defence of superdelegates into the answer of every question put to them. More specifically, a defense of why it is appropriate for them to vote for Clinton when their state voted for Obama.
If someone asks them about Pakistan, their answer should be “Ms. Clinton is the only Democrat candidate with any foreign policy experience, which is why it would be entirely appropriate for superdelegates to take this experience into consideration when casting their votes.
If asked about global warming, they should answer “Ms. Clinton has remained close with Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, and as such is a thought leader on climate change, which is why superdelegates who value the environment are seriously considering favoring Ms. Clinton.”
If asked about electability, they should say “Ms. Clinton is a veteran of countering the right wing attack machine, and super-delegates who are veterans in fighting for change know this and owe their constituencies the benefit of that experience, which obviously would entail support of Ms. Clinton.”
If asked about Socks the cat, they should say “Socks and Buddy [the dog] always got along under Ms. Clinton’s guidance, proving Hillary can bring together Israel and Palestine, and it is the job of superdelegates to admire and reward such an ability to foster reconciliation, which is an ability often undervalued in heated political contests.”
Some of their minions are indeed making this case. Here we have Harold Ickes on it, and here we have warmare Geraldine Ferraro. The brazen case of Ferraro really shows off her brass ovaries. Her basic point is not all that many Democrats actually vote in primaries, so those results aren’t really representative. The superdelegates, she says, are better able to represent the overall best interests of the party, and that’s really what all Democrats should care about.
That’s what I’m beginning to learn about political parties, by the way. I always thought their main goal was to organize to represent their members and hopefully win elections. It seems somewhere along the line their main goal actually became to represent the best interests of the party itself. That usually means winning elections, but not always.
And what is actually the right thing to do hardly ever comes up.