The Super Delegates Are Watching

And they are not amused.

Obama partisans and Clinton partisans are going to bicker back and forth over which candidate is playing the dirtiest, which candidate crosses the line more, and it’s all to a degree kind of irrelevant.  At this point, the most important judges of who is and who isn’t fighting fair are the Super Delegates, and they seem a little bemused at how one candidate in particular is campaigning:

The Democratic Party insiders say they believe Clinton’s direct attacks against Sen. Barack Obama in recent days are hurting the party and its chances in November, and also say it is showing a calculated, desperate-to-win side of Clinton that they dislike.
 
“In looking at the manner in which the candidates are campaigning, I think it would be best they focused their attention on the presumptive nominee and showed our party which one is better in campaigning against McCain,” said Garry Shay, a California superdelegate, who announced his support for Clinton.
 
Unlike some in the party, these superdelegates said they do not believe Clinton should drop out of the race. They said they are committed to the democratic process, and want to allow the states still remaining to cast their ballots. But they acknowledged Obama is the likely nominee and suggested the personal attacks were only hurting the party and its viability.
 
The Clinton campaign has been actively wooing these delegates, believing a plurality represents the strongest, and increasingly the only, way for her to win the nomination. But one undeclared delegate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the recent tactics are turning her and other superdelegates off.
 
“I don’t think anybody’s saying ‘step aside,’ but ‘stop with the garbage’ is what people want to say,” the delegate said. “Just chill a little bit.”
 
As activists committed to the party, they said, they have been impressed by Obama’s ability to bring new Democrats into the fold, and they worry that Clinton is threatening that.
 
“We like the fact that there is a candidate that has won so many states overwhelmingly,” the delegate said. “We’re feeling her advisors are leading her in a path that diminishes her as well as him.”

Other things that have ruffled some feathers have been Carville’s “Judas” comment regarding Bill Richardson, and the Bosnia lie.

Still, as mentioned in the excerpt, most Super Delegates are saying they want the contest to go on.  Unfortunately, I think the Clinton team, Clinton bloggers, and the most entrenched of Clinton supporters consider this a wholesale endorsement of the kinds of tactics that Hillary Clinton has been employing.  That’s not the case.

Understand, my desire for Clinton to drop out is specifically based upon the fact that her continued presence in the campaign is a destructive one, one that is sure to erode the chances of winning in the fall for either candidate.  Had Clinton not so gleefully went to the kitchen sink strategy, I would likely have a different view.

And I think the Super Delegates aren’t where most Hillary Clinton supporters are either.  Right now we are in an unprecedented primary situation where all the states are going to have a vote that is at least reported like it actually matters.  In theory, this is good for voter turnout and energizing the party.  On the other hand, having this race get cut off early may make the last few states feel left out.

This even though they’ve never been significant to the nominee selection process before.

I think this is the core understanding behind many Super Delegates’ desire for the race to go on; not to give Hillary Clinton a chances to do herself, the likely nominee, and the party more harm, but instead so that the remaining states on the table can feel as though they have participated in this historic moment.

But Clintonistas be warned, these grumblings will intensify should you continue down the path you have chosen for yourselves, and the one constituency that Clinton is desperately depending upon to pull this election out for her may just turn their backs on her if she’s not careful.

More at memeorandumWashington Wire, Liberal Values, American Street, Wake up America, protein wisdom, Top of the Ticket and Hot Air

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