Why Haven’t the Super Delegates Ended it Already?

That’s the question that both Hillary Clinton and Marc Ambinder bring up; what’s taking them so long?

The most beneficial narrative to Clinton, of course, would be that they may have second thoughts about Obama, while Ambinder offers a more technical argument about Super Delegates having to reconcile between a delegate math that is stacked up against Clinton, but their districts voted for her anyway.

Sure, Marc’s right, but I think only partly.

I think the answer is much simpler than either of those two.  I think the Super Delegates simply are waiting until all of the primaries are over so they don’t get seen as ending the race before its time.

At this stage of the game, everyone is treating Clinton supporters with kid gloves as a result of not wanting to piss them off any more than they already are.  The surest way to do that, of course, would be to all at once just hop on over to Obama’s side and put an end to this thing.  Plus, that may alienate the remaining three contests.

Not that alienating Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota would spell electoral defeat in the fall, but you don’t make enemies if  you don’t have to.

So I really do think that it’s merely a matter of letting it run its course and then validate the winner.  To this end, Super Delegates not putting an end to this race now also acts as a kind of safety mechanism regarding Clinton.  If she becomes too damaging, and starts campaigning now like she did in March and April; that’s to say, if she starts promoting McCain over Obama, or discrediting his Commander in Chief credentials, they will end it, and they will end it blindingly fast, I believe.

But I also don’t think that that is going to happen.  While Clinton’s supporters may have turned more vicious and antagonistic than ever, the Clinton campaign has transitioned to a much more positive tone, and it’s hard to argue for putting an end to that.  Once the primaries are over, you will see the Super Delegates flock to both camps, and by proxy of being so much closer to the finish line, Obama will win.

It may not be the most validating win in the history of Democratic politics, but it will be a win that at least most clear-eyed Democrats will find little fault with.

At which point I would expect Clinton to endorse Obama shortly thereafter, and the both of them will be tasked with going after McCain and convincing Clinton supporters to endorse the ticket (whether she finds herself on it or not).

More at Memeorandum: The Moderate Voice and The Opinionator

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