February 13th, 2008


Not yet time to break out the champagne, but ...

The writing is on the wall. Despite my son Sean's observation that Hillary Clinton is Lazarus, things are looking really bad for her numerically. This thread on TPM is kind of hard to follow, but the bottom line is this: Hillary Clinton will have to win a lot of the remaining primaries to catch up or pass Obama's pledged delegate count.

At the same time, it is still unlikely that Obama will have enough delegates for a first-ballot nomination win. There's the ugly specter of her fighting to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, but even that is probably a losing proposition for Clinton: If the Credentials Committee is split on seating the delegations, it will go to a floor vote among pledged delegates. If Clinton is up on pledged delegates, she won't need FL and MI. If Obama is up, he'll win the floor vote and not seat them.

The smart money right now is that sometime after the TX/OH primaries, Hillary Clinton will be under a lot of pressure to quit the race. She won't be able to catch Obama in pledged delegates, or even come close. If she tries to game the process with Superdelegates and seating FL/MI she'll be a candidate without a majority, just as Bush gamed the system in 2000 to become President without a majority. She'll be telling a plurality, if not a majority of Democratic voters to go fuck themselves.

If she gets the nomination from that weak position, she can't possibly beat McCain. So there will come a point where she'll either have to do the graceful thing, or guarantee McCain the election. I can't believe even she is that stupid or venal.