Now that Hillary is making plans to concede the Democratic Primary race on Saturday, there’s a lot of talk about how she should go about that – whether to simply suspend her campaign or end it outright. Many people on the Obama side are clamoring for her to end it outright, fearing that she’s just laying in wait for some reason to turn her campaign engines back on again.
Well, suspending now wouldn’t leave much wiggle room for that type of thing, even if that’s what she’s considering. But ending the campaign rather than suspending it is probably the worse choice for Barack Obama. Because, of course, once she ends the campaign, all those delegates become free agents again. They can fall in line with Obama or not.
And since there are likely to be die-hard Hillary fans and anti-Barack votes in their midst, it would make for a lot of unpleasantness if the Obama Campaign had to answer for every delegate who chose not to join his campaign when there is no other rival. It’s not the kind of question he really wants to answer in the media, nor is it the kind of situation that’s going to breed much party unity. All of this would be fodder for the Republican attack machine. Better that Hillary concede the race, endorse Obama and quietly encourage her delegates to switch over to Obama if they want. There’s nothing really wrong with delegates voting their conscience at the convention, as long as they accept the results and come together.
There is also a fair amount of discussion about the role of the Super Delegates and whether that position should be eliminated from the Democratic Party’s primary process. My view is that the Supers ultimately contributed very little to the race and thus the role is really the beauty contest prize we all thought it was. Keep ’em or get rid of ’em, I don’t think it really matters.
It *was* Super Dels that put Barack Obama over the top. However, that only happened once the elected delegates put him over the top. In point of fact, Barack Obama won the Primary according to conventional count, and nothing short of a complete defection of Supers would have altered that outcome. To put it another way, the only thing the Supers really contributed was four hundred extra votes in the “magic number.” Instead of 2100+, the number could have been 1700+ and the results would have been the same. The only time that the Supers *would* or *could* matter is in a primary at least as close as this one – and as it’s been deftly proven – in such a case the pols that are Supers would be entirely too fearful of negative reactions at home to bother declaring anything until the matter has been decided by the normal process.
So, here’s what I propose: keep the Super Delegates, but instead of getting an extra vote at the Convention, let’s just give them free car washes at Delta Sonic and nice, up-close seats at the Convention.