Appearing on Hannity & Colmes last night opposite former Bill Clinton consultant Doug Schoen, I wasn’t surprised to hear him argue that if Hillary gets a good run of wins between now and the end of voting in June, the superdelegates would turn to her as the nominee with the best chance of beating John McCain.
I pointed out that she is very unlikely to surpass Senator Obama in either earned delegates or total votes. (Here’s the RCP chart of votes cast, sliced and diced a number of different ways, all of which show Obama with a lead.)
Schoen is a leading indicator of D opinion though. It looks and sounds as though the D.C. and party elites he represents are figuring out how to steal the nomination from Barack Obama, and they won’t be letting the rhetoric of the Florida fiasco of 2008 (“count every vote,” “selected not elected”) deter them.
It is very difficult to imagine how African Americans or the young Obama vote could be reconciled to this result because they don’t care about Jeremiah Wright or Tony Rezko. The latter are invested emotionally (and many of them via internet contributions) in the “politics of change. The former would never accept a take-away as other than the latest of a long line of Democratic Party betrayals of the party’s most reliable demographic block.
I have to conclude that wiser heads will prevail and that Obama, bruised as he is by the Wright controversy and tainted as he is by the latest goings-on in the Rezko trial, will be the nominee. The risk of a shattered party base and of a nominee with very high and fixed negative ratings is too great, and the possibility of repairing the damage to Obama’s image too high to see other than the nomination of the candidate with the most votes and delegates.