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What’s A Superdelegate To Do? Betray Barack? And Be Labeled As A Judas For The Rest Of Their Lives?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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“Unable once again to score a knockout, Sen. Barack Obama is likely to make his new negative tone even more negative — with a sharp eye on trying to end the Democratic presidential nomination fight after the May 6 primaries in Indiana and North Carolina.”

That’s how the Washington Post opened an account of Hillary’s pummeling of Obama in PA.

If Jonathan Weisman covered boxing, how would he have led an account of Ali-Liston? “Unable to score a knockout in his battle with Muhammad Ali last night, Sonny Liston is likely to throw more punches in any rematch.”

This is a huge part of Obama’s advantage: The MSM has attached an “inevitability” tag to Obama that protects him against the realities of his awful month of political ineptitude combined with the results of the slightest bit of vetting.

This sense of entitlement is so large among the Obama backers that it has created a gravitational force pulling in the media, which in turn reinforces the anger among Obama voters at the Clintons. “We have already won,” they are thinking. “Why is she doing this?”

As John Podhoretz and I discussed on last night’s show, the superdelegates must know the score, but they also see this MSM-constructed, enormous sense of entitlement among the Obama supporters. These supporters will be outraged if the nomination is “stolen” from Obama, even though Hillary is beating him again and again and his underlying numbers show a very weak candidate in the fall.

Each superdelegate has his or her own self-interest to look to, and for many –most?– of them, betraying Barack is not an option. Their decision on the choice of Clinton or Obama will follow them the rest of their political lives. 20 years from now it will still be a tag, and the idea of having that tag be marked Judas just isn’t going to fly for them.

Hillary could win in Indiana. She could keep it close in North Carolina, and win in Oregon and West Virginia and Kentucky, but even then the Obama will be furious at any superdelegate who betrays Obama.

The only way Hillary can overcome the force of self-preservation that is operating among the superdelegates is to argue to them that Obama will lead to down ticket disaster, taking many of the superdelegates who are electeds with him, and losing a rare chance at significant pick-ups in the Senate. She hasn’t made that argument yet, at least in public, but watch that space. The superdelegates she needs need more than an argument that she matches up better with McCain, or that Obama will surely lose.

They need protection from the blowback.

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