Monday, March 24, 2008

Captain Milquetoast to the rescue!

Evan Bayh explains that Hillary actually wins if you look at how many electoral college votes the states have that she's won compared to Obama.

Josh Marshall, who is remaining relatively neutral in the race, provides a useful commentary on the tendency of the Clinton campaign to search for new metrics by which to show how Clinton's "actually" ahead (e.g., red states don't count, caucus delegates shouldn't count in with the pledged delegates, etc.):
I imagine playing poker around a table with friends. Player A has a Straight Flush; Player B has four of a kind. Then B says well, sure, if you're counting straights, but if we were adding up the numbers rather than going by straights winning, I'd have won.

How well would that go over? I remember, when I was a little kid playing chess with my dad (who unlike some Dad's never saw the point of throwing games in my favor) and sometimes when I lost I'd toss out some version of ... well, but if my rook could move diagonally, then ... You get the idea.

Admittedly, there is a relative scale of ridiculousness. I can see the argument over the non-sanctioned Florida and Michigan primaries, though I don't agree with it. But ruling out caucuses? Or today's gambit from Evan Bayh arguing that we should be looking at who's winning by the electoral college vote, which yields a narrow win for Hillary? ...

...The system is based on pledged delegates and super-delegates. Period. There's a set of rules everyone agreed on. The wisdom of those rules is irrelevant at this point. The Clinton campaign is entitled to do whatever it wants to get superdelegates to come over to her side to even out the pledged delegate deficit. My take is that whatever the arguments, the superdelegates aren't going to go against a clear pledged delegate leader. And I think they'd be extremely ill-advised to do so. But the superdelegates do have this power under the rules. But these constant efforts to say the rules aren't fair are just silly, and truth be told I think they're more undermining of the Clinton campaign than they realize.

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