I had started to write a post about the superdelegates that I would be keeping an eye on for endorsements in the Democratic primary race. The superdelegates that are still out are numerous, and not surprisingly, a good majority of the party ‘elders’ are mute on who they are supporting. It’s probably a good idea, because it’s the ‘elders’ who are the ones that will broker any deal that gets made should the nomination be unclear.
Those ‘elders’ who might have to broker a deal are people like Howard Dean, the current Democratic National Committee chairman, Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Al Gore, famed former Vice President, former candidate, Nobel Peace Prize, etc. These aren’t the only people that will have sway in the decision, but they are some big names with a lot of political weight to throw around. Other names that will undoubtedly pop up are former candidates for this race John Edwards, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd. Everyone named in this paragraph is a superdelegate, but also have the respect of, or sway over, other superdelegates.
The former candidates in the race will have an interesting position if superdelegate negotiation becomes the key to winning the nomination. Obviously Edwards, Biden, and even Dodd, had some sort of support before voting started – support from fellow superdelegates. Edwards certainly, because he had some before voting started. One assumes that the superdelegates that supported the candidate before they dropped out would follow their candidate in supporting a remaining contender. It’s not a lock, but it is one possibility. Similarly, Biden and Edwards have been around and done enough to have sway over the standing superdelegates from their state. Biden hails from Pennsylvania, and that is very rich in terms of delegates and superdelegates. Edwards comes from North Carolina, and it too is rich with both kinds of delegates. So support from either of these men would be a great advantage in both these states, and for superdelegate support.
More people I’ll be looking out consist of former candidate, and serving Representative, Dennis Kucinich, Governor Bill Richardson, who was running a good race while he was in it, Russ Feingold, current Senator from Wisconsin and a possible contender for this primary race, Jimmy Carter, the former President, and Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader.
Looking at Russ Feingold for the moment, he will end up supporting Barack Obama. His statements in the past have made that clear:
“The first choice would be somebody who voted against this unfortunate Iraq war. That may not be available. Second choice is somebody who at least said it was a bad idea. I would be happy if Obama or (Al) Gore ran.”
What I’m interested to watch, with him, is if he follows up his words, or if his statements become the litmus test for backroom dealing. If, eventually, Feingold doesn’t back Obama, and opts for Clinton, then I’m sure I, along with many others, are going to cry foul.
Looking at superdelegate news of late, Congressman John Lewis, from Georgia, has swung over, publicly, to Obama’s campaign from Hillary Clinton’s. This is rather important news, in that Lewis was Clinton’s most prominent African-American supporter. He was a name in the civil rights movement during the 1960s, and is seen as one of the top African-American politicians.
Lewis is the second African-American politician to change their support from Clinton to Obama. David Scott, another Representative from Georgia, also has moved into the Obama camp. Obama won his district by 80% of the vote, something Scott has acknowledged helped win him over.
These two movements are interesting to note, because it shows the power of Obama’s February momentum, as well as the eroding support of Clinton by superdelegates. This is what the momentum does – it wins over the undecided. And considering that more and more people are becoming undecided about a Clinton victory, there are a lot of voters that Obama has the potential to win over.