When Did The Pledged Delegate Count Become The Holy Grail? How The Obama Camp and NBC Made It So

By Big Tent Democrat

It is one of the most interesting phenomenas of this campaign and the Obama camp deserves great credit for this spin achievement - the turning of the pledged delegate count into the Holy Grail of this campaign. Many now pretend that the pledged delegate count was always treated as the ultimate metric for who would be the nominee. I know this to be false. How? Because ALL of us thought that if Barack Obama won the popular vote in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton's chances for winning the nomination would have been over. At that point, even if she had lost New Hampshire, Clinton would have held a lead in the total delegate count and would have been one delegate behind in the pledged delegate count. But she would have been defeated for the nomination. This campaign, indeed NO campaign, did not start with the pledged delegate count as the Holy Grail of this contest. On the flip, I will review some of the contemporaneous coverage so that we can see how the Obama camp succeeded in its spin.


[GRAF 1]Sen. Barack Obama swept to victory in the Iowa caucuses Thursday night, pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton to third place and taking a major stride in a historic bid to become the nation's first black president. Mike Huckabee rode a wave of support from evangelical Christians to win the opening round among Republicans in the 2008 campaign for the White House.

[GRAF 3] . . . Final Democratic returns showed the first-term lawmaker gaining 38 percent support. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina gained second, barely edging out Clinton, the former first lady.

[GRAF 23] . . . Obama's victory was much narrower in the race for delegates. The AP analysis estimated Obama would win 16 delegates, compared to 15 for Clinton and 14 for Edwards. Clinton will win more delegates than Edwards, despite getting fewer votes, because of Iowa's complicated caucus system. . . .

(Emphasis supplied.) New Hampshire:

Despite running a distant third [in New Hampshire] to his better-funded rivals, Edwards said he has no plans to step aside. He pointed toward the South Carolina primary on Jan. 26, hoping to prevail in the state where he was born — and where he claimed his only victory in the presidential primaries four years ago. "Last week I congratulated Sen. Obama when he finished first and I finished second. One state down. Tonight I congratulated Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama. Two states down," he said. "Forty-eight states to go."

(Emphasis supplied.) In New Hampshire, Clinton and Obama tied in delegates, 12-12. Obama did not claim a ties in New Hampshire. Nor did the Media credit him with a tie. Clinton still was reported as finishing third in Iowa.

Where it starts, Nevada:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) won today's raw vote in Nevada but senior aides to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) believe they have narrowly won the fight for delegates in the Silver State.

In a just completed conference call with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and director of delegate selection Jeff Berman argued that the Illinois Senator will leave Nevada today with 13 pledged delegates to 12 for Clinton thanks the weighting of northern and rural areas in the state.

. . . While the process of delegate apportionment is extremely complicated, it boils down to this: in the places that Clinton won, there were an even number of delegates that were split between she and Obama. In the places Obama won, there were an odd number of delegates, meaning that he often took two delegates to one for Clinton.

"On one very important measure, we had a slight lead," said Plouffe. "Just as important as the number is why that is: we showed real strength statewide."

(Emphasis supplied.) The Obama camp was not yet ready to claim the pledged delegate count as the Holy Grail. At this point, it is "one very important measure." Nor did he focus so much on the extra delegate but instead on "the real strength statewide," the importance of which still escapes me frankly. But it shifts the focus away from the vote dilution that is the very essence of the disgraceful Iowa caucus system. But the Obama camp did not feel strong enough YET to claim the pledged delegate count as the Holy Grail:

Plouffe demurred when asked whether if Obama turned out to have won the delegate count, he should be declared the victor in Nevada

The Pledged Delegate count becomes the be all and end all according to the Obama Camp on the night of Super Tuesday, and it worked - with the help of the Obama News Network NBC:

In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.

The Obama camp now projects topping Clinton by 13 delegates, 847 to 834. NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party's complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton. Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention.

With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show. The running totals for the two, which includes previous contests and the party officials known as “superdelegates,” are only about 70 delegates apart, Russert said.

(Emphasis supplied.) Yes, NBC News ratified this new view of the race that the Obama camp propounded, after not scoring the knockout blow many expected that day. Thus, ironically, Super Tuesday was declared a tie, if not an Obama win:

The bottom line is that the two are virtually tied. On Wednesday morning, the battle was on to shape public perceptions about Tuesday. . . . The Obama campaign sent an e-mailed statement titled: “Obama wins Super Tuesday by winning more states and more delegates.”

By now, the Obama camp had learned how to negotiate with the Media, to get a draw, they declared Super Tuesday a win for Obama:

Campaign Manager David Plouffe said: “By winning a majority of delegates and a majority of the states, Barack Obama won an important Super Tuesday victory over Sen. Clinton in the closest thing we have to a national primary.” “From Colorado and Utah in the West to Georgia and Alabama in the South to Sen. Clinton’s backyard in Connecticut, Obama showed that he can win the support of Americans of every race, gender and political party in every region of the country,” Plouffe said. “That’s why he’s on track to win Democratic nomination, and that’s why he’s the best candidate to defeat John McCain in November.” Campaign Manager David Plouffe said: “By winning a majority of delegates and a majority of the states, Barack Obama won an important Super Tuesday victory over Sen. Clinton in the closest thing we have to a national primary.”

This was good spin and well done by the Obama camp. But the lasting effect was the elevation of the pledged delegate count as the Holy Grail of this campaign season. And so it has remained. NBC News was absolutely instrumental in making this so.

My kudos to the Obama campaign for a job well done. They were doing what they were supposed to do. Shame on NBC News, which had long abandoned any claim to objectivity in the Dem race. The history of this will be written and remembered by someone we hope.

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    None NBC or Obama math (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Salt on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:35:05 AM EST
    Wesley Little finds
    Table 1. Pledged Delegate Totals Using Hypothetical "Winner Take All" System
    Barack Obama          Hillary Clinton          Still to Come      
    TOTAL     1260          TOTAL     1427          TOTAL     566   

    Not counting Fla and Mich and we all know this is how the GE to elect a President

    Irrelevant (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:36:11 AM EST
    it was pledged delegates in past years (none / 0) (#114)
    by dotcommodity on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:00:00 PM EST

    or do you have some other info?


    Disagree, its an additional data point (none / 0) (#121)
    by Salt on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:57:46 PM EST
    and should be considered when assessing electability.

    And What Makes It (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by The Maven on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    all the more ridiculous is that the "pledged delegate count" is a meaningless term anyway, at least the way it's generally been employed by most members of the media (both traditional and blog-based).

    First, most of the different organizations who have ben preparing various counts are reporting numbers that are often little more than extrapolated from non-final data at the district level (witness how the numbers shifted in California some six weeks after their primary).

    Second, virtually everyone reports on "pledged delegate" allocations from the caucus states, even though the actual delegate selection and apportionment often doesn't take place until well later, after several other layers of county/district and state conventions.  Again, we've already seen this in Texas, for example, and Iowa doesn't conclude its process until the state convention on June 14, so we won't know who "really" won that state until then!

    So it becomes a matter of the media defining the terms itself in such a way that it presents a non-existent "fact" to its audience, and then the widespread belief in that "fact" itself comes to be a central actor in the campaigns and public perceptions thereof.  To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, now we see that the media is the message.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:45:10 AM EST
    No facts is the order of the day.

    Wow. (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by Fabian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:42:21 AM EST
    So when did The Magic Number drop by the wayside?

    That was the way we used to do it - Candidate X needs Y many delegates to reach the Magic Number and claim victory!

    So the Magic Number is no longer with us and instead we spend time endlessly parsing delegate counts.  Or the polls.  Or electability.

    (Funny thing about electability - if Obama wins, the Dems are going to need LOADS of cash.  His expenditures against Clinton do not set a good trend in terms of dollars spent per votes gained.)

    Great point (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:45:58 AM EST
    The MAGIC NUMBER was exactly how it was reported. Thanks for reminding me.

    Great point.

    That will involve a second post.


    The Magic Count (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by cal1942 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    At a point early in the campaign, when Clinton had a significant lead in superdelegates, the Obama camp (or through surrogates)cried about the 'evil' superdelegates. I received an email from Truemajorityinaction.com requesting signatures on a petition (I refused) to demand that superdelegates follow the popular vote in their respective states. It had become apparent that neither candidate could win enough 'pledged' delegates to achieve the magic number, (2025 if anyone's forgotten).

    When Obama began to pick up superdelegates the 'evil' superdelegates schtick was dropped and the delegate count became the 'holy grail.'

    Magic Number disappeared. 'Evil' superdelegates now buddy, buddy.

    Now, let's stop the voting because the once precious popular vote, on which superdelegates had once been coerced to follow, just may produce the 'wrong' result.

    The 'new politics' sure knows how to shift gears on the spin machine.


    dollars spent per votes gained (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by TalkRight on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:25:01 AM EST
    nice point.. anyone have this number for the candidates.. make sure it is $/vote NOT $/delegate.

    To refresh your memory (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:53:35 AM EST
    Nor did he focus so much on the extra delegate but instead on "the real strength statewide," the importance of which still escapes me frankly.

    The argument went like this:

    1. The reason Obama got one more delegate is that he did well in the rural counties, which Nevada weighs more heavily.

    2. Thus, Obama's delegate win is not some sort of affront to democracy, but rather a positive since it illustrates his ability to gain support in areas where Democrats need to make headway.

    This was, of course, at the height of the "all her voters will support me" period, when the Obama campaign decided it made sense to take the base for granted and make the race entirely about the ability to win crossover votes.

    After Obama carried Missouri by running up big margins in the handful of counties which Democrats traditionally win, while Clinton carried something like 110 out of 115 counties overall, you stopped hearing Obama argue that it's important to look at who won the rural areas.

    Jerome has some interesting numbers on the front page at MyDD, by the way.  Obama does better than Clinton with I's and R's, of course, but Clinton does significantly better at holding the votes of conservative Dems.  The latter group is one where the blogosphere has always had a blind spot.

    Interestiong (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:55:17 AM EST
    That argument still makes no sense to me BTW on the rural voters thing. A vote is a vote.

    Well (none / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:04:11 AM EST
    if you accept that the base should be taken for granted, and that the sole concern is expanding the party, then it makes a lot of sense to look at who does the best outreach.

    Since you don't agree that the base can be taken for granted, that's why the argument doesn't make much sense to you.  But it's not some fringe argument.  Obama himself claimed that he had no doubt he could get all of Hillary's supporters to vote for him.


    And that's why I personally (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by SantaMonicaJoe on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:43:08 PM EST
    think the argument sucks.

    The well documented "gender gap" is in play.

    Female voters approve Dem candidates in larger numbers than GOP candidates. But..... the gap is that they are "unreliable" (ie, they don't always show up at the polls).

    Long history on this. And women are showing up in record numbers this year. But, November, the factor that is getting them to the polls (a viable woman on the ticket) may not be there.

    So, Obama's comment shows a lack on understanding about a basic issue in this horse race.

    Doubt me? Well, check out J Kerry's voting demographic vs his polling demographic. If the women who had approved him had shown up, he would have won.


    but didn't Penn say that this was going to be "all about the delegates?"  I think that really helped camp Obama make delegates the emphasis.

    He did indeed (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:03:13 AM EST
    After Iowa. The Media did not listen to him.

    When it became favorable to Obama, NBC led the charge in adopting it.

    You make a great argument for how the Media is biased. It bought the same exact spin from Obama that it rejected from Clinton. Thanks for that.


    Once the MCM get to define (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Arcadianwind on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:08:17 AM EST
    what something is, or is not, it has that snowball effect.

    The Obama camp did score on that, big time. Then they got the Media to define the race to be about "change," and race, and about a lot of vague generalizations. Instead of the race being about Democratic principles, like fairness and economic justice, and experience, and ideas that work.

    Bush/Rove laid the groundwork for this. If there is one thing they have done effectively, that is it. They knew well that by using certain words, and phrases, they could feed the people mounds of crap, and they would scoop it up, and even ask for more. The MCM then does it's job by turning this stuff into a self-replicating virus, something not amenable to logic or historical verification, or reasoned judgement.

    Really (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:43:07 AM EST
    So you live in a world where every year, after Iowa and New Hampshire, the buzz in the media is all about how many pledged delegates the leading candidate is ahead by?  I would be interested in visiting that world someday, it sounds wholly unlike my own.

    Remeber how the Media reported Clinton (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:49:00 AM EST
    finishing second in Iowa? Me neither.

    Spin aside, in the end, the (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by frankly0 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:26:25 PM EST
    popular vote count is definitely going to drive the legitimacy argument far better than the pledged delegate count.

    Why? Because, by massive margins, the American people in general (57%-26%), and Democrats in particular (59%-25%) think that the popular vote count is more critical, as revealed in this poll.

    You don't get around numbers like those. When the end of the primary season arrives, if Hillary is by the most reasonable reckoning ahead in the popular vote, she will have a far more powerful case for her legitimacy than Obama.

    Legitimacy, after all, is in the eyes of the people, and this poll shows how much the public favors the popular vote as the index of legitimacy.

    If the pledged delegate lead (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:37:51 PM EST
    was all that mattered, why do we need superdelegates?

    If they were all supposed to vote for the pledged delegate leader, then we should just nominate the leader.

    But that's not how it's supposed to work.

    The SD's are supposed to exercise independent judgment, weighing a variety of factors.

    For me (1.00 / 2) (#13)
    by 1jpb on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:43:25 AM EST
    I viscerally connect with the idea that pledged delegates should follow the lead of their respective states.

    Yes I know about the MA folks, and others too.

    We have an established and accepted delegate system, where some states* chose a caucus because everybody understood that running up the popular vote was of zero importance to the nomination process.  Now we are told that the popular vote should be important, so the voters of caucus states with low (or no publicly known) participation numbers will be retroactively assesd a penalty of reduced influence even though, in fact because, they followed the rules.

    * I live in WA, I voted in my caucus, but I didn't vote in our later mail-in (with a small number of in person polls) primary which we all new didn't count, and BO had already won the caucus.  I know of someone who mailed in an HRC ballot out of symphathy, if it counted she would have been for BO.  And, I know more than a dozen people who didn't caucus and didn't mail in ballots, but they would have mailed in their ballots for BO if the primary counted.  These are anecdotes, but they are a powerful reminder why changing the rules midway is a bad idea.

    Many errors in your post (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:54:13 AM EST
    you write:

    I viscerally connect with the idea that pledged delegates should follow the lead of their respective states. Yes I know about the MA folks, and others too.

    You mean Super Delegates, not Pledged Delegates.

    You further write:

    We have an established and accepted delegate system, where some states* chose a caucus because everybody understood that running up the popular vote was of zero importance to the nomination process.

    This is also false. The popular vote total not only have the basic connection to selecting delegates (of course it is not tied directly as it should be, thus the caucuses and allocation are an exercise in voter dilution and I for one do not accept it as the ultimate metric precisely because it is a travesty) they also have direct effects on specific delegates which are awarded in states based on state vote totals in most states. You simply do not know what you are talking about.

    You finish with this:

    Now we are told that the popular vote should be important, so the voters of caucus states with low (or no publicly known) participation numbers will be retroactively assesd a penalty of reduced influence even though, in fact because, they followed the rules.

    This is nonsensical. There is no retroactive penalty. The voters in caucus states have voted and those voters have had their vote counted (the fact that many were disenfranchised by the caucus system of course is of absolutely no concern to you) The argument is to Super Delegates. It has NO EFFECT on the Pledged Delgates.

    Your argument is empty and absurd. But then you continue:

    * I live in WA, I voted in my caucus, but I didn't vote in our later mail-in (with a small number of in person polls) primary which we all new didn't count, and BO had already won the caucus.

    This is absurd. Since 4 times as many people participated in the primary than in the caucus, the concern is EXACTLY the opposite of your own. You are happy to void the votes on hundreds of thousands of people. Your argument is rather sickening frankly.

    Your comment is not only absurd, it is well, it makes me sick frankly.


    exactly (none / 0) (#110)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:37:34 PM EST
    I have one correction - from the numbers I've seen TWENTY times more people voted in the primary v the caucus - about 600,000 compared with 30,000.

    excellent post (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by bjorn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:58:16 AM EST
    this really dramatizes how political teams' strategies evolve with the changing landscape (kudos to Obama's team as BTD says), but more importantly how one network in particular decided to accept a strategy as "truth" instead of reminding viewers over and over that no one wins until they reach the magic number.  Lou Dobbs did this very effectively the other night, and if all networks had been telling the truth all along, I think more people would agree the race is essentially tied. I hope this election cycle has taught the Dems what a mess our system is and how we need to switch to the five 10-state regional primaries, no caucuses, and if we keep pledged delegates, we should have one rule that is followed the same in every state for the apportionment process or have no pledged delegates and go by popular vote.  

    There is a clip on MSNBC.com this morning of Russert on the Today show with his electoral map. Fascinating, and while he didn't come out and say it, to me it was obvious Clinton has a much better chance of winning the electoral college than either Obama or McCain.  Tim gave Obama Michigan, but I am not sure that is what would happen given the no revote there.


    speaking of Russert (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by athyrio on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    Not sure if anyone say Russert on Morning Joe this morning but he crunched the numbers and went thru the electoral college for the General and what he said was interesting.

    He showed very easily the path McCain plans to go to get the 270.

    He showed very easily the path Clinton got to 270.

    And then he showed this absolutely wild ride that Obama needed to get just to get a dead tie with McCain at 269 or one short of 270.

    Then Joe said if McCain gets Romney as VP, it pretty much takes Obamas map right out of the mix.

    Very very interesting stuff.

    BTD, Dont get mad at me for O/T but does this mean that NBC is now starting to turn their media darling status if Obama wins the nomination?? After touting him for months and months??


    hate to say it (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:18:27 AM EST
    but the Scarboro show (I saw it too) has been the one place on NBC that I have seen that has been somewhat less in the tank for Obama.

    I meant supers look to pedged n/t (none / 0) (#20)
    by 1jpb on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:52:43 AM EST
    Please keep comments on topic (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:24:58 AM EST

    Hillary was third in Iowa becasue of popular vote (none / 0) (#2)
    by TalkRight on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:28:27 AM EST
    despite getting more delegates than Edwards.. no one pointed out that it is the delegates that count so she is actually 2nd.

    When Did The Pledged Delegate Count Become The Holy Grail? How The Obama Camp and NBC Made It So

    As soon as the Obama Support Networks saw that is the ONLY metrics they can beat they went for it ...

    I think given so much anti-Hillary bias, I give her credit that now ever one has at least in public conceded that SD's should vote an independent judgement

    So I don't think they have FULLY succeeded in making it the Holly Grail.. they reached pretty close.. and Hillary fought back.. given all the odds.. like a true fighter.. I give her the credit on this.

    Worth noting is that earlier in the campaign (none / 0) (#4)
    by MarkL on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:35:21 AM EST
    a very important metric was the advantage Obama had in head to head polls against Republicans, compared to Hillary.
    Since we are closer to the GE now, those measurements must have more meaning; consequently, I  fully expect the Obama campaign to start using them again.

    Was it just me? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:40:08 AM EST
    I have the bad habit of taping Brian Williams on the NBC news every night, then cursing for an hour after.

    Tuesday night, Williams reported that the caucus totals from Texas had been counted and, as a result, Obama was awarded more delgates than Clinton.

    Then he looked straight into the monitor and said, "That means, Obama won Texas."

    I havent heard this from anyone, or seen this any other place since. But there, in living color, was Williams declaring Obama the winner of the Texas primary by delegate count.

    Was it a really bad April Fool's joke? Or is this Obama spin to be added onto BTD's?

    No, that's the official spin/story. (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Fabian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:44:03 AM EST
    I've begun to ignore the claims of this victory or that - the only one that counts is the GE and that's not looking all that good right now.

    That is NBC for you (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:44:33 AM EST
    IF they wanted to be factual and pro-Obama - what he could have said was that means - "Clinton won the Texas primary" and "Obama won the Texas caucus."

    But NBC is a straight on clown show.


    Choice C - All of the above (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by dianem on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:51:01 AM EST
    Obama's supportes are claiming victory in Texas and railing at the media for not shouting it from every rooftop. In reality, Obama's "win" in Texas highlights a serious problem with our selection process, not a triumph of his politics. In a fair election he would have lost Texas, because fewer people voted for him. With the convoluted primary/causuc system in place in Texas, he won more delegates with fewer votes. The same thing happened in Nevada.

    If I were Obama's team, I'd be playing down the Texas "win".  The general public sees Obama as a winner and they assume that "winner" means that more people want to vote for Obama than for Clinton. If it gets around that Obama is winning more delegates with fewer votes than Clinton, people will start to see that the only reason he is ahead is because of an unfair system.

    The media will play this up, though, because they want to please Obama's supporters. Media stars like Williams want a bigger piece of the pie, and they, like Dean and Pelosi, are enthralled with the idea that they can capture a share of the newly minted political activists who are supporting Obama.


    And nobody is reporting (none / 0) (#90)
    by ricosuave on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:47:08 AM EST
    that Obama seems to have LOST estimated caucus delegates from our county conventions last week.

    On that caucus count: Any estimate on caucus delegates from before last week was almost entirely bogus.  I was a precinct captain for Hillary in Travis County and the party couldn't even produce a straight list of who my delegates were and how many I had until just days before the county convention.  While our county was the largest convention, they were also one of the more organized counties in getting information together.  Many counties had no information to provide before the county convention.

    On Saturday when the Obama campaign put out a press release saying that the estimated delegate count had not changed since the March precinct conventions, not only were they making that judgement before they had any real sense of what had happened around the state, but they were making that claim before all the county conventions had even happened!  (One in suburban Dallas had to be delyaed until Sunday.)

    BTD is right...the Obama team is full of it (though, unlike him, I do not praise them for successfully being full of it).


    I haven't head much about the exclusions (none / 0) (#107)
    by dianem on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:21:23 PM EST
    I read somewhere that Clinton successfully challenged a number of Obama delegates and he challenged some of hers, although not as many. Actually, to be more accurate, Clinton supporters did the challenging, not the campaign itself, although the campaign provided legal advice to the challengers. Did somebody cheat? Was this a result of disorganization? How many delegates were eliminated, and how did it impact the outcome of the election?

    Then Clinton won MO (none / 0) (#131)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:23:47 AM EST
    but Obama counts both ways according to which count favors him, the popular or the delegate.

    No you were not dreaming and it wasn't april fools.  Williams is very biased.


    Name one campaign where that happened? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:41:30 AM EST
    Did not happen in 2004 or 2000 or 1992 or 1988 or 1984 or 1980 or 1976 or 1972 or 1968 or 1964 or 1960 or 1956 or . . .

    We are discussing a PLEDGED delegate race here. Of course, the mechanism at the Convention always ends up being  delegates voting, but never was the nomination decided by the precise pledged delegate count ever.

    As I recall from the conventions I have watched, (none / 0) (#59)
    by FlaDemFem on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:22:59 AM EST
    (since 1964)the pledged delegates are only bound until the first ballot. Then if their candidate doesn't get the required number of votes, and neither of them will, the delegates are free to support the one they think has the best chance of winning the GE, ie. the one with the best shot at Electoral College votes. So, why people go on about the pledged delegates is an interesting question.

    Very interesting indeed! (none / 0) (#64)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:26:15 AM EST
    Why won't one win on the first ballot? (none / 0) (#112)
    by ineedalife on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:38:49 PM EST
    Their difference will probably be greater than Edwards' delegates. And from what I can see it doesn't look like Edwards delegates feel all that "pledged" to him anyway.

    As an Obama Supporter (none / 0) (#115)
    by Claw on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:04:03 PM EST
    I would rather see Clinton as the nominee than go into multiple ballots/delegate shifting at the convention.  You can make a good argument for the idea that having a nice, long race where we don't have a nominee until after the last primary.  If we get into a convention floor fight, we might as well start printing up our "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For..." bumber stickers.
    The question of why Obama's camp is focused on pledged delegates isn't all that interesting. I think it's pretty clear.  It, like everything else in this campaign, is a mix of political calculation and belief that this metric entitles him to the nomination.  Same with Clinton.  I don't think she'd be as worried about the pop. vote or FLA/MI were she leading Obama in pledged delegates.

    Somehow (none / 0) (#117)
    by Claw on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:09:36 PM EST
    Part of one of my sentences was deleted. I suspect user error ;-)  It should read "having a nice, long race...helps our party."

    Obama's spin machine (none / 0) (#130)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:19:59 AM EST
    , should he get the nomination, will be a lot less effective in the GE. I think we know that the MSM (male sexist media) is mostly for Obama.
    When he is up against McCain it will be a completely  different story.  Suddenly his vaunted ability to spin will be seen as impotent. That is my opinion of course, but don't be surprised if I am right.

    Funny (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:43:02 AM EST
    How your comment has nothing to do with my post and ignores the fact that there was NO FOCUS on pledged delegates UNTIL . . .

    And indeed, if you saw the same focus on Super Delegates counts would you please point them out to me?

    As usual, you start your day with insults. You are suspended again. See you tomorrow.

    Clearly, the Superdelegates Were (none / 0) (#24)
    by bob h on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:55:56 AM EST
    intended to have discretion and autonomy directed toward selection of the best November candidate.  That they could exercise independence is especially valid in a close (a few % pledged delegate) race like this. Otherwise, why not abolish the position now and save all the hotel and meals expenses in Denver?

    The man best making this argument is actually George Will.  He grasps what many Democrats have lost sight of.

    Jeebus, why didn't I think of that? (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by blogtopus on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:07:45 AM EST
    Not snark, Bob. Nobody seems to grasp the fact that the convention isn't a coronation ceremony, it's a meeting to figure out the next candidate. It's not an empty party.

    I hope that the Supers will keep this in mind, but you know, I doubt they will. I have a feeling that they are just as brainwashed as the rest of the party.


    Disagree (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:14:21 AM EST
    It is very much a coronation ceremony in design.

    That is PRECISELY why the argument that pledged delegates are the Holy Grail is so absurd.


    Ypu are suspended until tomorrow (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:56:54 AM EST
    Come back tomorrow Moopsy. And we can do this again as I expect your first comment will be an insult again.

    Your comment will be deleted.

    In fairness (none / 0) (#28)
    by AF on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:02:04 AM EST
    Obama's Nevada spin -- that the pledged delegate count is what matters for individual states -- has never been successful.  Consider Texas.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:04:44 AM EST
    Small comfort. The real Obama spin has taken hold like gangbusters.

    You also point out the Media bias in favor Obama. How could it NOT count for states but does count in the overall?

    BTW, Brian Williams of NBC apparently declared Texas for Obama last night.


    It makes more sense (none / 0) (#41)
    by AF on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:09:46 AM EST
    To use pledged delegates for overall totals than for individual states.

    1. Voting procedures within states are uniform.  But different states have different procedures -- primaries or caucuses, open or closed -- which makes direct comparison of vote totals more problematic.

    2. Since the nomination is determined by delegates, it makes sense to keep an overall delegate count to  keep track of who is closer to the nomination.

    It WOULD (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:13:01 AM EST
    if the delegate totals were tied to a meaningful and enfranchising process.

    The delegate selection process is not that.

    The will of the people is best reflected in the popular vote. It is really Bizarro Dem World when "counting the votes" is shouted down.

    I simply have lost a lot of respect for a lot of people because of this.

    I lived through Bush v. Gore. It is sad to see Democrats now playing the Bush role.


    That's a bit of an overstatement (none / 0) (#51)
    by AF on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:15:14 AM EST
    Caucuses have been around for a long time.  

    While I would favor getting rid of them they are not like Bush v. Gore.  They are more like the electoral college.


    Excuse me? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:18:53 AM EST
    So your argument is that because caucususes have been around since 1976 that makes them good? I soundly reject that argument.

    The reality is the pledged delegate count is not and has not been treated seriously in the Dem nomination process for a long time because it has never been determinative. The nomination has been won or lost in the primary contests ALWAYS. Never by a close look at the pledged delegate count.

    The argument for sanctifying the pledged delegate count is beyond absurd.

    the popular vote deserves much more respect.


    Indeed. (none / 0) (#54)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:17:47 AM EST
    Spinning well is very important in the primary race, of course, but I object when it actually hurts the Democratic process by discounting millions of votes.

    Note (none / 0) (#46)
    by AF on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:11:40 AM EST
    I am not saying that pledged delegates should be the "holy grail."  I am saying they are a relatively better measure of the overall results than of individual state results.

    I thik your argument (none / 0) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:13:27 AM EST
    is not supported by any evidence at all.

    then Clinton won MO? (none / 0) (#132)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:26:44 AM EST
    and came in second in IA?  That is not what Obama's web site says. In Obamaland Obama gets to count whichever way gives him the win.

    Maybe what you excerpted was the start (none / 0) (#29)
    by magster on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:03:06 AM EST
    of the media reporting Obama's spin, but it was Obama's strong February that made his message stick.  All Clinton needed to do was win a couple of contests and she'd have emerged the leader after 3/5/08 in the media game.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:05:33 AM EST
    I do not follow your argument at all.

    I just demonstrated that the Pledged Delegate mantra was accepted right after Super Tuesday.


    I'm saying it would not have endured (none / 0) (#77)
    by magster on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:37:11 AM EST
    if Obama hadn't crushed in February.

    Because it would no longer favor Obama (none / 0) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:42:39 AM EST
    Good point.

    Mark penn wrote this in a memo (none / 0) (#34)
    by demps on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    "As history shows, the Democratic nomination goes to the candidate who wins the most delegates - not the candidate who wins the most states". The significance of delegates has been advanced by both campaigns, as well as the media. To attempt to assign blame to a specific camp is absurd

    That memo from Penn was about Iowa (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:09:26 AM EST
    and Oenn had no success in spinning Iowa that way.

    Your claim is absurd. Indeed, as another commenter did, you just proved the Media bias against Clinton - when it was thought that argument would favor Clinton, it was rejected.

    When it favored Obama, it was embraced.

    Your comment is absurd.


    When did he write that? (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:10:59 AM EST
    After the Obama camp absurdly tried to make 'the most states won' a meaningful metric?

    also this from the same memo (none / 0) (#38)
    by demps on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:08:25 AM EST
    "Again and again, this race has shown that it is voters and delegates who matter, not the pundits or perceived "momentum."

    Indeed (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:10:06 AM EST
    More of the same. See my previous reply to you.  

    I'm sorry, once again, Clinton's campain has (none / 0) (#50)
    by demps on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:14:39 AM EST
    advanced the argument that the pledged delegates are what are of significance. In fact, the entire process is focused around delegates, they are the culmination of each contest. It wasn't the product of "spin" that brought this about. I often can sympathize with the points made here, but on this one...

    That actually is false (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:16:29 AM EST
    Clinton has always argued for the overall delegate count, NEVER for the pledged delegate count. EVER.

    Indeed, I have excoriated them for that.

    Stick to the facts please.


    firstly, I apologize for using the word absurd (none / 0) (#60)
    by demps on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:24:56 AM EST
    that may have been more offensive than I intended. Secondly, please bring down the volume, I am not trying to shout you down, this can actually be discussed rather than be some form of verbal combat.

    and I agree the media is biased (none / 0) (#62)
    by demps on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:25:24 AM EST
    As you wish (none / 0) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:32:18 AM EST
    huh? (none / 0) (#133)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:30:38 AM EST
    Delegates VRS states won is a valid argument for Penn to make.
    But when you get to the point that you are saying delegates count more than the popular vote and try to make that seem democratic, that is a whole different story.

    No doubt Obama has won every spin cycle (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:08:54 AM EST
    The media was like baby birds being fed from the mama bird's mouth.

    I believe it was their entrenched bias against Clinton that made them so eager to take Obama's word for everything. Everything her camp said was caveated with 'of course they are saying that', with the blogosphere adding 'and we hate Mark Penn'.

    Clinton and Obama rules applied across the board.

    The pledged delegate count became the holy grail (none / 0) (#42)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:09:51 AM EST
    when the DNC made the nomination process a function of the delegate count. Since this year neither candidate will get over the top with pledged delegates alone, the pledged delegate count becomes less of, as you say, the holy grail.

    What you are arguing here is just a continuation of what you argued yesterday, and it is a clever one I admit. You are trying to undercut the importance of the pledged delegate count in order to inflate the importance of the popular vote as a rule of decision for super delegates. In order to get there, though, you have to ignore the results of the caucus states because they don't fit into your popular vote schema.

    I suppose it's possible that your rationale might be persuasive to a few superdelegates, but I certainly hope its reach goes no farther than that.

    To my mind the obligation of a superdelegate is to to take into account the will of his or her state in selecting a nominee and to take into account issues of electability in the general election. No superdelegate is bound by either metric. But his or her vote must sell to the rank and file democratic party member or voter that is leaning toward the democratic party this year.

    But the short answer to your question is that the pledged delegate count became the holy grail once the newsmedia became sophisticated enough to realize what the DNC rules for nomination required. Talking heads who blathered on in ignorance about the popular vote earlier on don't make the popular vote any more or less meaningful now.

    I have just demonstrated that for the Media (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:10:56 AM EST
    that was not true UNTIL it became the Obama line.

    Ignore my post as you will.


    So what? (none / 0) (#58)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:20:56 AM EST
    Look, if you want to try to deprecate the importance of the delegate count by giving it an insulting label like the "holy grail" nobody is going to stop you. But the unarticulated premise in your argument is that if the rationale for placing importance on the pledged delegate count came from a campaign, it therefore must be spin. I reject that premise.

    The pledged delegate count in years that one candidate can get over the 50% mark via pledged delegates alone is the holy grail. I wouldn't care if it were the Obama campaign, the Clinton campaign, the Kucinich campaign, the Dodd campaign, or the Shirley Chilsholm campaign that pointed that out to the media. It's not spin. It's fact.

    You managed to overlook the rest of my post, which discussed the circumstance we face this time around, when the pledged delegate count will be insufficient by itself to put either candidate over the 50% mark. That's what the real issue here is, isn't it? You're lobbying to throw out the delegate count entirely as a rule of decision for the super delegates. You want them to base their decision entirely on the popular vote. Correct?


    So what? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:31:55 AM EST
    It means it was NOT considered the Holy Grail. That is what.

    And that is important because? (none / 0) (#93)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:48:43 AM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#97)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:51:13 AM EST
    I am glad we agree then. The Media should return to not reporting the pledged delegate count as the Holy Grail. That was easy.

    LOL (1.00 / 1) (#102)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:56:53 AM EST
    They haven't ever reported the pledged delegate count as the holy grail. They have reported it as the pledged delegate count. Your complaint is that the media is largely ignoring the popular vote. That is very wise of them, an astuteness I don't ordinarily see in the pretty boys and pretty girls who are talking heads these days.

    electability? (none / 0) (#104)
    by bjorn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:04:28 PM EST
    It will be interesting to see if the media picks up on Russerts rounds on Today and Morning Joe demonstrating that Obama's electable is questionable, very much so in fact. While Clinton has a solid path to the magic number of 270.  They probably won't beat this drum very hard if it hurts Obama and gives credibility to the Clinton argument that he can't win.

    Who owns NBC? (none / 0) (#53)
    by themomcat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:17:24 AM EST
    General Electric. Who is General Electric? If you do not know the answer to that question..... never mind.... you will not understand the rest of what I am about to say.
    There is no "free Press". There is no "balanced reporting". There are no "journalists". There is no Tooth Fairy.
    There is Mainstream Corporate Media, that is owned by REPUBLICANS,that has manipulated the DEMOCRATIC primary by touting the weakest candidate to be the nominee against the weakest Republican nominee. Yes, Sen. Obama is the "media darling'. Why? Because he cannot win against McCain and NBC recognized that. Yes the youth, African Americans, the Hispanic community and true staunchly reliable Democrats will vote for him. But is that enough? What about the moderate/conservative Reagan Democrats? What about Independents? What about moderate Republicans? Take a look at this poll by Gallup:
    This is now. Wait until the Republican 527's start their campaign.
    I think that  the DNC has made a major error in judgment by obviously pushing an untested, controversial, inexperienced candidate.Don't get me wrong, I may be supporting Hillary Clinton but  I will vote Democratic in November. I just do not hold out much hope for victory.
     Woe unto us.

    I reject the thesis of this comment (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:19:44 AM EST
    I really think the argument that GE (none / 0) (#75)
    by RalphB on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:32:47 AM EST
    would push republicans is a good one.  I can't remember a modern race where that didn't happen and I fully expect it this time around.

    Sure (none / 0) (#79)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:38:42 AM EST
    but that doesn't mean there was some secret back-room meeting where Republicans all got together and agreed that Obama would be our weakest nominee.  Republicans have opinions about who they want to face, but that doesn't mean they actually have it all figured out.

    who said anything about a backroom (none / 0) (#99)
    by RalphB on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:52:39 AM EST
    meeting?  my point is only that the media will push the republican in the fall.  that's true if the nominee if Obama or Clinton.  media darling status will not endure for the democrat in the fall.

    I expected you would. (none / 0) (#89)
    by themomcat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:47:02 AM EST
    But does that make it any less valid? It is my opinion of what is happening in the Mainstream Corporate Media, owned and operated by Republicans, and their ability to manipulate elections. It is also my feeling that the DNC has pushed Obama because he is easier to manage than Clinton and would play better with a Democratic Congress that did not have super majorities.

    Obviously I thinnk (none / 0) (#95)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:50:18 AM EST
    it is utterly invalid.

    Why? (none / 0) (#103)
    by themomcat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:01:01 PM EST
    You have stated that you support Obama because he is the "media darling"? What will you say when he is not? What will you say to all those disenfranchised voters in FL and MI that came out in record numbers? The voters in those states are not die hard liberal Democrats. Many are Reagan Republicans and moderates/conservatives of both parties that may not vote for Obama.
    And what about the Republican 527's? Scaife has clearly stated that his opinion of Clinton has changed, can Obama do the same? Can he keep Scaife's checkbook closed?

    I wonder how (none / 0) (#70)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:30:37 AM EST
    much is what you describe and how much is simply giving their audience what they think they want.
    they have worked pretty hard to be the "progressive" news network answer to FOX, think Olberman and ditching Tucker.
    after watching Olberman the last few months I dont think he believes anything.  I think he is only interested in beating O'Reilly in the ratings game and they think the hard core kos crowd hates Hillary and thats what they give them.
    in any case, I share you concerns about november.

    Well, I don't know about the rest of your theory (none / 0) (#85)
    by angie on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:42:48 AM EST
    but I don't think Hispanic voters will have much problem voting for McCain.

    And ther in lies another problem (none / 0) (#100)
    by themomcat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:52:48 AM EST
    for the Democrats. How do you keep these voters? How do you appeal to there concerns? Hope and Unity? Sounds pretty shallow. It is not just Iraq any more. It is now the economy.

    do not count on hispanics (none / 0) (#134)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:38:32 AM EST
    they are not a fully reliable democratic vote.
    I have said elsewhere that I will not vote for Obama, the reasons are real and solid and I will not change my mind and I have not every voted for anyone but a democrat in my life (I am 51).

    I think you are right, he will lose in November for the very reasons you cite.  I am just saying it will be worse than you imagine.


    General Electric (none / 0) (#65)
    by Petey on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:26:32 AM EST
    "Shame on NBC News, which had long abandoned any claim to objectivity in the Dem race. The history of this will be written and remembered by someone we hope."

    General Electric has long had an agenda in American politics.

    It's the only major news media company that makes the bulk of its money outside of media.

    Viacom, Time-Warner, Disney, and even Fox make their money from various media.

    General Electric makes its money from things like financial services and healthcare.  It's not a coincidence that they regularly lean against candidates in favor of universal healthcare and strongly defending Social Security.

    They also make a lot of money (none / 0) (#68)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:29:55 AM EST
    in aviation and oil and gas.

    Hence, the war cheerleading.


    well (none / 0) (#74)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:32:40 AM EST
    Jack(?) Welch has made it pretty clear who he is rooting for.

    Was he the one that said (none / 0) (#78)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:37:29 AM EST
    that he votes Republican because his company makes more money under their administrations?

    that (none / 0) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:48:06 AM EST
    sounds like something he would say.
    I have heard similar things from him.

    Diarists (none / 0) (#106)
    by Petey on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:13:03 PM EST
    Anyone know if there's anyway for a newbie like me to write a diary?

    Is there a waiting period, or is it something I'm missing.

    GE has been the major player in this nomination race, and they have a long history in intervening in the electoral process in some very clever and sleazy ways.

    I'd love to write about it at length.


    Can't find it again, but (none / 0) (#127)
    by eleanora on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:28:52 AM EST
    I read somewhere on the site that you email Jeralyn to get access to post a diary. I believe it mentioned her checking your comment history and possibly asking for links to diaries you've written elsewhere. I might be mixing up TL with a different site though :)



    Clinton will be the nominee. (none / 0) (#69)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:30:15 AM EST
    Clinton will win in November.

    Freedom of the press belongs to whoever owns the press.

    BTD is right. WAY.

    Obama's message is going flat.

    America will wake-up in time to make this happen.

    Dean won't.

    Brian Williams should sit there and look pretty.

    I sure hope you are right (none / 0) (#76)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:36:06 AM EST
    it is more than a little amazing to me that Hillary could have lived though the 90s and still was seemingly unprepared for the people and resources that would be arrayed against her.
    not having a plan for after super tuesday being the most obvious example.

    that was a mistake on their part (none / 0) (#81)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:39:27 AM EST
    but I don't think they were prepared for Edwards' dropping out before Super Tuesday.

    as for the media bias, I think they understand it pretty well by now. ;-)


    yes (none / 0) (#119)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:25:28 PM EST
    the media could bias be expected but the hate and venom from left blogistan took them by surprise I think and I dont think it should have.
    I think it was actually fairly predictable if not to the extent we have seen.
    I think that surprised everyone.

    the media could bias (none / 0) (#120)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:27:08 PM EST
    dyslexics unite.

    I think they were prepared for hate from the blogs (none / 0) (#135)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:49:51 AM EST
    I don't think anyone could imagine how utterly STUPID the people on the blogs would be.  You can deal with people who don't like you if they are open to rational arguments.  However the every shifting rationale for Obama's campaign reminds me of the every shifting rational for the Iraq war... and the sheep just follow along and accept that their own arguments for backing every bit of Obama spin also keeps shifting.

    It is just like with bush and the war, how do you deal with people who will accept any change in course because they hate the opposition that much?

    The other issue that people refuse to address is their own deep seated sexism and preference for male leaders.  We all have it, some of us fight it.  Other's refuse to see it.
    The media has been very sexist and that includes the media on the left.


    Well (none / 0) (#82)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:40:54 AM EST
    I think Obama is going to be the nominee so obviously you think I am wrong.

    i think, (none / 0) (#109)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 12:32:23 PM EST
    should that be the case, kiss the democratic party goodbye, they'll have self-imolated.

    be a whole lot easier to just pull the guillotine rope yourself, quicker.


    But I think the point is (none / 0) (#84)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:42:41 AM EST
    that neither candidate can reach the number they're supposed to reach to win the nomination.

    All of a sudden a majority of delegates is supposed to be what will decide who should be the nominee.

    It's not and it won't be.

    You are suspended (none / 0) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:48:17 AM EST
    Comment no further until tomorrow.

    Is it possible to push long and hard enough (none / 0) (#96)
    by jpete on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:50:42 AM EST
    to reverse the spin?  I'm sure there's help available out there.

    Media spin (none / 0) (#118)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:13:51 PM EST
    After over 7 years of the press playing best buddies to the President, I'm very reluctant to go through this again. I want the media to hold the elective officials to the fire. They definitely would do this with Hilary. I don't believe they would with Obama. This is also a major concern to me in regard to the blogs. They came to prominance by questioning the politicians and policies of government. (ALL of them). Now it seems too many sites have become puppets of the message. KO on MSNBC was great when he focused on issues. Now I find him as offensive as Limbaugh. And Air America is even worse. What are they going to be like in an Obama administration. How will they lash out when he no longer needs to pander to them and continues his support of school vouchers, no gay marriage, and yes to the Patriot act?

    This is awesome work -- thank you (none / 0) (#122)
    by Exeter on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 02:00:22 PM EST
    It's also funny how the "will of the people" was somehow spun into pledged delegate numbers.  And that it is OK for Obama to win by Super Delegates because he has the "will of the people"... even though if he lost the popular vote and still won the nomination, he would be the first to so in either party since the modern nomination system was put in place in the 70s.  

    the subject has been kept at the forefront (none / 0) (#123)
    by thereyougo on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 02:08:29 PM EST
    by the blogs mainly,while the unsuspecting electorate is too busy being off their computers to make Obama's comments about Holy Grail and other nome du joir meaningful. I know if I was off my computer for a day, I'd be behind.

    He has been driving the subject's divisions, paradoxically calling himself the unity and hope candidate. I've said this over and over.  

    His people are ALL over the blogs and hardly any for Hillary. Imagine all the cash to the blogs.

    On almost every site I go to, Obama's got an ad.
    Like the quit Hillary quit subject on the blogs, they thought to shout her out, but she regrouped and dusted off  and turned it around to the Rocky story. I have to laugh. Hillary is one tough cookie and her base is just as tough. and We're not going anywhere but to vote for her.

    This is complete nonsense (none / 0) (#124)
    by thefncrow on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 03:14:26 PM EST
    The pledged delegates are what counts.  

    Frankly, I don't care if the media didn't get that story immediately.  The media getting something wrong isn't exactly newsworthy anymore, because it happens with such frequency.

    The DNC procedures allow for a minimum standard that has to be followed.  State nominating contests must occur within a certain window of time and adhere to some basic rules, but beyond these basic rules, the states set up their own processes.  Some states run primaries, some states run caucuses, and Texas runs a combination of these.  Michigan set up internet voting for their caucuses in 2004.  So long as your contest adheres to the bare minimum standards laid out by the DNC, the state level party has control over how they'd like to run their contest.

    Because of this freedom, there has to be an underlying mechanism to all this.  How do you add up, OK, won a caucus in Iowa, 2nd in a primary in New Hampshire, lost in one part of Texas' system and won in another?  The answer is provided for us: pledged delegates.  All contests assign pledged delegates.  That's the mechanism that determines who won an individual contest, and who's winning the combination of those contests.

    If you dislike this system, the time to complain was when the rules were being devised.  That's when there was a period for debate and discussion of those topics.  And if it doesn't go your way, there'll be another opportunity when the rules for 2012 are drawn up.  But once the rules are set, those are the rules for the contest.  They've been laid out for all to see, and all to study.  that is how the contest will be run.

    The contest is about delegates.  Not popular votes, or states won, or primaries won, or caucuses won, or money raised, or the number of blue shoes you can sneak into campaign ads, or the number of balloons you can drop on an audience, or any other criteria you can come up with.  

    The Presidential contest is based on electoral votes.  I don't care that Al Gore won the popular vote, the popular vote doesn't determine who wins and becomes President, the electoral college does, and Al Gore did not win there.  I thought the argument over this was illogical then, and it remains so to this day.  If you want electoral reform, I'm on board with that, and we can change the system going forward, but we're not going to change the rules after the game has begun.

    And given that the contest is about delegates, and the real question coming out of any of these primary contests is "what was the people's will, as expressed within the rules of the contest?", the number that matters is the pledged delegates, disregarding the superdelegates, who are within their rights to hold a press conference with a monkey throwing darts to decide who they'll vote for.

    Pledged delegates is the key.  It's always been the key.  And if the media isn't smart enough to have figured that out on the night of Iowa, it's unfortunate, but it's certainly not the work of some Vast Independent Conspiracy colluding with the news media.

    Obama won Texas.  Obama won Nevada.  New Hampshire and Missouri are ties.  Obama took the lead in Iowa, and hasn't relinquished it since.  If you're so obsessed with winning and losing that you need it to be one or the other, and the news media often is, then we'll go to another criteria where we can compare these, and you get that Clinton won New Hampshire and Obama won Missouri using the popular vote as a tiebreaker.

    Just because you're losing in the count that matters doesn't mean you can redefine the rules, which is precisely which this is an attempt at.

    In the end, I don't think it'll matter.  Obama will end the primary ahead in pledged delegates, and Hillary won't be able to dig herself out of the 700,000+(really somewhere in the range of >800,000 but we'll never know those caucus numbers for sure) vote deficit she's got herself into now.  That'll leave Obama ahead in pledged delegates, total popular vote, states won, primaries won, primary popular vote, caucuses won, and basically any other major statistical category you can get into.

    I expect that when that occurs, I'll be here writing a similar response, but this time the new claim of the underlying statistic that ties the whole race together is candidate performance in states which start with "New", or states where Hillary Clinton lived, or states that regularly go Democratic in general elections by 10% or more.

    wow, so much nonsense there (none / 0) (#137)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:02:15 AM EST
    I couldn't read it all.

    In fact Gore did win the electoral college vote, but the votes of Floridian were not counted.

    In fact in this season Obama wants to votes of Florida and Mi to go uncounted because it helps him.

    NEITHER candidate can get the nomination with pledged delegates.  The rules say it is then a free for all.  Live with it,  and don't whine if Clinton wins that free for all.   Those are the rules too.

    In the meantime, count the freaking votes Barry.


    Since the DNC passed the rules...duh. (none / 0) (#125)
    by converse on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 04:11:42 PM EST

    Are comments open here again? (none / 0) (#126)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 05:06:20 PM EST

    Blog buzz (none / 0) (#128)
    by Donna Darko on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 04:42:59 PM EST
    Cizilla's WaPo article was a response to buzz created by Chris Bowers' two Nevada posts. Obama "won" Nevada by one pledged delegate, 13 to 12. He was the only person in the universe who said Obama won Nevada and everyone thought he was joking. Obama has ridden that meme ever since. Clinton won Nevada by standard measures but lost her momentum going into SC and March 5. She should have wrapped up the nomination on March 5.

    Feb 5 (none / 0) (#129)
    by Donna Darko on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 04:47:46 PM EST
    my mistake.

    sigh, (none / 0) (#136)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 07:55:11 AM EST
    she is right, voters count.  In reality, unless a candidate gets the magic number then the delegates are released to vote any way they want.
    Delegates are NOT assigned by popular vote. Just look to TX as an example.