Democratic Train Wreck Approaching; Due to Occur May 20

Rick Moran
Why May 20th? That's the day that Politico's David Kuhn is saying Barack Obama will declare himself the nominee of the Democratic party for president.

Meanwhile, the other train on the same track - the Hillary Express to Nowhere - will almost certainly dispute that claim by Obama thus setting up a scrumpdedelicious scenario with Obama boasting, Hillary whining, and Democrats across the country at each other's throats:

Not long after the polls close in the May 20 Kentucky and Oregon primaries, Barack Obama plans to declare victory in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And, until at least May 31 and perhaps longer, Hillary Clinton's campaign plans to dispute it.

It's a train wreck waiting to happen, with one candidate claiming to be the nominee while the other vigorously denies it, all predicated on an argument over what exactly constitutes the finish line of the primary race.

The Obama campaign agrees with the Democratic National Committee, which pegs a winning majority at 2,025 pledged delegates and superdelegates-a figure that excludes the penalized Florida and Michigan delegations. The Clinton campaign, on the other hand, insists the winner will need 2,209 to cinch the nomination-a tally that includes Florida and Michigan.

"We don't accept 2,025. It is not the real number because that does not include Florida and Michigan," said Howard Wolfson, one of Clinton's two chief strategists. "It's a phony number."

Tell that to the followers of Obama who will fight tooth and nail to prevent Hillary from altering the fact that Obama has passed the magic number and is the de facto nominee of the party.

It may be well to point out a couple of caveats for Obama that his people aren't mentioning when talking about declaring victory on May 20:

1. He may lose both Kentucky and Oregon. Talk about ridiculous, he would be laughed at if he were trounced at the polls and then came out to make the case that he was the winner.

2. Superdelegates are perfectly able to switch sides. It's a long time between now and the convention in late August and given the number of time bombs that may be in Obama's past, one or more of them might go off before the convention that would make Obama unelectable thus causing a wave of defections to Hillary.

3. The party will not bar Florida and Michigan delegates from the convention. That would be suicide for November. The chances of a compromise of sorts that would seat delegates from both states means that Obama's "magic number" will almost certainly be more than 2025.

All of this won't matter to Obama or much of the press who will say the candidate won "fair and square" and that Hillary should drop out and support him.

This is not a likely scenario I think. It is risky in that it may very well turn off Hillary supporters and drive many of them into the arms of McCain. Why Obama couldn't wait until after the primaries and after the Florida-Michigan situation is finalized is a little puzzling.

This may be a trial balloon floated by the Obama people to gauge a reaction. If so, I think they are going to be disappointed.



Why May 20th? That's the day that Politico's David Kuhn is saying Barack Obama will declare himself the nominee of the Democratic party for president.

Meanwhile, the other train on the same track - the Hillary Express to Nowhere - will almost certainly dispute that claim by Obama thus setting up a scrumpdedelicious scenario with Obama boasting, Hillary whining, and Democrats across the country at each other's throats:

Not long after the polls close in the May 20 Kentucky and Oregon primaries, Barack Obama plans to declare victory in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And, until at least May 31 and perhaps longer, Hillary Clinton's campaign plans to dispute it.

It's a train wreck waiting to happen, with one candidate claiming to be the nominee while the other vigorously denies it, all predicated on an argument over what exactly constitutes the finish line of the primary race.

The Obama campaign agrees with the Democratic National Committee, which pegs a winning majority at 2,025 pledged delegates and superdelegates-a figure that excludes the penalized Florida and Michigan delegations. The Clinton campaign, on the other hand, insists the winner will need 2,209 to cinch the nomination-a tally that includes Florida and Michigan.

"We don't accept 2,025. It is not the real number because that does not include Florida and Michigan," said Howard Wolfson, one of Clinton's two chief strategists. "It's a phony number."

Tell that to the followers of Obama who will fight tooth and nail to prevent Hillary from altering the fact that Obama has passed the magic number and is the de facto nominee of the party.

It may be well to point out a couple of caveats for Obama that his people aren't mentioning when talking about declaring victory on May 20:

1. He may lose both Kentucky and Oregon. Talk about ridiculous, he would be laughed at if he were trounced at the polls and then came out to make the case that he was the winner.

2. Superdelegates are perfectly able to switch sides. It's a long time between now and the convention in late August and given the number of time bombs that may be in Obama's past, one or more of them might go off before the convention that would make Obama unelectable thus causing a wave of defections to Hillary.

3. The party will not bar Florida and Michigan delegates from the convention. That would be suicide for November. The chances of a compromise of sorts that would seat delegates from both states means that Obama's "magic number" will almost certainly be more than 2025.

All of this won't matter to Obama or much of the press who will say the candidate won "fair and square" and that Hillary should drop out and support him.

This is not a likely scenario I think. It is risky in that it may very well turn off Hillary supporters and drive many of them into the arms of McCain. Why Obama couldn't wait until after the primaries and after the Florida-Michigan situation is finalized is a little puzzling.

This may be a trial balloon floated by the Obama people to gauge a reaction. If so, I think they are going to be disappointed.