Last week, Hillary Clinton decided to say that Republicans, specifically those running for president, hold views about women’s rights that are really no different from the terrorists we’re fighting abroad. In other words, Republicans, or anyone who hold pro-life views, are terrorists. It was an outrageous comparison, and Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin added that if a Republican said this, “the world would come to a halt.” Earlier today, The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe told John Dickerson of CBS’ Face The Nation that this was done to solidify the Democratic base, show them she can be the partisan fighter, but also said it sounded a bit desperate, especially as she tried to “tamper down” on the Sanders surge–or the aspect of a possible Biden candidacy being announced within the next couple of months.Via Free Beacon:
On August 28, Bloomberg reported that Clinton campaign aides were telling folks that they have one-fifth of the delegates needed to lock up the nomination ahead of the Democratic National Committee’s Summer Meeting in Minneapolis [emphasis mine]:
The campaign says that Clinton currently has about 130 superdelegates publicly backing her, but a person familiar with recent conversations in Minneapolis said that officials are telling supporters and the undecided in the last few days that private commitments increase that number to more than 440—about 20 percent of the number of delegates she would need to secure the nomination.
Final numbers are still in flux, but current estimates peg the total number of delegates to next summer’s presidential nominating convention at about 4,491, meaning that a candidate would need 2,246 to win. The Clinton camp’s claim to more than 440 delegates means she’s already wrapped up the support of more than 60 percent of the approximately 713 superdelegates who, under party rules, are among those who cast votes for the nomination, along with delegates selected by rank-and-file voters in primaries and caucuses beginning next February. Delegate totals won’t be finalized until the DNC determines the number of bonus delegates awarded to states, a party official said.
To be sure, Clinton had a superdelegate edge early against Barack Obama in 2008, and superdelegates are free to change their allegiance at any time between now and next summer's convention. But Clinton is ahead of the pace she had eight years ago in securing these commitments, and her support from the core of the establishment represented by these superdelegates is arguably the most tangible evidence of the difficulty Biden would have overtaking her with a late-starting campaign.
Again, we all know Biden faces obstacles, but O’Keefe commented that this aspect about the superdelegates is akin to a “student council race.”
“The idea that a certain percentage of superdelegates are telling her ‘yeah, we’re with you.’ Well, that’s like you telling your classmate you’re going to vote for him when really you’re going to vote for the cute girl down the hall … I mean, it’s just silly,” said O’Keefe.
Consolidating the base might be more a priority in these contests, as her support in Iowa has dropped by a third since May. At the same time, no one likes a desperate candidate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. It’s just ugly. Former Pennsylvanian Republican Sen. Rick Santorum is probably the best example of this on the right when he debated then-State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Hillary will be defeated this time around. Even with the drop in support, the map still favors her to be the eventual Democratic nominee.