Flexing their new power to determine the Democratic presidential nomination, a bloc of Ohio superdelegates is withholding endorsements from Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton until one or the other offers a concrete proposal to protect American jobs, two Ohio Democrats told Politico Wednesday.
This is a fascinating development, and one we’re likely to see from other superdelegates. With it unlikely that either Obama or Clinton will garner enough regular delegates to win the nomination, the superdelegates are probably going to decide who gets the nomination.
The apparent deal among Ohioans is the first evidence of superdelegates’ banding together and seeking concessions from the presidential candidates in return for votes at the convention. It’s a practice that could become more common after Clinton’s victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday put her back on solid footing in her race against Obama and ensured that the battle for superdelegates will continue for many weeks to come.
I’m actually surprised this hasn’t happened before. At least the Ohioans are upfront as to what they want: More help for Ohio’s ailing economy. Perhaps all of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates should join their group!
“We have a laundry list of measures we think would be effective, some involving tax policy, some involving investment policy, intellectual property incentives to hold investments in this country,” Kaptur said. “I’m hoping superdelegates [who] are uncommitted that have the economy as their major concern will gravitate to our group and use that power to gain additional attention.”
It’s a dangerous game, of course. If one of the remaining candidates should manage to get enough total delegates without Ohio’s remaining superdelegates, the Ohioans could be left high and dry. Of course, if enough of the other superdelegates join with them, the Ohioans could be kingmakers.
In the Feb. 25 letter, the Ohio lawmakers urged the candidates to address manufacturing job losses, “unfair” international competition and U.S. trade policy, with a particular emphasis on China. “American workers and industry can compete with any nation, provided the playing field is even,” they wrote.
Repeal NAFTA! 🙂
“Many people [backing Clinton] were saying, ‘I’m going to go on and pull out after Tuesday.’ And now they’re saying, ‘Under no circumstances am I pulling out. I’ve been there all along,'” said Clinton supporter Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.). “It’s amazing how three wins can turn people around.”
Can we expect a flood away from Clinton now? Perhaps so, but as long as she’s seen as having an outside chance (say winning the popular vote, overall if she doesn’t lead in delegates), they may well stay put. It’s fun to watch!
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders were mulling plans to have Michigan and Florida hold primary votes after Pennsylvania and other primaries are finished in order to give those voters a say in the tight race.
Ah, Michigan and Florida may get their wishes by moving to the back of the pack! How strange it would be should the two states who were penalized for trying to move to the front of the pack might be able to seal the deal by moving to the back. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they’ve been hoping all along.
Originally posted here: http://rjones2818.blogspot.com/2008/…