Sunday, June 01, 2008

Concession From Ickes

The bluff and bluster- or self-confidence- of Harold Ickes, Senior Advisor to the Clinton campaign, was on display on the May 1, 2008 edition of NBC's Meet The Press. When asked by host Tim Russert "Should Barack Obama offer Hillary Clinton the vice presidency to unite the party?" Ickes replied "We don't think that that's going to be necessary. Mrs. Clinton will get the nomination."

Moments later, this exchange took place:

MR. RUSSERT: When, when will this be over?

MR. ICKES: MR. RUSSERT: Could that happen Wednesday?

MR. ICKES: It could. Anything could happen.

And what will happen this week was noted, fairly casually, by Russert's next guest, former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle, now a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign. Russert asked of the Illinois senator "assuming he gets half of the delegates of Montana, South Dakota, Puerto Rico, with proportional allocation, he would need about 20 superdelegates. You've been leading the fight to secure the superdelegates. Will you have those 20 in hand by Wednesday morning?"

And Daschle responded

Well, Tim, we're not making any predictions with regard to schedule, but I think we're going to have a nominee before the end of this week. I don't think there's any question. A large number of superdelegates were holding back, waiting until the last vote was counted, and then they're going to step forward. I've had many, many conversations. I, I, I, I am quite confident that you're going to see a--an overwhelming number of superdelegates declare this week.

After Russert followed up, Daschle assured him "well, they're going to declare, and we assume that, that the vast majority of them will be for Barack Obama."

No one seriously questions Daschle's analysis. Meanwhile, a major spokesman for the Clinton campaign concedes "it'll be over when one candidate secures the number for the nomination." He seems to be conceding the nomination to Barack Obama which, as I will argue in a later post, is premature, despite Daschle's impeccable math.

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