Obama to Declare Victory on May 20th?

Barack Obama plans to simply declare victory once he’s passed the 2,025 delegate threshold, David Paul Kuhn asserts in an article that does not cite any sources.

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.”

The media outlets, including CNN, have long bought the 2,025 figure so it will likely stick.

Clinton supporter Armando, though, is incensed by the very suggestion.

So let me get this straight — the first act of the self declared Democratic nominee Barack Obama will be to state that Michigan and Florida will not count? This is insane. Two key states in November will be dissed in the first act of the newly crowned Democratic nominee.

Although I’d argue that they’ve already been “dissed” by the party by having their delegates stripped for holding early elections in violation of the long-established rules. Why non-existent delegates would be counted in determining who has a majority is, to say the least, unclear. Indeed, one could argue that not declaring victory after passing the 2,025 threshold would be a tacit admission that Clinton is right.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The required delegate count is a technical issue. It depends on the rules and by-laws and, honestly, not only do I have no idea what the actual requirements are, I suspect that the rules committee doesn’t know what the actual requirements are. But I’ll bet they’re studying up on the issue.

  2. legion says:

    Huh. Looking at that comment thread on TalkLeft, it appears we now know where all the Ron Paul wackos went after his campaign finally sputtered out. Hillary’s had a strong run, but she’s been rejected. Get over it.

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    I think that is short sided on the part of Obama.

    In 2004, the GOP took Florida by 5.01% and the dems took Michigan by 3.42%. Im 2000, Florida went to the GOP by 0.1% and Michigan by 5.13%.

    To put it another way, if somewhere between 83,000 and 114,000 people in Michigan can be convinced that Obama doesn’t care about their votes, the state could flip 18 EV to the GOP.

    I do find it ironic that in 2000 the democrats ignored the rules of the FLorida state law and pushed for “every vote to be counted” while in 2008 they push the the importance of the rules and don’t care if every vote is counted. I think that is what is called situational ethics.

  4. Pug says:

    The required delegate count is a technical issue. It depends on the rules and by-laws and, honestly, not only do I have no idea what the actual requirements are, I suspect that the rules committee doesn’t know what the actual requirements are.

    It really isn’t a technical issue. According to the DNC, the Florida and Michigan primaries don’t count and the winner of a majority of delegates will be the nominee.

    Until the rules are somehow changed, 2,024 is the number. It’s not complicated. Clintonian spin doesn’t change a thing.

  5. Ugh says:

    This is insane.

    Project much, Armando?

  6. Elmo says:

    In the tone/tenor of his voice, and in his personage/carriage/demeanor. Barack has already ascended to the nominee, of the Democratic party.

    How to handle Hillary? Hold her hand …. or give her a polite little backhand from the podium, on election night in Oregon?

    Barack is learning hardball politics by the minute. And now, is almost tough enough. Still I wouldn’t want to call the play.