The Green Papers
The Green Papers

Oregon's Primary looms large re:
potentially sealing the fate of
Hillary Clinton's nomination hopes

by Richard E. Berg-Andersson Staff
Sun 18 May 2008

It was a great night for Senator Hillary Clinton this past Tuesday (13 May): she trounced Senator Barack Obama in that State's Presidential Primary, in the process wiping out almost all that he had gained in relative pledged delegate support the week before as a result of his own resounding victory in North Carolina and coming so close to her in Indiana; in addition, and at the same time, Obama narrowly won the Advisory "beauty contest" Presidential Primary in Nebraska over Mrs. Clinton, a State in which the Illinois Senator had won its Caucuses handily but three months before (a significant moment of so-called "buyer's remorse", considering that the Cornhusker State was also holding its ordinary Primaries that same day [including one for an open Statewide race- the United States Senate seat being vacated by Republican Senator Chuck Hagel at the end of this Congress])...

but it's been a bad week for Mrs. Clinton since!

First, Senator John Edwards- the one-time Democratic presidential contender dropout with a noteworthy number of delegates pledged to him- endorsed Senator Obama. This began a week which has seen numerous one-time Edwards delegates announce their switching to Obama, along with the continuing "death by-- well-- a hundred cuts" as a trickle of "superdelegates" continue to move toward the Illinoisan...

about the only good news for New York's Junior Senator and former First Lady coming out of all of this is that a veritable deluge of "superdelegates" towards Obama, and away from Senator Clinton, has not (yet?) occurred.

Oregon's upcoming Presidential Primary (Tuesday 20 May), however, might well prove the catalyst for just such a deluge:

that is, if Senator Obama actually wins it.

I just did a quick "just for the heck of it" calculation of potential pledged delegate breakdown over the 5 remaining "determinative" Presidential Primaries (those that actually pledge delegates [Idaho's Presidential Primary on Tuesday the 27th is another Advisory "beauty contest"]): if only for sake of this particular exercise, I presumed a West Virginia-like victory for Mrs. Clinton in Kentucky this coming Tuesday; a decisive, but not a North Carolina-like, victory in Oregon for Senator Obama; a decisive victory for Senator Clinton in Puerto Rico; and simple victories for Mr. Obama in both Montana and South Dakota--

the results of my so calculating?

While Senator Clinton would pick up 104 of the remaining 189 pledged delegates up for grabs through the final Presidential Primaries on 3 June (again, in my admittedly cursory scenario here presented), this would still leave Senator Obama with 85 of those delegates-- add these 85 to the pledged delegate count on 'The Green Papers' as I type this (1,908) and you have Obama ending the Primary/Caucus "season" only 30-some delegates short of the "magic number" needed for nomination (assuming Florida and Michigan remain sanctioned)--

thus, all Senator Obama would then need would to have some 35 to 40 "superdelegates" (minimum) as yet not publicly committed to him (whether still sitting "on the fence" or even already, so far, publicly endorsing Mrs. Clinton) and his delegates would come to control the National Convention in Denver: a Convention sans Florida and Michigan, to be sure, but- please keep in mind- it would be just such a Convention that would ultimately get to decide whether- and, if so (if not also more importantly), how- to seat delegations from both Florida and Michigan.

An Obama-controlled National Convention is not going to vote on its own floor to do anything re: Florida and Michigan to potentially undo Obama's own presidential nomination!

Simply put: let Senator Obama win Oregon (especially if such a win be larger than the decisive, but not at all trouncing, victory I have opined in the above "hypothetical")- and, during the ten days thereafter, have just such a win in the Beaver State open the "floodgates" of "superdelegates" in his favor- then it might not all that much matter what might actually come out of the scheduled 31 May meeting of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee re: both sanctioned States!

Modified .