The Plank

Clinton: Nasty, But Not Criminal

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Isaac and Chris, below, react with outrage at Politico story that Hillary Clinton plans to try to flip pledged (i.e., elected) delecgates for Barack Obama. I intend this as no offense to Roger Simon, who wrote the Politico story, but I just don't believe it's true. I mean, come on. They're going to tell some voters somewhere that their vote got overturned because they cajoled the delegate who's charged with casting their vote into contravening the express wishes of the electorate?

Winning with superdelegates would not be ideal, but look: superdelegates exist in order to allow the possibility of contravening the voters' wishes. If Obama has a very tight pledged delegate lead, and Clinton wins superdelegates without anything approaching bribery, then it's a messy win, but a win. The tactic Simon is describing would just be stealing the nomination at gunpoint. Even if the Clintonites would be willing to attempt it, they could never, ever get away with it, and they would realize that very quickly.

--Jonathan Chait

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