Should Obama declare victory?

According to the Associated Press, Barack Obama has 1610.5 pledged delegates awarded in primaries and caucuses (i.e. not counting the superdelegates). Hillary Clinton has 1443.5 pledged delegates.

There are a total of 3,253 pledged delegates available - and Obama needs just 17 more to win a majority of those pledged delegates. There are 51 pledge delegates up for grabs in Kentucky, and 52 in Oregon today.

Notwithstanding the question of the superdelegates, if Obama gets 17 more delegates today (as he should, barring a meltdown), should he declare victory?

Discuss.

Comments

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    I wonder if it would't be wiser to wait until after the meeting of the Party Rules and Bylaws Committee on May 31?

    I for one will be relieved when he can unequivocally claim victory, but it should not happen in a way that is disrespectful to the supporters of Sen. Clinton. I think we need to let them linger in their moment in the sun, and don't think it would threaten Sen. Obama's clinch of the nomination.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Pretending that Clinton is still a viable candidate simply encourages her to sabotage the convention, divide the party, and the election chances of the nominee, giving comfort to the embittered Geraldine Ferraros of this world. Obama has the majority of pledged delegates by this evening, and shortly will have the necessary super delegate total to go over the threshold of 2024 for victory. Clinton's continuing on in her divisiveness simply guarantees that she will have no place in this party and possibly lose her re-election in New York.

  • DontStopHillary (unverified)
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    16.5+ million people deserve a voice in the General election. Keep people involved!

    Keep Running, Hillary. Even if you have to go Independent.

    http://DontStopHillary.com

  • (Show?)

    Nah, I don't think he'll have to declare victory, he's got too much homework about the Hanford Site. (I doubt he got a very thorough lesson on his ride back to the airport!)

    Wonder if his syllabus included the Hanford Site Wikipedia entry, one of only dozen or so "Featured Articles" on the Pacific Northwest?

  • (Show?)

    Nah, I don't think he'll have time to declare victory, he's got too much homework about the Hanford Site. (I doubt he got a very thorough lesson on his ride back to the airport!)

    Wonder if his syllabus included the Hanford Site Wikipedia entry, one of only dozen or so "Featured Articles" on the Pacific Northwest?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    By going after McCain and his worthless diatribes, Obama already has declared victory, but not saying anything publicly. If he does declare victory publicly, do not be suprised if Clinton has a huge fit over it and starts to get even more uptight and pushy, eventually making herself look even more classless and foolish than she already is.

  • Will H. (unverified)
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    You know, I'd like Obama to just declare it after the results of today, but as other posters have said, the Clinton supporters would get extremely bent out of shape and we'd hear nothing but anger in the news for the next month or so.

    I have something to say to people that would vote for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination: Grow up! If your going to vote for McCain just because your guy/gal didn't make the nomination, your a very immature person. If your a democrat and have real issues about Obama and consider McCain to actually be a better candidate, that's one thing, however I have a sinking suspicion that a lot of you upset Hillary supporters are going to hide behind that excuse.

    The only reasons I'm voting for Obama are; 1) To halt this precedent of family dynasties in the presidency, if we want to star-...continue destroying our governments integrity, that's a great way of doing it! 2) We need a new face, someone with charisma, to repair our desolate foreign relations. 3) I'd like a president that hasn't had a lot of time to make good friends the lobbyists. How many years has Clinton been in the government? Might she be losing perspective just a little bit to force EVERY ONE IN AMERICA to acquire health INSURANCE. Me thinks the insurance companies aren't heart broken about that little possibility.

    I can understand that your upset Hillary isn't going to make the nomination, but I didn't get my first and second pick either (Kucinich and Richardson). When it comes down to it, Obama is a far, far cry from Bush 2.0-err I mean, John McCain.

  • Eric Ramon (unverified)
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    1627 is not 2025. With superdelegates he'll have, after tonight, about 1950...which also isn't 2025!!

    Declaring "victory" tonight would be like Leon Lett going in for what looks like a touchdown. Well, maybe not, since I think Obama will go all the way, but you get the point. It would be showboating and he's not there yet.

    He can, however, declare that he has the majority of pledged delegates and that he has "won" the primaries/caucuses, but he has not won the nomination.

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    More important; When does Senator Clinton quit? How infinitesimal of a long shot does she have to have before she takes herself and 12 million dollar campaign debt back to the Senate?

    Hillary run as an Independent? Please...LOL here.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "You know, I'd like Obama to just declare it after the results of today, but as other posters have said, the Clinton supporters would get extremely bent out of shape and we'd hear nothing but anger in the news for the next month or so."

    Which begs the question, would Clinton go Independent and still run for the White House? That would be the ultimate in being "bent out of shape" and stupidity.

  • Will H. (unverified)
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    "Which begs the question, would Clinton go Independent and still run for the White House? That would be the ultimate in being 'bent out of shape' and stupidity."

    If she did decide to run as an independent, I'm sure the GOP would send her a love letter and a fruit basket, because that would guarantee McCain wins in the fall.

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    No, no, no... Almost every single state in this country (except Connecticut, famously) prohibits primary losers from running as independents or third-party candidatse. It's a law called a "sore loser" law. Same reason that Ron Paul won't be the Libertarian nominee again this year.

  • DH (unverified)
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    He could have if HC wasn't playing this thing out like a greek tragedy. I think he acknowledges the milestone but not the nomination. He'll be in Iowa ( right in the neighborhood where one of the Clackamas County organizers is from) to remind people of his first big win. He'll continue to look past her and play it like the general. Keep references to her few and positive. Its hard when you hear her top people peddle their strange new math but he will do it.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    But can she challenge it in the courts? It seems that any uptight person like her, with a lot of money to back them, seem to pick fights in the courts over somethuing like this.

  • (Show?)

    He'll have the pledged majority, but he'll also be something like 50 TOTAL delegates short, or less, by tomorrow morning. I imagine OR's DNC delegates will announce for Obama tomorrow. He won't quite get there, but he will be damned close.

  • DH (unverified)
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    Eric,

    I don't think her and her campaign would go that far but I have been disappointed many times this campaign. Will she try to pull some shenanigans with the rules comm in regards to Michigan and Florida ? THAT I wouldn't be surprised at. Her advisors appear to be willing to whore out their integrity at any measure of cost.

    Legal experts on the site, what could she do ?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Her advisors appear to be willing to whore out their integrity at any measure of cost.

    Is it really necessary to point out that this is inflammatory verbiage?

  • trishka (unverified)
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    i agree with Eric. obama can actively campaign against mccain without coming out and saying he's declaring victory. to do the latter would give the clinton supporters an excuse to throw a fit and distract everyone from his campaign against mccain.

  • (Show?)

    Prediction:

    Obama will wait for Hillary to speak in Kentucky, and if she concedes the election, he'll announce his victory in Iowa. Where, incidentally, he is speaking to "bring things full circle." Full circle? That sounds pretty definitive to me.

    But I voted no. Strategically, there's absolutely no upside in declaring victory before Clinton has conceded.

  • DH (unverified)
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    Joel: You are right and I apologize for my fit of anger and frustration. I just watched a clip on CNN where HC and her advisors made their pitch that IF we didn't include caucuses and IF we gave HC all the votes in MI and FL, she would be ahead in the popular vote. I could have used milder words that said the same thing. Sorry to all for my poor choice of words.

  • DontStopHillary (unverified)
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    "Which begs the question, would Clinton go Independent and still run for the White House? That would be the ultimate in being 'bent out of shape' and stupidity."

    If she did decide to run as an independent, I'm sure the GOP would send her a love letter and a fruit basket, because that would guarantee McCain wins in the fall."

    McCain will have his own trouble in the fall-

    http://www.dontstophillary.com

  • DontStopHillary (unverified)
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    Sorry, messed up the HTML. McCain's trouble will be Bob Barr who is a stronger conservative.

  • RE (unverified)
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    16.5+ million people deserve a voice in the General election. Keep people involved!

    Keep Running, Hillary. Even if you have to go Independent.

    http://DontStopHillary.com -DontStopHillary

    16+ million people have had their voices heard, but more people say they want another nominee. I fully understand that there has been some bias in the media and that the MSM should never have demanded that she concede defeat, however, people need to act maturely. It is unfortunate when your horse doesn't come in first, but to try and damn the country to another 4 years of misery under the leadership of McSame by either not voting or voting for him is ludicrous.

    As for declaring victory, I do not think that he should. If Hillary wants to play this out, which I believe unwise, so be it.

    As for him not knowing about Hanford, do you know how many superfund sites there are in the Northwest region? 163 of which 62 are on the National Priority List. To expect a politician to know and be able to speak about each one of these is ludicrous.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    DontStopHillary...PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING..

    "Almost every single state in this country (except Connecticut, famously) prohibits primary losers from running as independents or third-party candidatse. It's a law called a "sore loser" law"

    Now...Leave us alone. Quit unecessarily hijacking Blue Oregon, calm down, and get a real life. Leave the real blogging to us...Savvy?

  • DontStopHillary (unverified)
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    "Now...Leave us alone. Quit unecessarily hijacking Blue Oregon, calm down, and get a real life. Leave the real blogging to us...Savvy?"

    Sounds to me like you don't like people discussing things with you, or stating contrary opinions.

    Just what you'd expect from The Establishment. Some of us wish the Democratic Party, and the members, would respect the First Amendment a bit more.

    Also- "real blogging" is one of the funniest terms I've heard all day.

    http://www.dontstophillary.com

  • Katy (unverified)
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    Hahaha, "real blogging?" What exactly does that mean?

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    My take is that tonight will not be intended as a "victory" per se so much as it will be distinguished as an achievement by Senator Obama's campaign upon receiving the majority of pledged delegates throughout the electorate.

    The perception will be all too easy to make that this is going to be a victory dance, but it seems more like a reassurance specifically targeted toward both the people of Iowa (to whom the Senator owes the public start to the National campaign he's run) and the undecided Superdelegates to start working on unification of the Party through endorsements.

    Senator Clinton's campaign is within its rights to contest a "victory speech" at this time. I just don't see Senator Obama making that tonight. The words "Democratic Nominee" will not be used tonight as a self-reference but as the finish line that can be crossed after Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota vote and a few more SuperDs endorse.

  • (Show?)

    He has won -- he knows it, we know it, Hillary knows it (or she isn't as smart as I think she is).

    Still, I voted no. I think it would unnecessarily alienate Hillary supporters and make him perhaps look arrogant and entitled. He should let the calendar wear on until at least June. He's not hurting in the polls, nor in the money count, so there's no harm in waiting.

  • DH (unverified)
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    DSH: Are you SERIOUSLY putting forth the notion that the Clinton campaign isn't part of " The Establishment" ???

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    It's not the role of the boxers to call the fight; the referee is the one who steps in to stop it when it's clear one fighter has been bested. Same in a primary. Obama does better staying above the fray.

    But why the "referees," the Superdelegates, continue to let this fight go on is increasingly unclear. The only thing I can think of is they want to take away any challenge or claim Hillary might have that she was robbed. She ought to quit because she cannot win, but forcing her to quit only obscures the cold hard reality of her loss. Let her burn herself out if she wants to.

  • naschkatzehussein (unverified)
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    Playing by the rules and not allowing someone to try to change the goal posts yet one more time on May 31, Obama will put Clinton out of reach with the results today. If they split the delegates of KY and OR, Obama will need a little less than 60 more delegates, Clinton a little more than 250. I would like to see the contests go to the end, but if it means a contentious battle before the rules committee, I hope that enough superdelegates put Obama over the finish line before May 31. Then he can declare victory, let the bull rage however much she wants.

  • Eric Ramon (unverified)
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    Jamais,

    You ask "But why the "referees," the Superdelegates, continue to let this fight go on is increasingly unclear."

    Some feel that they should wait until their state has spoken (like Bill Bradbury). Others are just plain afraid of doing anything that might bite them later. It's why Congress doesn't actually get things done. Too scary, politically.

    The superdelegates are, for the most part, the same people who haven't brought the war to an end, largely because, I believe, they're afraid of being labeled weak on defense or anarchy or terror or whatever it's called now.

    No wonder it's taken this cowardly group this long to commit. Uh-oh...I called them "cowards" on a blog. I guess that will cause me problems should I ever run for the Senate.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, I didn't realize "sore loser" laws applied to the presidential race. Thanks for pointing that out.

    You know, we had our own "sore loser" right here in Oregon: Robert Stanfield was upset by Frederick Steiwer in the 1926 Republican primary, and then lost to him a second time in the general after attaining the ballot as an independent.

  • michelle (unverified)
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    at this point, i dont care what obama does or does not declare. what i WANT is for the MSM to start reporting facts as FACTS, and non-facts as...well...you get the picture.

    the whole reason HRC's supporters are all up in arms is because the MSM has allowed HRC's campaign to keep saying things like "we are ahead in the popular vote"(untrue.pop vote is, by definition, the vote of all people- which means yes....caucus states DO count, just as much as fla and Mi do.) they also need to stop referring to his "pledged delegate lead" exclusively, as he also has won the most states, the most votes, the most delegates....sticking to that one term legitimizes the HRC supporters feelings of impending possible victory.

    stop telling HRC to leave, and just focus on what she doesnt have: (besides integrity, of course) the popular vote. the majority of states. money. credibility with swing voters (they've watched her morph HOW many times now??) and yes....the ability to beat mccain.

    (why else would Karl Rove want her as an opponent? he IS mccain's campaign adviser after all.google it, its true. does THAT change your minds a bit?the fact that the guys we dems want to beat WANT to run against HRC?!?!?)

    every time someone brings up these points, she goes on to point out a failing on someone else's part...i.e. obama or mccain, or the media, or the tooth fairy. inform her, and her supporters, that yes....it finally is allllll about her. what someone else lacks is not the point. what she has/is/does/represents. THATS the point.

    and the vast majority of the American people...NOT democrats, but PEOPLE, have said that what they do not want is HRC.

  • RichW (unverified)
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    He doesn't have to declare victory. He is smart. He goes after McCain as he revisits states like Iowa. He just doesn't have to rub it in to the HRC supporters by declaring that he is the nominee. The Super Delegates will do that for him -perhaps as early as tomorrow.

    He will als surprise the HRC naysayers in the General Election by winning states that HRC would never win. Colorado is in play for Obama. Viginia is a GOP leaner right now but could go the other way. Obama could win without Ohio AND Florida by taking Colorado and New Hampshire or Nevada. Do the math.

  • Ed (unverified)
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    If any of you starry eyed Obamaites think that the HRC supporters will vote for Barry in Nov..... You need to get your heads out of the sand.... They will vote for McCain to punish the " The Great Black Hope " and the nitwits who run your dysfunctional party....

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Hey! I don't appreciate trolls taking my name in vain!

    As for the Party, I have a great affinity for herding cats... begone lurker from under a bridge!

  • RichW (unverified)
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    "If any of you starry eyed Obamaites think that the HRC supporters will vote for Barry in Nov..... You need to get your heads out of the sand"

    Probably you are just a troll, but in the unlikely event you are right, it just proves that the GOP orchestrated the HRC wins for their own benefit.

    I simply just cannot see any intelligent, mature progressive voting for McCain over either Obama or Clinton. The future of the Supreme Court is at stake and a vote for McCain is a vote against progressive values.

  • naschkatzehussein (unverified)
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    There is an interesting Gallup poll over at AmericaBlog which shows Obama virtually catching up in all the constituencies which were favorable to Clinton. The one exception was the group of women over 50. In the less educated group, high school or less, Obama is only 1 point behind Clinton. In the Latino group he has passed up Clinton 51% to 44%. This is marvelous and an indication to me that most genuinely Democratic voters, not Republican crossovers, are going to stick with the party in November.

    This is for you, Ed.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    n.,

    I hope you mean:

    "This is for you, Eds."

  • (Show?)

    Ed Bickford's first comment is on the money. Clearly it is important to many Clinton supporters that she be able to play her hand out fully. Senator Obama agrees that's Senator Clinton's right. Let's respect them, him and her, all.

    The idea that if Obama wins the nomination, 16.5 million Hillary supporters will have no voice is wrong, just as it would be wrong if the situation were reversed. Obama may be the less desirable of the two D voices still on offer, to them, but for the vast majority of them he will be a lot closer than McCain. Likewise for 16.7 million Obama backers if Clinton is the nominee.

    (Clinton supporters please do note that exactly the arguments you make or imply by citing Hillary's totals apply to Obama and his supporters. If his being nominated denies Hillary backers a voice, how would the reverse be any less true? It actually isn't true in either case. The fact that any of us voted doesn't give us some "right" to have our preferred candidate be the nominee.)

    I don't believe Hillary Clinton would make an independent run, or would want to, even if it were possible, should she not gain the nomination.

    joel dan walls is right about obnoxious, stupid rhetoric. I wish some Obama people would lay off slagging Clinton and/or her supporters, just as I wish Clinton people would lay off the reverse.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    We are definitely embarking on the phase of the campaign where it is our main mission to unite the party behind the nominee, irregardless of doubt upon whom the mantle is settled. I think it is doubly important this campaign cycle because of the large number of voters newly involved in campaigning. They will need reassurance that their involvement will not go for nothing (or worse) because their beloved candidate was denied victory. Look to the Dean for America campaign of 2004 that went down in flames (alas), yet Howard Dean was propelled into leadership of the Party to the benefit of all candidates in subsequent cycles! The Party is never invested in just one candidate; we all rise or sink together.

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