Monday, April 28, 2008

Pelosi will be delegate #2,025 for Obama

Talking Points Memo has a post about Howard Dean making it clear that he wants all of the superdelegates to make up their minds soon after the last primary on June 3. This makes perfect sense. The Democrats need time to unify the party before the convention and before the general election. And there's no point in waiting. Nothing of significance will change between the end of the primaries and the convention, so they should make their decisions sooner rather than later. And they're politicians - they have to make hard decisions all the time, usually with the threat of alienating a core constituency hanging over their heads.

My prediction is that Nancy Pelosi will be delegate #2,025 for Obama, the one that pushes him over the top and clinches the nomination. She's the most highly visible Democrat among the supers, so this would signal that it's time for the party to get behind Obama. More importantly, though, as the first woman Speaker of the House, she understands extremely well how important it would be to have a woman president. Absolutely no one could accuse her of being sexist or bowing to pressure from the old boy's network. There will be a lot of Hillary supporters who will be disappointed by this decision. And many of the women who support Hillary and who identify with her will be very tempted to claim that this is an example of a woman's ambition being thwarted by a man. They will want a target for their anger. But if Pelosi puts the last nail in the coffin of Hillary's campaign, they will not be able to direct their anger at her. And they will listen to her, as they would not listen to Howard Dean or Harry Reid or even Obama himself. And the healing will begin.

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