Obama Gets Another Superdelegate

In the wake of New Hampshire, the Obama campaign promised to roll out a series of endorsements from superdelegates to help cut into Hillary Clinton's large overall lead in the delegate race when these elected officials and party officials are taken into account (The Washington Post puts Clinton's lead here at 187 to 89, which differs from the 25 to 24 lead you see in the tally to the left including just pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses). Indeed, this week Obama secured the support of people like George Miller, a key member of the House of Representatives who could potentially sway some of his fellow members, and Janet Napolitano, the popular Democratic Governor of Arizona, a state that will vote on February 5. And now Obama has also received the backing of Senator Ben Nelson, the leading Democrat in Nebraska, a state that will hold caucuses in early February.

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama won the endorsement Saturday of U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, a popular moderate Democrat in largely Republican Nebraska who said he believes Obama has ability to bridge the partisan divide and to carry Democratic candidates across the country to victory in 2008.

Nelson, pledging his support for his Illinois colleague, said Obama has "the greatest potential to ending the bitterness and poisonous atmosphere in Washington."

He said Obama's victory speech after winning Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses was an effort to reach out to Democrats, independents and "enlightened Republicans," and that Obama's campaign epitomizes what Nelson has tried to do in Washington.

Obama is the "prototype of what we need today," said Nelson, who served two terms as governor.

Nebraska Democrats will choose a presidential candidate Feb. 9, four days after 24 states hold contests on Feb. 5.

The Nelson endorsement, in and of itself, isn't going to do much to change the dynamics of this race (other than perhaps giving Obama a boost in the Nebraska caucuses). But what it does represent is another example of the movement of endorsements heading Obama's way. There is no flow of endorsements yet, or even much more than a trickle. That said, if Obama can cut away at Clinton's large lead in superdelegates, particularly ahead of February 5, it could help him show some momentum heading into super duper Tuesday (even as it perhaps cuts a bit against his running against Washington).

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Clinton Leads Superdelegate Count

The Presidential nomination process used to be far less democratic than it is now.  I use the small d with reason, I don't have the details but until the 70's there were often brokered conventions, and the returns from early states weren't so vital.  In the 1970's the party began adding superdelegates to maintian central control over the nominating process.  If anyone can a clearer explanation than this explanation, that would be great. I'm still not clear whether superdelegates are bound to vote as their state does or can cast a ballot on their own free will. But I do know that the superdelegate count is important inside the party.  It's an important measure of institutional support.

And for 2008, Hillary Clinton is leading.  I've gathered endorsements from a page at GWU and the Hill's endorsment page. There will be something like 700-800 superdelegates, primarly US Senators, Representatives, Governors, and DNC members. Here's the current count, details on the flipside.

Clinton 26
Obama 15
Edwards 11
Dodd 6
Richardson 2
Biden 1

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