Thursday, May 08, 2008

superD's in Utah

The local papers today discuss what's the hold up with superdelegates, in particular why haven't Utah's decided whom they'll vote for. In particular, they go after Utah's lone Democratic Congressman, Jim Matheson, who last cycle didn't even attend the convention in Boston. But I would rather focus on the other supers, because it is more interesting.
Both candidates have support among Utah's superdelegates. Utah Democratic Chairman Wayne Holland and former U.S. Rep. Bill Orton have endorsed Obama, citing his big win in the state primary and his ability to energize new voters. Obama will also have the support of an as-yet-unnamed superdelegate that Holland will select at the state convention on Saturday.
Clinton has the backing of Utah Democratic Committeewoman Helen Langan and former state Sen. Karen Hale, although they have said they are giving Obama's campaign a second look after his victory in the state primary in early February. Langan said Wednesday that she is remaining a Clinton supporter.
"If I say anything different, it will be after the primaries," Langan said.
Local readers know that Misty Fowler is probably going to be the "as-yet-unnamed [Obama supporting] superdelegate that Holland will select" a pledged delegate for Obama because Sen. Obama asked for her to be nammed his superdelegate. A well deserved trip to Denver for Misty, who worked her butt off (and represents the hundreds of others from Utah who also toiled for Obama) for over a year to get the Beehive State to go for Obama. (I hope Bob gets it as well)

So next we have Bill Orton, the former congressman from Odgen who ran for governor in 2000. My State Senator, Scott McCoy (who I am proud to has read this blog) is mounting a campaign to kick Orton off. And Orton's fighting back:
McCoy sent an email to hundreds of state delegates, informing them that [...] "Because Bill Orton endorsed my Republican opponent in my [2006] Senate race, I don't think he deserves to be our Democratic National Committeeman any longer. On this, I hope you will agree too," McCoy wrote in his e-mail.
Orton said Jarvis is a longtime family friend and volunteered on his gubernatorial campaign in 2000.
"My endorsement of my friend . . . didn't cost Scott McCoy any votes. But if I had abandoned my friend after he had asked me to help him out, I very well could have lost a close friend," Orton said.
"I'm very proud of that record I have in helping the party and helping Democrats," Orton said.
Orton also points out that McCoy backed a member of the gay Log Cabin Republicans in a Salt Lake City Council race. The council races are officially non-partisan.
Now that's interesting and I will be curious to see what happens.

But let's get back to our two Hillary supporting superdelegates: Helen Langan and Karen Hale. Both now work for Ralph Becker. And Becker is backing Obama. Obviously, Hale and Langan are entitled to their own opinions, and Becker isn't the kind of guy that would demand that they vote in lock-step with him. But Hale's waivering statement, combined with Langan's "call me in June" statement seem to mean that they too will vote for Obama in August.

So where does that leave Jim Matheson? Well, maybe Obama himself cornered Jim just off the House floor after the presumptive nominee made a surprise visit to the House today. The House is a treasure trove of superdelegates (235, more than were at stake on Tueday), 66 of whom are "undecided," with lots more that could flip Obama's way. There are many districts which Obama carried where the Member hasn't voiced their opinion. And many others, especially in the leadership (cough Pelosi cough) who are all-but-in-name for Obama.

Who knows what Obama's negatives will be like in late August, but I doubt they will be a bad as they were for John Kerry in 2004 and Denver is certainly not Boston in terms of optics. If I were to bet, I would expect Jim to show up to Denver and cast his vote for Obama along with the rest of the Utah delegation (save those Hillary pledged delegates).


Bob said...

Thanks for the nod...

Misty Fowler said...

I tried to comment on this last night, but I couldn't log into Blogger from my phone. So, I wrote a much longer version and posted it as a blog this morning. You about knocked me off my chair when I read the above (prior to correction)!