Thursday, May 08, 2008

Governor, It’s Up to You

In a comment on my previous post calling for Maryland’s uncommitted super delegates to jointly announce their support for Senator Barack Obama, District 39 Delegate Saqib Ali said the following:

Adam, Why do you only put the responsibility on the 9 unpledged Super-Delegates?

I agree that all the uncommitted Super Delegates should immediately endorse Senator Obama.

However the 11 Super Delegates who have previously pledged to Senator Clinton should also SWITCH to Senator Obama post-haste. It is their responsibility to heal the party every bit as much as the uncommitted SuperDs.

In fact if "The Clinton 11" switch, it would have a net effect of +22 for Obama. It would be a crushing blow. It would have a huge mathematical and psychological effect. It might end the nomination battle today.

So yes, the 9 uncommitted should join the Obama train. But even more important, The Clinton 11 should join too!
Delegate Ali makes a fair point. Maryland’s pro-Clinton super delegates are:

Governor Martin O’Malley
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger
State Treasurer Nancy Kopp
Former Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Alvaro Cifuentes, Former Chair, DNC Hispanic Caucus
Maria Cordone, Director of Community Services, International Association of Machinists
Richard Michalski, Vice President, International Association of Machinists
Glenard Middleton, President, AFSCME Council 67
Carol Pensky, Founder, DNC Women’s Forum
Michael Steed, Managing Director, Paladin Capital Group

We should note that both AFSCME and the Machinists have endorsed Senator Clinton. Since the Clinton Administration fought hard to pass NAFTA, which has devastated the Machinists, many of the rest of us in labor have been scratching our heads over their endorsement for many months.

The key figure in the above list is Governor O’Malley. He alone has the power to deliver most if not all of Maryland’s super delegates as a group, as Delegate Ali suggests. Some believe that the Governor has national ambitions. What better way to enter the national stage as a bold deliverer of the party from a continuing bloody primary fight?

There are more parochial reasons for the Governor to intervene. Maryland badly needs federal funding for its BRAC transportation projects, its three proposed transit projects (Baltimore’s Red Line and the Washington suburbs’ Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway) and further cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. How would the Governor be better positioned in pursuing those funds? By sticking with a furious, increasingly ugly Clinton campaign to the bitter, losing end? Or by delivering victory in the primary to future President Obama?

Governor, it’s up to you. We are watching.