Obama returns to
By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers
"When the votes are counted in
"A clear majority of elected delegates will send an unmistakable message: The people have spoken, and they are ready for change."
"Senator Obama's plan to declare himself the Democratic nominee tomorrow night in Iowa is a slap in the face to the millions of voters in the remaining primary states and to Senator Clinton's 17 million supporters," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said Monday. "Premature victory laps and false declarations of victory are unwarranted. Declaring mission accomplished does not make it so."
"There is no scenario under the rules of the Democratic National Committee by which Senator Obama will be able to claim the nomination tomorrow night," Wolfson said.
As of Monday, Obama had 1,915 delegates — elected and unelected — toward the 2,026 needed to take the nomination, according to the Associated Press tally. He gained two more unelected superdelegates Monday — Sen. Robert Byrd of
Obama needs another 116 to clinch; she needs 305.
There are 179 delegates left to be awarded in primaries: 51 in
About 185 unelected superdelegates also have yet to say whom they'll support.
If Obama does emerge from Tuesday's voting with the majority of elected delegates, he believes it would be a powerful selling point to remaining uncommitted superdelegates.
It's also a stroke of political theater to mask some bad news Tuesday and overly dramatize the good, suggested one analyst.
"That's his way of putting pressure on the superdelegates," said Dennis Goldford, a political scientist at
"And it's his way of throwing some sand in the lens of the camera Tuesday night when he's getting shellacked in
©McClatchy Newspapers 2008