early and often

Can Hillary Clinton Win?

Hillary Clinton

The gears are in motion inside Hillary Clinton’s head.Photo: Getty Images

The developments in the Democratic primary contest this week have once again focused attention on the end-game possibilities. Michigan and Florida are almost certainly not holding revotes, Barack Obama attempted to weather the Reverend Wright controversy, and this afternoon Bill Richardson will endorse Obama. Ultimately, though, all that matters is whether Clinton can make the right pitch, or gain enough momentum, to win over the superdelegates, those formerly unappreciated stars of the Democratic party who will have to push one candidate over the top. Can she do it?

A.B. Stoddard is glad he’s not a superdelegate, whose choice between Obama and Clinton has been further complicated by Clinton’s momentum and Obama’s Wright problem . [Hill]

• Ben Smith writes that since Michigan and Florida will likely not hold revotes, Clinton will have a nearly impossible task in overtaking Obama in the popular vote — which had been one of her only hopes in winning the confidence of superdelegates. [Politico]

• Douglas E. Schoen thinks that Howard Dean and the Democrats need to make a great compromise: hold the revotes in Michigan and Florida, and in exchange, Dean will pressure the superdelegates to support Obama if he ends the primary leading in popular votes and states won, and maintains a triple-digit pledged-delegate lead. [WSJ]

• Chuck Todd and Mark Murray think that what superdelegates — many of whom are up for reelection this year — really care about is keeping their jobs. Can Clinton really make the case that having her as the nominee would help the superdelegates? Clinton-family wins are not always good for Democrats everywhere. [First Read/MSNBC]

• Mark Halperin lists the many (many) factors that superdelegates will take into consideration, including Al Gore’s views, fear of the unknown, and pressure from family members. [Page/Time]

• Halperin also runs down all the obstacles to winning the nomination that Clinton is likely pondering right now. [Page/Time]

• Patrick Healy reports that the Clinton campaign is very delicately trying to tie the Reverend Wright controversy to Obama’s electability when making their pitch to superdelegates. The danger for the Clinton campaign is appearing to once again to be exploiting race. [NYT]

• Michael Hirsh believes Clinton’s only chance isn’t exploiting Wright: It’s taking the lead on the financial crisis using her own expertise and her husband’s economic credibility. [Newsweek]

• Joe Klein looks at the “kamikaze” or “kitchen sink” tactics used by Clinton and her allies and concludes they’ll only hurt her chances of defeating Obama. [Swampland/Time]
Dan Amira

For a complete guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

Can Hillary Clinton Win?