I talked with big backers in the Obama and Clinton camps about the Edwards endorsement — and while there are some doubts as to how much impact it will have so late in the primary process, it did come at an opportune time for the Illinois senator.
Hillary Clinton’s lopsided victory in West Viriginia got trumped on the network and cable newscasts, as did her blitz of interviews today.
Clinton’s reaction was that it was “no big surprise to her,” according to one of the fund-raisers who gathered at her D.C. home on Wednesday. Clinton had gathered the group for a meeting to talk about the status of the race and her path to the nomination.
When she arrived at the meeting, she told them that she had just talked on the phone with Edwards, who informed her of his Obama endorsement. It was news to those in the room, but she signaled it was not unexpected. (Edwards has hinted at it in recent weeks.)
What transpired instead at the meeting was a roadmap for how she could stage a come from behind victory: Racking up enough popular vote, particularly with Puerto Rico on June 1, to score a majority (with Florida included) and convince superdelegates to shift her way. And, of course, they also will press for the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the May 31 meeting of the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee.
The case to superdelegates centers on electability, and at the meeting some of those there like Ed Rendell expressed major doubts that Obama can win in industrial states like Ohio and other large states like Florida in the general election.
Clinton is due in Los Angeles on Thursday night for a fund-raiser at the Century Plaza Hotel. Sim Farar, one of Clinton’s national finance chairs, said the event was “sold out.”
About to return to board a plane from Washington D.C., he described the Wednesday meeting as “very positive in how we’re going to win this.”
“We all left there on a high note,” he says. “We believe she is going to win.”
One note: Clinton does lead in the popular vote on the Real Clear Politics tabulation, but only if Florida and Michigan are included and the votes of Washington, Iowa, Nevada and Maine are excluded. Obama also would get no votes out of Michigan because his name was not on the ballot.