Both Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi are now voicing the Clinton line that superdelegates should vote their conscience and not just rubber-stamp the pledged delegate outcome. Dean (accurately) states that this is precisely what party rules require. Pelosi previously sounded much more in tune with the Obama, insisting that superdelegates risk an angry uprising if they deviate from the pledged delegate vote.
Did the Clintons “get to” these two? It’s safe to say that neither one wants to step into the role of power broker or risk the wrath of either side. If the race were in the bag for Obama, as many in the media contend, I think you would see a different tone. But with Clinton leading in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, who’s to say that she can’t pull it off? Or that the superdelegates won’t want to consider whether Obama’s base of support has crumbled by June? And superdelegates will, I think, be very concerned if Clinton continues to poll better than Obama in key must win states. Michael Barone’s electoral analysis is rarely wrong. (Meanwhile, the New York Times discovers that Dean is not exactly a problem solver, having taken no active role in trying to resolve the Michigan and Florida delegate fights.)