The White House has been making it fairly clear that after Tuesday night’s primary results are in, President Obama will be prepared to recognize a presumptive nominee, and barring a miracle, that nominee will be Hillary Clinton. At Tuesday’s White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest repeatedly declined to comment on the multiple news outlets that have already called the Democratic race based on interviews with superdelegates, and implored reporters to wait until tomorrow for any “update.”
But Earnest was also asked to weigh in on the President’s position regarding the argument that Senator Bernie Sanders is making, that superdelegates should not be taken into account until their votes are actually cast at the convention, and the press secretary was diplomatic but dismissive of the idea. He explained how then-Senator Obama highlighted support from superdelegates who had switched their affiliations in 2008, and noted that no such switches are occurring this time:
There hasn’t been a lot of changing of affiliation. So, look, Senator Sanders and his campaign are certainly entitled to make whatever argument that they would like…I think that Senator Sanders understands the role that superdelegates play, Secretary Clinton understands the role superdelegates play in choosing the Democratic nominee. They understood the rules when they signed up, and they’re playing by them now.
Despite the calls by news organizations, the determining factor for the White House will be the combination of an overall delegate majority and a clinching of the majority of pledged delegates, which should occur tonight, barring a miracle. After that, Sanders’ campaign certainly can make whatever argument it likes, but it will fall on deaf ears at the White House.
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