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 Friday, May 30, 2008

Democrats Running Out of Patience and Courtesy: Hillary is Making Herself Into a Political "Pariah"

  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Starts to Walk Clinton Off the Stage


David Nather

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has tried to stay neutral in the presidential race between two members of his caucus, sent one of the most powerful signals this morning that the Democratic race is about to be over.

In an interview with the KGO talk radio station in San Francisco, Reid said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "agree there's NOT going to be a fight at the convention."

He said they, along with Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, plan to call uncommitted superdelegates and "urge our folks next week to make a decision very quickly" between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And he ventured this prediction about the outcome:

"Probably just simple math indicates that on next Tuesday, after we get the results from Puerto Rico on Sunday and South Dakota and Montana on Tuesday, Obama will probably have the necessary number at that time anyway."
Until now, Reid has taken great pains not to be seen as favoring Obama's arguments or Clinton's arguments.

Today, that balancing act ended.

Reid basically dismissed Clinton's claim that she leads in the popular vote - a centerpiece of her letter and memo to superdelegates yesterday about why she's more electable than Obama.

"The nominee is not determined on popular vote. It's determined on delegates," Reid said.

As for the disputed Florida and Michigan delegations, Reid said both states "should be counted in some way."

But he also said "common sense indicates" that neither one had a true election, since none of the candidates were allowed to campaign there - allowing Clinton to win an advantage because of her famous name.

Reid said:

"Of course an election was held. But - I've been neutral in this, but being very realistic and candid - Clinton, her husband was president of the United States. He had a name that was well known.

She had a name that was well known. Obama? Certainly she would do better when there was no campaign."

Between Reid's comments and Pelosi's remarks to the San Francisco Chronicle this morning that "I will step in" to make sure the fight doesn't go to the convention, Clinton is now facing some awfully large writing on the wall.

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