Maximize the Confusion

March 24, 2008 11:30 p.m.

Will Bunch was at the Daily News editor board session with Hillary Clinton today. And in the process of asking her a delegate number crunching question she told him, “And also remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They’re just like superdelegates.”

Technically this is true. In fact, I believe that all of the delegates at the Democratic Convention can do whatever they want. They may have been elected to be a Clinton or Obama delegate. And they’re ‘pledged’ to vote for that candidate. But once they’re on the floor of the hall they actually free to do whatever they want.

But it’s basically a non-point because campaigns don’t choose just anyone to serve as a delegate. They pick the absolute hardest core supporters of their candidate. So the odds of any delegate getting flipped are basically nil.

It’s also another example of the fog of nonsense that has increasingly enveloped the Clinton campaign. Spin is one thing. And it’s not a bad thing. But to have utility it must be tethered to some relevant facts, some kind of reality. Otherwise it just descends into ridiculousness. There’s always some new clever but inane argument to twist ‘up’ into something at least somewhat resembling ‘down’. Or if not that, enough to keep your head spinning long enough not to notice for a while that 2 and 2 still equals 4. It’s like getting snowed by a precocious adolescent or maybe Jon Lovitz’s Tommy Flanagan.

Usually this malarkey comes out of the mouth of Mark Penn. But it seems to be infectious.

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