The Mystery of the Supers

A few factoids have emerged in the last few days that shed new light on just what’s up with the remaining undeclared superdelegates. One was the claim of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), an Obama supporter, that all the congressional superdelegates have actually already made up their minds. All that’s up in the air is when different representatives and senators are going to announce publicly.

Added to that is the fact that Sen. Obama routinely seems to be able to roll out solid superdelegate endorsements in the face of bad news for his campaign. There’ve been rumors or chatter for some time that the Obama campaign has a few dozen superdelegates basically on ice, ready to roll out as needed to juice momentum or change the headlines in the face of bad news. They deny it, for whatever that’s worth. And I’ve always found the theory a little difficult to completely credit since it’s dangerous to leave a endorsing superdelegate unannounced. They’re liable to go all wobbly on you at some point in the future if things don’t go well. But as I said above, stuff like Andrew’s announcement and the other reps Obama picked up earlier this week make me wonder.

But here’s one issue that we’ve been hearing about recently that sheds a little more light on the question: money. No, nothing nefarious. But if you’re out there running a competitive race yourself and you need to raise money (or think you’ll need to do so in the future) the endorsement game is a dicey business. By definition, when you endorse one or the other you piss off roughly half the Democratic party — or at least half the big funders, the people write and bundle the big checks. So that’s really not productive. And it’s a good reason to keep your powder dry.