Obama Picks Up Maryland Superdelegates: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted May 5, 2008 12:13 PM
The Swamp

By David Nitkin

This entry has been revised from an earlier version.
The chairman and vice-chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party are throwing their support behind Sen. Barack Obama on the eve of Tuesday's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, giving the Illinois senator at least two additional superdelegates.

Maryland Democratic officials initially said that a few more superdelegates -- including state Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County -- could also announce their decisions today. But Mizeur said in a subsequent interview that she had not made up her mind, and was not prepared to announce a decision until later in the primary process.

A 2:30 p.m. news conference at the University of Maryland is being scheduled for the announcement, which will feature former Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening. Glendening had first backed New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, but was chosen as an add-on superdelegate committed to Obama at a state party meeting last weekend.

The Obama campaign has been putting pressure on unpledged superdelegates in several states to recapture momentum ahead of this week's primary, trying to counter negative publicity surrounding Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

Maryland has had 12 unpledged superdelegates, the second-highest amount of any state.

Party chairman Michael Cryor and Vice chairman Lauren Dugas Glover had previously said they would stay neutral during the primary season because of their positions. Cryor had referred to himself as being uncommitted, but not undecided.

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I hope Senator Clinton can figure it out by now, if not, and if she wants to waste Democratic money, Democratic chances to beat the Republicans, than, by all means, continue on this exercise in futility!! I know the Republicans will be eternally grateful!!

Some US media are hypocrite. Hillary Has Virtually No Chance to overtake Obama.She has Almost No Chance of Winning, Why Won't the Press Admit It Already? ????????????

This is great since HRC will lose in a GE. The GOP is really hoping that she wins. Her toxic relationship with President Clinton is deadly and they will use it. It won't be democrat v. democrat.

She's starting to look like the Democrat's version of Mike Huckabee. Obama's 140 delegates ahead with about 350 pledged delegates to go and tomorrow's vote will settle 187 of those. Clinton doesn't have enough states left to win. She should start writing her speech cangratulating Obama and urge her supporters to back him.

Finally, the MSM are reporting the gas tax proposal as pandering, and rightly so. And, they are finally reporting what many of us have known, that Hillary will not be the nominee unless superdelegates overturn the will of the people.
There have been 22 endorsements for Obama and only 11 for Clinton since PA, so it seems clear where this is going.
I pray that Hillary Clinton's campaign avoids any more negative campaigning.

haha keep dreaming us clinton supporters are not going back Obama.
We don't care what Hillary says.

I may be in the minority here, but beating John McCain and taking our country back should take priority when it comes to the nomination. In a GE, Obama will have a hard time winning PA and OH. In fact it's realistic that he'll lost both. We cannot reclaim the WH without 1 of the 2. HRC could feasably win BOTH, esp if she taps the OH Gov has her VP. Just something to think about.

Hillary is in this for only herself.I have never seen a more fake person in my entire life!I wonder who is voting for her through all the lies.

These bumptious Obamaites live up to their name. The "oneiric audaciousites"; "we are the ones we have been waiting for!" They eschew American democracy and intend its employment by fiat!

Back off you guys permit everyone to vote! Thats the American way!

First off obama has never visited Iraq to show support for our troops. Second if delegates where given out fairly he be up by 47 not 140. Certain areas are votes are worth more in delegates. Also he up because of caucuses which do not seem very democratic. .
Only reason he is winning is the dnc rules are so messed up.

Apparently this blog posts only favorable comment regarding Obama! Your myopic "oneiricness"[nariscism] is not a benefit for Maryland democratic but rather a detriment as it was during the Maryland primary!

Your in the tank attitude is both disgraceful and scurrilous in addition to professing intellectual dis honesty !

I will publically oppose any super-delegate from Maryland from casting a ballot at the convention for Obama until both Senator Kerry and Kennedy explain why they feel free to violate this rule?

This is great for Obama! He is a good and decent man. How refreshing it will be to have a President that will talk to the American people with honesty! I could never trust the Clinton's to be telling the truth! God bless Obama!

"First off obama has never visited Iraq to show support for our troops.:"

That's a lie.


Mr.H.L. Mencken:

Which rules? to overturn the will of the voters? or the rules HRC is trying to break. she should accept the defeat and support Obama, this is democracy. From Italia

Dear Any Clinton Supporter,

Help me understand why Clinton supporters have grown so angry towards Barack Obama and those who support him.

I understand why BO supporters would be unwilling to support HRC if she were to somehow be the Democratic nominee, because BO is ahead in delegates (the thing that truly matters), states, and popular vote. But why would a Clinton supporter not vote for BO when he would've earned the nomination?

I guess I just don't know if it's a gender thing, race thing, or some other 'thing' that I'm just missing.

This is a sincere question, so I look forward to any sincere replies.

big ben wrote:

haha keep dreaming us clinton supporters are not going back Obama.
We don't care what Hillary says.
that's exactly the problem with hillary supporters like big ben.


I agree the rules are screwed up and if they had been apportioned differently, there would definitely be a different result. However, these are the rules that all of the candidates agreed to beforehand. After the election the Democratic Party can look at changing the rules, not beforehand


Your argument regarding Kennedy and Kerry is ridiculous. Both of the candidates agree that the super delegates are free to support whoever they feel is best qualified to win the election.

good for him.However, Hillary still has more

Now...is it guilt by association? Obama might have been close to Wright for 20 yrs, how long was HRC close to bill before Monica showed up? Is a case of judgement, being able to choose the right mate?

Thank you Party chairman Michael Cryor and Vice chairman Lauren Dugas Glover! Obama is my President too!

Amazing how the caucuses are not very democratic when a candidate loses and/or when the candidate people support loses them. What else is unfair, that Senator Obama has 1.5 million supporters, over 1 million individual contributors to his campaign, that he attracts large crowds because America has not heard this type of call for change in years? Give me a break. Don't hate because you decided to back a candidate that is not winning or was suppose to win. Get over yourself and vote for what is good and right in this country. Give your own voice power. If you vote for McCain or Clinton, your voice will be drowned out by the oil cartel, special interest groups, the wealthy who helped finance their campaigns, and lobbyist.

Bigben says: haha keep dreaming us clinton supporters are not going back Obama.

Most Clinton supporters seem to be republicans anyway, so it's no big loss if you don't support Barack in the general election.

H.L.Mencken....you try way to hard to sound intellectual. you should stop using Microsoft word's thesaurus and start formulating more comprehensive ideas. sometimes less is more...ya know

Why is it that because Sen. Obama is winning that the Clintonites want to change the rules? This is the way the presidential nomination process has been done in the past, it is what her husband went through but now things are unfair for her!!! And, she needs to go back to school and learn her basic arithmetic. How can she possibly say she has won the majority of popular votes when Sen. Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan? Is this really who the American public want in the White House? I truly hope not.

Hillary has lost 2008. If Obama wins the election in 2008 Hillary will not beat him for the nomination in 2012. Therefore, she is trying to scuttle Obama's 2008 run so that she can contend in 2012.

It's very obvious.

Mark my word. If Clinton wins Indiana tomorrow and Obama wins North Carolina, Even if Obama gets more delegates,The media will act like she has the momentum, and this will be a race to the finish. This marathon was over after Ohio and Texas voted. She was favored by 20% in Pennsylvania and won by 9%. Even after Obama's campaign was supposedly derailed by the Wright controversy, and the elite comment. IREALLY THINK THE MEDIA IS DOING THIS SO PEOPLE WE KEEP TUNING IN!! Someone has to tell this poor woman that it's over.

Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate


When residents in Illinois voiced outrage two years ago upon learning that the Exelon Corporation had not disclosed radioactive leaks at one of its nuclear plants, the state’s freshman senator, Barack Obama, took up their cause.

Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was “the only nuclear legislation that I’ve passed.”

“I just did that last year,” he said, to murmurs of approval.

A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks.

Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama’s comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.

“Senator Obama’s staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft,” said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. “The teeth were just taken out of it.”

The history of the bill shows Mr. Obama navigating a home-state controversy that pitted two important constituencies against each other and tested his skills as a legislative infighter. On one side were neighbors of several nuclear plants upset that low-level radioactive leaks had gone unreported for years; on the other was Exelon, the country’s largest nuclear plant operator and one of Mr. Obama’s largest sources of campaign money.

Since 2003, executives and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at least $227,000 to Mr. Obama’s campaigns for the United States Senate and for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest fund-raisers.

Another Obama donor, John W. Rowe, chairman of Exelon, is also chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear power industry’s lobbying group, based in Washington. Exelon’s support for Mr. Obama far exceeds its support for any other presidential candidate.

In addition, Mr. Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, has worked as a consultant to Exelon. A spokeswoman for Exelon said Mr. Axelrod’s company had helped an Exelon subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, with communications strategy periodically since 2002, but had no involvement in the leak controversy or other nuclear issues.

The Obama campaign said in written responses to questions that Mr. Obama “never discussed this issue or this bill” with Mr. Axelrod. The campaign acknowledged that Exelon executives had met with Mr. Obama’s staff about the bill, as had concerned residents, environmentalists and regulators. It said the revisions resulted not from any influence by Exelon, but as a necessary response to a legislative roadblock put up by Republicans, who controlled the Senate at the time.

“If Senator Obama had listened to industry demands, he wouldn’t have repeatedly criticized Exelon in the press, introduced the bill and then fought for months to get action on it,” the campaign said. “Since he has over a decade of legislative experience, Senator Obama knows that it’s very difficult to pass a perfect bill.”

Asked why Mr. Obama had cited it as an accomplishment while campaigning for president, the campaign noted that after the senator introduced his bill, nuclear plants started making such reports on a voluntary basis. The campaign did not directly address the question of why Mr. Obama had told Iowa voters that the legislation had passed.

Nuclear safety advocates are divided on whether Mr. Obama’s efforts yielded any lasting benefits. David A. Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists agreed that “it took the introduction of the bill in the first place to get a reaction from the industry.”

“But of course because it is all voluntary,” Mr. Lochbaum said, “who’s to say where things will be a few years from now?”

Others say that turning the whole matter over to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as Mr. Obama’s revised bill would have done, played into the hands of the nuclear power industry, which they say has little to fear from the regulators. Mr. Obama seemed to share those concerns when he told a New Hampshire newspaper last year that the commission “is a moribund agency that needs to be revamped and has become a captive of the industry it regulates.”

Paul Gunter, an activist based in Maryland who assisted neighbors of the Exelon plants, said he was “disappointed in Senator Obama’s lack of follow-through,” which he said weakened the original bill. “The new legislation falls short” by failing to provide for mandatory reporting, said Mr. Gunter, whose group, Beyond Nuclear, opposes nuclear energy.

The episode that prompted Mr. Obama’s legislation began on Dec. 1, 2005, when Exelon issued a news release saying it had discovered tritium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear power, in monitoring wells at its Braidwood plant, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago. A few days later, tritium was detected in a drinking water well at a home near the plant, although the levels did not exceed federal safety standards.

At least as disturbing for local residents was the revelation that Exelon believed the tritium came from millions of gallons of water that had leaked from the plant years earlier but went unreported at the time. Under nuclear commission rules, plants are required to tell state and local authorities only about radioactive discharges that rise to the level of an emergency.

On March 1, Mr. Obama introduced a bill known as the Nuclear Release Notice Act of 2006. It stated flatly that nuclear plants “shall immediately” notify federal, state and local officials of any accidental release of radioactive material that exceeded “allowable limits for normal operation.”

To flag systematic problems, it would also have required reporting of repeated accidental leaks that fell below those limits. Illinois’ senior senator, Richard J. Durbin, a fellow Democrat, was a co-sponsor, and three other senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, later signed on. But Mr. Obama remained its primary champion.

In public statements, Mr. Obama dismissed the nuclear lobby’s arguments that the tritium leaks posed no health threat.

“This legislation is not about whether tritium is safe, or at what concentration or level it poses a threat,” he said. “This legislation is about ensuring that nearby residents know whether they may have been exposed to any level of radiation generated at a nuclear power plant as a result of an unplanned, accidental or unintentional incident.”

Almost immediately, the nuclear power industry and federal regulators raised objections to the bill.

The Nuclear Energy Institute jumped out in front by announcing its voluntary initiative for plant operators to report even small leaks. An Exelon representative told an industry newsletter, Inside N.R.C., that Exelon was “working with Senator Obama’s office to address some technical issues that will allow us to support the legislation.”

Last week, an Exelon spokesman, Craig Nesbit, said the company sought, among other things, new language to specify what types of leaks should be reported, and assurance that enforcement authority remained with the nuclear commission and not state or local governments.

“We were looking for technical clarity,” Mr. Nesbit said.

Meanwhile, the nuclear commission told Mr. Obama’s staff that the bill would have forced the unnecessary disclosure of leaks that were not serious. “Unplanned releases below the level of an emergency present a substantially smaller risk to the public,” the agency said in a memorandum to senators, which ticked off about a half-dozen specific concerns about the bill.

Senate correspondence shows that the environment committee chairman at the time, Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma who is a strong supporter of industry in battles over energy and environmental legislation, agreed with many of those points and held up the bill. Mr. Obama pushed back, at one point temporarily blocking approval of President Bush’s nominee to the nuclear commission, Dale E. Klein, who met with Mr. Obama to discuss the leaks.

But eventually, Mr. Obama agreed to rewrite the bill, and when the environment committee approved it in September 2006, he and his co-sponsors hailed it as a victory.

In interviews over the past two weeks, Obama aides insisted that the revisions did not substantively alter the bill. In fact, it was left drastically different.

In place of the straightforward reporting requirements was new language giving the nuclear commission two years to come up with its own regulations. The bill said that the commission “shall consider” — not require — immediate public notification, and also take into account the findings of a task force it set up to study the tritium leaks.

By then, the task force had already concluded that “existing reporting requirements for abnormal spills and leaks are at a level that is risk-informed and appropriate.”

The rewritten bill also contained the new wording sought by Exelon making it clear that state and local authorities would have no regulatory oversight of nuclear power plants.

In interviews last week, representatives of Exelon and the nuclear commission said they were satisfied with the revised bill. The Nuclear Energy Institute said it no longer opposed it but wanted additional changes.

The revised bill was never taken up in the full Senate, where partisan parliamentary maneuvering resulted in a number of bills being shelved before the 2006 session ended.

Still, the legislation has come in handy on the campaign trail. Last May, in response to questions about his ties to Exelon, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to a Nevada newspaper citing the bill as evidence that he stands up to powerful interests.

“When I learned that radioactive tritium had leaked out of an Exelon nuclear plant in Illinois,” he wrote, “I led an effort in the Senate to require utilities to notify the public of any unplanned release of radioactive substances.”

Last October, Mr. Obama reintroduced the bill, in its rewritten form.

Why won't the MSM ever bring up the fact that the Clintons invited Rev. Wright to the White House and sent a thank you note?

If he was that nutty, why did they invite him?

Hey MUNYUA of Italy You had better quicky seek help for your delusional oneiric denial of reality!


It's time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.

Hillary Clinton seemed almost somber at her Pennsylvania victory speech. As if part of her was hoping Obama could have proved he had some chance of winning against the republican attack machine, and their unlimited money, and resources.

But it is absolutely essential that the democrats take back the Whitehouse in November. America, and the American people are in a very desperate condition now. And the whole World has been doing all that they can to help keep us propped up.

Hillary Clinton say's that the heat, and decisions in the Whitehouse are much tougher than the ones on the campaign trail. But I think Mr. Obama faces a test of whether he has what it takes to be a commander and chief by facing the difficult facts, and the truth before him. And by doing what is best for the American people by dropping out of the race, and offering his whole hearted assistance to Hillary Clinton to help her take back the Whitehouse for the American people, and the World.

Mr. Obama is a great speaker. And I am confident he can explain to the American people the need, and wisdom of such a personal sacrifice for them. It should be clear to everyone by now that Hillary Clinton is fighting her heart out for the American people. She has known for a long time that Mr. Obama can not win this November. You have to remember that the Clinton's have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it takes.

If Mr. Obama fails his test of commander and chief we can only hope that Hillary Clinton can continue her heroic fight for the American people. And that she prevails. She will need all the continual support and help we can give her. She may fight like a superhuman. But she is only human.

Sen. Hillary Clinton: "You know, more people have now voted for me than have voted for my opponent. In fact, I now have more votes than anybody has ever had in a primary contest for a nomination. And it's also clear that we've got nine more important contests to go."


Jacksmith... Working Class :-)

What is uncommitted, but not undecided? Is this like some sort of linguistic game of 'gotcha'?

And what's up with talking about how Clinton's husband came in to help Spendenning? Or the others mentioned? If it were Republicans, I suspect you'd be mentioning that David.

Why doesn't anyone hold Hillary
accountable for the Whitewater
mess? Several men died, her secretary went to jail, and Hillary
called it a "vast right wing conspiracy"? You know Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh will.

Do you really want more Clintons
and their lies in the White House
again? The same 2 families have controlled the White House
for the last 20 years. This is supposed to be a DEMOCRACY!

SUPERDELEGATES should be allowed, and encouraged to take all the time they need to make this decision. It’s too crucial for the country

I have been a registered democrat for over 40 years and have never seen anything like this primary. If this state throws all of its super delegates to Obama, I will cast my vote for McCain. Obama hasn't given a straight answer or constructive idea to any of the issues or questions presented to him. All he says is "that idea won't work", "that is just campaign talk". Well, Mr. Obama, come up with something better, at least your opponents are thinking.

It seems the media still doesn’t “get it”. There are groups growing in numbers everyday. We are Democrats that WILL NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA. Personally I am in contact with various members of my immediate family, church members, women’s groups, government union members, and hundreds of people from other states. We converse over the phone, e-mail, and chat rooms. We are not racists, or sexist, our groups contain all races, all sexes, and many variations of education. We are Americans. We are the people who go to work everyday and pray for economic relief. We are the people who still feel a chill on the back of our necks when the American flag is raised. What we are NOT, are Stepford voters. We don’t care what you, the media, try to influence us to do, because we know you lie all the time. We have one weapon with which to fight back. That weapon is our vote. We will not be voting in favor of McCain, but rather we will be voting for the lesser of two evils. Obama is a Trojan Horse. McCain is a known evil. We will choose our enemies for ourselves. SO BUTT OUT.Go Hillary!!

Doug Brogdon,

You are delusional. You and all "Democrats that WILL NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA" as well as "Democrats that WILL NOT VOTE FOR HILLARY" are not true Democrats, nor are you Americans who want to see this country progress.

Hillary wants people like you. You will make sure that a Dem doesn't win - just to satisfy her need to be Queen. Too bad.

Go ahead, vote for McCain and reap the Supreme Court justices you deserve! That's what you want. That's what you'll get. You are not for the party. You are for the Queen.

Just a comment on the Primaries.THE CONSTITUTION AND SUPREME COURT
What gives the DNC the right to over rule our laws????
The Florida delegates should have ALL their delegates seated.
Michigan should either be a revote,(Obama pulled his name of ballot), or ALL
the delegates seated,(it's Obama's problem he pulled his name of ballot,because he knew he would lose) David
Pittsburgh PA.

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