Hillary Clinton's campaign suggested Saturday that even if Barack Obama earns more delegates in state primaries and caucuses than she does, a circle of politicians and party insiders should crown her the nominee because she would make a better candidate in November.
Neither Democrat is in reach of the 2,025 delegates needed to cinch the nomination, but Obama is ahead by about 140 pledged delegates. Even the Clinton campaign acknowledges it expects him to retain the lead after several more contests.
But top Clinton advisor Harold Ickes called that a "minuscule'' edge and said it should not sway the so-called superdelegates -- 796 members of Congress and the Democratic National Committee who can vote for whomever they please at the nominating convention. Ickes said he prefers to call them "automatic delegates.''
"Automatic delegates are supposed to make their best judgment about who would be a good and hopefully a great president, and more importantly, who would win in November,'' he told reporters in a telephone call, pointing to Clinton's wider appeal among Hispanic voters and her victories in some swing states. Independent voters and traditionally Republican states who have favored Obama, he said, can't be counted on in November.
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