This is one of my favorite election years ever.

Denis Keohane explains how Obama may be letting the nomination slip from his grasp while Hillary is nurturing her long odds and hoping that a lightning strike may still hand her the Dem's nomination.

Buyer's remorse seemed evident and growing among many Democrats toward the end of their primary season when Obama lost again and again to Clinton, even as the delegate math was by then stacked in his favor. That remorse was put on hold (but apparently not resolved) by Obama's seeming to secure the nomination and the subsequent popular boost he enjoyed at first. But lately the candidate with a difference has had a hard time living up to his promise to be a new kind of politician.

According to RealClearPolitics, Obama has 1766.5 pledged delegates, 352 short of the 2118 needed to secure the nomination. He also has 463 super delegates, which puts him over the top -- if they hold. If a combination of Clinton campaigning and nervousness can cause a hundred and twenty or so super delegates to sit out the first ballot, Obama does not get the nomination on the first ballot and perhaps not at all. After that first vote a great many pledged delegates and all the super delegates are free to vote as they choose. ...

After accepting the party's decision last June to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida but with half votes, only days ago Obama said he wanted the delegates to have full votes

Obviously, he said this believing he has won the nomination and that pandering to voters in critical general election states is of more importance.

If the party goes along with Obama's request, it reduces the number of super delegates who would need to sit out the first ballot for Obama to be denied the nomination, opening the way for Clinton! Ouch!

This is proof that the man should not be negotiating with Ahmadinejad. If he cannot think strategically and recognize his vulnerability to a last minute ambush at the convention, he would be eaten alive in big league world affairs.

And of course, if Florida and Michigan have their delegates counted, then their "popular votes" should count too, right? Which would make Hillary the "popular vote" leader, not Obama. Which would give the superdelegates even more cover for a switch to Hillary....

It's not a likely scenario, I admit, but isn't it fun to think about?

(HT: Instapundit, of course.)

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