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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama Expands Delegate Lead Over Clinton

Barack Obama Picks Up 9 Delegates in Iowa Thanks to Those Who Switched From John Edward

...More than half the 14 delegates allocated to John Edwards on the basis of caucus night projections switched Saturday to Obama.

Iowa Democratic Party officials said that with all of the delegates picked, Obama claimed 52 percent of the delegates elected at county conventions on Saturday, compared with 32 percent for Clinton. Some of the delegates picked at Saturday's conventions were sticking with Edwards, even though he's dropped from the race since Iowa held its caucuses in January.

Democratic Party projections said the results mean Obama increased by nine the number of delegates he collects from the state, getting a total of 25 compared with 14 for Clinton and six for Edwards...

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TMP has this to say: Catching On?

A while back we noted that top Clinton advisor Harold Ickes had admonished the press not to use the phrase "super delegates" but instead to employ what he claims is the more accurate "automatic delegates." The Clinton campaign has pushed for this change of phrase on the thinking that calling them "super delegates" carries a negative connotation that somehow they're more powerful or privileges than other delegates. And that's important because their path to the nomination will almost certainly have to rely on super delegates going overwhelmingly for Clinton despite Obama's having the majority of pledged delegates.

Got that?

Anyway, has the AP gotten the message? In tonight's AP report about Obama's new delegates in Iowa reporter Mike Glover has adopted the Clinton campaign "automatic delegate" formulation.

Now, sometimes spinning campaigns come up with phrases that are so heavy-handedness and tendentious that it's just ridiculous -- the "death tax", "personal accounts" for Social Security privatization, etc. In this case, I think you've probably got to have your head pretty deep in the delegat-ology weeds to have any sense of whether it matters to use one term over another.

But I think it's a good journalistic principle not to switch terminology in the midst of an election campaign or public policy debate at the bidding of one party or another, unless someone makes an extremely good case that the existing word choices are patently misleading. And doing it at the behest of one party to the dispute is almost always bad practice. Otherwise the journalists whose job it is to sift through the spin become its messengers, wittingly or not.

--Josh Marshall

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