All the talk about whether Obama can win the general election may miss the point, as far as Democratic superdelegates are concerned. They aren't necessarily thinking about that big picture, at least not all the time. Alert and experienced emailer K explains, hypothetically channeling a prominent superdelegate:
I think K may go a bit far when he says superdelegates "want Barack because they know he will lose to McCain!" But if you look at their personal and institutional interests, they certainly may have little reason to stick their necks out and overturn the judgment of primary voters and caucusers by denying Barack. And the more they are convinced that Obama is likely to lose, the less motivated they may be to defy that "pledged delegate" verdict. ...
You have to look at this through the eyes of Dem super delegates. Take Joe Biden as an example. When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Joe was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Two years later, after HRC's hare-brained health care zeppelin crashed to earth and Bill had earned the enmity of roughly everyone, Joe Biden was in the minority. ...[snip]
What Joe sees is a repeat of 1994 if Hillary is the nominee and wins the election in 2008. He gets to be treated like dirt by the Clinton Administration for 2 years and then he gets to be in the minority for God knows how long. So the truth about the super Ds is that they would rather lose with Barack than win with HRC, because they KNOW that if they lose with Barack, their pal John McCain is president and they get the royal treatment for two years..AND they pick up yet more seats in 2010, thus insuring they remain Chairman of whatever committee it is that they chair.
This is the dirty little secret of the Super Ds!