The Fear Factor

No, I'm not talking about the daily Bush/McCain festival of fear about the scary terrorists. And, no, I'm not talking about the 3 AM phone call ad, either.

I'm talking about how many people I know, many superdelegates among them, who are scared to publicly support Obama because of the Clintons' well-known penchant for vengeance.

There are plenty of people in the Democratic Party who think Hillary Clinton would make a better president, and/or a better general election candidate, than Barack Obama. There are also some folks who endorsed Hillary early on, and believe you have to stick with the candidate you endorse until the bitter end. There are even a few, although the number is shrinking daily, who still have not genuinely made up their mind. And some superdelegates in the remaining states want to wait for the voters in their own state to vote before they declare. But there are very few people I talk to who think Hillary can win without an utterly divisive fight that will likely tear the party apart. They know that from the perspective of what's best for the party, it's time to endorse Obama.

What those remaining undeclared folks are telling me in private, though, is that they hope the race will play itself out and Obama will emerge as the clear winner so that they don't have to piss the Clintons and their machine off. They don't want the Clintons and McAuliffe and those donors who signed the letter to stop raising money for them. They don't want Carville and Wolfson to call them a traitor. They don't want all the behind-the-scenes trashing that they know will come.

I am encouraging my friends to come out of their political closet. If all the superdelegates and other influential friends that I have talked to who believe that the best path for the party is for Obama to win a clear victory would come out in is favor, this thing really would be over.

I hope this doesn't start another big flame war -- I almost didn't write it because I am so tired of people attacking each other over this primary race. But I thought it was important for people to know what I'm hearing from people.

Cross-posted at