Mark Penn’s meeting with Colombian diplomats on passing a new trade deal embarrassed Hillary Clinton at a time she can’t afford to lose any blue collar votes. And his ouster as her chief strategist adds turmoil she doesn’t need as she struggles to catch up with Barack Obama.
But for what’s most damaging to Clinton right now, focus not on Mark Penn but on Margaret Campbell.
She’s a Montana state legislator who today is announcing her endorsement of Barack Obama. That makes her the 69th Democratic super-delegate to back Obama since Feb 5--a rate of about one per day. During that same period, Clinton has actually gone backward, with a net loss of two super delegates.
Here’s why that’s an ominous trend for her come from behind hopes.
Clinton trails Obama by more than 160 pledged delegates--those won in primaries and caucuses. So she’s been counting on a late surge among the 795 superdelegates, who automatically get votes at the nominating convention by virtue of their status as members or Congress or party leaders.