Kremlinology: Automatic Delegate Edition
There has been quite a bit of movement among automatic delegates in the last two days. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton picked up Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and Governor Easley of North Carolina. Obama picked up Richard Machacek of Iowa and Ben Chandler of Kentucky. Then this morning, Clinton announced the head of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Obama announced Hill of Indiana and another Iowa representative (Braley). Then, Clinton announced a PR delegate (Chelsea picked up Cabanas on her visit to there). That was followed by Obama announcing Lois Capps of California endorsing him. (You can get the rundown from Marc Ambinder's blog.)
What's interesting to me is that of the five automatic delegates Obama has announced in the last two days, two are from Iowa and one from California. I find it hard to believe that they've picked this week to suddenly get Obama-mania. Hill and Chandler make more sense since they are from upcoming primaries.
Other than Skelton, Hillary's have all come from states/territories that either just had or are about to have primaries.
Now, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I suspect that the California and Iowa delegates have been in the Obama camp for some time and he was waiting to use them. That's been a pretty consistent part of the Obama campaign, timing automatic delegate rollouts. But Clinton's pick up of four in two days has forced Obama to roll them out now to keep it from looking like automatic delegates have started to move to Clinton. If Ambinder's blog is to be believed Obama announced Capp shortly after the PR pick-up.
Of course, it could be that these delegates are moving to Obama now because they want to shore up the person they think will be the nominee or because they have decided in the last few days that they prefer him, but that's not nearly as much fun as trying to read more into it (whether it's there or not).