The Super Delegates Super Dilemma

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is turning up the pressure on the publicly unaffiliated superdelegates who have yet to endorse a candidate. On Thursday, Dean told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that superdelegates should start making their decisions public “starting now,” while saying the party couldn’t afford to lose two or three months of reunification time in the face of a potentially bruising campaign against John McCain. The superdelegate dilemma is a true test of Dean’s leadership, but it isn’t the only one.

If the remaining 300-odd, currently-mum superdelegates can’t come to a quick, convincing consensus between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the focus may yet again turn to the unseated delegates from the Michigan and Florida primaries. The results of these “beauty pageant” votes, contests that were stripped of their delegates by the DNC as punishment for their early, unauthorized primaries, would give Clinton momentum and likely put her in striking distance of Obama’s delegate and popular-vote leads.