For the past few weeks, I had wondered if each campaign had kept a few ready-to-be-announced super-delegates on ice, to be broken out in case of an emergency.
Today, it feels like the emergency glass has been broken, as Hillary Clinton picks up Rep. Heath Shuler (D. , N.C.)
Shuler’s office says it was because Hillary won his district. (UPDATE: Shuler pledged he would endorse the winner before yesterday). (This seems a bit arbitrary; couldn’t he just as easily justified Obama by claiming he would endorse whoever won the state?)
Shuler was part of my list of Ten Super-delegates to Watch. Well, not just him:
9. Assorted red-state Democrats facing reelection. Many prominent red-state Democrats had already endorsed Obama, and Obama’s success in red-state Democratic primaries has been widely discussed. But that was before Rezko went to trial, before Jeremiah Wright came to the mainstream media’s attention, and before the candidate’s wife suggested she had not been proud of America for nearly three decades. The inspirational Obama of the night of the Iowa caucuses is gone now, and the new Obama might be as toxic in heavily conservative states and districts as Hillary. Watch Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana (by far the most endangered Senate Democrat this cycle), Reps. Jim Marshall of Georgia, Nancy Boyda of Kansas, Heath Shuler of North Carolina, Brad Ellsworth of Indiana.
For old time’s sake, here’s a StopShuler.com ad from the 2006 elections, with Redskins fans imploring the voters in North Carolina to keep him far from Washington D.C…