A Taxonomy of Delegates

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Politico has a semi-helpful “Guide to Superdelegates” that tries to subdivide that somewhat secretive fraternity into recognizable types… that has nothing to do with high school. Though I couldn’t help but notice that all of the designations would make terrific band names Did you know that Rahm Emanuel was the front man for the “Strong and Silents”? I’ve got the first “Crypto-Obamans” 7-inch!

Pop Quiz: Guess which of these are Politico-named superdelegate subgroups and which I found on Pitchfork: The Throwbacks, The Roots, The Gutter Twins, The Kooks, The Nailbiters, The Honey Drips, The Presets, The Parochials, The Unknowns, The Stooges.

Answers after the jump. Or here.

That was probably easier than I meant it to be, though, let’s face it, The Stooges, The Kooks, The Roots, The Presets, The Honey Drips and The Gutter Twins could all also describe certain subsets of the Democratic party. (For the Gutter Twins, I’m thinking of a certain female candidate’s chief spokespeople…) Other names I was tempted to throw in for their amusing, if somewhat oblique, potentional ability to describe the Democrats/Democratic coalition: The Silver Jews, The Notwist, The New Pornographers, The Pixies and The Boredoms. Actually, The Boredoms would be good for the Rs. As well as, you know, The Breeders. I could totally do this all day long. So I will stop. I am, however, re-naming my Guitar Hero band “The Crypto-Obamans.”

From Politico:

The Crypto-Obamans

These superdelegates have made highly suggestive statements that they personally prefer Obama or have supported rule-based arguments that, given the state of play, bolster his claim to the nomination.

The Throwbacks

You might also call them proud, unapologetic superdelegates. They carry the whiff of the party bosses of old and have no problem with the notion of party elders deciding the nominee, even if it means deciding against the candidate with the most pledged delegates.

The Parochials

For them, there’s no place like home. They’ll need reassurances that there’s something in it for them or for the places they hail from.

The Nailbiters

Generally, these superdelegates hail from the kinds of places where the national party isn’t warmly regarded and the Democratic presidential nominee sometimes ends up as a millstone around candidates’ necks. Nailbiters tend to be politically vulnerable officeholders — like freshman members of Congress. An early or public endorsement tends to offer these pols far more risk than return.

The Strong and Silents

This category tends to include party heavyweights and other notables whose endorsements will carry some heft. The relative silence from these superdelegates has only enhanced the value of their endorsement — which might lead them to hold out even longer.

The Unknowns

These are the superdelegates who aren’t yet superdelegates. This group includes individuals who will fill vacancies in Congress before the convention takes place, and the remaining add-on delegates who will be selected by state party committees and conventions over the next few months. The exact number is unknown, but it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 superdelegates.