From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
SEATTLE -- In his third press availability in three days, Obama would not commit to a position he had put forward previously that superdelegates should vote the way their states did -- should the Democratic nomination come down to their votes.
"I think those superdelegates and elected officials and party insiders would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination if the people they represent have said that Obama is our guy," Obama said the morning after the February 5th primaries.
Asked today if superdelegates should vote the way their states votes, Obama hedged. "We haven't' had a lengthy discussion with all of our superdelegates -- our super delegates they should vote for me," Obama said.
He added: "The question for those not yet committed and the superdelegates that are still out there … trying to make up their minds -- my strong belief is that if we end up with the most states and the most pledged delegates from the most voters in the county that it would be problematic for the political insiders to overturn the judgment of the voters. And you know, I think that should be the guiding approach to determine who would be the nominee. I think it's also important for the superdelegates to think about who will be in the strongest to beat John McCain in November and who will be the strongest to make sure that we are broadening the base, bring people who historically have not involved in politics into the fold."
Responding to a conference call by the Clinton campaign that it would be impossible for neither Obama nor Clinton to win the Democratic nomination, Obama said that he "hadn't studied the math."
"Obviously this thing is tight, and if we keep on going and we've got 20% of delegates allocated to superdelegates and you need 50% to win and it stays roughly, you know, 40%-40%, you know, obviously you're not going to get the majority that's necessary. But I think it's too early to speculate."
He added that there was still a month to go and many "twists and turns" ahead. The nominating contests in Ohio and Texas will be held on March 4, less than four weeks away. In a conference call today, Obama's deputy campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand, said the campaign was aggressively hiring staff in Ohio and Texas, focusing on local hires to organize and recruiting support from state and local officials.
And in another sign that John McCain is as much the man to beat in this election as Hillary Clinton is the woman to beat, Obama forcefully said, "Yes, absolutely," to a question on whether he would argue that he has better judgment on foreign policy than John McCain similar to how he has argued that against Senator Clinton.
"Look on the most important foreign policy decision in perhaps a generation, I strongly believe that John McCain got it wrong. I respect his service to our country and also would admit that he has been entirely consistent throughout the Iraq debate. He has been for it from the start and he's still for it, and he wants to be for it one hundred years from now," he said.
Calling it an "enormous strategic blunder," he added that he looked forward to having that argument with McCain on the "consequences of the Iraq war."
Asked if the nation should do more about gun control in light of recent shootings, Obama said that he would try to close the gun show loophole. "I think makes sense even to those who care deeply about the right to bear arms," he said.
Senator Clinton was directly referenced only once during the press conference, regarding a comment Obama had made previously about Republicans using a "dump truck" of attacks against her and was asked if it qualified as a personal attack.
Obama bristled at the comment, and said it was not a "personal attack" but a response to the Clinton argument that somehow he was more vulnerable to attack than Clinton was. "I was responding to a simple point that she would be insulated from attack despite the fact that we know they make a cottage industry out of attacking her," he said.
Obama's press conference was held at McKinstry, a green company in Seattle. Obama was introduced by Seattle's mayor, who said that the city had forged ahead with reducing greenhouse gas emissions despite an absence of leadership in Washington and called Obama a potential "partner" in Washington on the issue of climate change. Earlier, Obama participated in a walking tour through the company.