Well, not the WHOLE truth, but a little bit of it:
It is often assumed that Barack Obama used his gifts as an orator and his aspirational rhetoric to energize young and minority voters in a way that allowed him to wrest the nomination from Clinton, the candidate favored by the Democratic establishment. This is a nice story, but it is not completely true. For one thing, Clinton actually defeated Obama in the popular vote.
Indeed, it appears that the real brilliance of the Obama campaign was to realize fairly early that a true majority was not achievable.
In response to this fact, and having an edge in the early caucus states due to superior grass-roots organizing, the Obama campaign subtly changed the understanding of the rules. It acted as if the nomination would be determined by the delegate count after the caucuses and primaries, regardless of whether an absolute majority had been achieved. What this did was to lower the overall number by more than 800 votes (the superdelegates), and consequently change the threshold of victory.
Since most Americans are unfamiliar with how the nominating process works, this was a fairly easy story to sell. The press for the most part cooperated. Once this fiction was accepted, any other result would be seen as undemocratic. Indeed, Clinton’s complaints about this unofficial after-the-fact rules change were portrayed as a divisive form of sour grapes. After all, following Sen. Obama’s post-Super Tuesday February romp through 10 states, it became obvious that Sen. Clinton would not be able to win under this new threshold.
Ultimately, and most importantly, the elected and unelected leaders of the Democratic Party accepted the Obama campaign’s spin. This was crucial to Obama’s success, since a real victory at the convention depended on these superdelegates ignoring the fact that Clinton was the stronger general election candidate in swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. In the end, it was the endorsement of these superdelegates — again, party leaders and elected officials — that forced Clinton to concede the nomination.
That’s mostly true except for one teensy little fact – without the RBC decision halving the number of delegates from Florida and Michigan and giving Obama ALL the undecided delegates plus four of Hillary’s from Michigan, she would have led in the pledged delegate count too.
Oh, and it wasn’t superior grass-roots organizing in the early caucus states, it was fraud. And there was nothing subtle about any of it, they lied and the Democratic establishment and the media helped them lie.
But at least they finally told a little bit of the truth.