I see a lot of stuff like this lately, usually coming from Obama supporters (I think I even saw an interview somewhere of Obama claiming the votes should decide- a clear attack on the super-delegates):
My brother Rahm Emanuel is a superdelegate. I love my brother, and I trust my brother. But I gave up letting my brother dictate my life since he determined whether he got the top or bottom bunk in our bedroom back in Chicago.
So, as much as I love and respect him, I don’t trust him and his fellow superdelegates to decide for me and the American people who should be the Democratic nominee — and, therefore, most likely the next president of the United States.
I want voters to make that decision. The superdelegates, my brother included, have not been elected by anybody to name the nominee. They’ve either been appointed by the Party or, as in my brother’s case, have automatically inherited the role simply because they are elected officials. This isn’t the place to debate the entire history of superdelegates. Suffice it to say, however, they were created by the Party machine decades ago for the express purpose of giving Party insiders the ability to thwart the popular will.
After what Democrats went through in Florida in 2000, we should be the first to reject any such funny business. We should be as opposed to superdelegates changing the course of an election as we were to the Supreme Court appointing George W. Bush president.
The right thing for my brother, and all the other superdelegates to do, is to support the decision of the voters. Whichever candidate has won the most delegates going into the national convention should be granted the endorsement of the superdelegates. Period. And we should put pressure on them to agree to do so now — before the jockeying, lobbying, and infighting get really ugly, as they inevitably will.
I read stuff like this and all I can think is- “Man, I have been down this road before.” The first thing this reminds me of us in 2000, when the conventional wisdom was that George Bush would win the popular vote, but would not have the electoral college win. I remember GOP hack after GOP hack talking about and working out the strategery for just this situation. Of course, if you all remember correctly, someone else won the popular vote and just the opposite happened. The second thing this reminds me of is Hillary’s blatant attempt to have the rules changed for the delegates in michigan and Florida, after everyone agreed those delegates would not count.
I am not suggesting you have to embrace the whole concept of super-delegates, I sure don’t and it seems like an antiquated way of going about things, but I think people should respect the fact that the rules were good enough for everyone when the race started, and they should be good enough for everyone to finish the race. If you want to get rid of the super-delegates, or change how their votes are counted, the time to do this is starting January 21st, 2009, as the Clinton or Obama Presidency are getting underway. Gaming the system right now, though, reminds me of the kind of thing the filth currently in the Oval Office would do.
I’m not sure this is that similar, though I do see your point. If Obama has a clear lead in delegates, I don’t want to see Hillary get the nomination via SuperDelegates, any more than I want to see McCain win the Washington state primary but having the state chair discontinue voting as soon as McCain gets ahead.
And those of us in the activist wing of the Democratic party have been given ample reason to distrust Rahm, in particular.
I don’t think pointing out that superdelegates are, you know, pretty much the opposite of democracy is “gaming the system”. Nor do I think that polite suggestions that superdelegates might want to respect the popular vote in their own states amounts to vote suppression akin to FL 2000. Yeah, it will probably be the case that we’ll have to “suck it up and live with it”, but if Hillary is counting on superdelegates to put over the top, especially if Obama can run up a significant lead of pledged delegates, she might not want to count on the support of significant chunks of her base in November.
Frankly the hand-wringing about this whole thing is silly. The super delegates are only going to matter if the thing is extremely close in the pledged delegates, otherwise the super delegates will simply back the candidate preferred in the primaries and caucuses. Does anyone truly believe that there will be a rash of super delegates coming out for Hillary any time soon and risk the umbrage of the Obama supporters who seem to carrying the day? Virtually all uncommitted super delegates will hold their fire until they know which way the wind is blowing and then come up with a little speech about how wonderful the already winning candidate is.
I understand the point about everyone knowing about the rules going in. It is also true that the super delegates understand politics, and you don’t destroy the party by going directly against the clear choice of the people participating in the process.
It’s strong talk, but I don’t think it’s a direct attempt to game the system. Historically, the Superdelegates have gone with the majority of delegates. To do the opposite would be the real break from precedent. I think BO and HRC’s supporters would both support something that reflected the will of the voters and would resent an overturning of that will.
actually, David Axelrod (Obama’s campaign manager), when asked whether superdelegates like Kennedy and Kerry should vote for Hillary, since she won in Mass, has now declared that superdelegates should vote for whoever they think would be best for the country and the party.
I suspect that the Obama campaign change of heart is the result of the realization that there are lots and lots of superdelegates who have never expressed a preference — and give Hillary’s early full-court press for endorsements, those superdelegates who didn’t express early support for Hillary are not unlikely to declare for Obama….
John said: “I think people should respect the fact that the rules were good enough for everyone when the race started, and they should be good enough for everyone to finish the race.”
I agree. But as far as I have seen, neither Ari Emanuel nor anyone else has advocated changing the rules. Emanuel, and others, are trying to persuade the superdelegates to vote for the candidate with the most delegates, not force them. I don’t see what’s wrong with each side making their own arguments for their own reasons, and I’m not sure why it’s “gaming the system.”
This is just part of the process of courting the Superdelegates, around half of whom are elected officials who should be pretty sensitive to how the public opinion winds are blowing.
You have the behind the scenes direct appeals, Bill, Kerry, and so on calling on behalf of each candidate, etc. And you have the public side of it trying to pressure them by massive public opinion.
This is exactly right. It is just so precious to watch Obama supporters decrying an undemocratic process when they may not benefit.
Where were these complaints when it was decided Michigan and Florida voters don’t get counted at all?
When a small number of rural voters in Iowa and New Hampshire make the biggest decisions of the field of candidates?
When many states, and many of Obama’s biggest wins don’t even have voting at all, and instead use caucuses?
When those of us in late primary states almost never get to cast a meaningful ballot at all, as the candidate is almost always decided by then?
When the enterprise is wholly closed to those without millions upon millions of dollars readily available?
The process is stupid and undemocratic, up and down the line for a dozen reasons. Obama supporters are crying about one particular undemocratic feature that won’t benefit their candidate. Suck it up, or don’t run, or fix the system before it starts.
I assumed Rahm – being from Illinois – was giving his vote to Obama. :-p My mistake I guess.
If the Super Delegates side with Clinton while the general vote goes to Obama, I want to see a damn freak’n good reason. Do the Congressional delegates so disrespect their constituencies that they’d vote against their own district’s popular politician? Are they trying to dick over their own election chances this year, or some time in the future? I know if my district was polling 60/40 Obama/Clinton exactly who I’d be putting my Super Delegate bid in for come convention day.
Obama’s got some solid ‘Mo going for him, so I honestly don’t see this as an issue, but it does go back to raising the specter of why we’d have a Super Delegate system to begin with. Maybe once we answer that, we can figure out why we’ve got a winner-take-all state-by-state electoral college system.
Putting pressure on superdelegates to respect the popular vote is different than changing the system or attempting to ratify elections that all candidates agreed to boycott.
The first scenario is about influencing the way some people play the game while still keeping the rules intact. The other two involve changing the rules.
Regarding the breakdown of superdelegates, I thought this analysis was pretty interesting–it looks like Clinton’s biggest lead in projected delegates currently comes from the unelected DNC members who make up the majority of the superdelegates. If a majority of those 401 DNC superdelegates decided that they’d rather swing it to Clinton over Obama in the face of an Obama majority of Democratic primary voters, caucus-goers, and pledged delegates, even if it is perfectly within the rules, I think it’d fracture the party.
And if that turns out to be Clinton’s strategy for ‘winning’, then she additionally won’t have me voting for her in the general, I’ll pledge that right now. I don’t think an outcome like this is likely, but I think it’d be an incredibly stupid and destructive thing to do. It’d also be indicative of the same sort of scorched-earth 50%+1 win-at-all-costs and piss-off-everyone-else politics we’ve all seen at work for some time now, and that ultimately just doesn’t work. Far better to honestly try to run and win everywhere, in every state, helping every ticket, listening to everyone and diminishing no one.
Do the Superdelegates go with the national popular vote or the popular vote in their respective states? How does that affect states that use the caucus system?
What if Hillary wins the most popular votes and the biggest states, but Obama wins the most states and has a lead in the regular delegates? What if the are tied?
Should the Superdelegates be apportioned or winner-take-all?
What about the Superdelegates from Florida and Michigan?
John, I don’t understand where you’re seeing anyone suggesting changing the rules. Has anyone proposed eliminating superdelegates for this convention? Has anyone proposed that they should be forced to vote a certain way?
All that’s been suggested is that superdelegates ought to take into account the voters’ will as expressed in the primaries and caucuses in making their decisions. Lobbying the superdelegates and trying to persuade them to vote your way is part of the way the nomination process works.
The only time superdelegates have ever mattered was in 1984. In that year, they gave an overwhelming margin to the pledged delegate leader, Walter Mondale.
Except in a McGovern type situation, I don’t think it was ever really anticipated that superdelegates would decide the nomination, or, certainly, that they would decide to give the nomination to someone who was behind in pledged delegates.
The point was to let party leaders be seated at the convention without having to compete to be elected delegates. This was the essential understanding.
There really is nothing wrong with putting moral suasion on the superdelegates to respect the democratic vote. They need to realize, if they don’t already, that it would be a total PR disaster for them to give the nomination to Clinton if she doesn’t win the pledged delegate race.
And it’s pretty clear that Clinton’s whole strategy for winning the nomination is as follows:
1) Win Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania by narrow margins
2) Lose the pledged delegate race to Obama (this is difficult to avoid at this point, if you look at the numbers)
3) Push really hard for the superdelegates with her dubious “I won all the big states” line.
4) Win the nomination with superdelegates, and pad her total by adding in the Florida and Michigan delegates.
It’s hard to see any other way for her to win at this point.
This is a point I will never understand.
MI and FL were told, “If you do this, we’re going to decertify your delegates.”
MI and FL proceeded to do what they were forbidden to do.
The DNC did what they said they would do in that event.
That’s about as straightforward an event as you’ll ever find in politics, yet people keep raising a cry about how unfair it is.
Exactly what should the DNC do when members of it violate their rules explicitly?
Dennis - SGMM
I will defer to the wisdom and sagacity of the DNC. After the sweeping victories of 2000 and 2004, not to mention the Democratic landslides of 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988, a person would be a fool not to trust their judgment.
How many of the Superdelegates got such a vote because of their involvement of the Clinton administration? I’m interested to know that. For the one’s that did I’m assuming they won’t go the way of Obama at all.
Either would likely work.
They’d probably want to look at the delegate allocations from the caucuses.
Fortunately, delegates are already apportioned to adjust for the relative size of a state, amongst other things. FYI.
What if I find a check for a million dollars under my pillow?
Again, either approach would probably work.
There are currently zero superdelegates from Florida and Michigan, so that would have to get taken care of by the party, perhaps even at the convention.
Then you’ve got a better tooth-fairy than I ever had.
Like itf and KCinDC said, there’s no changing of the rules here. The Superdelegates, officially, can use their judgement. Both sides lobby them; within legal limits, nothing wrong with that. So, if the Obamaniacs want to apply public and private pressure on them to consider the way the popular vote went, that’s totally within the rules and not changing them after the fact.
And Rahm Emanuel, Chris Bowers, and Donna Brazile are private voters (Democrats) who are free to express their views.
Probably quite a few. Check out this analysis (the link from my previous post), and/or pore over the names.
There is no meaningful definition of a “national popular vote” for a contest that occurs in different states at times months apart, using different methods (caucuses versus primaries versus hybrids versus conventions) and different criteria for voters (open versus closed versus partially open).
IF by springtime it becomes apparent that the only way Hillary can make up enough of the gap in “pledged” delegates (ones won by caucus and primary votes) to give enough establishment superdelegates cover to support her nomination rather than Obama – is to leverage a change in rules to let the Mich & Fla results “count” toward pledged delegates – what that says is that she’s willing to take the cynical risk that Obama supporters will have nowhere else to go but to support her in the general election, despite the ugly convention scene that would generate.
If so, Hillary is willing to risk winning a place in electoral infamy if she loses the general election, one that will irredemably confirm people’s impressions of the Clintons as narcissistic egotists who have a long history of leaving a wide wake of collateral damage to people once allied with them and the broader democratic party in their wake. It will prove that like Bush, they think that the rules and expectations that govern other people don’t apply to them, because there’s always a clever way to spin why they don’t apply to the Clintons.
Exactly what should the DNC do when members of it violate their rules explicitly?
That depends: which candidate will the decision help? And which one do I support?
Cynicism: don’t leave home without it.
I hope this is snark. Hillary’s attempts to get the Michigan delegates seated is probably her scuzziest tactic.
And I’m not anti-Hillary.
Getting out there and complaining about the superdelegates is good strategy for the Obama campaign.
The Clinton campaign is kicking up a big fuss over the Michigan and Florida delegates. If the Obama campaign fights them on that issue alone–that is, on ground of their choosing–they give away too much. The range of possible outcomes is bounded by the initial demands of the two campaigns.
They need, instead, to throw another factor into the mix, something that muddies the waters and enables their campaign to plausibly argue that silly delegate rules are hurting both campaigns equally.
By enlarging the issue, making it not just about the MI and FL delegations but also about the superdelegates, they redefine the field of possible outcomes. With the field thus altered, the status quo–FL and MI delegations don’t get to play a decisive role and the superdelegates function as planned–becomes the middle-of-the-road position, rather than the best the Obama campaign can possibly hope for.
heh. makes me think of this…
So, I saw a headline that said Donna Brazille would quit the party if super delegates carried the day.
Dude. Too bad we didn’t have super delegates making her quit the party in 2000 and 2004. Every campaign she touches LOSES.
Within a couple of days after the Texas/Ohio vote (i.e. before the end of the first week in March) it should be objectively apparent how large a gap in pledged delegates Hillary would need to make up (though other than Mich and Fla), in order to give supposedly “undecided” superdelegates enough cover to consider going her way rather than Obama’s. For the “let Mich and Fla count” argument to have any potential to fly past that point, the likely potential gap in pledged delegates at the end of the remaining primaries would have to be fairly small – within 15 to at most 25 delegates (i.e. enough so that arguably, even “fair” “counting” primaries could plausibly have made up the gap if the states modestly leaned Clinton’s way). If the gap is over 100, I don’t think she’ll be successful.
Has the Florida democrats released anything about who would get their delegates if they were seated?
Or has there been any any estimates made about it?
Of the 128 delegates from Michigan, 73 would go to Clinton and 55 would be uncommited.
Just trying to get an idea about what kind of lead Obama would have to have for him to be ok with having the delegates from Florida and Michigan seated.
Agree. Same argument goes against the double bubble trouble folks in L.A.
regardless of who they end up voting for, the whole idea of unelected “super”-delegates is yet another stupid fucking worthless fucked-up broken lunatic scummy anti-democratic chunk of nonsense that needs to be changed, ASAP.
It’s pretty clear what the solution is here: put together a panel headed up by James Baker, George Mitchell, Sam Nunn, and Thomas Keane and let them come up with a recommendation as to how to decide the Democratic nomination. Any sane, nonpartisan, person would have to agree that this is the best way forward here.
“the whole idea of unelected “super”-delegates”
A great many of them were, of course, elected. Every Democrat in congress, every living former president and VP, and several former congressional leaders, all have won at least one and usually several occasions.
I can’t figure out a way to get all bent out of shape because Tom Daschle and Al Gore get to be delegates to the convention.
The only way the superdelegates matter is if the affair is otherwise very nearly a tie. In that case any result is as legitimate as any other. The struggle for superdelegates is a political contest, and using a political contest as a tie-breaker round after a bigger political contest ends in a statistical tie seems perfectly reasonable.
Mostly, I expect the superdelegates want to win, and not just win but win big. They’ll probably support whoever’s likely to have longer coattails come November, and I can’t imagine a group of people more likely to be able to expertly judge such a question.
It suits me fine. I think my preferred candidate is the more electable of the two, and is likely to win majority support of the superdelegates.
Asking superdelegates to respect the wishes of voters isn’t gaming the system. Neither is saying you’ll be very upset if they go against the wishes of the voters. Neither is appealing to them to follow principles of democracy. I’m not really sure what your point here is, John. How is it gaming the system if I’m upset that the idiosyncracies of the system result in an undemocratic result? I think I’m entitled to my opinion.
Seems like if Florida democrats would get seated the split would be:
95 Clinton, 63 Obama, and 27 Edwards
the rules were good enough for everyone when the race started, and they should be good enough for everyone to finish the race.
The primaries are set up to be decided by voters. By the time the superdelegates do anything, the decision has long been made– at least, that’s how it’s been for the past 30 or so years. They’re supposed to be a sop to the party elites, not the deciding factor. That’s what everyone expected.
The situation now is as though we’re going down to the tenth tiebreaker, which is, say, who does better at Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64. Yeah, it’s there on paper, but it’s not how anyone thought it would be decided.
Admittedly, there are questions over who “won” the primary vote– whoever gets the most votes? Or delegates? What to do with MI and FL? But that, I hope, is working things out around the edges.
Unlike in Michigan, Florida didn’t just have “Clinton” and “Uncommitted”. I believe it was something like 50%-Clinton, 33%-Obama, 17%-Edwards, but someone can feel free to fact check me.
Additionally, I’m almost certain that Michigan and Florida have Super Delegates, unless Bill Nelson and Carl Levin switched parties and didn’t tell anyone.
Zifnab, the Michigan and Florida superdelegates, like all the other delegates from those states, don’t count under the rules agreed to earlier.
So what if Hillary has a 1 delegate lead going into the convention?
I don’t think it’s her strategy to win by narrow margins, I’m sure she would like landslide victories.
They are in a close race, and despite Obama’s recent victories they have been splitting the delegates. The states Obama is winning since Super Tuesday are smaller, which makes it hard for him to build a big lead.
If Hillary comes back and wins decisively in the remaining big states, she could easily go into the convention with a lead in the pledged delegates.
The screwy apportionment rules means that popular vote percentages don’t always reflect how many delegates are awarded to each candidate. FYI
I’ve seen several breakdowns that show how Hillary could get more votes but Obama more delegates.
I vote “winner-take-all” then.
I meant on a state-by-state basis. The winner of the popular vote in a state should get 100% of that state’s superdelegates.
Who does this guy Axelrod work for again?
If Florida and Michigan get all their delegates reinstated and seated.
The best case scenario for Clinton (All uncommited in Michigan votes for Clinton and she gets Edwards delegates from Florida) would give her 250 delegates and Obama 63.
Clinton up 187.
The worst case scenario for Clinton (Obama gets all uncommited delegates in Michigan and Edwards delegates in Florida) would give her 168 delegates and Obama 145 delegates.
Clinton up 23.
Clinton right now leads 14-4, so right now that would mean 10 extra delegates for Clinton. The remaining 36 haven’t stated who they would choose.
So if Clinton would pick up the rest of those superdelegates, she would get 300 delegates, Obama 67.
Clinton up 233.
The best case for Obama (Clinton would get her pledged delegates and no superdelegates, no chance for that happening), Clinton 168, Obama 199.
Obama up 31.
So I guess if Obama was 67 votes short of 2025…
This is much too pat. I fail to see how, Obama, or even Clinton, were in a position to change these rules. The rules were set up 30 years ago, and nobody except Howard Dean would have been in empowered to change them in time for the convention.
Personally, I am all in favor of the superdelegates (as a buffer to limit the effect of those states that allow independents to vote in primaries, and a tie-breakers), but the superdelegates need to be careful to not be counter-democratic. Pledging their troth ahead of the primaries should be a discouraged practice.
Let’s burn this bridge when we get to it.
I’m kind of new to this whole controversy, as I expect we all are, but it seems to me that the delegates in FL and MI was a clear-cut call. It’s exactly what John D. said, the DNC told them they’d get spanked, and they got spanked, and there’s no do-overs.
Whereas, with the superdelegates, they themselves don’t even seem to be entirely sure of what they’re supposed to be doing. They’ve always been symbolic, so how do they make their choice when they aren’t symbolic? Picking their personal preference, picking the preference of their constituency, picking the preference of the people? I mean, for some reason, there is a 21-year-old superdelegate; there’s superdelegate Donna Brazile, who doesn’t want the superdelegates to thwart the will of the public; then there’s the vast majority of them who seem to just be keeping mum, hoping they’re not going to have to make a decision that might piss off millions of people.
I haven’t heard anyone call for doing away with the superdelegate system, which WOULD be changing the rules mid-stream. Trying to give them a framework to use for voting when a lot of them don’t seem to know what they’re going to use, to me doesn’t seem like unfair play at all. Please tell me if I’m missing something, because this is a new ballgame for me.
The author isn’t suggesting that the rules for superdelegates should be changed midstream. He’s simply saying that the superdelegates should respect the will of the Democratic electorate and not reverse the delegate lead once the primaries are complete. There’s nothing in doing that that would violate the rules.
The rules don’t require the superdelegates vote for anyone in particular. They can go against the “will of the people” and cast their vote for the “good of the party.” Or not. They can vote for the frontrunner, the second place finisher, or a candidate that wasn’t even running in the primaries.
Now some people are pushing the idea that the SD’s should be obligated to cast their votes in a particular way.
That’s changing the rules.
It also would not violate the rules to reverse the delegate lead.
Changing rules mid-game is bad. Period. The trouble with the superdelegates is there are no rules. They are free to do whatever the hell they like. Expressing an opinion about how they vote isn’t changing the rules, because there are none that apply to them to begin with.
The argument is not about changing rules. It is about not operating within the rules in such a way that would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the Democratic Party. If superdelegates throw the election, the half the base will freak out, and the party will splinter. That is not changing the rules, that is making a reasonable prediction/threat.
Of course, Myiq is quick to call dirty pool on the threat, while ignoring the very real risk that his side might trigger a dangerous schism.
Now, can we all agree on the following:
1) FL and MI’s Dem voters being disenfranchised is undemocratic and BAD! but in accordance with the rules.
2) Unpledged superdelegates voting however the f**k they want is undemocratic and BAD! but in accordance with the rules.
3) You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.
I totally agree that neither side should be gaming the system. And that their #1 priority should be improving the system for next time.
That said, there is a difference between trying to change the agreed-upon delegate count for states that have already voted and encouraging people who haven’t voted yet to vote a certain way. Clinton claims to be supporting voters’ rights in Michigan and Florida, but all she’s really doing is trying to change their delegate count. As long as she’s pushing for more delegates, why not ask for bonus delegates for states that habitually vote Democratic? I understand the Republicans do this, and that would probably benefit her too. Simple answer is that the delegate count was set before the race began and it’s a bad idea to change it.
I’ve seen supporters of both candidates argue that the other should stand down and allow their own choice a clear path. I don’t see any reason yet why either should. Obama looks more likely to win at the moment, but does that mean Clinton should just quit out? Mitt Romney is probably kicking himself for dropping out last week after seeing what happened in Washington. McCain and Huckabee are going to go hard at it and Romney was the obvious compromise candidate. These same supporters are now arguing that the superdelegates should vote a certain way that happens to coincide with what they want. Unconvincing as they are, they’re not “gaming the system”.
Obama was right when he said it would be “problematic” if the superdelegates seemed to buck the will of the majority of the pledged delegates. He’s right. Politically, it is problematic, which is probably why they won’t do it. Even so, I suppose they have a right to vote for whomever they choose unless the rules bind them somehow, in which case they might as well be eliminated completely. Whatever problem they were put there to solve, they obviously aren’t solving it.
John Cole posted this thread, not me!
I am no fan of the Super Delegate process, but I do agree with John on this. It should have been settled first, before the primary fight started. After this election, I think that the Super Delegate system should be dropped. It gives a favored group a significant vote advantage over the actual people who voted. I think I saw figures earlier today that said the ratio is currently 9,000+ to 1 (SD vote to voter). Also, it allows these special delegates to parley their vote into something that will specifically benefit them. Everyone knows it goes on, and all it gets is a wink and a nod. That kind of wheeling and dealing is just another form of cronyism, IMO.
IMO, if Obama wins a tight primary and the SD voters decide to toss the win to Clinton, the Democrats are going to have a riot on their hands. Whoever wins, I hope the SD vote goes the way of the public vote. If it did not I think it would be worth it to see the Democratic party erupt in open war. Many Obama supporters are tired of politics as usual and if it returns to politics as usual by overruling the primary results, then I believe that Hillary is going to be hurting in the general.
Being an independent can be fun at times! ;)
That and you don’t have to carry water for anyone. I am a slacker, I don’t carry anything for either party.
I’m inclined to see the superdelegates as a force for good. Let’s suppose, for instance, that the race ends up being so close that the question of seating the MI and FL delegates is decisive. If there’s no superdelegates, we’re screwed and probably looking at a long legal battle ending with Clinton v. Obama being decided by a Republican USSC. The prospect of those Republican hacks mocking our nominees in their courtroom for days is too horrible to dwell upon.
But with MI and FL we’re talking maybe 200 delegates or so? There’s nearly 1000 superdelegates. I’d bet money I can’t afford to lose that should we end up in a situation where MI/FL is decisive, the superdelegates will stampede one way or the other (and if it’s that close, I don’t much care which way they go) to moot the question.
Why did I say “nearly 1000”? There’s “nearly 800” superdelegates, not nearly 1000. The difference is, of course, irrelevant to my point, but I’m sure it’ll spawn irrelevant side threads if left uncorrected. Boy do I hate the sort of people who quibble about shit like that. Quibblers, consider yourselves hated upon.
Disagree. It would have been undemocratic had the state Democratic parties not had a say in it, which they did, and in this Republic of the People, that’s about as democratic as it gets.
What if Hillary arrives at the convention with a narrow delegate lead and the SD’s toss the win to Obama?
Then Hillary’s people would likely riot, as would be their wont, though, considering how much of Clinton’s voter base is also the Democratic base, I could see it being a much more subdued riot than the one the 18-30 crowd might have should the opposite happen.
Actually, it was the state legislatures that set the primary dates.
The elected representatives of the people set the dates, and the unelected leaders of the DNC overruled them.
Absolutely not snark. I don’t blame Michigan or Florida one whit for trying to have a hand in picking the nominee, instead of leaving it for the corn farmers to exact their pound of flesh from each candidate.
The Obama supporters are complaining about the undemocratic features that harm their candidate’s chances, therefore I believe that such complaints are insincere.
I loved the Obama campaign guy who said the MA superdelegates (including Ted K) should vote their conscience, since Clinton won MA. That was straight out of Bush v. Gore (remember when the Republicans thought it would be unseemly for Gore to take office if he were to win the college without the vote? Then, oh wait, that’s fine after all).
Many Obama supporters are taking the same tactics to this argument as they do generally. If you don’t go with Obama, they’ll sit out the general election to show you how mad they are. If the SD’s don’t go with Obama, they’ll split the party, and that’s what Clinton made them do.
They may honestly love their guy, but many of them are shitty Democrats, and shockingly childish.
The candidate is picked at the convention. The candidate is picked by primaries, caucuses, and superdelegates, as I understand it.
Noticing the peculiar role of superdelegates when it might hurt you, while ignoring the unbalanced power of early primaries, the gross stupidity of caucuses, the money, and all the rest is just too convenient to suspect sincerity.
Well then every member of the Democratic party in those states should re-register as independents or Republicans and then they won’t have to be bothered by the “unelelcted” leaders of the Democratic Party. Otherwise, they should control their state legislatures more closely, and barring that, STFU.
No more insincere than attempting return legitimacy to a state primary that was agreed by all not to have legitimacy. And that was actually done by a candidate, not, as in the case of re-arguing Superdelegates, by their supporters.
This is shockingly childish analysis.
I am an Obama supporter, and almost everyone I know is. While we would prefer to see him as the candidate, none of us plan on sitting out in November and helping the GOP win another White House.
I call complete and utter bullshit.
Well, the state legislatures of those primaries certainly thought they had legitimacy, and I imagine the voters in those primaries as well.
Ah, yes, the mature argument from “not me or my friends.” You haven’t seen the same weblog threads I have, I suppose. Or perhaps you are just so narcissistic that you cannot imagine a group of “many” that does not include yourself.
I’ll give you credit for the former.
By the by, my last comment had its second half removed because of a symbol I included to try to relay that my first sentence was snark. The remainder of that comment was brilliant and erudite, I assure.
The Other Steve
Changing the rules midstream is a lot like changing horses midstream.
And you don’t do that in the middle of a war!
The Other Steve
I have a brilliant idea!
How about we let Maryland, Virginia and DC vote tomorrow?
Then Hawaii and Wisconsin on the 19th.
And Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont on March 4th.
And Wyomining on March 8th
And Mississippi(you all know how to spell that, right?) on March 11th
And Pennsylvania on April 22nd
And Indiana and North Carolina on May 6th
and West Virginia on May 13th
and Kentucky and Oregon on May 20th
And if that doesn’t decide it, we’ll go with Montana and South Dakota on June 3rd!
and if neither candidate is clearly favored, then we’ll worry about the fucking super delegates.
The Other Steve
SD votes on June 3rd, well before the convention, moron.
We’re discussing the Super Delegates. “The SD’s” not South Dakota.
Back at ya, moron.
Do Democrats control the Florida Legislature? I’m sure you would maintain your position if seating those delegates would give Obama the win.
No, really, I believe you.
Actually, Obama changed his position and is now arguing something different than he originally did, now that his original position might give Hillary more SD’s.
No, Obama’s campaign has not flip-flopped on this – saying the SDs should vote with their constituents and saying they should do what’s best for the party is not inconsistent. Not if you believe that what’s best for the party is for the SDs to not buck their constituents. It’s reframing it is all: no, we’re not disputing the free will of the SDs, we’re just recommending they think of the good of the party.
So – no big deal, no foul play, no changing rules, no changing positions once it isn’t going your way. And for an actual true example of that last, I refer you to the Clinton people initiating the law suit in Nevada, which explicitly tried to disenfranchise casino workers, immediately after their union had endorsed Obama and about 10 days before the primary. They complained that the casino caucuses were unfair, and yet they’d had since March of 07 to complain about that rule, which – though allegedly unfair – was just fine with them until it looked like it might favor Obama.
Which is the cart here and which is the horse?
That is, do Hillbots think that a transparently unfair maneuver like seating the utterly bogus MI and FL delegations is a good idea because they’re Hillbots?
Or are they Hillbots because they’re the sort of people who’d get behind a transparently unfair and utterly bogus maneuver like that?
I have a problem with Obama’s argument about what superdelegates should do. Basically, he says that if he wins the most states, the most delegates, and the most votes, he should be the nominee.
There are 9 states that in 2004 Bush won by more than 25 point, and three states (and DC) where the Kerry won by more than 40 points, and the national party should not pay much attention to the returns from those states –the likelihood of these states switching is very low unless there is a complete landslide.
Instead, the national party needs to conduct polling in key states to see who has the best chance of winning in November. Among these states are Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin (which went for Kerry by less than 6%) and Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida (which went for Bush by less than 6%).
I also think that the national party has to remember what happened to Kerry — and the potential for the right-wing smear machine to drive down Obama’s support — and the potential for Clinton to energize the GOP.
in the above, the phrase
where the Kerry won by more than 40 points
where the Kerry won by more than 20 points
Blogs are a better reflection of reality than, well, reality?
I guess when they poll folks at large and find that more than 3/4 of Obama supporters would vote for Clinton, they are just making it up. Or maybe I’m such a huge narcissist that I make sure to include myself in all of them, thereby skewing results. And obviously, they aren’t including the blog commenters you’ve seen (who must represent real people)!
Like I said, shockingly childish analysis.
Actually, he’s never said anything like that, but, yeah, thanks for that fun piece of nonsense.
Are you suggesting that a group of state Republicans moved the primary up to screw over the Democrats of Florida? And the Democrats of Florida did what, exactly, in response? And I should feel sorry for the most inept state government and state elections committee in history why?
Are you just making things up now?
And do you REALLY believe me? Or is snark just all you can muster these days…
Actually, he’s never said anything like that, but, yeah, thanks for that fun piece of nonsense.
Oh really? Here’s what he said
Yeah, p.luk, and that’s a far cry from, “Basically, he says that if he wins the most states, the most delegates, and the most votes, he should be the nominee.” You shouldn’t paraphrase things of this nature. Language is subtle. Besides, you think Hillary’s camp wouldn’t say the exact same thing?
Yeah, p.luk, and that’s a far cry from, “Basically, he says that if he wins the most states, the most delegates, and the most votes, he should be the nominee.”
it is? I mean, the criteria that he advocates means that he wins, right? You’re making a distinction without a difference here.
I’m fine with getting rid of superdelegates. I would also expect that we would get rid of all votes in Democratic primaries by Republicans and Independents and One-Day-Democrats. I mean at least the superdelegates are DEMOCRATS. We have the opposing party voting in our primaries in many states. And if someone is too stupid to choose between the two parties by now, they are too stupid to vote.
Asking the superdelegates to vote in a certain way, even though they are allowed to vote however they want
is not morally equivalent to
Asking that the FL and MI delegates be seated when you already signed a pledge saying they shouldn’t.
The latter is disingenuous and “changing the rules in mid-stream”, the former is not.
C’mon, at this point are we really shocked by the level of childishness displayed on this blog?
Now really :-)
How dare you suggest this sort of civic-minded non-CNN-horse-race-saga-approved voting mechanism. I say we go back to the smoky rooms of yore and let the right people (read: Soros and Scaife) decide the whole thing.
And thanks for pointing out that there’s a lot left to happen. If Hillary doesn’t get blown away by Obama, and instead pulls out some big wins in OH, PA and TX, I think we’re back where we were at Super Tuesday (tied, arguments about who has momentum/electability on their side). The rest of the contests would just be jockeying for position at that point.
Then I’ll be scared about what Howard Dean and his DNC cabal will do :-)
You get wet?
It’s best left to the trained stunt professionals?