An article is making the rounds on social media with a clickbait headline, “The DNC Just Screwed Over Bernie Sanders and Spit in Voters’ Faces.”
Having apparently slept through the 2008 primary season, the author is shocked to learn that by the rules of the Democratic National Committee there are a number of delegates to the national convention that are elected federal officeholders, party officers and members of the Democratic National Committee. In 2008, the very same dynamic was at play. Clinton had many elected officials behind her and there came a point when some feared that it was those superdelegates who would decide the nomination. Those fears did not come to pass.
Since I was elected a Democratic National Committee member representing Minnesota in 2012, this time I get to experience the fun from the inside! Given that I will not be running for reelection to the DNC, I was really hoping my SUPERdelegate status would mean I was getting wined and dined by our candidates. Alas, Hillary hasn’t called and all I get from Bernie are emails. No flowers, cards or Edible Arrangements. Not so super at all.
What I did get today was two calls from reporters. As concern grows with some Sanders’ supporters that Clinton will “steal” the nomination through superdelegates, I have been called to be identified as a candidate supporter. Since I might be listed soon as one of the Council of Elders ruining our democracy, I thought maybe I’d state here what I told them and how I feel about this whole thing:
- I am a Clinton supporter and expect I will be casting a vote for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention this summer.
- I support reforming our delegate system to eliminate even the possibility of superdelegates deciding a nomination.
- I do not believe super delegates will decide the nominee. They didn’t last time and, if it came to that, the party would be so fractured and the process would be so divisive that it would not be a tenable set-up for a general election win.
- I will be listed as a Clinton supporter because I am one (more on that in another post); that said, in the unlikely event of the convention coming down to superdelegates deciding over the will of the voting electorate of primary and caucus goers, I would not participate in that. What that means, who the heck knows. It’s a far-fetched hypothetical.
That is all.
Have a super day.
A friend wrote with some math. There are 4763 total delegates – 712 of those are supers. That’s 14.9% of the total. Not exactly an overwhelming and right now about 60% or so remain uncommitted. So everyone chill, please.
One of the arguments for having superdelegates is that, if these folks did not have reserved delegate spots they would likely run for national delegate positions and, as party elected officials and leaders, would likely win many of these positions. So you’d still have a “party elder” problem in the delegate pool.