Monday, February 25, 2008

Superdelegates Should Decide on Their Own (JM)

Mostly I am using the post to link to an excellent op-ed piece in the NYT from Geraldine Ferraro about why superdelegates ought to vote for the best representative for the party, not just follow the delegate count. Her position is quite clear and well argued. She points out that this not a terribly democratic process to begin with, that at most 15 percent of registered Democrats voted the primary/caucuses and that because some of the caucuses are open it is not exactly a measure of Democratic will. I found this bit of her argument particularly noteworthy:

Perhaps because I have endorsed Mrs. Clinton, I have noticed that most of the people complaining about the influence of the superdelegates are supporters of Mr. Obama. I can’t help thinking that their problem with the superdelegates may not be that they’re “unrepresentative,” but rather that they are perceived as disproportionately likely to support Mrs. Clinton.

And I am watching, with great disappointment, people whom I respect in the Congress who endorsed Hillary Clinton — I assume because she was the leader they felt could best represent the party and lead the country — now switching to Barack Obama with the excuse that their constituents have spoken.

I may be a cynic, but I’m a fairly knowledgeable political cynic. If Mr. Obama wins the nomination, those members are undoubtedly concerned that they would be inviting a primary challenge in their next re-election campaign by failing to support his candidacy.

But if they are actually upset over the diminished clout of rank-and-file Democrats in the presidential nominating process, then I would love to see them agitating to force the party to seat the delegates elected by the voters in Florida and Michigan. In those two states, the votes of thousands of rank-and-file party members will not be counted because their states voted on dates earlier than those authorized by the national party.

Read the entire column, it is worth it regardless of your position. The storms a'brewing, and if Clinton wins Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania it will happen. Get ready for an exciting convention folks.

1 comment:

Nosmo said...

Geraldine Ferraro seems to be making the assumption that the super delegates are switching their votes strictly because they are worrying about reelection. Perhaps the endorsed Clinton because they assumed she would take the nomination; that it was safe; and it was best for the party and the country to have a candidate chosen early and decisively. If so, they certainly should be reevaluating their decision. Perhaps they endorsed her because of old loyalties.

Maybe they are reevaluating all of that now that someone with a huge grass roots following is beating someone who held all the initial advantages, and Clinton looks much weaker then she did before Super Tuesday.

I would certainly hope the super delegates take into account the vote along with a number of other things.

As for Michigan and Florida, is she implying that those votes are really representative? What percentage of the registered democrats did she get in Michigan? Would Clinton be advocating for their inclusion if she lost them? She agreed to the rules and now she is trying to change them. Both states are a problem, and I certainly hope they will be a non-factor for who ever get the nomination. The precedent of not punishing states that broke the rules or of not seating delegates are both bad.

The super delegates should vote for which ever candidate would be best for the country, period; Not who is best for themselves, and not who is best for the party.

Sorry, but this does not look like an excellent column to me, but rather a simple plug for Clinton.