Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Superdelegate news

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Couple of superdelegate news items worth noting:

What do superdelegates eat?:

If you're an uncommitted superdelegate, you can get a free(-ish) dinner at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's house in Kalorama tonight. Members of the elite -- and increasingly sought-after -- superdelegate universe are gathering at her home around 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., according to one Democratic aide. Unaligned Democratic members of the U.S. House and their spouses were invited, the aide said.
Update: The Washington Post has the scoop on the reception:
On Wednesday night, the Democratic presidential candidate held a private reception for several dozen members of Congress at her house on Whitehaven Street in Kalorama. Most of the guests were confirmed supporters, many from New York and Arkansas, making it something of a friends-and-family event.

But the real mission of the evening was to court lawmakers -- who are also superdelegates in the party's nominating process -- especially those from some of the biggest states. And at least one, Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.), used the session to pose the kinds of questions voters usually aim at him rather than treating it as a polite political cocktail party.
"If Senator Obama is in that position, it's going to be very hard to overturn that," Altmire, a freshman lawmaker from the western part of Pennsylvania, said yesterday. But he added: "She's likely to do really well in my district and in Pennsylvania, so that's another consideration." He said that he has been bombarded with calls from both campaigns, but that he does not mind.

"I really want to hear from both sides," Altmire said. "I feel an obligation to do as much as I can to get to know the two candidates."
And while some are saying let Michigan and Florida's pledged delegates in, but drop the superdelegates, Florida DNC member Jon Ausman (former Kucinich supporter, rumored but not confirmed Clinton supporter) says the superdelegates should count no matter what:
Ausman...has filed an appeal with the party's rules and bylaws committee, arguing that its 2007 penalties against Michigan and Florida violated the DNC charter itself.


Because the charter explicitly states that the following members of the party are automatically granted the status of delegates no matter what: “members of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic members of the United States Senate and the Democratic Members of the House of Representatives, former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee.”

Basically: the DNC can take way the earned (pledged) delegates... but it can't touch the automatic (super) delegates, because they're protected by the DNC's charter, which supercedes the DNC's rules and bylaws committee.

The verb used by the DNC charter is "shall."

So -- if the RBC hears the appeal, which they'd do at a meeting in, I think, April, and if they agree, the 23 superdelegates from Florida will be eligible for counting.


Mix said...

Wow, this is getting more interesting all the time! I am so glad I found this site!

Bill UK said...

Well I have just posted in the Open Thread showing that Clinton will not be able to win the popular vote even if the starting point includes the corrupt (as in 'not legitimate') primaries from Florida and Michigan!

So it looks now like Clinton realises she will not be able to win the most pledged delegates, realises she will not win the popular vote, and so is now after super delegates to overturn the pledged delegates and popular vote!

Now why is it that does that not surprise me!

Travis said...

I always thought it was weird that the florida and michigan superdeleagtes wouldnt be seated....

They are not tied to the results of a primary or caucus so I never understood how they could be locked out because the states voted too early.

Kim said...

Knowing that the delegates to the DNC convention will select the nominee, it was reasonable for both the Clinton and Obama campaigns to assume that if their candidate emerged with the most pledged delegates, he or she would be perceived as the winner of the primary contest.

The Obama campaign has proven so superior in deploying its resources towards this goal that its lead in pledged delegates is insurmountable.

Now the Clinton campaign is saying that what really matters is the popular vote. (This is akin to a football team, down by 25 points but neck and neck in total yards, suggesting that the latter metric be used to award the win).

Were it agreed before the contest began that the popular vote would be the measure of victory, the Obama campaign would no doubt have devised a different game plan - one geared for accumulating the popular vote - and one that put much less emphasis on caucus states where the popular vote numbers are much smaller (or in the case of Iowa, Maine, Nevada and Washingon - not even reported).

Bill UK said...

Kim, the latest news is that Clinton cannot even win the popular vote.

I think Clinton realises this and that is why she is now focusing all her effort into the unpledged Super Delegates.

Mix said...

Maybe so, it's not entirely impossible to win the popular vote still.

However there's no way either one of them can grab the nomination based on pledged delegates alone, so they have to have these superdelegates.

closets said...

If democratic party decides to deny the vote I cast in Florida, I intend to take my vote elsewhere for future elections. Why should we remain loyal to a party that rejects us because of the actions of a republican controlled state congress.

kurt said...

How many nights in the Lincoln bedroom do you think she's offering -- or is it $? I hope our democracy doesn't end up being for sale even worse than I thought..