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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.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:
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."
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.