Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Superdelegate primary dies a quick death

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen proposed a "superdelegate primary" today:

Here’s what our party should do: schedule a superdelegate primary. In early June, after the final primaries, the Democratic National Committee should call together our superdelegates in a public caucus.
It is a call for a tight, two-day business-like gathering, whose rules would be devised by the national committee, of the leaders of our party from all over America to resolve a serious problem. There would be a final opportunity for the candidates to make their arguments to these delegates, and then one transparent vote.
Well, the trial balloon burst quickly:
The idea of having a primary among superdelegates isn't gaining a lot of traction.

A spokeswoman says Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean doesn't endorse the idea.


Roehl Sybing said...

It would have been nice. Then everyone would be on the record before the convention and there wouldn't be a deadlock, even if the pledged delegates aren't enough for one candidate to clinch.

Anonymous said...

I could see why it's not such a great idea, but he is trying to get the ball moving before waiting until the convention, which a lot of people are hoping a nominee will be decided before.

Unknown said...

Good. RIP.

The idea of super delegates is, for me, repulsive. It's bad enough the party doesn't trust the judgment of voters, but to suggest a primary for the superstars really pisses me off.

hockeypuck said...

"It would have been nice"

Roehl.. how on earth would it have been nice?

It was a HRC supporter trying to pull off a fast one.

I'm thinking the only reason he came up with the lame idea is because ... face it ... the math just does not add up for her regardless of how the ten remaining states play out.

If you have an explanation of how it would have been fair, please explain. I just don't see it.

Roehl Sybing said...


The idea itself is not a bad idea, and I explained why. A brokered convention will be tons of fun, but it may be the death of the party.

Ensuring that a superdelegate primary is fair and equitable is another story. I already get that it's another self-serving proposal.

Anonymous said...

Well come on, it's not really a primary, he just wants all the superdelegates to gather in one place and make up their mind before the convention.

Bredesen hasn't announced his support for either candidate, and no candidate can win the majority of the delegates without the superdelegates, so if they don't make up their mind before the convention, we'll be heading right to it.

Yamaka said...

Whether we like it or not, SDs will play the crucial role in electing the Nominee.

As per the DNC Rule, they have to vote their conscience irrespective of what their constituency says or Nancy Pelosi and other bigwigs say.

They need to just ask one question and, then answer:

In their view of the world,
who has the best credential AND chance to beat McCain in the Fall?

I happen to believe it is HRC (after the Wright blow over and the ongoing Rezko trial. This will surely play out in Nov if BHO is the Nominee).

BHO is very risky for the Party at this time even if he gets a slight numerical lead in the pledged delegates by mid-June.

I wish all the SDs declare their preference by the end of June at least. That would give full four months to nurse the wounds and get ready for the Finals. Cheers.

Bill UK said...

Mix, hundreds of super delegates have decided and announced publicly, so why hold a primary?

The very word primary seems to indicate an election, what election?

It has to be remembered that each super delegate actually has the same voting power as over 100,000 normal voters, so why give them '2 days' to be open only to argument by other super delegates and not the public?

Also by calling it a primary would indicate that once 'pledged' the super delegates could not change their minds. This is preposterous to say the least, in fact it is an attempt again to change the rules of the whole nomination proceedure.

Thank goodness this crazy idea has been quickly suffocated.

What will be the next suggestion put forward to change the balance of the race? Only those 50 or 60 years of age and over are allowed to stand for President?

Unknown said...

Too bad. I think the idea has great merit. There's no good reason to drag this out to the convention, unless losing to McCain is the goal.

gloria1129 said...

I really love this site, and appreciate all the information I glean, but have kept mum even when I have ached to speak up, because I feel it is futile to expect fair discussion. But the repeated, self-serving, complaints about how undemocratic is the very existence of SuperDelegates has compelled me to weigh in.
I ask all the Obama people who are railing thus: Where are your complaints about the undemocratic nature of the delegate apportionment in the first place? There is no one vote = a proportionate percent of delegates in this process, so the process is flawed (in Obama's favor) from the starting gate. Add to that the undemocratic aspect of caucuses, in which a high percentage of working people have no ability to participate (which also plays to Obama's advantage.) Having benefitted so well from these undemocratic aspects of the process, your crying over SuperDelegates is pathetic.
This process has been so flawed, and undemocratic, that some of us who have been disenfranchised are relying on the SDs to reverse these errors.

Trainwreck said...

I would prefer he propose the elimination of all, that's all, superdelegate and add-on votes. I would miss this site.