I bet nearly all of you are aware of the death-match that the two Democratic presidential contenders are caught up in.
It’s amazing how bad things have gotten over the last little while. As the race picked up and more and more of the rest of the field began dropping out, things really came to a head in South Carolina. That seems to be the point where the racial baggage caught up to the campaigns and things really started to go sour.
From then on, voters were faced with an increasingly vitrolic campaign. One side accusing the other of the stupidest little transgressions. Both of them…exaggerating their accomplishments at times. Most notably, you all probably remember Clinton going on the offensive several times, accusing Obama of plagarism, or of lying in his mailings, exaggerating his role as the University of Chicago (he didn’t.) and then came the whole Reverend Wright scandal. On the other hand, Obama’s been pushing back, calling Clinton out about her “mispeak” regarding her trip to Bosnia.
All of those are stories in and of themselves, but the latest news seems to be gripping the political community tightly. Recently, increasing amounts of people seem to be calling for Hillary to drop out due to the fact that she stands very little chance of beating Obama in terms of pledged delegates. The Democratic Party’s superdelegates are all that stand between Obama and the nomination. These superdelegates are not encumbered with the results of the primaries, and can actually vote however they want. They consist of very important people from all over the US. Governors, party bigwigs, that sort of thing.
Nancy Pelosi, the current speaker of the House, decided it was wise to voice her opinion on the whole matter. She came out and stated that superdelegates should respect the popular vote, and cast their votes accordingly. That way, if Clinton has more primary votes, the superdelegates should respect it and vote for her. The thing is, it’s pretty much impossible for Hillary to catch up in terms of the popular vote, especially if the Florida and Michigan delegates are not seated. Since the race is so tight between Obama and Clinton, there’s no way one of them will get enough pledged delegates to actually win. That’s why the superdelegates are just so damn important.
Clinton was obviously mad. Since she probably won’t get enough regular delegates, having someone ask the superdelegates to not vote as they want and instead follow the pledged delegates, is tantamount to endorsing Obama. So her backers, some of the most influential names in the Democratic Party (and especially some of the biggest financial backers) decided it was a good idea to ‘warn’ Pelosi.
20 of them sent Pelosi a letter implicitly threatening to withhold their financial backing from the Party. These 20 people had given $24 million to the party in the last year.
“We have been strong supporters of the DCCC,” the group wrote in its letter to Pelosi. “We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August.”
This is just god-awful reasoning and a terrible publicity move. The most damaging thing possible would be for the superdelegates to overturn the popular vote because it suggest to the American voters that their vote does not matter. If my vote was overturned so that unaccountable “superdelegates” chose whoever they wanted, I probably wouldn’t vote for them in the general election.
This implied threat has already caused a pretty big backlash in the Democratic party. Obama supporters are up in arms, and the reputably influential blog MoveOn.org has come straight out out and essentially declared war against the Clinton backers. In their response letter, sent out to MoveOn supporters, CNN says this about what they had to say:
“It’s the worst kind of insider politics — billionaires bullying our elected leaders into ignoring the will of the voters,” wrote organizers in an e-mail to the group’s members. “But when we all pool our resources, together we’re stronger than the fat cats. So let’s tell Nancy Pelosi that if she keeps standing up for regular Americans, thousands of us will have her back. And we can more than match whatever the CEOs and billionaires refuse to contribute.”
Unreal. No one wins in a situation like this, besides John McCain. So hopefully they can sort this out. In truth, superdelegates seem like a pretty bad idea. The whole point of the primary is to let the rank-and-file of a party pick their candidate. To go through this whole process and then completely ignore it is a slap in the face. I’m sure Clinton’s backers approach this with the best of intentions, but they must realize that this can only hurt Clinton’s chances, and/or the chances of the eventual nominee.