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More on the Dem Super Delgates
Posted by: mcq on Saturday, February 09, 2008

You remember the scenario and effects I mentioned a day or so ago about Democratic Super Delegates (SD) deciding the nominee?

Here as some reactions to exactly that sort of an outcome from some pretty dyed-in-the-wool Dems:
Donna Brazile was quoted as saying, “If 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit the Democratic Party. I feel very strongly about this,” Brazile said.

And Chris Bowers of Open Left wrote this post, "How I Could Quit the Democratic Party", that makes the same argument.
I'll again point out that this has the potential to be a huge problem for Democrats and I'm just thrilled to death, frankly. The obvious possibility is that one or the other of the potential nominees will take a commanding lead which would all but preclude the SDs from trying to overturn it (or, in the case of Hillary, simply going with the trend). However I think it is going to remain a close race, and while I think there are structural problems with the Republican method of winner-take-all delegates, it appears, that the Dems have their own problems as well. When you have to strong candidates who are able to pull pretty equal numbers in delegates (because of proportional awarding), who wins the state doesn't mean as much as it might.

This is really something to watch because of its divisive potential. If the scenario comes to fruition, it is entirely possible John McCain may stumble his way into the presidency after all.
 
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Weren’t these people aware of the Super Delegates and their role before the caucuses and primaries?

Sounds to me like they’re complaining about the rules because things might not go their way.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
I’ll take the contrarian view. Given the radical acceleration of news cycles and the amount of time between nomination and election, plus the almost-certain reluctance on the part of the press to cover such a Democratic meltdown (in exactly the way they’d be all over a Republican meltdown), I’m going to suggest that the average Democratic voter is not going to sit out the election just because of some questionable nomination games that they got little more than a vague sense of, several months before the election.

The Internet has shown us two things: One: It allows people to get their message out and mobilize in surprising and interesting new ways, but Two: when the highly-connected, politically-obsessive interneters get a bee in their bonnet that can’t be quickly and snappily explained to the non-politically-obsessed, the net effect on the campaign is pretty minimal. The power of the internet is very capricious.

I don’t think a nasty nomination will matter much to the Democrats, in terms of a Presidential election. It could do grave damage to the internal party politics, but... so what? The parties are designed to renew themselves pretty periodically anyhow.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Its was going to be Hillary. Always was.

The closeness of candidates makes an Obama VP appear an even more necessary and pragmatic move as a ’heal the party’ move. I alway felt that an Obama VP was always the case as well.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I tend to agree with Jeremy’s general point. Besides, the Super Delegates are not going to let these threats of people quitting the party get in the way of the wheeling and dealing that we all know is going to happen. From their point of view, this is too important - this is their hand guiding history, and they’ll figure they can always worry later about wooing back anybody who actually did jump ship.

The potential for hard feelings and bitter tastes is beyond enormous. And while I understand jpm’s point, I don’t think Obama or his supporters will be gracious about the VP spot on the ticket if they feel the top spot is being stolen from them.
 
Written By: J Sterlace
URL: http://qando.net/
Agreed. Hillary is having a harder run than she expected, but I still think she’ll take the nomination, though how much blood will be on the walls is another matter.

Clinton/Obama would be the ideal Dem ticket. However, I’m not sure Hillary will want Obama near her spotlight and I’m not sure how much Obama will want to be under her. Perhaps they can be forced together like JFK and LBJ.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Why would Obama want to be the odd man out as Hillary’s VP? Anyone taking that job has to assume that Bill gets the real influence. That’s the problem for any VP under her.

While Jeremy may have a point, he should not downplay the race factor. The black population that votes for Obama based at least partly on racial pride may well be apoplectic if he is pushed aside in a backroom deal. The Dems may never again be able to take them for granted as a reliable voting block.

That’s why I am considering voting for HRC in the upcoming open primary, to help keep the split alive until the convention and then see what happens.
 
Written By: mprell
URL: http://
plus the almost-certain reluctance on the part of the press to cover such a Democratic meltdown (in exactly the way they’d be all over a Republican meltdown),
Eh. The press provides cover when possible, but a brokered convention- possibly a NASTY brokered convention- between 2 prominent political figures is going to get covered. Trust me, cable will be all over that.
I’m going to suggest that the average Democratic voter is not going to sit out the election just because of some questionable nomination games that they got little more than a vague sense of, several months before the election.
Depends. It’s the vested Obama voter we’re figuring here. And if they sit out or not (and there is a real possibility they do) is going to be determined in large part by how Obama handles his inevitable defeat.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The press provides cover when possible, but a brokered convention- possibly a NASTY brokered convention- between 2 prominent political figures is going to get covered. Trust me, cable will be all over that.
Oh, they’ll absolutely cover it while it’s happening.

But if the Republicans were melting down, you’d hardly be able to have a report on John McCain without it coming up, right up until the election; see the coverage of the Iraq war, for instance, which often brings up all sorts of things that aren’t related to the actual story of the day, but to the general storyline the media wants to sell. (You don’t have to be strongly partisan to notice this attribute of coverage; some of the worst examples include the way some sports commentators worked the Iraq war’s storyline into their sports commentary in very gratuitous ways, QandO covered that a while ago.)

Whereas with the Democratic meltdown, one week out and we’ll get a story on how the resolution has healed the party (or so the party says, which of course it will regardless of the truth), and that’ll be the last we hear of it ever again.

It’s all in the choice of storyline.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
The Clintons don’t have the support in the Democratic party you guys seem to think. If it looks like Obama has the strength, support, and energy to bring the Democratic party a big victory, and Clinton looks divisive and uninspiring, they’ll ditch her in a second. While the GOP has created this mythology of the Clintons as some unstoppable machine, they’re being countered by the old timers in the party and the Clintons are becoming unhinged. That doesn’t mean they won’t turn this around, but you’re not going to see Obama with a large lead in elected delegrates and then have the superdelegates turn it around. I’m placing my bets on McCain vs. Obama at this point. That might be fun to watch.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Ah, yes, the super delegates. Evidence of just exactly how much faith the Democratic bosses have in their own members. Moderation in all things, as someone once said, including democracy. Mustn’t let the rabble get too uppity, after all.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I don’t know how many they’ve got, but the idea of having elected senators and congresspersons and governors vote doesn’t seem un-democratic. Those people are accountable and would be held accountable if they obviously thwarted what the people wanted. But what do Democrats want? The race is close. Saying that a barely majority for one candidate represents the will of the party is silly. It represents the will of *half* the party.

Figuring that some people like KOS telling Democrats to vote for Romney or people saying they’ll vote for Hillary in the primaries because they can and not because they like her, seems to suggest that in a close race it makes sense to have some wiggle room.

There are good reasons not to follow a purely popular vote and good reasons that the presidential race has the weird structure that it does with state totals and electoral votes.

I agree this could bite the Democrats in the rear, *hard*, but primarily because they chose to make a huge deal about the moral supremacy, near holiness even, of the glorious and noble popular vote for the last 7 years.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Prof. Erb — Your guess is as good as ours and no better. We’re in totally new territory here with the weird ex-First Lady Clinton versus the weird half-black, half-Messiah Obama. Not your father’s Democratic nomination cycle indeed.

I’m going with Clinton because she has more experience and she’ll get more support among women and working-class Dems—meat and potato support that would ordinarily guarantee her nomnination.

Obama’s a wild card. Conceivably his charismatic movement will continue to pick up momentum and crush Hillary, but otherwise he has nothing to offer but his considerable ability to generate emotion in voters. That’s fragile. That could collapse in 24 hours.

Then there’s the superdelegate business which is also hard to read.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://

 
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