Monday, February 11, 2008


In a predictable bit of political expediency, the upstart who's hanging onto front-runner status by the slenderest of margins wants the superdelegates to echo the popular vote, while the establishment candidate in second place wants them to pony up on patronage obligations.
Obama himself weighed in on Friday, telling reporters that voters should determine whom superdelegates support, even as his campaign actively courted them.

"My strong belief is that if we end up with the most states and the most pledged delegates, and the most voters in the country, then it would be problematic for political insiders to overturn the judgment of the voters," he said. "I think that should be the guiding approach to determining who will be the nominee."

Clinton, speaking to reporters on Saturday, argued that superdelegates should make up their own minds and pointedly noted that Obama has the endorsements of superdelegates John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, both senators from Massachusetts, a state whose primary Clinton won.

"Superdelegates are by design supposed to exercise independent judgment," she said. "If Sen. Obama and his campaign continue to push this position, which is to the contrary of what the definition of superdelegates has historically been, I will look forward to receiving the support of Sen. Kerry and Sen. Kennedy."

Will they stick to their guns if their positions reverse? Stay tuned. At some point over the weekend, the superdelegate I saw interviewed claimed confusion on the issue of exactly which constituency he should echo with his vote--his whole state, or just his congressional district? It feels like a no-brainer to me; if you're a governor or senator, you vote the way your state voted overall, but if you're a representative you follow your district. If you're none of the above and aren't actually an elected official but just a party hack, you follow the nationwide popular vote. Anything else undermines both the process and what the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for.

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