When I defended the Democrats for saving “superdelegate” seats for key officials, I expected to get blowback from Bernie supporters. And I did. And that’s fine. But I think something needs to be said in response.
The tenor of the blowback is basically that the Democrats are rigging the game for Hillary Clinton.
Well, if this is true, then it’s a woefully inept conspiracy.
Quiet! DNC At Work!
The Democrats have set aside 15 percent of their delegate slots for officeholders and party leaders. These people can cast their convention votes as they see fit. Those who get superdelegate spots are not chosen for their loyalty to a particular candidate. If they were, then Sanders supporter Rich Cassidy wouldn’t have a superdelegate slot from Vermont. Hell, Bernie himself is a superdelegate — and he’s not even a Democrat.
And so far, less than half the superdelegates have endorsed Clinton.
And they are free to change their minds at any time.
Having proven its electoral mettle in the New Hampshire primary, the Bernie Sanders campaign is apparently now just realizing that the Democratic Party’s nominating process is not entirely, well, democratic.
Of the nearly 4,500 delegates who will cast a vote at next July’s Democratic National Convention, an estimated 713 of them are so-called “superdelegates” — party muckety-mucks who can vote however they please.
And surprise, surprise: a lot of the muckety-mucks are backing Hillary Clinton. Resulting in this seeming contradiction:
Bernie Sanders lost by a hair in Iowa and won by a landslide in New Hampshire. Yet Hillary Clinton has amassed an enormous 350-delegate advantage over the Vermont senator after just two states.
That’s because more than half of the unelected superdelegates have endorsed Clinton — although they are under no legal obligation to vote for her at the convention.
All of which prompts outrage in the Sanders camp. Outrage you might expect me to share.