March 5, 2008

How superdelegates tipping the vote to Hillary could comport with democratic principles.

Mickey Kaus has a theory:
If the superdelegates all voted with the winner of their state, would Hillary get the nomination? I think maybe. That would be one way she might colorably claim a superdelegate decision in her favor would vindicate democracy.

50 comments:

ricpic said...

Colorably, vee geyts colorably?

AllenS said...

We'll know more after MI and FL revote.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think Obama has the better "moral" claim to the nomination. He is picking up the most votes, the most delegates, and he followed the rules in Florida and Michigan (something Democrats don't usually care about).

However, Clinton's claim of buyer's remorse is the "smart" even if it's the immoral choice. Obama is not qualified to be president. Something that will become more clear as time goes on.

I am not so sure if them together as running mates will help either. If Obama is at the top of the ticket, having Hillary only hurts his reputation of likability to change Washington. If Hillary gets the nod, she will have done so by convincinng everyone that Obama is not qualified to be president... then how will she reconcile chooising him as vice president if he is not qualified to be president?

Rich B said...

Would you want to be vice president while Bill is First Gentleman?

TROBlog said...

Obama would be a fool to take the VP slot if offered by Hillary. He would do much better returning to the Senate and actually developing a record worth campaigning on in 2012 or 2016.

Since there is a 50-50 chance or greater than a Hillary presidency will be anywhere from simply bad to outright disasterous, I think he is too smart to tie himself to her and suffer the same fate as Gore.

Zeb Quinn said...

Obama is not qualified to be president.

That's true, but I not seeing how he's less qualified than Hillary.

Gahrie said...

Here's my dream:

Neither Clinton nor Obama gather enough delegates before the convention. Things get nasty at the convention between the nutsroots types and the DLC'ers. They go four or five ballots with no winner. Then Al Gore graciously offers himself up as a compromise candidate......

George said...

What was the deal last night with the Cuyahoga precincts that the federal judge ordered remain open upon request of Obama's attorneys?

"Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said everybody who wanted a ballot got one. Brunner charged that the Obama campaign targeted precincts where it could get extra votes by staying open. Jane Platten, the Cuyahoga County elections director, said the Obama campaign offered no proof to support their charges."

Then, on Fox or CNN, former Mondale campaign honcho Bob Beckel seconded that, adding that these were all heavily African-American precincts.

He also joked that on election night a favored Democratic candidate might often get a phone call from Cleveland election officials asking what the candidate wanted the final vote count to be.

Just a joke, I'm sure....

Original Mike said...

What Rich said. Obama would be crazy to do that.

Sloanasaurus said...

Then Al Gore graciously offers himself up as a compromise candidate......

This is my dream too. And further, he does it during what will likely be the coldest summer in the last 50 years.

former law student said...

If HRC becomes president, I'm moving to Canada. (Appealing not just because I'm a white person.)

Roger said...
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former law student said...

colorably == not complete bullshit

Roger said...

I don't think John Edwards got a lot of delegates, but are they enough to make any difference between HRC and BHO? Edwards has remained awfully quiet of late.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

As much as I dislike Hillary, she actually has a very strong case, if she frames it right. She needs to stop talking about delegates and start talking about vote totals.

Contrary to what sloanasaurus said, Hillary leads in the total votes cast for her. According to the ABC news website, she leads in votes, 13,565,918 to 13,559,724. Of course this lead is entirely due to Florida and Michigan, but she doesn't need to mention that. She doesn't even need to call for their pledged delegates to count. She can just point to the vote totals and claim that the super-delegates should break to her.

former law student said...

Contrary to what sloanasaurus said, Hillary leads in the total votes cast for her. According to the ABC news website, she leads in votes, 13,565,918 to 13,559,724. Of course this lead is entirely due to Florida and Michigan, but she doesn't need to mention that.

Stop the presses! Hillary leads in wins in one-horse races!

Pogo said...

Hillary will get the most cake, or there will be no cake.

Zeb Quinn said...

Hillary leads in the total votes cast for her. According to the ABC news website, she leads in votes, 13,565,918 to 13,559,724. Of course this lead is entirely due to Florida, but she doesn't need to mention that and Michigan...

As if that'd be an honest way to look at it.

Barring an unforseen Obama implosion or a Howard Dean moment, Hillary getting the nomination with manipulation of the super delegates would be outright theft, or would seem like it. The Democrats can kiss goodbye the blind support of blacks that they've enjoyed for the last 45 years.

Original Mike said...

The Democrats can kiss goodbye the blind support of blacks that they've enjoyed for the last 45 years.

Which is why I think that will never happen. Hillary has to win the delegates outright (which looks pretty much impossible at this point) or Obama's the nominee.

Middle Class Guy said...

Sloanasaurus said...
Obama is not qualified to be president. Something that will become more clear as time goes on.


Neither is Hillary Clinton and it is clear and apparent now. In the experience and qualification areas they are equal.

rhhardin said...

colorably == not complete bullshit

Bullshit, according to Harry Frankfurt, is characterized by an indifference to the truth or falsity of the item claimed.

Naturally it's online today ; originally an essay in _Raritan_ and now a book.

It starts nicely, and they cagily let you have the start.

Yachira said...

See also: "Obama Gets Super Delegates Under Affirmative Action"

Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the closeness of the race only serves to highlight the value of the Super Delegates.

“If we didn’t have these professional politicians to ultimately pick the nominee,” said Mr. Dean, “the future of our party would be left in the hands of common, ordinary people.”

http://www.scrappleface.com/?p=2906

MadisonMan said...

he does it during what will likely be the coldest summer in the last 50 years.

Oooh, sloan makes a forecast! We'll see if it verifies.

Is this for the entire US, or just part of it? And how do you define summer? June/July/August?

Fen said...

I don't think John Edwards got a lot of delegates, but are they enough to make any difference between HRC and BHO?

Edwards has 26.

I'll be surprised if the Dem party machine allows a bitter convention fight. Of course, how many in the machine are Clintonoids?

Richard Fagin said...

You would think that The New York Times gets this whole superdelegate thing and would report it so everyone can understand it. After all, the Sulzberger family continues to control the corporation by its ownership of super voting equity interests.

Hmm...no wonder they're a shill for the Democrat party

Simon said...

Roger said...
"I don't think John Edwards got a lot of delegates, but are they enough to make any difference between HRC and BHO? Edwards has remained awfully quiet of late."

He's waiting in the wings. His goal is to endorse the winner and leverage himself into the veep position without looking like he's that cynical.

AllenS said...

What happens after all of the delegates are seated, and then the superdelegates are in place, and the count is tied? Coin flip? Who gets to call the toss? Women first? That wouldn't be fair.

Original Mike said...

...without looking like he's that cynical.

Good luck with that.

Original Mike said...

What happens after all of the delegates are seated, and then the superdelegates are in place, and the count is tied?

Arm wrestle for it.

Fen said...

[Edwards] goal is to endorse the winner and leverage himself into the veep position

He must be smoking something. No way will Hillary/Obama reach down to pick up the loser that even Kerry regrets choosing.

BTW, anyone about his wife lately? Hope she's doing okay.

Fen said...

/anyone heard about...

Doyle said...

The rules are that the superdelegates can vote for whomever they want. The idea of coming up with some new rule governing their votes in order to validate one candidate's case (pledged delegates for Obama, will of the states for Hillary) is really dumb.

The rules should be left as they were before this started, and that goes for MI and FL getting blocked out too. They knew the consequences when they decided to move their primary up. I wish people would stop whining about "disenfranchisement." That's utter BS.

Middle Class Guy said...

Doyle,
You do not seem to grasp or understand the political reality. there are the rules that everyone voted on and agreed to abide by, including Hillary Clinton.

Then there are the Clinton Rules; there are no rules.

Elliott A said...

Putting aside the stupidity of such a move, the superdelegates can pick anyone they choose, since it is the party choosing a nominee, not the people! While the party choice may not reflect the "will of the voters" the party developed this system to retain control of the process. As with all decisions, you have to live with the consequences.

tjl said...

"I wish people would stop whining about "disenfranchisement." That's utter BS."


Doyle bashing the time-honored Democratic cry of disenfranchisement! Quelle surprise!

John Stodder said...

Doyle is 100 percent correct.

(I so seldom get to say that, I'm not passing up the opportunity.)

Most of the super-ds are, themselves, elected officials, present or past. It's not a Politburo. The time to change the rules has come and gone. No one is stealing any properly won delegates from either candidate. This is a different phase of the competition, and the rules are what they are. If the super-ds want to vote 80-20 for one candidate, they have the authority to do that. And they wouldn't be stupid enough to fly in the face of clear voters' preferences. But in this case, voters' preferences are too close to call, so the super-ds get to decide. It shouldn't even be controversial.

Richard Dolan said...

Kaus is certainly right that both Obama and Hillary have to fashion a claim of entitlement to the nomination, and then make that argument to the superdelegates who will effectively choose the Dem nominee. He suggests "vindicate democracy" -- i.e., the super-delegates should follow their statewide vote -- as an available frame for Hillary.

But why statewide? A congressman could reasonably be expected to follow the vote in his district rather than his state. Most of the superdelegates are politicians, but relatively few are elected on s state-wide basis. More fundamentally, "entitlement" is a tricky notion for Dems, being the party committed to group rights and grievances, expansive notions of affirmative action and the like. I don't think pointing to state wide vote totals in a primary, and even less in a caucus, will persuade many super-delegates. Some pretty deep loyalties and commitments are in play; the gender/race issues make it a highly combustible mix. I think we're going to see an explosion at some point. The idea that it will all resolve nicely with a unity ticket of O-H or H-O and no hard feelings seems like a Dem's daydream.

Roger said...
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Roger said...

Doyle has spelled it out very accurately. Its the democrat's party and they can do it anyway they want to. And everybody knew the rules going in. Of course the law of unintended consequences took over, and is going to make for something Americans havent seen since 1968: a brokered convention. (I remember a Herblock cartoon of Mayor Daley assuring LBJ that Hubert was going to be nominated with no problems).

Fen said...

Florida 2000. Selective recounts, changing election rules post-game, a thwarted attempt to steal the presidential election.

A meltdown at the Democrat convention would be Karma.

garage mahal said...

So under the "rules", SC, NH, and IA would lose all superdelgates and half pledged delegates for violation of timing of caucuses and/or primaries. But they were not punished. Why?

Nothing smells of democracy more than ignoring million of peoples votes. Crazy.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Possible definition of a liberal: someone to whom all rules are "rules".

former law student said...

So under the "rules", SC, NH, and IA would lose all superdelgates and half pledged delegates for violation of timing of caucuses and/or primaries. But they were not punished. Why?

Because SC, NH, and IA did not violate the rules. From democrats.org:

Last year the Party's Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling issued its recommendations on the 2008 primary and caucus calendar.

The Party recognizes the need early in the nominating process to broaden participation to reflect the Party’s rich racial, regional, and economic diversity by including 2 additional states. Twelve states applied to conduct early primaries and caucuses. We believe that shows the energy and excitement for opening up the process.

The addition of 2 states early in the process will also open up the dialogue to engage a broader range of people to talk about a wider variety of issues. This will enable the Democratic Party to choose the strongest candidate to be our Presidential nominee.

The new schedule is as follows:

* Iowa holds the first-in-the-nation caucus on January 14.
* New Hampshire holds the first-in-the-nation primary on January 22.
* Nevada conducts a caucus between Iowa and New Hampshire on Saturday, January 19.
* South Carolina holds a primary 1 week after the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, January 29

The regular window will open for all other states on the first Tuesday in February -- February 5, 2008.

Original Mike said...

A meltdown at the Democrat convention would be Karma.

Oh, would it ever. Maybe they'll finally understand the virtue of following the rules that were laid out before the election.

Kirby Olson said...

What is the etymology of colorably? How did anyone arrive at this term? I love it.

The Democrats I believe simply believe in Affirmative Action even at the PResidential Level.

But many other people don't, so I think they are going to be surprised in the general election.

Blake said...

Hey, I get to agree with Doyle AND John Stodder. This really shouldn't be controversial.

Gore losing, while winning the popular vote, shouldn't have been controversial either. When elections come down to the margin-of-error, what really needs to happen is for both sides to take stock of what they're offering.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The idea that it will all resolve nicely with a unity ticket of O-H or H-O and no hard feelings seems like a Dem's daydream.

Based on the initials alone, I am guessing OH! beats "HO".

Elliott A said...

Remember that to the Dems the only important thing is the outcome, not the process as with conservatives. However you arive at that desired outcome doesn't matter. They all carry a pocket version of Machiavelli.

Blake said...

elliot a,

On the off chance you're not a troll, take note of Doyle and garage mahal, libs both (and Dems or Dem-leaning at least). They're genuinely concerned about what's going on, and don't deserve the slur.

Eli Blake said...

sloanasaurus:

The reason why it is likely they will end up on the ticket together is because it will be necessary to unify the party, especially if things get nasty.

It's sort of like how John McCain will probably look to the right when he chooses his VP candidate, unless conservatives have rallied behind him by then.

At the same time, if they end up on a ticket together then there is reason for optimism no matter how bad things have gotten-- turnout in the Democratic primaries has been historically high, and getting both of their voters together (which in the primaries has included a sizeable number of first time voters) would give the Democrats a significant edge in turnout already.