I don’t have a problem with the existence of super-delegates. there are no guarantees that party nominations need to be representationally democratic — despite the rising rhetoric.
here’s the thing I don’t get — what are these super-delegates waiting for? I can not believe that they are holding out for more information about the candidates to determine which one best represents their views. virtually everything about Clinton and Obama (well, short of the promised October Surprise) is known and, to use her term, vetted.
undeclared Hillary super-supporters benefit by leaking their numbers out slowly; as long as that count continues to climb, she can make a half-hearted claim that she has a chance to eventually swing the total in her favor. if she could convince everyone in her camp to pledge their vote tomorrow, and the number came up short of a clear win, then she would have to concede defeat.
undeclared Obama supporters gain nothing by holding their pledge back — unless anyone really believes that the delegate math won’t hold up in his favor. if they pledge support for him and she somehow wins — I’m sure that it would be a world-of-hurt to be a Democrat on the wrong side of the Clinton presidency.
by this logic, all the Obama super-supporters should pledge their votes as soon as possible, expecting that if it doesn’t put him over the top, it will at least solidify his position and the remaining primaries will make it official. I can’t imagine that an Obama surge would give Clinton any more ‘comeback’-firepower (you know, rally the troops with a last-ditch big push) in the remaining primary states… perhaps a bit, but again not enough to turn things around.
so here’s another prospect — Hillary supporters are holding back because they want to be able to vote for Hillary after they are sure Obama has the nomination. this may sound counter-intuitive, but it could work in their favor… if they aren’t likely to play a supporting role in an Obama administration, the vote for Clinton would gain them favor down the road (not a bad thing to have, especially if she makes a run in ’12).
three reasons why you might want Obama vs McCain, even though you’re a Hillary supporter:
- you fear McCain will beat Hillary this year (fulfilling Operation Chaos)
- you think Obama has a better chance to beat McCain, and being sure McCain loses is the most important thing for you right now
- you’re not confident Hillary will beat McCain, but you think Obama will certainly lose to McCain, who will make things worse in the next four years and Hillary will have a significantly stronger run in ’12 with Obama out of the way. destiny is delayed by 4 years, but her destiny is fulfilled. and maybe you get a cabinet position for your loyalty.
make no mistake — strategery abounds.
and for what it’s worth, I don’t understand Obama’s supporters claiming that the superdelegates should reflect the popular vote (percentage-wise, I presume) — how would you orchestrate them to do that? by revoking the privilege of choosing whichever candidate they desire and instructing them on how to vote (basically 50-50, at this point)? or do they mean that all the super-delegate votes should go to the popular vote winner (winner-takes-all of the national popular vote)? either way, sounds like a sure fire way to generate animosity within the party.