The superdelegate angle

The story of the Democrats’ undemocratic superdelegates hasn’t received much attention, but Politico’s Daniel Strauss sums it up in a topic sentence: “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.”

I’ve been stumped by Sanders’s failure to make an issue of it. Like his default on the Clinton email scandal, it made me wonder whether he is in it to win it. Strauss’s story reports the efforts of left-wing activists to do something about the undemocratic superdelegates.

The Sanders campaign itself is laying low and holding its fire. Strauss quotes Sanders strategist Tad Divine: “We’re going to hear from them in a couple more states and then many states after. And once the sort of verdict begins to come in, from our perspective that’s the time to make our case to the superdelegates. Now many of them have already expressed a preference for Secretary Clinton. I think that’s understandable but they also, given the design of the rules, are free to change their mind up until they’re standing on the floor of the convention and are about to vote.” The Sanders campaign remains publicly content to let the issue lie until the time that its possible subversion of the caucus/primary results moves beyond the hypothetical.

DNC chairman Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz has offered this inscrutable explanation of the superdelegates’ role in the Democrats’ nomination process: “Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grass-roots activists.” The inscrutability has a purpose that Strauss’s story doesn’t quite penetrate.


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