Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Honor Among Superdelegates?

At the Politico, Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen say that, unless superdelegates pledged to Hillary Clinton essentially veto the will of the Democratic electorate in August, Hillary Clinton’s bid for the 2008 Democratic nomination is over. As best I can tell, the reasoning in this is air-tight, though I disagree with their conclusion. Every best-case scenario for Clinton still leaves her behind Obama in delegates. (Unless she can get do-overs in Michigan and Florida, which Vandehei and Allen rightly say “would take a political miracle.”) Barring that (or something literally disqualifying Obama), Hillary’s chances rest on the hopes of a superdelegate coup.

Where Vandehei and Allen are mistaken is in their conviction that such a coup won’t occur. They think that some sense of  decorum or party unity will prevent superdelegates from jumping Obama’s ship and boarding Hillary’s.

If this Democratic race has shown us anything, it’s that no such sense of decorum or unity exists. And if superdelegates merely served the purpose of seconding the will of the electorate, their position in the Democratic party would never have been created. The whole purpose of superdelegates is to strengthen the influence of party leadership, precisely so that votes cast throughout the primaries don’t hold too much sway. They are, in other words, designed to do exactly what the Politico piece claims they never would.

This isn’t an argument for the rightness of their function, only a reminder of the reasoning behind it. I’ll leave it to Hillary to make speeches about the valuable guidance and critical balance provided by this loose body of bigshots whose silly name I can’t bear to type any more.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.