early and often

Should Superdelegates Follow the ‘Will of the People’? Or, Uh, Not?


Photo Illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, iStockphoto

Whether you think superdelegates are as useless as a third nipple or a great way to get the party elite more involved in the nomination process, you have to at least admit they’ve made for very interesting political discussion. And despite a certain candidate’s momentum, said superdelegates are going to have to help decide this thing. Obama says the superdelegates should follow the “will of the people” (a phrase that will be used seven times in this post) by supporting whoever has more pledged delegates; Clinton maintains that the superdelegates should do whatever they think is best. Both positions, of course, reflect where each camp expects to stand after the last primary votes are tallied on June 7, in Puerto Rico. But like a lot of things in this race, the debate over superdelegates isn’t quite so simple. Plus, a bonus round: Should the regular Florida and Michigan delegates be seated?

• Greg Sargent claims that the Clinton camp is punching holes through Obama’s position on superdelegates. How are superdelegates from states that Clinton won subverting the “will of the people” in their state by voting for Obama? [Talking Points Memo]

• Alex Koppelman thinks the Obama campaign is spinning in all directions on the superdelegates, saying both that they should reflect the “will of the people” and that they should do what’s best for the Democratic Party. [War Room/Salon]

• Lanny Davis writes that superdelegates shouldn’t have to follow the “will of the people,” because that was never their intention. What would be the point of creating them if it was? [HuffPo]

• Matthew Yglesias doesn’t think it would always be a good idea for superdelegates to blindly follow the “will of the people” in certain situations, like if one candidate is only leading by a narrow margin. [Atlantic]

• The L.A. Times editorial board, admitted Obama supporters, would prefer it if superdelegates fell in line behind the “will of the people.” But in any case, they shouldn’t announce whom they support before the primaries are over. [LAT]

• Jennifer Skalka thinks Clinton’s stance on superdelegates is out of touch with the Democratic electorate’s trend toward a new kind of politics. [Hotline/National Journal]

In other contested-delegates news:
•. Adam Nagourney reports that Clinton’s team is ready to push for the Michigan and Florida delegates to be seated, while the Reverend Al Sharpton and Julian Bond, the head of the NAACP, differed over whether not seating them would disenfranchise minorities. [NYT]

• Craig Crawford notes that after fighting to keep their delegates from being seated at the convention, Obama would have to devote more attention to Florida and Michigan in the general election. Clinton however, as their champion, will have an advantage in both states. [Trail Mix/CQ Politics] —Dan Amira

For a complete guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

Should Superdelegates Follow the ‘Will of the People’? Or, Uh, Not?