Soon after Hillary Clinton won the Nevada Democratic Caucus, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow had DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on to talk about the process. Maddow confronted Wasserman Schultz about the Superdelegate process, an issue that Maddow said Democrats are arguing about at cocktail parties across the country.
Wasserman Schultz explained that the media misreports the process as the Superdelegates are free to decide all the way up to July, “There aren’t pledged delegates, i.e., superdelegates.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued, “We do that so we can maximize the participation.”
“I am a superdelegate I get one vote at the convention,” Wasserman Schultz continued, “If you remember in 2008, there were superdelegates … who did change their minds.”
“Unpledged delegates can change their mind up until the convention,” the DNC Chair reinforced.
“I don’t know how sustainable it is for Democrats to continue the Superdelegate process,” Rachel Maddow countered, pointing out that it makes Democrats really mad.
The truth is that nobody likes the Superdelegate system but the DNC, and in 2008, President Obama spearheaded a move to change the Superdelegate system after he won the nomination, but the DNC rejected it in 2010.
Superdelegates have been a part of Democratic nominating process since 1984. They are about 30% of overall delegate total needed to win.
The Superdelegates usually flip to go with likely nominee. If Bernie Sanders was winning they would probably flip for him, as they did for Obama in 2008 after he was likely to be the nominee, when it looked like Clinton had amassed more Superdelegates.
The Superdelegates strive for party unity, which does what it was intended to do in terms of pushing viable candidates seen by the establishment as most likely to succeed.
Image: via MSNBC
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.