What Should Our Superdelegates Do?

February 11 2008, 1:09 PM
David Sirota, writing in Huffington Post, outlines the issues facing Colorado superdelegates in the wake Barack Obama's caucus win last week.
On February 5th, voters overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama in the caucuses. However, as Channel 2 News reports, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) has already endorsed Hillary Clinton and is refusing to say whether she will cast her superdelegate convention vote with Colorado voters, or for Hillary Clinton. DeGette refused to comment for Channel 2's story. The question is whether politicians and party officials with superdelegate votes will be loyal to a fellow politician or loyal to small-d democracy.
Sirota argues the superdelegate process "thwarts democracy" and we should pressure our superdelegates to "pledge their superdelegate vote to whomever their voters support in primaries and caucuses."First, what's a superdelegate? CNN says:
Superdelegates are party leaders, Democratic members of Congress, former presidents and Democratic governors, who each get a delegate vote at the party's nominating convention and are free to cast it for any candidate, regardless of their state's primary season preference.
I don't much like the idea of superdelegates. But, I like less changing the rules in the middle of an election cycle. It would be like changing the rules after the horses have left the starting gate. These are the Democrats' rules. If Democratic voters don't like them, they need to work to change them -- for the next election.As the rules are now, superdelegates can vote for whomever they like. Sirota uses Diana DeGette as an example. What about Gary Hart? He's an Obama supporter. Had Hillary won the Colorado caucuses, should he have been required to vote for Hillary? Another thing: in many states independents can vote in a Democratic caucus or primary. Should the superdelegates be subject to their will as to who should receive their party's nomination, if their vote pushed one of the candidates to a primary or caucus win?The nominee selection process is not a general election. It's run by the Democratic party which makes the rules. This year, the superdelegates should vote their preference. The solution is to change the rules for next time if we don't like it.