The Case for Superdelegates

Gov. Jim Hunt has served this state and party well. I know many of you have seen this article, but I wanted to share it again. There is alot of wisdom in his words.
This is a man that knows alittle about both winning elections and governing.

I think it is time we weigh his words and his wisdom.

The Washington Post

Why the Superdelegate Idea Works

By Jim Hunt
Wednesday, February 27, 2008; Page A17

In presidential election years, Americans see the face of a political party most clearly in the personality, views and character of its presidential candidates. But a national political party is about more than just the president. Its senators and House members pass the nation's laws and budgets. Its governors lead the states. All must work together for progress in America.

I chaired the 1982 Democratic Party Commission on Presidential Nominations that created certain automatic delegates to the Democratic convention -- the "superdelegates." It was a good idea then, and it is still a good idea. The superdelegates will be crucial to Democrats winning the presidency in November and governing successfully for the next four years.

In creating superdelegates, the Democratic Party recognized the expertise that its top holders of public office have gained by running for office themselves. They are experts at winning. They know the issues. They are in a unique position to evaluate presidential candidates. They have a well-honed instinct for how candidates will be received in their own states and districts. In short, they can help the Democratic Party pick a winner.

But the superdelegates' value extends beyond the convention. If they play a role in picking the nominee, they will be more likely to campaign actively for the nominee in the general election.

I vividly remember the presidential election of 1972. George McGovern, a great senator and a war hero, had been nominated at a convention that included few top Democratic elected officials or regular party leaders. The Democratic Party that America saw on television that year and the platform it adopted seemed out of step with mainstream Democratic leaders. We felt the backlash in the elections.

I was a 35-year-old candidate for lieutenant governor that year. As a loyal Democrat, I attended every party rally I could in the fall. But it was right lonesome; I was often the only top statewide candidate there. Leading Democrats were so upset by what had happened in the nominating process and at the convention that they stayed away from party activities in droves. As a result, we got a licking in November. I won my race, but we lost the governorship for the first time in the 20th century. And Jesse Helms was elected that year to the U.S. Senate.

The Democratic Party has done a lot to make itself more democratic. We no longer have winner-take-all primaries and caucuses. We have made a special place for young people, women and minorities in our party organizations. The decision we made 26 years ago to include in the Democratic convention and nominating process our top elected officials and party leaders who get out the vote is consistent with that history.

I don't know how the superdelegates will vote this year. None of us will know until they actually vote in Denver, though I expect the superdelegates will split in a way not too different from the votes in the states and the nation as a whole.

But I do know that the Democratic Party needs these elected officials and party leaders to be involved. They need to help choose our nominee, shape our platform and return home from the convention invested in the nominee's campaign -- on fire to help the Democratic Party win in November.

Yet it's not enough just to win. We have to lead America, and we have to govern successfully. That is another reason our commission created the superdelegates. We saw what happened in Jimmy Carter's administration. President Carter was a good man with the best of intentions. But he came to Washington without a good working relationship with Democratic members of Congress, which played a big part in his administration's problems.

I am proud of both of the candidates who are headed toward our convention, as I was of my original choice, John Edwards. But we Democrats should not kid ourselves. This is going to be a close, tough election. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, will have broad support. To win the general election, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will need every bit of enthusiasm and hard work they can get from Democrats across the country. Having the confidence and all-out efforts of governors, members of Congress and effective state party leaders may well provide the margin of victory.

Too often, the Democratic Party has been split between its grass-roots activists on one side and its elected officials and party leaders on the other. It's important to remember: We need both wings to fly.

The writer served four terms as governor of North Carolina, from 1977 to 1985 and from 1993 to 2001.

format edit by gf

Comments

HLW

Thanks for re-posting this, it's a good explanation. We don't recommend wholesale repasting of published articles as it's not fair use and violates copyright. Jim Hunt may let it slide but WaPo may be upset. Two procedural matters. When quoting use the little smiley face blockquote to frame the quoted text and provide a link to the original source.

Thanks, Greg :D

....but I have a question and I don't want it to start a flame war.

Obama has accumulated his own nice share of supers. It doesn't look like Clinton can win unless she either has magical powers OR really will browbeat some supers into switching back to her. Now that this is being discussed so openly do you think some supers will be more inclined to vote for Obama if they want to instead of falling prey to threats/cajoling....whatever?I read the negative right-wing mess about Hillary and dismiss it, but I've also seen and heard Bill on the campaign trail and can imagine at least some of the ugliness is true.

I think the supers should vote their conscience, but I also think more and more of them will vote for Barack Obama and that number only gets larger the closer we get to the convention. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't like the system and I think it needs to be revisited, but I think we have to work with the system we've been given for the time.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I may be out of touch with the inner-stream

I was going to say "mainstream," but am not entirely sure what that is at this stage. My impression, however, is that few of the superdelegates would choose to buck the voters. I think the hue and cry would be extremely unpleasant for the superdelegates themselves and for the state. I think there would be a hell of a backlash.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

BULLSHIT

Super delegates have no place in the Democratic process. If we want to include these party leaders lets just add delegates to the process and let these people compete for slots just like the rest of us.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

All well and good

But we can't change that for this cycle, now can we?



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

you give up too easily

We can always take the convention by force, storm the podium and throw all the super delegates out of the convention center.

Wait, that sounds like the last Green Party convention I went to.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Oh...but that sounds like so much fun!

We could call it "The Perfect Storm".....or has that one already been taken?

I do not like the system, but the longer this goes on the more I get the sense that the Clintons do not have the power and control that some are saying. I honestly think it's all bluff and bluster. I really do not care for either of them, so maybe I just don't want to believe that they have any power or control.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Why?

Most if not all of the "superdelegates" have already faced an election of one type or another much more involved and involving many more people than being picked as a delegate at a district or state convention. They have faced public election, or in the case of state party officals, being elected within the party.
They have already passed a higher level of inspection than a covention elected delegate will. We have already elected them and trust them with either our government or our party. Seems to me they have already been vetted and have already pass their test.
Just my thoughts.

Let me rephrase this:

Too often, the Democratic Party has been split between its grass-roots activists on one side and its elected officials and party leaders on the other. It's important to remember: We need both wings to fly.

Too often, the Democratic Party's elected officials and party leaders forget that it was grassroots activists that gave them their power in the first place, primarily so the will of the people can be heard. It's important for them to remember: regardless of whether it's conscience or wisdom driving the decision, if an elected official votes against the wishes of a clear majority of his/her constituency, there will be a price to pay.

I wish this was true....

...if an elected official votes against the wishes of a clear majority of his/her constituency, there will be a price to pay.

But it doesn't seem to matter to some folks like Mike McIntyre...who often voted with the Republicans and is and has been a hard core Blue Dog. He has no one running against him (Primary) and generally easily defeats any Republican. Several otherDem NC Congressmen said to me "every now and then Mike votes with us...usually we have to drag him along."

Stan Bozarth

latest polls

bradford
I had kind of doubted the pundits' contention that Hillary and Obama beating each other to hell would cause either or both to slide precipitously in polls against McCain. But the latest Zogby poll out this morning shows both losing to him. If the poll can be believed - and there's always doubt until a couple more polls agree, IMHO - Dems' and idependents' disdain of current Republican idiocy seems to be taking a back seat to the bitter internecine feud.
I had been hoping our two factions could fight fair to the end and then unite. But if we're so bitter now, including here, where most of us agree on policy matters, will we be able to come together after the convention, and will that be too late?
Obama said pretty forcefully in a speech this morning that he will stop the war. I'm starting to think it's imperative that B and H stop this crap and settle who's going to be the nominee, or else all everyone has worked for, and all Bush has done to inavertently help, might be lost and we'll get another prez who automatically thinks trigger before diplomacy. Not that either Hillary or Obama would be my first choice in a more liberal world, but they're the only hopes at the moment, and I hate to see us blow it. Besides, a weak Dem running for prez in November won't help down the ticket, where we also need a lot of change. Can one of them be a statesman? Is there too much hubris even if McCain keeps rising in the polls?

bradford

It's obvious to me that Betsy is right -

even if we don't like the super-delegate part of our party system, we're stuck with it, for at least this election cycle. We can work within the system to change it for the next time, but for now, I don't see it changing, unless there is an organized effort starting at county conventions, etc. But seriously - I just don't see it happening.

That said, I think it's a stupid idea, and whoever said upstream that they should have to win their seats just like any other delegate is much more to my liking.

Also - a random thought about conventions that may or may not be true - I believe that pledged delegates only owe their allegiance on the first vote, and after that, if there is not a clear nominee, they are free to vote another way. Is that true?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Honestly, I don't know about your last question

Back to the first part....I'm curious who pushed for the current system in the first place. I know the basic story behind it, but I was wondering. I think that Howard Dean is just the kind of man who would listen to the will of the people of we said we wanted a better system. Do we start now, or do we wait to see how it plays out? Might other problems arise closer to or at the convention? When does the party make these decisions? We might only have a year or two.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The smoke filled room

The smoke filled room gave us FDR and Harry Truman. Slick run primaries gave us Jimmy Carter in 1976 [ a great and tallented man that was a disaster as President] and Walter Mondale in 1984, the worst nominee this party put forth in the 20th century.
The problem with the grassroots is they tend to focus on one issue or problem and not take into account the "Big Picture"
That is where the supers come it. To look over the complete picture,not just bits and pieces.

I don't trust people who don't trust "the grass roots"

The veiled elitism in your statement does not belong anywhere in the Democratic Party, in my opinion. I realize that the rules of the Party say we've got super delegates. It doesn't mean I like it. I think it should be changed. As a member of the party, as an official of the party, and a delegate to the local convention, I could write a resolution to try to change it. If enough folks did that, it would change. It's a strategy to consider. I'm not sure it's worth it this year. But it's something to consider.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Elitism?

Everyday I deal with people in my local party that are great, hard workers and are great people but they focus on one issue. I call them "cause"people . They are great, but their narrow concern can't drive the whole party. Someone has to take all the "causes" of the "cause" people and mold it into a program that works. That is all I am trying to say, and I don't know what is so elitist about that.
I don't know where you got that I don't trust the grass roots, I just wish that many of them would let their roots spread to more than just one or two issues.

Nicely put

and I think where we've fallen apart in the past is that the big picture people don't always recognize or acknowledge the power and importance of the individual cause people and their causes.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

But this is not really relevant to the discussion:

Everyday I deal with people in my local party that are great, hard workers and are great people but they focus on one issue. I call them "cause"people . They are great, but their narrow concern can't drive the whole party. Someone has to take all the "causes" of the "cause" people and mold it into a program that works.

First of all, Democratic voters (and caucusers) are not going to unite behind a one-issue candidate. It's just not going to happen. Our interests are extremely diverse, and a hopeful primary candidate better have a monster of a platform or he/she is going home pretty quickly.

The issue of superdelegates has come up now because, for all practical purposes, Clinton and Obama are equals. They both have broad platforms which don't diverge from the national party's platform, they're both U.S. Senators, they both represent a "first" (female President, black President), they both have positive and negative electability factors, and they're in a pretty damned close race between each other.

So...there is no major difference between the two that would require a "correction" by the superdelegates to preserve the party or the country itself. Unless there's some information the supers know that we (the voters) don't, and keeping that info from us would be elitist as hell. But let's assume there isn't an "Oh my God!" lurking in there.

After all that is said and done, what's left? Politics. Not party politics, but individual back-scratching politics, that the supers don't want to discuss. It may be the oldest profession in history, but in this case, whoring is not a victimless crime. It's robbing the people of their voice, and there's been more than enough of that for the last eight years.

This is where I got it.

The problem with the grassroots is they tend to focus on one issue or problem and not take into account the "Big Picture"

It's patently untrue. There are sectors of the "grassroots" that do that, certainly, but I too, work with my local party, and have for a long time. I've watched the grassroots here work to build a "little engine that could" among the red, red republican majority in this county. Just about the only issue that everyone in our local party agrees on is that we are Democrats. And that's enough to unite us to work together, and stand together.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Balance James

There just needs to be a balance is all I am saying. As our founders set up, a check and balance. I see the elected delagate as the house, and the supers as the senate. They both have their place and they create a balance. That is all.

the paradox

if you throw out all the "insiders" and replace them with the 'grassroots" people, what have the "grassroots" people become?

Grassroots =

We the people. All of us, not just some of them.

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I would have thought that the insiders - if they're all they're cracked up to be - could have shaped public opinion along the way to the nomination. They're supposed to be the party's leaders, right? I don't see many of them leading.

Well...that's just wrong

You seem to be saying all supers are DNC insiders while many are elected officials and they are doing their job. That job does not include swaying we the people to vote for their choice for president. Not all supers are DNC officials in each state. I can imagine the gnashing of teeth if Easley (or any of the others) started marketing his choice for pres to the citizens of NC. They are leading (most of them) and they are doing the jobs they were elected to do. Voting as supers is a side obligation/right/responsibility.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It's only wrong if I agree with you

which I don't.

If we have to have the god-forsaken super model in the first place, let the "supers" exercise their influence upfront. If Mike Easley has a compelling case to make for one candidate, let's hear it. Heck, let's see him campaign for that candidate with full-throated enthusiasm.

But if after all his case-making the people say, "well, Mike, we think you're wrong on this one" ... then Mike should go along with the popular sentiment of the state he governs.

I'm not saying all supers are DNC insiders. I'm saying that no matter who they are, and I know a bunch of them, they shouldn't be able to trump the democratic process.
I know that's not how it works, but we're not talking about how it works. At least I'm not. I'm talking about how it doesn't work.

PS I'd gladly accept the kind of teeth gnashing you describe instead of the kind of teeth gnashing I'm doing right now.

Grrrrrrrr.

I would rather Mike Easley govern North Carolina

He can't do that if he's running a PR firm for a pres candidate. Your initial statement didn't seem to be saying you wanted a simple statement from them. I want us to stop arguing (not the two of us....it's too much fun hehe) about the super model (I like that one) and work to change it for next cycle. Here's the reason why the popular vote model works for Democrats: We are so diverse as a party and so varied with our experiences that we can see the big picture and make this decision on our own. The other thing we need to embrace is the fact that if we do nominate an absolute, utter disaster of a candidate and he or she just happens to win election, we have got to primary him or her instead of handing the White House back to the Republicans.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You are right

Death to the supermodel. Long live the supermodel. We'll tackle that monstrosity next year.

Hi.

Outsiders > Insiders

When I started with the local party I was an outsider, now after several years of involvement I am in the local party leadership. All the insiders were outsiders at one time. They became involved, worked and gained the trust of the people around them. They were elected to leadership positions.
Now, because they choose to work and lead, they are insiders.
It is the process,todays outsiders are tomorrows insiders. It is the way we grow and change. An outsider can choose to stay on the outside and yell and scream at the top of their voices and what can they change.
Change comes from the outside,but they have to be willing to work their way into the "inside" to really make it happen.

Again, our opinions greatly differ.

You can count me as one of those who thought Howard Dean an inappropriate leader or the Democratic Party (or the country, for that matter).

That is, until I spent some time actually reading/listening to him (instead of gobbling up the choice snippets the MSM prepared for me) and evaluated his approach(es) to engaging Democrats nationwide. The man's a frickin' genius. We're lucky to have him leading our party, and we'd be lucky to have him as a President.

There. I said it.

Living in a place where alot of votes didn't count

My problem with Dean stems from living in a place [ Carteret county] where we had a massive failure of voting machines during early voting and lost over 4000 votes in the 2004 election.
After going thru all that, I am outraged that the voters of Michigan and Fla are having their votes disgarded by the party. Hell, Fla was a set up by the GOP State House and Georgie boy's brother.
Howard Dean, as leader of this party has the MORAL obligation to make this right. Period.
Until he does, he is just a hack.
It has nothing to do with Obama or Clinton, it has to do with right.
Alot of what I have heard on this blog today has been about insider and outsiders, and grassroots, and such.

How about several hundred thousand people that have been told by their party that your state screwed up so your vote doesn't count. Talk about wrong.
Where is Howard Dean standing up for them?

Why

Why is it the responsibility of Howard Dean to fix a problem created by a small group of people from Michigan and Florida knowingly breaking rules.

They were told "Dont do it or you wont get delegates." Then they were told "Change or you wont get delegates". Then they did it, and complained because they werent going to be given delegates.

I dont think the voters in those states should be punished for the actions of a few, but those elected officials are at fault not Dean.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I think you're correct. But if you weren't...

by the previous commenter's logic, remember all the candidates could carry some blame for signing the pledge saying they wouldn't campaign there.

But IMHO, if they really wanted to fix something, they should think up a better primary schedule, maybe one where states rotate every few years based on some mathematic formula through set of primaries for a few months. Now, that would mean someone would have to devise such a system and convince everyone to follow it, but still...

Jeebus.

How about several hundred thousand people that have been told by their party that your state screwed up so your vote doesn't count. Talk about wrong.
Where is Howard Dean standing up for them?

You are really all over the map.

That's got nothing to do with Howard Dean, and it's got nothing to do with the super delegate issue, either.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

It doesn't?

So much of what I have heard about the supers has been that they don't dare overturn the popular vote and pleadged delegates or their will be hell to pay.
But what about the votes in Michigan and Fla.? Those delegates will not be seated.
What makes their vote worth any less than the votes people are worried about the supers overruling?
Primary dates are set by state governments not state parties.Is this the fault of the state houses in both Fla. and Michigan, hell yes it is. But is it the fault of all good democrats that voted. NO !!!!!

As for this not being Howard Dean's fault, I disagree, he is the LEADER of this party.
As another leader of this party, Harry Truman said, " the buck stops here."

Howard Dean owes nothing to Fla. or Michigan, he owes nothing to Clinton or Obama, but he owes all the good democrats in those 2 states their votes.

On todays thread about Wright, there was much concern about them not having represention. Well how about the rights of the people of 2 states to be represented in picking the next president of the United States? How about their rights?

This could have been fixed months ago, but everyone figured this primary would be done long before now and it wouldn't matter. So nobody worried about it. Well now it is here.We are headed to a convention that will have no clear winner,and that could be the biggest disaster since 1968.

Howard Dean, as leader, needs to step up and lead.

Or he needs to listen to Harry Truman on another point.

If he can't stand the heat, he needs to get out of the kitchen.

With all due respect, HLW

Howard Dean is leading. He is following the agreed upon rules of the party. He can't just change them because two states decided they'd go their own way and hold their primaries whenever they felt like it. The Party has rules to which both Florida and Michigan agreed. They knew that this would happen, and they chose to hold their primaries early anyhow. In the case of Florida, it might be because of the Republican governor being a butthead, but in Michigan there is no excuse.

At any rate, Howard Dean is following the rules of the Party. It is Michigan and Florida and Hillary Clinton that want to bend the rules.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I see we must agree to disagree

Linda,
I guess a good amount of my life's personal leadership was in my profession of 20 years as a captain of a charter service. I had to make choices everyday that concerned peoples safety and their enjoyment.

I still view life from the bridge of my boat, making choices, many easy, many difficult.

Somedays were calm and you could go anywhere you wished, but somedays were rough, nasty weather and you had to take what the weather bought.Sometimes you just had to alter course to smooth out the ride, sometimes you had to alter course as a matter of safety.

That being said, Howard Dean is the captain of this party.He is resposible for it's safety, and for it's smooth sailing. We have 2 large states that this party will need to win in November no matter who has the nomination. Without at least 1 of them we lose. Period no debate, do the math.

If we drive at this iceberg,full ahead, no change in course, we will be like Captain Smith and the Titanic and we will founder. On this point I have no doubt. Whoever is nominated can win the battle, but lose the war.

Dean has it within his power to alter course. Not a drastict change, but a compromise. And if either campaign balks at this, he must do what it will take to not loose both of these states in November.
There is, pardon the pun, no black or white here, the final result will need to be a shade of gray.

I have no wish to cheat or withhold the nomination from anyone. I know that if this stands, it will put whomever is the nomimnee behind the eight-ball before they leave the gate.

Dean must lead this party thru this if we are to win.
He must wield a sharp sword and cut the Gordenon knot.

Only then will this party be whole, with all 50 of it's parts. If we leave them out, we leave ourselves out.

HLW

I don't think it should be up to just Howard Dean. At this point, because the rules were set out - and agreed upon - they should be taken up by the Convention. Or by a Special committee of the DNC. As a party, we can't be a dictatorship; it can't be about just one man - and that's why I think Dean's tenure as Chair has been so successful; he hasn't made it about him. His grassroots strategy has energized our base faster and more vigorously than I expected. (Though I suspect that some of the candidates in the field have something to do with that as well.) He can't suddenly turn to the imperious DNC leader on high and change things. It must be the Will of the Party. And by that, I mean the duly elected and legally seated delegates at the convention. Or whatever mechanism that has been set in place by the party.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

If that is the case

Can you say President-Elect McCain?
Because if this party loses both Michigan and Fla, it is game over.
After a while someone has to quit trying to run eveything by committee and lead.

If FDR had run this country in the manner this party is being currently run, we would all be speaking German now.

I am not asking for dictatorship, I am asking for leadership, to lead this party to a compromise, that is not a dictatorship ,that is democracy.

If we don't find a common ground on this issue and seat those delegates, we are sunk.

It isn't nor should it be Howard Dean that calls the shot, but it is up to Howard Dean to LEAD this party to a compromise over this issue that will put it behind us.

Since when have we become so inflexible, that we can't adjust our heading. I see no where that it is written that this an absolute.

I didn't say they shouldn't be seated,

I said that the issue should be voted on at the convention, by the duly elected delegates of the states who followed the rules. If we can't trust the convention delegates to do the right thing by FL and MI, then we can't trust them to nominate a President or set a Platform, and we might as well go back to the damn smokefilled room. (I am certainly not advocating that.) If I were a delegate at the convention, I would consider it a honor and a duty to vote wisely on that issue. If no re-vote happens I would choose to seat FL, and not MI, because FL had their primary foisted on them by a Republican governor and legislature. MI, however, has a Democratic governor, who should have known better. Also, Obama played by the rules and removed his name from the ballot in MI, as all of the candidates were asked to do. So voters in MI didn't have the opportunity to vote for him.

On the issue of super-delegates, I'm afraid that if the supers take away the will of the people and override the popular vote, you will see a mass exodus from the Democratic party. And we'd deserve it.

Just my opinion.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Current thinking on supermodels

Assign half the delegates of MI and FL to each candidate. That's the scenario that makes the most sense to me and it seems likely to happen. The supers will do whatever they want anyway. And from my recollection of polls in those states, a 50-50 split isn't all that far from the projected outcomes.

One of the other options I thought would work

is to wait until all primaries are over and then assign MI and FL in the same proportion as the overall popular vote. This way, they get seated, they get to vote and yet they don't change the outcome....unless they put one candidate over the top.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

How can you do it there?

The convention only last 4 days and this one issue would take up a week.And would be like setting off a nuke in the middle of the floor.The whole convention would be about this and nothing else.
Between Fla and Michigan you are talking several hundred delagates.What are they to do? Sit on the front porch, bags packed, ready to run to the airport and catch the next flight to Denver?
Or do they all go to Denver,spending about $2000.00 of their own money if they do it on the cheap for airfare, hotel and meals,and wait to see what happens on the floor?
I can see a pattern in your post that explains your postion to me. You believe in pure democracy,that everyone has an equal vote, and votes on every little issue. While being very admrable, it is not a very practical system. That is why we live in a representive republic. The people empower their leaders with the power to lead.
And this was a rule of the executive committee, not something set at the last convention, so what the executive committee has done with the leadership of Mr.Dean, the executive committee can undo with Mr. Dean's leadership.

It is up to them to fix this.It is not the delagate's charge to do so.

We live in an imperfect world,and I am sure it will be an imperfect fix, but something must be done by the leadership, and done soon.

If not,the convention will be all about this, and not about it's charge, nominating the next President and Vice-President of this country.

No, if it were pure democracy,

We wouldn't even have conventions and delegates. We'd just elect nominees by the popular vote. We wouldn't have delegates and superdelegates. It would really be one man, one vote.

As it is, the only people who can be delegates are those who can afford to go to Denver, and stay on their own expense. That lets me out, and a lot of loyal Democrats that I know. But it's okay - that's why we have the representative delegate system. I believe in that system, and I want the delegates from MI and FL to be seated, but I want it to be fair to all of the voters in those states. I don't think the primaries that were held were fair because many did not vote because they (rightly) thought their vote wouldn't count. In Michigan, many of them knew that the candidate(s) for whom they wished to vote were not on the ballot. So if there is not a re-vote, there must be a fair way to distribute the delegates, and there must be a fair way to seat the delegates.

I think we actually agree on the essentials, HLW. We just disagree on methods and maybe just semantics. One thing we definitely agree on is that there must be a Democrat in the White House come Jan. 2009. I'll do everything I can to make that happen. (despite being accused of using Republican Talking Points. Sheesh.)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Use them when they work.

The problem with our form of government and party, is that change is by evolution not revolution.It moves in a slow and mind breaking pace. But,that keeps us from making huge mistakes most of the time, but it doesn't keep us from making mistakes.

I think the founders, wisely, built a cumbersome system,to keep it's pace slow and steady.

They tried to make a system that moves at such a snail's pace, that by the time the decision is made, that most of the emotion people have with an issue has had the time to be replaced with thought.

On the issue of Fla. and Michigan, I don't want to see the party, to quote the old saying, " strain on a nat, but swollow a camel" That we are going to get so wrapped up trying to settle this at the convention,that we blow ourseleves up. That is why I feel this needs to be over and done way before the convention starts.

As for GOP talking points, if they work for your arguement, use all the ammo you got.

For as another old saying I like states, and it certainly would apply to GOP talking points.
" If you can't dazzle them with brillance, baffle them with bullshit"

Yes it is.

Today on this post we have taked alot about the people, and the grassroots, and the insiders and outsiders. What is more wrong than telling someone who voted, your voted doesn't count.
Everyone know that Fla was a GOP set-up, yet we choose to punish the democrats of Fla for the actions of the Fla.GOP house and Georgie boy's brother.
I don't know what got in the crowd in Michigan.

However, I have a bigger question for you. This was done to protedt Iowa and New Hampshire. What maakes them so special that they always have to go first?
Just because they always have isn't a very good reason.

Hundreds of thousands of good democrats are being told their vote doesn't count because of an action of a few that they could not control.

If that is democracy, stop the train, I want to get off.

Come November, when we need them, I just hope the people of Fla and Michigan don't turn to the democratic party, and Howard Dean and quote that famous quote from Cartman on "Southpark"

" SCREW YOU GUY'S,I'M GOING HOME"

Okay, let's say you want to be President,

However, I have a bigger question for you. This was done to protect Iowa and New Hampshire. What makes them so special that they always have to go first?
Just because they always have isn't a very good reason.

but you've only been able to scrape up a few thousand dollars in start-up money, because you can fit the number of people who know you in one of those Holiday Inn banquet rooms. You don't have a lot of money (yet), but you have energy and a small but dedicated group of followers. New Hampshire is tiny geographically, with a population less than 1/2 of 1% of the country. Meaning, you can get out there, shake hands and talk with folks almost as easily as a millionaire could.

If you had to start in Florida, with its 18 million people and 65,000+ square miles, you wouldn't stand a chance against the millionaire and his tv ads.

Hundreds of thousands of good democrats are being told their vote doesn't count because of an action of a few that they could not control.

Then they need to learn how to control them better.

That has happened before I must admit.

What you have laid out has happened twice I think.
Both times it was on an episode of
"The West Wing"

"It's a joke son"

Foghorn Leghorn

That's what I get

for trying to illustrate the answer your question with a fairy tale. ;/

I don't agree with one of Governor Hunt's main ideas

In creating superdelegates, the Democratic Party recognized the expertise that its top holders of public office have gained by running for office themselves. They are experts at winning

Actually less than half of the superdelegates are elected officials. We have 794 delegates and less than than 300 congressmen and senators plus about 30 governors. The rest are DNC members and "distinguished party leaders" who likely have never won an elected office. I am pretty sure that characterization fits NC's DNC members.

I would also alter Hunt's final metaphor:

Too often, the Democratic Party has been split between its grass-roots activists on one side and its elected officials and party leaders on the other. It's important to remember: We need both wings to fly.

Our grassroots activists may be on one wing and elected officials the other, but I see our party leadership as the body, the bridge that lets the two wings works together. At least, in my view, that's the way it should work.
Jerry Meek has tried in the past and continues to try to open lines of communication between the rank and file and our elected officials. Jim Hunt opposed Meek, instead supporting a more establishment candidate. I suspect that the top down model of leadership would have continued had Meek not become party chair.
Hunt's ideas regarding superdelegates and party leadership are a little too patrician for me.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

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