This whole notion of the Democratic “superdelegate” could become a serious factor in the campaign should the delegate count continue to be so close. Both Obama and Clinton have been courting the superdelegates, story from Political Intelligence:
Many of the superdelegates who could well decide the Democratic presidential nominee have already been plied with campaign contributions by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a new study shows.
“While it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials serving as superdelegates have received about $890,000 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years,” the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reported today.
About half the 800 superdelegates — elected officials, party leaders, and others — have committed to either Clinton or Obama, though they can change their minds until the convention.
Obama’s political action committee has doled out more than $694,000 to superdelegates since 2005, the study found, and of the 81 who had announced their support for Obama, 34 had received donations totaling $228,000.
Clinton’s political action committee has distributed about $195,000 to superdelegates, and only 13 of the 109 who had announced for her have received money, totaling about $95,000.
A video report on the superdelegates:
That’s serious money floating around, and what’s more, citizens have nothing to do with that part of the election. The whole concept of a superdelagate seems like an oxymoron to me, none of them are elected by actual voters, they just basically get to swing the election for the candidate they see fit.
Apparently, from what I gather, the concept of a superdelegate was born out of the concern that Democratic Party activists would steer the party away from the mainstream. If that were to be the case, the superdelegares could steer it back to middle ground in some respect.
However, I am sort of seeing the superdelegates stack up as an affront to the democratic process. I’m sure someone else, like Michael, will shed some light on this and expand upon my sentiments. Is it me or does the concept of a “superdelegate” seem un-Democratic?
This story from The Politico is interesting, it points out that despite the fact that the two leading Democratic candidates are an African-American and a woman, the power in the party is still held primarily by white males:
In an ironic twist to the historic Democratic nominating contest between an African-American and a woman, the balance of power may be held by a more familiar face: the white male.
According to a Politico analysis, close to half of the 700-plus Democratic superdelegates who could end up determining the party nominee are white men.
One Obama superdelegate, a House member, had sharp criticism for the superdelegate racial and gender makeup, a reaction that reflects the sensitivities surrounding the issue.
â€œItâ€™s still the old guard, the white men. They always want to control the outcome,â€ the superdelegate said. â€œBut this time, they wonâ€™t be able to do it.â€
The exact percentage of white males varies slightly depending on whether the penalized Michigan and Florida delegation superdelegates are counted, but the overall percentage is at least 46 percent. Overall, men of all races represent 64 percent of the partyâ€™s superdelegates.
Kind of flies in the face of the diversity the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for doesn’t it seem? I mean, people have been accusing the Republicans as being the “white male” club but perhaps that sword cuts both ways in terms of party power.