Monday, February 25, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro on superdelegates:

She's a Clinton supporter. Excerpts;
... superdelegates ... are the ones who can bring together the most liberal members of our party with the most conservative and reach accommodation.

... superdelegates were created to lead, not to follow. They were, and are, expected to determine what is best for our party and best for the country.

... delegate totals from primaries and caucuses do not necessarily reflect the will of rank-and-file Democrats.

at the Iowa caucuses ... Mr. Obama ... won his delegates fair and square, but those delegates represent the wishes not only of grassroots Democrats, but also Republicans and independents.
Regarding her first point: Sometimes the political situation demands a liberal or a conservative approach. Forcing an accomodation between left and right frequently leads to muddle, an uninterested electorate, and not much change.

Regarding her last point: If it's objectionable that Iowa allows non-Democrats to participate, why does the Democratic Party allow it to take place? "Fixing" the problem via superdelegates is a peculiar way to address this "problem".

At the end, Ferraro takes the position that if superdelegates are to reflect the will of their constituents (i.e. be generally for Obama) then they should also have the convention reflect the will of Florida and Michigan by seating those delegates. As she puts it, "leaders of their state parties brought them to the polls on a day that had not been endorsed by the leaders of our national party". But earlier in her essay she is talking about superdelegates being "created to lead". So who is leading whom? There are three orthogonal thrusts to the essay regarding what criteria should be used by various subgroups - each managing to be favorable to Clinton. It's all very confusing.

UPDATE: Various blogger reactions here 1, 2, 3, 4.


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