February 11th, 2008
10:18 AM ET
6 years ago

Some superdelegates ‘uncomfortable’ with the spotlight

CNN

Watch two super delegates discuss their role in the process.

(CNN) – The tight presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has brought unaccustomed scrutiny to superdelegates, the Democratic Party insiders who may prove decisive in deciding the party’s presidential nomination this year.

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.

Two of these party insiders told American Morning anchor John Roberts Monday that they are ‘uncomfortable’ with their votes being the deciding factor.

“I think the best people to decide our nominee should be actual voters in primaries and caucuses,” said Maine superdelegate Sam Spencer, adding that the function of superdelegates was “somewhat outdated and not the most democratic way of doing things.”

CNN estimates Hillary Clinton already has the support of 224 out of the 796 superdelegates and Barack Obama has support from 135, leaving 437 up for grabs.

–CNN's Emily Sherman


Filed under: Delegates • superdelegates
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. abm Habibullah

    The person with most delegates should get the nomination. Super delegates should back off and respect rights of average voters. If somhow super delegates alter the nomination, I will not VOTE for that person in General election, nor I will give a penny to DNC ever.

    February 11, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Rules are Rules

    If the rules for Superdelegates are changed this late in the game, I hope Hillary goes to the Supreme Court – what a crock!

    February 11, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. linda hemmingsen

    so people want to change the super delegate status because obama hasn't as many , well this has been the way things have been run in the democratic party why does it have to change just because a black man is now running. Hasn;t he had every advantage from the free ride of the media. no one still knows anthing about him or what he is going to do or how he will pay for it. clinton had put everything out there.

    February 11, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. David, Gilbert Arizona

    The Super delegates were created because Teddy Kennedy opposed the incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980. It is established tradition that if the incumbent runs for a second term he or she runs unopposed. Teddy wasn't going to follow that trend so the DNC created super delegates in order to ensure a "spoiler" did not get the nomination.

    Super delegates are establishment's way of keeping grips on the party, regardless of what the actual populous chooses. This is why they hide in the shadows and shun the spot light.

    February 11, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. chuck

    What is interesting in this entire thing is that people forget or don't know that right now there isn't an election going on. There is a nomination process for the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. It isn't an election that happens in November.

    The Republican's in most states have a winner take all system and the "Party ellites" are able to become delegates to the convention "pledged" to the winner of the primary. They run against the average Joe's and Jane's at their state convention.

    The Democrat's seperate the "Party Elites" into super delegates who do not run for the seats that others involved in the party are able to run for. And the Democrats divide the state proportionally so that both candidates get some delegates from each state.

    So, I propose if you want to eliminate the superdelegates lets go to winner take all.

    Current count today under winner take all Clinton 1,179; Obama 883.

    Looks like the Democrat's rules have been favoring Obama.

    February 11, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. CHERYL

    THEY ARE PROBABLY AFRAID OF THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO NASTY!
    HILLARY IS THE ONLY ONE WITH THE EXPERIENCE AND BRAINS TO PULL IT OFF!
    BORACK IS A LOT OF TALK WITH NOTHING TO BACK IT UP!
    PLUS HE HAS A SHADY PAST WITH TOM REZKO!
    THE FACT THAT HE WILL NOT SALUTE THE FLAG SHOULD TELL PEOPLE SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!
    VOTE FOR HILLARY THE LOGICAL CHOICE AND SURE BET!!!!!!!!
    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Erik

    Everyone is talking about removing the superdelegates, when in fact this scenerio is the reason they were created. The party wanted to make sure that the nominee was someone that could win the general, not just the person that was popular with the activist base.

    February 11, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Kim, Sacramento, CA

    They should be uncomfortable – they have no right to be involved in the selection process of the nominee for President. The voice of the people needs to be heard only and the process of superdelegates – the equivilent of yester-years smoke filled rooms – needs to be done away with. The parties wonder why people don't want to get involved.... Well, I can tell them – it is because of things like this that makes people feel that their involvement doesn't mean anything and people really don't like to be dismissed.

    February 11, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. bean counter, Motor City, MI

    First we had hanging chads...
    then we had delegates that don't have a seat...
    next we have superdelegates.

    Perhaps there is a vast conspiracy

    February 11, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.