March 11, 2016

ROLL CALL: Bernie Sanders’ Superdelegate Chutzpah.

Bernie Sanders and his legions are furious about the possibility that superdelegates could help Hillary Clinton win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. There’s a word for that: chutzpah.

For several decades, Sanders chose to set himself apart from the Democratic Party. He held himself up as a paragon of non-partisan virtue and has charged that leading members of the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, are essentially corrupt, inept or both.

Now that the Democratic Party’s nomination rules favor his rival, Clinton, the #Bern crowd is angrily denouncing the way Democrats select their nominee. The vast majority of the 4,700-plus delegates to the Democratic convention are pledged to support the choice of primary and caucus voters in their state or district. But there’s a set of 714 “superdelegates”— elected Democrats, party officials and party elders — who vote for the candidate of their own choice at the convention. In at least one case, a Clinton-backing superdelegate has reported receiving harassing messages from Sanders supporters.

While Sanders and his official campaign have been careful to walk a fine line on the question of superdelegates — after all, his very narrow path to the nomination would likely require him to flip a substantial number of them to get a majority of the overall delegate pool — his allies are attacking the system. And he’s done nothing to contradict them.

Obama was able to flip the superdelegates because he was black, and there was a lot of enthusiasm for electing the first black president. What does Bernie bring to the table that will compare?

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