A former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee slammed the party’s convention rules, which may allow Hillary Clinton to win the presidential nomination even if Sen. Bernie Sanders wins more grassroots delegates.
The existence of the so-called “super delegates,” who are mostly members of the Democratic establishment, has “twisted” and “perverted” the intention of primary and caucus voting and allowed for a “much less democratic process,” former spokesman Terry Michael said in a Sunday radio interview.
The DNC should consider changing the party’s nominating rules to temper the impact of unpledged delegates, also known as super delegates, he said.
Michael, the DNC’s former press secretary, is director of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism. He was speaking during an interview on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” the popular weekend talk radio program broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia. Klein doubles as Breitbart’s senior investigative reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief.
Klein asked Michael whether he believes the DNC should change the rules regarding unpledged super delegates.
I do think that probably we should go back to selecting all the delegates based on the preferences expressed in the primaries and caucuses. That’s not likely to happen. This may be a pivotal year in which we reconsider these rules that have been in place since 1988. But the important thing is that the process has ended up doing just exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do.
It was supposed to be a more democratic process, a more inclusive process in which the voters get to decide who gets the presidential nomination. And the super delegate thing sort of twisted that.
There were good intentions with the super delegates. Because if you want to get a candidate who will not be a drag on the other people running for office down the ballot – governors, senators, congressmen. That’s what was a problem for the Democratic party in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
But a good intention got perverted and what we end up with is a less democratic process, a process that doesn’t allow for outsiders like Bernie Sanders to gather enough delegates even if he shows in the primaries and caucuses that he is a more popular candidate.
Michael explained to Klein that super delegates have “an unanticipated power. Because they comprise about 15 percent of the 4,500 or so delegates to the convention.”
He said establishment types have allied themselves with Clinton to help ensure that she gets the nomination regardless of whether Sanders wins in the primaries and caucuses:
They were supposed to – if there were a large field of candidates and nobody came into the convention with a simple majority – they were supposed to be able to select someone who would be electable in November. But what’s happened is that a lot of these super delegates are establishment Democratic party members and they aligned with Hillary Clinton. And that meant that Bernie Sanders, even if he was winning primaries and caucuses, was not getting the votes of these super delegates who were committing themselves in advance to Hillary Clinton.