Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Washington Monthly

The Washington Monthly

I found this Kevin Drum piece interesting. He speculates that Obama might win the Dem nomination only if the super delegates defect from Clinton, thinking they would do better in an Obama administration.

That is of course pure speculation, and who really knows what the super delegates are likely to do.

It seems that super delegates are current and former politicians, elected officials, senators, representatives, governors, and who knows what else. These are people with government credentials who likely want to stay in government, keep their job or find a new one in a new administration.

They can be motivated by any number of things. Some might be exemplary, as in a desire to continue as a public servant, with a genuine and open agenda. Some might be motivated by a wish, even a need, to keep or find another government job.

Many government jobs have great benefits, as in health care available to them, and not to the rest of us. Also, if I remember correctly, government employees do not contribute to Social Security, and so to the extent that their working lives are in government, they will receive reduced, if any, Social Security monthly payments upon retirement. Another retirement program exists for people in government jobs, and it is the interest of government employees to stay in that program or system in order to maximize their retirement benefits.

Clearly the motivation or agenda of so-called super delegates is different from that of the public electorate, made up of millions of us individuals who, on one part of a day, show up at a voting place, vote for someone they believe in , hope he or she wins, and then leave the voting place to return to the challenges of their day.

What interests me is that the awareness of the existence of super delegates has emerged from the shadows of political ignorance on the part of most of us who naively assumed that the will of the voters would determine the choice of the Dem nominee.

Like so many things in politics, the questions are the same; who knew about this and when did they know it? I don't remember it coming up in 2004. Has it only come up because the voters seem to be split almost evenly?

Are there superdelegates on the GOPher side?

Curious minds want to know.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

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