posted on January 02, 2010 10:57
A national Democratic Party reform that Jim Hunt pioneered nearly thirty years ago is under attack.
And state Senator Dan Blue is defending the reform.
There is some irony here. When Hunt was Governor and Blue was House Speaker in 1993-94, the two didn’t always get along. They clashed especially on Hunt’s crime program in 1993.
Now Blue is a member of the Democratic Change Commission, which was formed last August by President Obama. The commission has recommended that so-called superdelegates be eliminated.
The superdelegates are elected officials and party leaders who go to the convention automatically as unpledged delegates.
They were created by the Commission on Presidential Nominations, which Governor Hunt chaired in 1981-82. David Price – then a professor at Duke – was the commission’s staff director.
This year’s commission would require superdelegates to vote in accordance with how their states vote in primaries or caucuses.
“The elimination of free-agent superdelegates comes in response to the outcry from many within the party during the 2008 primary fight when then Sen. Hillary Clinton made the argument to unpledged delegates that it was their responsibility to not vote as their state had voted but rather cast their votes for the candidate they thought would be the best person to represent the party.
“Obama allies insisted this was an attempt to suborn the will of the people. Clinton loyalists shot back that the creation of superdelegates was for just such a purpose -- a close race in which the will of the people is very closely divided.”
Dan Blue dissented, saying "There is no escape when something unforeseen occurs."
That’s exactly why Hunt’s commission created independent and unbound delegates.
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