Monday, August 2, 2010

How the DNC saved the superdelegates

It's not often one breaks a national politics story from Maine, but my piece over at appears to be the first to call attention to the derailing of a key Democratic Party electoral reform last month.

Remember the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, when everyone got worried that unelected "superdelegates" might decide the race between Obama and Clinton, rather than the voters? There were calls to change the rules to take away these party luminaries' special powers, ensuring they would never overrule the electorate.

The body created to recommend reforms agreed with the critics, suggesting party big wigs should be required to cast their votes for a candidate assigned to them on the basis of electoral results. But as you'll see in my piece, the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee took a dim view of this suggestion. Barring a coup at the DNC meeting later this month, superdelegates are here to stay.

One strange event: while reporting this story, I received an anonymous call from a guy who insisted on giving me three "tips" (all of which proved false) and urged me to talk to three sources (none of whom returned messages.) They just don't make Deep Throats like they used to, I guess.

Also, by an odd coincidence, the piece posted within minutes of the Washington Post announcing it is selling Newsweek, and that editor Jon Meacham will be stepping down.

[Update, 8/3/2010: I like New York magazine's headline for this story. Also, some Maine Republicans found my piece and are trumpeting how "Dem Primary" is "Not in Voters' Hands," apparently unaware that their own caucus rules completely disenfranchise all rank and file voters, and that their state rules committee chose not to change them this year.]

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