Bernie Sanders and the superdelegates

Senator Bernie Sanders won another primary on Tuesday and once again we are stuck with a graphic on MSNBC that shows the pledged and unpledged “superdelegates” aggregated into one total.

superdelegate 1Senator Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton are separated by approximately 290 pledged delegates. That gap is not insurmountable. But the air of inevitability that the combined total shown night after night onscreen during the media coverage of the Democratic Presidential primary certainly gives the impression that the show is over and the credits will start running at any moment.

Funny thing. Those superdelegates, who were a creation of the Hunt Commission and former four term North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, may, as Governor Hunt said himself be needed, because superdelegates are “…absolutely fair and necessary to win…because we are talking about winning elections.”

Indeed they are, Governor Hunt.

Secretary Clinton and her campaign has been using her “personally pledged” superdelegates as a cudgel and a shield since before the primary started.

With hundreds of personally pledged “superdelegates” supposedly in the bag since last summer, her campaign and the media have been claiming that this race is all but over since last fall.

Why bother running a race at all?  She can’t be challenged. She’s a juggernaut.

Look, they say, she already has all of these votes from party leaders and elected officials from across the country.

She’s a shoo-in.

And then every time Bernie begins gaining momentum and closing the gap they say “look he may be closing the gap, but what does it matter? She already has these votes. It’s over.”

Funny thing on the way to the forum; however, those superdelegates (who really should be cut back in number and maybe not exist at all) may need to do their job as the Hunt Commission intended and pull the rug out from under Hillary and free us from a potential electoral disaster this fall.

At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary emerged on stage in Philadelphia, won the nomination, and gave her best Oscar winning Sally Field impersonation:

“The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it.  I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.” and then cue the Fleetwood Mac music. (As with most pop culture, it was not well understood at the time that Sally Field was doing a parody of herself. Perhaps Secretary Clinton will deliver her lines in Philadelphia and no one will know whether she is doing a parody, either.)  But I digress.

There is still a fly in the ointment for the Clinton campaign and maybe a few buzzards flying overhead as well.

Clinton has far worse polling numbers against Donald Trump than Bernie does.

If that trend continues through the convention, she could be the pledged delegate leader on July 25th and the owner of negatives through the roof, along with worse polling numbers than Sanders.

When that reality is combined with the irregularities in the primaries and the significant issues with the exits polls in a number of states versus the recorded results, one begins to wonder a bit more about the Iowa Caucuses and the questions raised by the Des Moines Register.

No analysis of Clinton’s real prospects in the fall are complete without handicapping them against the potential internal and collateral damage from her private server, her government emails, and her thousands of personal emails along with the odd crazy story emerging from the mists of her past such as the truth regarding her removal from the House side of the Watergate Committee. (I have it on very good authority that Clinton was actually “fired” because she had removed official papers from the Committee without authorization.)

So far the focus on her server and emails has stayed within the confines of whether she knowingly handled classified and unclassified material inappropriately, and if so what is the punishment. Naturally, she is aided in her defense because General David Petraeus was essentially given a slap on the wrist for spilling secrets to his lover. Former leaders of the State Department, Condi Rice and Colin Powell, both did something similar things with their emails, so it is in their self interest to support Clinton’s defense and they obviously would prefer no punishment whether it is retroactive or not.

To be clear, this is how the awful elites cover their behinds for blatant misconduct, while thousands of Americans rot in county jails because they cannot afford bail or court costs for misdemeanors such as traffic offenses. (Even more galling are the number of incarcerated Americans who have not been proven guilty of a crime, yet sit in jails because they cannot afford to pay bail.)

The truth regarding Secretary Clinton’s private server should include a discussion with a wider aperture and a deeper dimension that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. a) what is in her personal emails and were they all actually personal?; b) were her personal emails protected or were they potentially intercepted by private entities, a foreign government and/or domestic or a foreign intelligence service?;c)  if they were intercepted, what were the contents of the emails and what will it mean if she were to be elected President? For example, is she compromised in some heretofore unforeseen and/or undisclosed manner?;d) was her server hacked and if so are we holding the hacker?;  e) were any of her government emails intercepted by a foreign government, intelligence service, or private entity and if so, what will such a breach mean for America’s national security and the security of its allies?;  f) is Secretary Clinton guilty of some form of negligence regarding this matter?;  g) Is there a nexus between the government emails, the private emails, and the actions of the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during her tenure?

A number of high ranking, retired intelligence professionals with decades and decades of experience have seriously considered the issue of whether Clinton’s personal emails have been intercepted and/or her server hacked. A consensus has formed around these five points:

  • A major breach of security has occurred.
  • Classified information has very likely fallen into the hands of foreign agents.
  • A presidential candidate has been seriously compromised by this interception.
  • A presidential candidate may not have been truthful in testimony to Congress.
  • It is possible that foreign agents may be in a position to coerce cooperation by the next president.

In conclusion, we are facing a rather unique and odd situation for the Democratic Party, its potential nominees for President, and the future of our country.

Although many rightfully believe that the superdelegate system needs to be reformed and possibly eliminated as the recent state convention in Maine recommended, at this point they may be the votes capable of selecting the best and most formidable candidate against the putative GOP nominee, Donald Trump, in the fall.

Given this reality, readers of The Bern Report and supporters of Bernie Sanders need to do the following:

  1. If you live in a state that has not yet had a primary, or you have friends or family in such a state, encourage them to vote for Bernie Sanders.
  2. Attend and participate in the District conventions in your home state.
  3. Attend and participate in the State convention in your home state.
  4. Contact your state party and ascertain who the superdelegates are in your state.
  5. Contact those superdelegates and rationally and politely explain to them that the best candidate to win this fall’s election and win with a margin large enough to have coattails and thus win down ballot races is Senator Bernie Sanders.
  6. Write letters to the editors of local, regional and state papers and make the case that the best candidate to win this fall’s election ‑‑and win with a margin large enough to have coattails to win down ballot races‑‑ is Senator Bernie Sanders.

Voller 1Failure to do all we can when faced with the evidence hereinabove that Secretary Clinton’s campaign is severely flawed and is likely to lead to a disastrous victory by Donald Trump this fall means that we are negligent and we have not done all we can to ensure that the change that we believed in eight years ago not only continues, but actually manifests to an even greater extent in 2016 and beyond.




Randolph Voller

Randolph “Randy” Voller is the former Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party and the Chatham County Democratic Party as well as a four-term mayor of Pittsboro, NC. Randy has provided leadership on several local, regional, and state boards including as chairman of the Triangle Area Rural Planning Organization, and membership on the boards of the NC Housing Finance Agency, Advanced Energy Corporation, the North Carolina Juvenile Justice Grants Committee, the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation , the Chatham County Affordable Housing Task Force and Solid Waste Advisory Board, among others. Randy is a Leadership Triangle Goodmon Fellow, a 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellow (GMF) and a 1991 graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington with a degree in History, a minor in East Asian Studies and a member of the honors program. He also participated in the Latino Initiative with the UNC Center for International Understanding in 2010 and was twice named a "Home Town Hero" by WCHL. In 2009 Voller received the Carl E. Thompson distinguished service award from the Chatham County Human Relations Commission, and in 2013 the West Chatham NAACP awarded Voller their Humanitarian Service Award along with Chatham County’s School Superintendent, Robert Logan. Voller grew up in Northwest Indiana with his father Lot, his mother Viktoria, sisters Meredith and Cynthia and maternal grandfather Harry Danning. He is a graduate of Andrean High School and has resided in North Carolina since 1991. He lives in Pittsboro with his wife Lesley Landis and their chocolate labrador Karma.

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