The AP headline read: Super delegates Help Clinton Expand Her Lead Despite NH Loss.
It was and is a complete fabrication. Another way of putting it would be fraud. Initiated by Clinton and the DNC and unfortunately aided and abetted by two ignorant AP reporters (and others like CNN) who didn't know ( or maybe didn't care) that they were being snookered and simply swallowed what was thrown at them. It would help if people who actually think they are reporters would check DNC rules regarding the use of super delegates. Especially since there has only been one time in the history of the Democratic party that super delegates ever cast a vote and that was 32 years ago in 1984. And even then it was to affirm the candidate who won the most pledged delegates in the primaries.
Because as of this moment,all those super delegates claimed by Clinton don't actually exist in terms of real votes. The only delegates that count right now and in all probability ever will count are pledged delegates won during the primaries, not super delegates.
CNN has also been doing it's share of inept reporting by perpetuating the fiction around Clinton's bogus superdelegate count .
Super delegates do not count towards anyone's delegate total because they don't actually exist and will never be cast unless an extraordinary set of circumstances arises at the convention circumstances that so far has only happened once before in the history of the Democratic Party. So in all likelihood super delegate votes will never be cast, something CNN is both too inept to know and too lazy to find out about.
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Super delegate declarations are also non-committal so any declarations made now count for nothing and carry no force of action even if super delegates were ever asked to cast a vote which is unlikely and has never happened. Clinton and the DNC know this.
But it's clear that the Democratic party establishment is willing to create the fiction and false impression that Clinton has a big delegate lead. She doesn't. Ignorant, incompetent journalists who have more in common with parrots than Woodward and Bernstein just happily repeat the fraud they are fed.
Hillary Clinton has no actual super delegate votes. Because based on Democratic Party rules and procedures super delegate votes don't count until the are cast at the convention, not before, and won't ever be cast unless they are asked to break a hopelessly deadlocked convention. They do not automatically vote as John King erroneously claimed on CNN and have never voted since 1984. In 2008 with much talk about superdelegates switching from Clinton to Obama then back to Clinton and with neither candidate even close to the 2/3 majority needed, even then superdelegates didn't vote. So the real story which CNN and other news organizations miss, is why is Clinton and the DNC claiming super delegate votes now as part of her delegate total when it's a sham, super delegates have no vote now, probably never will and the declarations are non-committal?
It's as much of a fraud as looking at a house you might buy, keep it under consideration, decide to keep looking but include the house in your financial statement as an asset even though you don't own it. Or writing a check post dated four months from now, unsigned and on a bank account that's not even open and claiming it as an asset.
It's not only fraud, it reeks of campaign dirty tricks in collusion with the Obama run DNC as part of Clinton's backroom deal with Obama, trying to give the illusion of Clinton leading by a substantial margin when she isn't. And it raises an interesting question: is Hillary Clinton and the DNC thinking about trying to steal the nomination?
This nonsense about super delegates is sheer political dishonesty with the Clinton campaign along with the help of the DNC who, as even David Gergen pointed out is in the tank for Clinton, trying to make it look like she's way ahead when she isn't.
The story as reported by two AP reporters, Hope Yen and Stephen Ohlemacher (yes, let's name names) had the opening line, "so much for Bernie Sanders big win in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton has picked up endorsements from 87 super delegates to the Democratic Conventions dwarfing Sanders gain in New Hampshire" .
Its total fiction since Sanders pledged delegates are real and the "endorsements" count for nothing in terms of actual votes so Clinton and the DNC establishment successfully played the two AP reporters for stooges. As well as John King and others at CNN.
Clinton saying she picked up 87 super delegates after New Hampshire has the same affect and same weight and real influence on the nomination as if she had picked up 87 empty beer cans. Well,no, that's not true because the beer cans would be worth more if they had a 5c deposit.
So here are the facts and the truth about super delegates based on Democratic Party rules and procedures that you won't get from Clinton or the DNC, and it seems from the news media, at least not now:
Super delegates have only cast a vote once in the history of the Democratic party, 32 years ago in 1984 when Walter Mondale beat Gary Hart by less than 500 delegates won in the primaries but didnt have the 2/3 needed for the nomination. But even then they didnt play a role in the nominating process for president. They cast their votes for Mondale who had 1,606 pledged delegates won in the primaries to Hart's 1164 which only affirmed the results of the primaries and allowed Mondale to get to the 2/3 threshold as required by DNC rules.. They have never cast a vote since. And as of now have no certain role. Pledged delegates do . So any declarations are bogus.
Super delegates would not cast a vote unless an extraordinary set of circumstances arises at the convention, not before, a set of circumstances which only occurred in 1984,the only time super delegates voted since they were created. Which is what makes any non-binding declarations now bogus. And Clinton and the DNC know that too.
Those circumstances are as they occured in 1984, that neither candidate finishes the primary season with the two thirds majority of pledged delegates needed for the nomination that are won in the primaries - if they did the nominating process is over without superdelegates casting a single vote - the delegate count is so close as to make them virtually tied, AND the convention is hopelessly deadlocked with neither candidate or party officials able to persuade delegates on the other side to switch after the first ballot.
Super delegates could be used to break a hopeless deadlock when neither candidate is able to get the two-thirds delegate count needed. Without those circumstances they wouldn't vote and wouldn't dare vote in a way that would reverse the votes of pledged delegates.
When Obama finished the 2008 primary season with a paltry 65 delegate lead over Clinton and it looked like the nomination could go either way if superdelegates voted , Nancy Pelosi said super delegates were obligated to vote for the candidate who won the most delegates if they were to vote at all.
So where does Clinton get off claiming over 440 super delegates when whether they will vote at all is yet to be determined, their "endorsements" are non-committal,worthless as votes, and in all probability super delegates will never vote at all?
Delegates won in primaries, called "pledged delegates", are actually committed to vote for the candidate they are sent to the convention to vote for as a result of vote counts in the primaries. Without getting too esoteric, it's actually delegates that are elected during primaries, either Clinton or Sanders delegates who are then sent by voters to the convention to vote for the candidate they were elected to vote for on the first ballot. They are the only delegates that actually count now. And are real. And the delegates that traditionally, and to date have decided the nomination.
So until and unless those extraordinary set of circumstances occur which only ocurred once, in 1984, super delegates will not vote, don't count now and for all intents and purposes dont even exist. When the first roll call vote is called there will be no super delegates voting. All of which shows the depths of dishonesty and deception Clinton is willing to go. And with her the Obama run DNC who look like they are trying to do what they can to rig the process and create false impressions.
If Bernie Sanders finished with 2000 pledged delegates won during the primaries and needed another three hundred to get the two-thirds majority with Clinton say, 1,000 delegates behind, there would be some horse trading to get the remaining 300 delegates needed from Clinton perhaps making a deal on picking a vice presidential running mate. But its inconceivable super delegates even those declaring for her now ( which again, don't count) would cast votes for Clinton to give her the nomination.Super delegates casting their votes for the second place finisher never happened even in 1984. It would bring the Democratic party to its knees if they tried to crown a queen instead of nominate a president.and Sanders voters would never vote for Clinton no matter what histrionics DNC officials pulled over Supreme Court nominations etc etc.
Super delegates would only vote to break an otherwise hopeless deadlock and to give a clear winner the votes required by rules to officially get the nomination. They are a last resort and most importantly as mentioned earlier, super delegates have only once in the history of the Democratic party ever cast a single vote and that was 32 years ago And if a hopeless deadlock never occurs super delegates will have no role. To count them now is pure fraud.
So why is Hillary Clinton putting out the fiction that she is ahead on delegates even though she isn't because of super delegates? Because she is being underhanded and so is the DNC run by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Obama's hand picked chair of the DNC who are trying to build a phony aura of expectation and inevitability and the illusion that she will be the nominee and then if she doesn't have the actual votes from the primary battles try and steal the nomination by using super delegates with Obama and Wasserman-Schultz driving the getaway car.
The New York Times acting like the long arm of the law put their arm on Clinton in a recent editorial making it clear that super delegates can have no role in the outcome of the nomination which needs to be decided by whoever wins the most delegates in the primaries.
But there is another reason the Clinton campaign is putting out these super delegate numbers as if they count now when they don't. Its the kind of outrageous political tactics we've seen from Republicans -- a tactic to suppress the Sanders vote.
There is little doubt that the Clinton campaign with the help of the DNC, by putting out these fictitious super delegate numbers are trying to create some false idea that Clinton has such a huge lead her nomination is inevitable. The hope is this will dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of Sanders voters (enthusiasm Clinton cant match) and hopefully hold down their turnout in the hopes of making them think Clinton's nomination is inevitable because of super delegates and there is nothing they can do to affect the outcome. Which of course is not true . Its more of a Republican style dirty trick, the kind they have tried in the past in the hopes of holding down the African American vote in certain communities. The principle is the same.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC needs to be called out for this kind of dishonest manipulation when she is actually tied with Sanders 51-51 in pledged delegates, the only delegates that matter.
This idea that super delegates have declared anything for her carries no authority, no weight, no certainty. Nothing a super delegate says now is binding. They could change their minds a hundred times between now and the convention, and no one would know so how can they be counted now?
And if Clinton is putting out these phony super delegate numbers to try and grease the skids for an attempt at stealing the nomination at the convention, it might be a good idea for Sanders voters to remind her and everyone else of one other thing: In 2008 when it looked like Obama might lose the nomination to Clinton because of a super delegate vote, Donna Brazille, an Obama supporter and former chair of the DNC said publicly that if super delegates decided the nomination she would quit the Democratic party.
If Donna Brazile can quit the Democratic party if super delegates decided the nomination so can Sanders voters. And they can make it clear that they will. Which means if Clinton and the DNC tries to steal the nomination from Sanders using super delegates if he has the majority of pledged delegates they can count on Sanders voters staying home.
Clinton putting out the word that she has 469 delegates which include over 400 super delegates that she can't ethically or even by DNC rules count is almost a veiled threat as if to say, "okay I got buried by the voters in New Hampshire and it was razor thin in Iowa and Nevada but so what? I have a trick up my sleeve."
If Clinton, Obama and the DNC think they are greasing the skids now so Clinton can pull a fast one at the convention later, they better not try. If they do anything to try and rig the nomination, Sanders voters can just vow never to support it, just like Donna Brazile threatened which will bring the Democratic party down like a house of cards and do Clinton no good in the general election.
Let Sanders and his supporters put Clinton and the DNC on notice that if they do anything to rig the nomination, if the nomination does not go to the candidate who won the most votes and most delegates in the primaries as Nancy Pelosi in 2008 said it must, then the Democrats will have to face the music and take another drubbing like they did in 2010 and 2014 essentially over Obama's unscrupulous sell out of the health care public option to the insurance companies.
Make it clear that if Clinton can't win honestly she is not going to win at all.
And if Sanders voters stay home in the face of a corrupt process it will wipe out Democratic down ticket candidates also, and if that's what it takes to throw open the windows, let in the fresh air and purge the Democratic party of those corrupting the system, so be it. No amount of whining or scare tactics by Democratic big wigs about what will happen if Clinton loses and begging Sanders supporters to go along with the corruption will ever work.
Its called making your own bed and lying in it. With the double meaning of the word "lying" very clear.
This article has been updated to include the 1984 Democratic convention which is the only time super delegates have ever voted and then voted for Walter Mondale who won the most pledged delegates during the primaries, 1606-1164 confirming that pledged delegates won during primaries is the standard for nominating a presidential candidate. And does not change the fact that super delegate votes do not count unless cast at the convention and non-binding declarations that Clinton included in her totals are completely bogus.Wendy Wasserman- Schultz has also been corrected to Debbie Wasserman-SchultzNOTE: CNN is still showing super delegate totals for Clinton included with her pledged delegate totals that don't actually exist and may never exist and for now and until the convention and they are cast, if ever, are pure fiction. John King is one of the worst offenders but so is Wolf Blitzer. The Sanders campaign needs to hold them and other media outlets accountable.