Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Understanding “Superdelegates” and How They Affect the Nomination Process

When I first heard the term “superdelegate” I was a little embarrassed that I had no idea what it meant and as I tried to follow the whole Clinton/Obama controversy it was impossible to understand the tensions without knowing exactly what that word meant. The best explanation I’ve found is on Wikipedia and rather than confuse anybody, here’s an excerpt of their explanation:

"Superdelegate" is an informal term commonly used for some of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, the presidential nominating convention of the United States Democratic Party.
Unlike most convention delegates, the superdelegates are not selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party's presidential nomination. Instead, most of the superdelegates are seated automatically, based solely on their status as current or former party leaders and elected officials ("PLEOs"). Others are chosen during the primary season. All the superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.
The Democratic Party rules do not use the term "superdelegate". This article follows the most common media practice in using the term "superdelegate" to refer to unpledged delegates, who fall into two categories:
delegates seated based on other positions they hold, who are formally described (in Rule 9.A) as "unpledged party leader and elected official delegates"[1] (unpledged PLEO delegates); and
additional unpledged delegates selected by each state party (in a fixed predetermined number), who are formally described (in Rule 9.B) as "unpledged add-on delegates" and who need not hold any party or elected position before their selection as delegates.[1]
Unpledged PLEO delegates should not be confused with pledged PLEOs. Under Rule 9.C, the pledged PLEO slots are allocated to candidates based on the results of the primaries and caucuses.[1] Another big difference between pledged PLEOs and unpledged PLEOs is that number of the former ones is fixed and predetermined, whereas the number of the latter ones has not any bounds. Pledged PLEO delegates are not generally considered superdelegates.
The Republican Party also seats some party officials as delegates without regard to primary or caucus results (see Republican delegate selection), but the term "superdelegate" is most commonly applied only in the Democratic Party.
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention the superdelegates will make up approximately one-fifth of the total number of delegates.

They go on to give a brief history of how superdelegates came to be which is very informative and also provide details distinguishing pledged delegates from unpledged delegates. You can read the entire article for yourself here. I’ve also included a couple of links that have helped to shed some light on the whole nomination process. Stay informed, cast your vote, and do your part to contribute in improving our world!
Peace and Blessings!

CNN.Com - Superdelegates: Why They Matter
Explanation of Superdelegates from Website
List of Democratic Party Superdelegates, 2008
The Democratic National Convention 2008 Website
How to become a delegate: basic FAQ
How to become a delegate in Rhode Island

Life Reminders

Psalm 145:8-9 The Lord is Gracious and Merciful
The Lord is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His Compassion is over all that He has made.

Matthew 11:28 Gentleness and Humility
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Surah 33:21 Beautiful Pattern of Conduct
Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

Sahih Muslim, Book Unknown: Changing an Evil Action
“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.”

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