It was reported today that Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama are “buying” super-delegates or whatever euphemism Hilary prefers today. Between the two candidates, somewhere in the neighborhood of $900,000 has been spent on theses special voters. While all perfectly legal, isn’t this a dramatic shift in tone from 2000 when GWB “stole” the election from Al Gore?
After the 2000 election there were articles, pundits and politicians calling for the electoral process to change. “The Voters” were not being heard, “The Voters” didn’t matter if delegates could decide an election and the popular vote was what truly mattered to”The Voters”. Fast forward 8 years and the two Democratic Presidential candidates are buying their way to the nomination. What happened to “the Voters”? They got in the way and didn’t make the right choice apparently.
Sen Obama has outspent Clinton in this practice almost 3to 1. His almost $700,000 has apparently persuaded a few super-delegates to swing away from Hilary and pledge to his side. They say its not the money but a true belief in change. The flaw in this argument is that Obama has run his campaign for “The Voters”, he is simply the vessel of change, the embodiment of what “The Voters” want in this election. His use of “we” and never “I” in his speeches are a testament to this idea. Every dime either candidate spends, and especially Obama, on super-delegates is money spent for a vote, pure and simple. It is also a sign that neither candidate truly believes their own various slogans about change in Washington. “The Voters” will simply not matter if super-delegates decide the nominee.
Especially hard hit will be “the Voters” in the 18-25 crowd in this instance. While I still believe they will lose interest by November, what if word gets out that Obama is wooing delegates with money? What will the youth of America, his core supporters, think? They are his mice to his pied piper. “Believe that we can change America together”, Obama plays from his stump and the youth line up to follow. The spell may be broken when Obama is seen to be buying votes, a practice only the most entrenched (i.e. Republicans)in Washington do! Again “The Voters” in this demographic will feel they don’t matter and sleep in on election day if super-delegates can decide their future. Then again if their candidate is the beneficiary of hypocritical practices, they may feel the establishment got theirs!
After 2008 there will be no articles, politicians or pundits who call for a change in the electorate. The Democratic candidates are the ones benefiting this time around and that is precisely why the tone is different. If the party of GWB was engaging in the same practices at this level, the party of Gore would be crying foul and bringing up hanging chads, illegal voting practices and stolen elections. “What about the popular vote?” they would cry. ” You can’t nominate based on super-delegates!” they would yell to the country.
We are a long way from November, but if “The Voters” decide to elect Hilary or Obama all of this talk about super-delegates and money will be nothing more than they way the electorate works. “The Voters” will have made the right choice in the eyes of the Democrats and the electoral college will be praised again for its simplicity and the founding fathers will again be praised for their forethought.