Feature

A superdelegate primary?

Of all the ideas to help Democrats avoid a "summer-long meltdown," said Craig Crawford in CQ's Trail Mix blog, holding a superdelegate "mini-convention" in June seems "the most fair." The many ideas for ending this quickly &#

What happened
Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, suggested that his party resolve its increasingly bitter presidential nominee race through a primary of superdelegates. In his plan, the 795 party bigwigs would meet in June for a weekend, maybe in Dallas, and hold a binding vote after hearing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama plead their cases. If the race continues until the convention in August, he said, “you’re going to spend this whole summer—and lots of money and time and effort—trying to convince people that whoever isn’t eventually nominated, isn’t electable.” (Politico)

What the commentators said
“Of all the ideas floating around” to avoid a Democratic “summer-long meltdown,” said Craig Crawford in CQ’s Trail Mix blog, the superdelegate “mini-convention” appears “the most fair, reasonable, and obtainable solution.” It is obvious by now that “superdelegates are going to decide this thing,” and for whichever Democrat wins, the sooner they decide, the better.

The many ideas for how to end this quickly all “boil down to making Hillary Clinton go away,” said Gail Collins in The New York Times (free registration). That’s not going to happen. But Bredesen’s notion that Democratic party chairman Howard Dean can “lay down the law” and “stop the bloodshed” is certainly “the most entertaining by far.” Anyone “who believes that Howard Dean can make Hillary Clinton do anything she doesn’t want to do is living in Fantasyland.”

She should consider the idea, though, said Chadwick Matlin in Slate’s Trailhead blog. A June superdelegate primary would silence the increasingly vocal “‘drop out now’ movement” for a few months, and “buy her time” to make her case. It would be good for Obama, too, since “Hillary isn’t going to leave the race until all of the states vote, anyway.” But because it is a “dynamite idea”—part “common sense,” part “idealism”—they’ll probably both eschew this “rare opportunity for a win-win-win-win scenario.”

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