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Former DNC Chair Says as Superdelegate He Doesn’t Care What Voters Want

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Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and former DNC chair, has committed his superdelegate vote to Hillary Clinton, despite U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders winning Vermont 86.1 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 13.6 percent.

Dean was confronted about this on Twitter:

Governor Dean is right. Superdelegates are not tethered to the votes in their state or the will of the people. They are not elected to be superdelegates. Superdelegates are chosen from among Democratic leaders at the state and national level.

The conventional wisdom argument states that superdelegates will end up being faithful to the popular vote as it becomes clear who the majority of Democratic voters want going into the convention, but the 2016 presidential election has been anything but conventional.

According to CNN, Hillary Clinton has 678 pledged delegates (delegates that are allocated based on caucus / primary results) while Bernie Sanders has 477 pledged delegates. It is a fairly large gap, but one that could be made up as both Clinton and Sanders continue to win states.

Yet, the media reports that Clinton actually has 1,150 total delegates because of the 472 superdelegates that have committed to vote for her at the Democratic National Convention, many of whom had already decided to vote for her before the nation’s first presidential contest in Iowa.

This means, as of right now, Clinton goes from just over a quarter of the way to the nomination to nearly halfway there — because of party elites (including lobbyists) who are doing what is “right for the country (read: party).”

Unfortunately for Bernie, Dean is not the only superdelegate from Vermont who doesn’t think he is right for the country. U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy reportedly is still committed to Clinton despite Sanders’ overwhelming victory.

In February, Current DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded to the growing controversy of superdelegates, saying that these delegates exist to protect party leaders from grassroots challenges — to protect them from an insurgent candidate that has popular support among party voters, but the party doesn’t want to get behind.

“Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are as a Democratic Party really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention, and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse, committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend, and be a delegate at the convention. And so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.” – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Along with being confusing, CNN host Jake Tapper responded, “I’m not sure that that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter.”

So how committed is the Democratic Party to living up to its name?

Photo Credit: Denis Beaumont / Shutterstock.com

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662 comments
Veronique Zobel
Veronique Zobel

yeah to "The party that pretends to care..but doesn't give a rats butt" that would fit them

RodolfoVicenteGonzales
RodolfoVicenteGonzales

Super Delegates were created to keep the voters from getting what they vote for! If this is the status of Super Delegates, changes will come about at the convention! Tread lightly Howard - you too can be replaced!

KMack68
KMack68

The system is corrupt & Super Delegates need to go. Candidate's should be chosen by the people not by big monied interests or someone who has a vested interest in getting a certain candidate elected. That's corruption & this is how they can rig our elections. Voters should start lawsuit against the DNC. This is not a fair election process & our votes do not matter then.

Tom E
Tom E

Basically this is a way to control who gets a nomination. Does anyone remember that this is a DEMOCRATIC process???  THE entire point tis to get someone who the PEOPLE vote for, NOT who the ESTABLSHMENT pays for and controls!!!

MarkPeterson3
MarkPeterson3

This kind of thing could do what Republicans have only dreamed of. Destroying the Democratic party. If they won't listen to the people, I will STOP voting Democratic.

DiggerChief
DiggerChief

@MarkPeterson3 I already have left The Party. It's time for all Sanders supporters to show the DNC what we think of the Super Delegates. Self-appoint yourself as a Super Delegate pledged to Bernie. I did. It feels good. The Clinton Cartel (aka The DNC) has Super Delegates in the hundreds pledged to Hillary. We can have Super Delegates in the millions pledged to vote for Senator Sanders. In the event he loses the Democratic nomination, and he encourages his supporters to vote for Clinton, check his box, or write him in, in the General Election. The Revolution must go on.

KMack68
KMack68

@DiggerChief @MarkPeterson3 , only problem is that not every state allows write ins. They covered all the bases to make sure we can't get someone elected.

SoniaSheridan
SoniaSheridan

I worked to help Howard Dean become President, and think he is a good man. But in the case of Hillary he is wrong, and I am very disappointed. Bernie Sanders has the best chance of bringing in the huge vote necessary to defeat the neo-fascist Trump. 


Linda Whitehill
Linda Whitehill

Good thing he's not running for anything in Vermont.  Total sellout. Superdelegates are made to keep the status quo.

MarkLavoie
MarkLavoie

Vermont the State of Freedom & Unity!

We the people of the State of Vermont have United and with 83% of the vote cast for Bernie Sanders

Patrick Leahy and Howard Dean are supporting this rigged election!

Shame!!! on them.

The system is broke and these two are supporting it.

WTF is wrong with these guys?

Especially!!!! Pat Leahy.

The people of Vermont have supported him overwhelmingly! as they have Bernie Sanders.

Senator Leahy you say you were raised on being loyal to your word.

You have the wisdome and the courage to stand up for the 83% that voted for Bernie.

Just do it! and be courageous!!!

Your Legacy is depending on it.

Voter registration is very high with the younger generation in Vermont.

They are the ones who could stop you in your tracks in the up coming election.

LarryDennison
LarryDennison

The Democratic Party, of which I have been a member since 1968, has decided to move to the Dark Side.  The decision to "appoint" Superdelegates was an attempt to stop populist candidates from overwhelming the "establishment" politicians.  It has worked pretty much as planned. The only thing we can do at this point is to write/call your Senators, Congress members, Governor, and your State Democratic Party Chair and demand they vote their Superdelegate votes democratically in keeping with the will of their state's voters.  Then demand your state Democratic Party reject the undemocratic Superdelegate process.  Start a REVOLUTION!

Terry F
Terry F

The use of unelected super delegates is ridiculous. It is open to super delegates being bought for favors. It certainly causes a rigged election. The awareness that this is how the democratic party operates causes me...a very committed and long time democrat to be willing to change parties based on the absurdity of this system.  People are sick to death of a system of government that is rigged against them. If the democratic party is going to nullify the votes of people taking the time to go follow the issues, learn about the issues and make the effort to get to the polls when elections are held.  Ridiculous and totally NOT what our country is about.


What impact will this have in this current election?  Well by trying to rig the election against Bernie, if he gains the popular vote, by using super delegates, you will get a President Trump or Cruz.  Then you can thank yourselves, DNC, very much for the good job you've done taking the vote away from the voters.

DiggerChief
DiggerChief

Howard, wait for it. The American people are going to "do" you in the Nation's best interests.

mrtapeguy
mrtapeguy

@wlelandj Exactly what I was thinking.  I do like the JibJab version as well.

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KatieJones1
KatieJones1

Unfortunately for Bernie, Dean is not the only superdelegate from Vermont who doesn’t think he is right for the country. U.S.....What this really means is: i'm a corrupt politician loyal to those with big wallets not the will of the people, who i was voted into office to represent.  Same reason the media only shows Hillary's inflated superdelegates.  Those votes aren't cast and they can change their minds....I think a few did already.  Must scare all these republican lights supporting corrupt Hillary.  I hope Vermont votes him out.

mrluckydoodle
mrluckydoodle

@KatieJones1 The people in Vermont need to let him know his days are numbered..when is his seat up for election?


WilleminaSzabo
WilleminaSzabo

@KatieJones1 , My thoughts exactly ...if not representing the will of the voting public...who does Dean represent? The icons of banking, industry and the wealthy (I.E the Bilderberg Group/ all worldwide  powerbrokers backing Hillary) ? Me thinks that even H Dean can be bought...if not with actual funds then by very special favors. One voter ...one vote...no overriding the majority votes.

Nora Farr
Nora Farr

With statements like that, Howard Dean sounds like a Republican!


EdGentner
EdGentner

It's actions like those of Howard Dean And Pat Leahy that have once loyal Democrats leaving the party as independents...the DNC, Howard Dean, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz et al have abandoned any pretense of respect for the democratic process.

On_Point_Prg
On_Point_Prg

That's right. It's OUR party. And we won't do a Left TEA. In any case. Sanders doesn't have the POP vote OR the delegates. The subject s purely academic.

Josh Tibbet
Josh Tibbet

The question posed here is way out of line: Should the Democratic Party change its name? Why? Because some people are corrupt? Should republicans change their party name because *insert reason here*? This isn't about parties. This is about an entire system failure on behalf of its people. Regardless if Bernie gets the nomination, our work as citizens does not end. We need to keep holding our public officials responsible for their actions.

oceanshorephotos
oceanshorephotos

Howard Dean represents the anti-democratic wing of the Democratic Party (which is most of them, as we are seeing) and his response that "Super delegates don't "represent people" I'm not elected by anyone. I'll do what I think is right for the country" is a clear view of the arrogance of the Democratic Party, who think they know better than we peasants. 


I lived in VT for a long time, decades, and I once FAXed Dean to let him know that he was the only Democrat I would not vote for--I voted for all the rest. I only voted Republican once in my life, and that was for Jim Jeffords, R-VT Senator, who switched to Independent when Bush got in and caucused with the Democrats. 


But it is this attitude that has made me abandon the Dem Party. I will vote for Sanders as a Dem, because he isn't a corrupt machine Dem, but if he loses the primary through the use of the super-delegate vote, there is no way that I would vote for Clinton. I think that if Trump wins, that he will destroy the Republican Party, and then be neutered by both parties in Congress, and ignored by the rest of the USG structure.


I think Sanders voters should let the Dem party know that if they fix the primary, that we will abandon them. I will never again vote for a Republican, but there is an alternative in the Green Party, with a wonderful woman candidate, Dr. Jill Stein. I voted for her in 2012 after I realized that Obama is really a Republican. As is Hillary Clinton. 


As far as voting for Clinton goes, I will quote that eminent American philosopher, George W. Bush, "Fool me once (Obama), can't get fooled again (Clinton)". If you want more of the same, then let the Deans of the world skew your "democracy". If you want positive change, then demand that the Dems end the super delegate system, or lose your Independent vote.

On_Point_Prg
On_Point_Prg

@oceanshorephotos You call it arrogance, we call it party. It's our Party. we won't do Left TEA. If you want Left TEA go form your own party. We saw what it did to the republican party and WE won't do it here.

KatieJones1
KatieJones1

@On_Point_Prg @oceanshorephotos i have to disagree with you.  Do some research and see how the parties have changed in the past 20 - 30 years.  The republicans have gone crazy (tea) right and the democrats are like republicans from the past.  Our issue is the corruption.  I won't stand for any group that believes the way to win an election is by corruption.  If you don't think there is corruption, i would highly recommend doing some research and stay away from websites that are financially tied to candidates.  Like most mainstream media.  If you can't understand millions of democrats issue with the media blackout of Bernie in the beginning, the corruption at the DNC (ok maybe not all of them but definitely Debbie).  Superdelegates are something that has been created so that the party can go against the will of the people.  it's not about the candidates, it's about the process and corruption.  I'm sure you'd be screaming if Hillary had a large delegate lead over Bernie and had little Superdelegates.  The fact remains, Hillary is winning Red and Purple states.  Good luck in the Blue states.  That will tell you how MOST democrats feel.  I will also add, there are the superdelegates like Dean that are corrupt, but as Bernie wins more blue states, more superdelegates will flip..........as they should.


Donald Dykstra
Donald Dykstra

He made it all the way to the elections, fortunately it was as a voter.

Carol
Carol

Howard Dean is an example of what is wrong with the whole election process. There is no fair election when the majority can be ignored by 'super delegates' and candidates are allowed to accept money from 'super paks'. Allowing these  two 'supers' alone make a mockery of a fair election and forcing citizens to vote along party lines is another tactic that skewers the outcome of any presidential election.  

On_Point_Prg
On_Point_Prg

@Carol Ignored. Look, he isn't pledged to a states and HRC has a million and a half hard votes more than sanders. Sit down and STFU.

William Summers
William Summers

The gullible vote for the irresponsible to tell them who too vote for.

On_Point_Prg
On_Point_Prg

You vote for who you want. the party shall endure. You shall not do to us what TEA did to the REps.

KatieJones1
KatieJones1

it's funny how people are all about the party no matter how corrupt.  But then again, they blindly follow Hillary

Damien Scott
Damien Scott

People need to wake up !! The system is rigged on both sides and the quibble over who gets to steal from your wallet !! It,s time to abolish both parties by demanding as citizens the number of congressmen and senators be cut in half and term limits are imposed !!

George Turner
George Turner

We need to do away with the super delegates now, call your reps tell them they better not go against the people's voice,

Bob Boston
Bob Boston

However, we were supposed to be a Republic. I pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Mark Plough
Mark Plough

@oceanshorephotos It is Freedom of Religion not freedom from religion.  It allows you to practice your religious beliefs or lack thereof. It does not tell you what god you must worship or what faith the government will endorse.  However the people who wrote that 1st Amendment believed in a higher power and that belief in such would hold a conglomeration of different peoples together. 

oceanshorephotos
oceanshorephotos

You put one nation under a god, and it is no longer indivisible, it becomes divided, as we are seeing now. I cherish my 1st Amendment right of freedom from religion.

FredLAnthony
FredLAnthony

@oceanshorephotosif you are going to quote the pledge please at least quote the original version not the  edited version  and mark freedom of religion works both ways you are free to follow your religion but you are not free to force it on others or deny others their beliefs