Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Superdelegate Struggle

uncommitted superdelegates are struggling with their decision or at least feigning a struggle. the reason: the clintons, hill and bill, are so entrenched in the democratic party. they are the democratic party. there are so many loyalties that need to be delicately severed and that's proving hard for some people. it also points to the lack of backbone in the democratic party that helped get george bush elected twice .
here's superdelegate irene stein's "struggle:"

The major TV networks want to know whom she backs. She's been interviewed by the New York Daily News as well as newspapers in Ithaca, Albany and Buffalo. A corr- espondent representing newspapers in the Netherlands called.

"Mostly, I don't want to be interviewed because I feel I have nothing to say because I'm uncommitted," she said.

She also admits she's fearful that she'll slip and say something that would reveal her sentiments.

It's pretty unsettling for this Ithaca bookworm.

Stein grew up in Boston, the daughter of poor immigrant parents who were steeped in patriotism and Democratic politics.

"My father used to have a shot of whiskey before dinner every night, and he would say, 'Down with the communists,' " Stein said.

For 51 years, she's been married to Cornell University physics professor Peter Stein, who is secretary of the state Democratic Party and an Ithaca town board member.

Stein earned a doctorate from Cornell herself while raising three children. She worked as director of the Tompkins County Office for Aging for 13 years before retiring.

For the last three decades, she has been helping mayors, city councilors, governors and senators get elected.

Stein's success in getting Democrats elected in Tompkins County prompted Judith Hope, then the state Democratic Party chair, to ask Stein to run for election to the Democratic National Committee about a dozen years ago. All DNC members automatically are superdelegates.

In 2004, Stein was on the floor at the Democratic convention in Boston when Obama delivered the keynote address and burst into the national spotlight.

"The kind of thing we're hearing (in this campaign) is similar to what I heard. He was very galvanizing. People immediately said, 'He has a future.' "

"I've never met Barack Obama. But I would certainly like to," Stein said.

Stein is much more familiar with his opponent.

Then-first lady Clinton stayed overnight at the Steins' former home at 207 Ithaca Road in 1999 when Clinton was testing the waters for her first Senate campaign.

Stein said she was stunned when a Clinton worker called and asked if Stein would host Clinton overnight in their modest five-bedroom home.

"I said, 'My house? Well, you know she'll have to share a bathroom.' And the person laughed and said the first lady won't care about that at all," Stein said.

"The first thing that happened was 3 million Secret Service people came to visit and looked the house over," Stein recalled. Naturally, before Clinton arrived, Stein said she cleaned her house until it sparkled and purchased every fresh fruit being sold at the local farmers market.

"Her staff told me in advance, 'Eat in the kitchen; don't eat in the dining room. We don't want a fancy breakfast. Hillary mostly will just have tea and toast. Don't make a fancy breakfast.' So I didn't."

"She's very down to earth, very easy to talk to, not self-centered," Stein said of Clinton.
here's another superdelegate who says both candidates are electable but recently endorsed hillary. you have to wonder why would a superdelegate come out now for hillary? why wouldn't he just stay "uncommitted" through the end? what purpose does it serve especially when it's apparent that obama will win?
this q&a with superdelegate w. craig bashien is interesting because he condradicts himself on the point of party division:

newsweek: What about the virtues of party unity? Isn't there a chance that coming out for Clinton at this point is further splitting the party and hurting chances for victory in November?
The quicker that we can reach a decision on a candidate, I think the quicker we can start making John McCain the focal point and his open endorsement of Bush administration policies. Nor do I think this process is going to cause a rift in the party.
if they're both electable, why go with the one who's certain to lose the nomination? what statement is he trying to make? how does that bring the party together?