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Don’t Forget About John Davis!

[ 17 ] February 14, 2008 |

Lanny Davis argues that the superdelegates were intended to be an “independent” check on the whims of those meddling voters. I’m sure this will convince Clarence Thomas, but since I’m not an originalist it seems to me that delegates are free to vote by whatever criteria they choose, which includes doing what’s best for the party, and which would therefore include ratifying a clear choice by the party’s voters. I’m also confident that this will, in fact, happen.

For comic value, though, Sirota notes this gem in Davis’s historical argument:

We were also reminded that before these reforms, the “smoke-filled rooms” of Democratic Party leaders had led to the nomination and election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy.

Jeez, countless of tickets to work with and when picking random anecdotes he can’t even identify three decent candidates? It’s this kind of rhetorical skillz that have made Davis such an effective defender of progressive values on Fox News.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Mike says:

    Wikipedia agrees that he was chosen in a smoke-filled room:
    In 1892, when the Democrats chose Cleveland once again as their standard bearer, they appeased party regulars by the nomination of Stevenson, “headsman of the post-office,” for vice president.
    Davis couldn’t have meant the other Adlai Stevenson; he lost, you see. Twice.

  2. joejoejoe says:

    It’s like that old Sesame Street song. “One of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things is not the same!” Uhhh…Adlai Stevenson?
    Correct!

  3. aimai says:

    Lanny Davis? gack.
    aimai

  4. Erik says:

    “We were also reminded that before these reforms, the “smoke-filled rooms” of Democratic Party leaders had led to the nomination and election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy.”
    Yes, as opposed to the extremely democratic process that Republicans used to draft such luminaries as Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and Warren Harding!

  5. Pug says:

    The Clinton campaign has officially launched the Michigan-Florida-Super Delegates offensive. Lanny Davis, Clinton hack, on Huffington, Terry McAuliffe, Clinton hack, on Morning Joe, Dee Dee Myers, Clinton hack, on Morning Joe all pushing the same themes. And Bill Clinton, hack, just out there being himself playing the gender card.
    The latest thing Bill wants us to believe is that it is a real advantage to be a black guy in a presidential race and his poor little wifey is just a beaten-down underdog.
    I like Bill, though less so lately, but does he expect us to believe any damn thing he says just because he said it? We’re not all low-information voters, Bill.

  6. lemuel pitkin says:

    doing what’s best for the party, and which would therefore include ratifying a clear choice by the party’s voters.
    Well, suppose they don’t agree with you — suppose they think that’s waht’s best for the party is to choose the candidate who they think has the best chance in the general?
    Or suppose — unlikely at this point, but not impossible — one candidate has more pledged delegates, but the other has a greater share of the popular vote?
    Or suppose they feel the most democratic thing to do is to support the choice of their own state, or district?
    I don’t think the superdelegate problem is as straightforward as you make it out to be.

    • Ricardo says:

      Rick Scott did in fact do exactly what Mr. Moore is suntsegigg. As a matter of fact it was done within a day or two of the results of the election. As for whether there will be negative campaigning it waits to be seen.

  7. Andrew says:

    To be fair, Adlai Stevenson did have the support of every right-thinking American.
    …there’s only so much a minority can do.

  8. Ken Houghton says:

    Those three things are all the same, no matter how Scott wants to rant about the evils of “superdelegates.”
    They all come from the same time period, before things were changed.
    Someone needs to remind Scott that if the Dem primaries were winner-take-all (the way the Republican primaries are), his candidate would be back pushing Republican doctrine, instead of instilling hope in Democrats that he’ll be better than the current pResident.

  9. Dan says:

    Someone needs to remind Scott that if the Dem primaries were winner-take-all (the way the Republican primaries are), his candidate would be back pushing Republican doctrine, instead of instilling hope in Democrats that he’ll be better than the current pResident.
    …what?
    I mean it’s probably just cause I’m pre-coffee but I don’t get what you’re saying here.

  10. Redbeard says:

    As much as Scott wants to complain about superdelegates being un-democratic, he needs to admit that the pledged delegates are not that democratic either, given how Obama got more pledged delegates out of Nevada when Obama lost the Nevada popular vote.
    And I haven’t added up all the states yet, but since Hillary won CA, NY, NJ, and MA by a combined difference of 1.1 million voters, and Obama won IL by 600,000 voters, it’s not reasonable to say Obama has “the will of the voters.”
    If the pledged delegate majority goes to Obama, but Hillary has the most voters, the superdelegates are not thwarting the will of the people by supporting Hillary.

  11. Redleg says:

    Meanwhile, everyone wants to ignore the blatantly anti-democratic practice of winner-takes-all used in many of the Republican primaries.

  12. Hogan says:

    Meanwhile, everyone wants to ignore the blatantly anti-democratic practice of winner-takes-all used in many of the Republican primaries.
    Dog bites man. Also, McCain is proving to be a case of why winner-take-all primaries are strategically a bad idea because they can . . . maybe not split the party, but deepen and embitter the splits already forming by allowing everyone’s fourth or fifth choice to become the nominee with less than 30% of the vote. So, you know, hurray for Republican winner-take-all primaries.

  13. Matt Weiner says:

    And I haven’t added up all the states yet, but since Hillary won CA, NY, NJ, and MA by a combined difference of 1.1 million voters, and Obama won IL by 600,000 voters, it’s not reasonable to say Obama has “the will of the voters.”
    Eric Kleefeld (of TPMElectionCentral) did the job for you, and Obama’s got more votes total, even spotting Clinton Florida and Michigan. And even though a lot of his best states were caucuses, which have lower turnout than primaries.
    My take on the caucuses, primaries, and superdelegates [leaving aside Florida and Michigan] is that these rules were set going in, no one complained about them then, and it’s not particularly undemocratic to choose votes one way rather than another. I think winner-take-all is a bad idea for the reasons Hogan said. And I think it may be OK for the superdelegates to be able to break close ties, in part because they’re not going to be so stupid as to throw the primary to a candidate who clearly lost. (But I don’t think it’s illegitimate to ask that superdelegates vote the way their state/district did — it’s not against the rules for superdelegates to vote a certain way.) Really, I think it’s pretty unlikely that the nominee is going to be far behind on pledged delegates or on total votes.

  14. As much as Scott wants to complain about superdelegates being un-democratic,
    CIte please.

  15. his candidate would be back pushing Republican doctrine
    Given that his record is plainly more liberal than Clinton’s, I don’t know what that makes her.
    On your larger point, I concede your point that if things were different they wouldn’t be the same. And? As long as the rules aren’t changed midstream I’ll live with the results of the process.

  16. Andrew says:

    Those three things are all the same, no matter how Scott wants to rant about the evils of “superdelegates.”
    Which three things? Roosevelt, Stevenson and Kennedy? No, one of them lost. Twice.

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