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March 20, 2008

Bredesen's Bold Idea

posted by Josh Goodman

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has a plan to prevent a summer of acrimony between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. From an op-ed in the New York Times:

Here’s what our party should do: schedule a superdelegate primary. In early June, after the final primaries, the Democratic National Committee should call together our superdelegates in a public caucus.

Of the 795 superdelegates, over 40 percent have not announced which candidate they are supporting; I’m one of them. While it would be comfortable for me to delay making a decision until the convention, the reality is that I’ll have all the information I reasonably need in June, and so will my colleagues across the country.


This is not a proposal for a mini-convention with all the attendant hoopla and sideshows. It is a call for a tight, two-day business-like gathering, whose rules would be devised by the national committee, of the leaders of our party from all over America to resolve a serious problem. There would be a final opportunity for the candidates to make their arguments to these delegates, and then one transparent vote.

Even though such a vote wouldn't bind the superdelegates to the candidate they pick, I think Bredesen is correct that it would make a quick end to the nomination fight much more likely. It also would prove once and for all that the national conventions are for show and nothing more.


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