One time Democratic frontrunner Hilary Clinton is not letting losing the New Hampshire primary by one of the largest margins in history prevent her from gaining delegates. Although Clinton only won nine delegates on Tuesday evening, Feb. 9, 2016, The Hill reported on Wednesday, Feb. 10 that Clinton would walk away from New Hampshire with 15 delegates the same amount as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who trounced Clinton by 22 percent of the vote.
So how is it that Clinton lost by so much and still manage to get ahead of Sanders in the delegate game? Underhandedly, Clinton is looking to go beyond the voters to lock 360 Democratic superdelegates to push her over the edge and win the nomination. The Associated Press reported that the “Clinton campaign has mounted an aggressive effort to secure,” all these superdelegates.
While voters are flocking to Sanders and supporting his economic message against Wall Street and the establishment, Clinton who is becoming more disliked than during the 2008 campaign is beating Sanders at the delegate game. According to Bloomberg’s delegate count, Clinton already grabbed 394 superdelegates. Meanwhile, Sanders has 44 delegates and according to The Hill, he only has eight superdelegates.
The situation in New Hampshire is bringing Clinton’s quest for superdelegates to the forefront, and it is even more disturbing after her devastating and massive loss to Sanders. Clinton has in her pocket six of New Hampshire’s eight superdelegates. Although the delegates will be officially named at the state party convention in April, The Hill listed them. The superdelegates include Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. Annie Kuster, and “Democratic National Committee members Joanne Dodwell, Billy Shaheen and Kathy Sullivan.”
Clinton was unable to snatch up the last two remaining superdelegates, “state party chairman Ray Buckley and state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark.” As the state party chairman Buckley was not allowed to support a candidate and had to wait “until after the primary.” Fuller Clark wants to be fair and wait until closer to the convention. She told The Hill, “I wanted to ensure that we had a very open and fair process in New Hampshire, and I don’t t believe as an elected officer of the party that I should be choosing between two very fine Democrats who are running for office. For the time being, I continue to hold that position and will wait until closer to the convention to decide.”
Sanders’ supporter are not taking Clinton’s grabbing up of superdelegates too kindly; they created on a MoveOn.org petition. The petition says, “There Are 6 New Hampshire Superdelegates Supporting Clinton, Let’s Change That!” The petition also reads, “It is these 6 peoples endorsements, who, despite Bernie Sanders winning New Hampshire by a margin of over 20 percentage points, have resulted in Hillary Clinton leading among delegates, that is not democracy, and we need to fix this.” So far, there are over 10,000 signatures.
The Democratic National Committee’s national press secretary Mark Paustenbach tried to downplay the significance of Clinton securing the six superdelegates. Paustenbach issued a statement saying, “Let’s be clear, the only delegates at stake on Tuesday in New Hampshire’s First in the Nation primaries were 24 pledged delegates.”
A “candidate needs 2,382” delegates to secure the Democratic nomination. Besides the delegates a candidate garners from state primary and caucuses votes there are 712 superdelegates up for grabs. Sanders is right nobody can be more part of the establishment than Clinton. Superdelegates are party insiders as NPR explains, “they include state and national elected officials, as well as Democratic National Committee members.” Clinton the consummate insider found it easy to gain the superdelegates support; many were friends of the Clintons’ already. Sanders as an independent is an outsider to the party and their leaders.
University of Georgia lecturer Josh Putnam explained the creation of the superdelegate in a blog post from 2009 on his personal blog, Frontloading HQ. Putnam recounted, “The reason superdelegates came into being in the interim period between the 1980 and 1984 elections was to allow the party establishment an increased voice in the nomination process.” Putnam pointed out that the Democratic Party created superdelegates to be able to override voters only if Democrats voted for a candidate party leaders believed was too “extreme” or could not be elected.
NPR indicated, “political scientists” found “endorsements a candidate racks up in the so-called invisible primary have in the past been a strong indicator of who will eventually win the nomination.” Unlike delegates pledged during primary and caucus votes, superdelegates are not bound to the candidate they promise themselves to and are open to changing their minds.
According to the results of the primary, Sanders won 60.3 percent of the vote and 15 delegates over Clinton’s 38 percent and nine delegates. Sanders’ margin of victory was one of the widest in New Hampshire primary history. Clinton lost in all demographics, but what was even more disconcerting is she lost the women’s vote, which went to Bernie Sanders. The Washington Post pointed out Democrats in New Hampshire did not vote her mostly based on the honesty issue. Nothing puts her honesty more in question than the FBI’s confirmed probe into the private email server she used as Secretary of State and the risk she put to national security.
Clinton by being a former First Lady, former New York Senator, Secretary of State and 2008 presidential candidate who fought for super delegates represents the ultimate insider who knows how to go right past the voters to get what she wants, the nomination. How can anybody argue they were part of the establishment when their husband was president, Bill Clinton (1993-2001) and they were the Secretary of State for the current administration under President Barack Obama.
When she first announced her candidacy in April 2015, Clinton thought 2016 would be her coronation. That everyone within the Democratic Party, the voters and party leaders and insiders would bow down to her and sweep her to the nomination. Clinton scared away any potential Democratic candidates including Vice President Joe Biden with her inevitability and touting electability.
Only Bernie Sanders, who by being an independent senator was not going to let Hillary scare him away. Sanders believes in what his campaign message says, his genuineness is what is attracting the supporters and voters. Now 2016 is looking a lot like 2008, with Clinton on the edge of losing to an up and coming candidate, who came out-of-the-blue but has the youth vote. Even those in the Clinton camp question what Hillary’s campaign message is, except wanting to win and become president.
For years, Democrats accused Republican and former President George W. Bush of stealing the 2000 election from popular vote winner and Democratic nominee Al Gore by winning Florida and the election through the Supreme Court’s ruling. Now Clinton is trying to do the same with the nomination, but this time, it is not up to the Supreme Court, but Clinton is doing it herself by personally with her campaign collecting superdelegates.
By going past the voters and getting the superdelegates to vote for her nomination at the Democratic convention, Clinton is planning to steal the nomination. Let’s hope if the public votes for Sanders the superdelegates would be what Clinton is not being, fair and honest, and they would heed to the people, and abandon Clinton at the convention.