A President's Day Superdelegate Super Sale?

While shoppers took advantage of longer store hours and bargain prices this Presidents' Day, the Democrats' two candidates were probably doing some shopping of their own.  But it isn't an HDTV, a new couch, or even the latest hot fashions that Obama and Clinton are shelling out their dollars for, it's superdelegates. 

That's right. Counterintuitive though it may seem, these electoral free agents -- who, by the way, may actually decide the contest -- are not restricted from accepting monetary motivation for their allegiances at the August convention. Any more than the candidates themselves are prevented from providing such fiscal incentive.

Now, a little voice from your brain's rational region is likely whispering that this just can't be so.  After all, such dealings would clearly amount to bribery, right?  Not quite.

Sure, money paid directly to primary voters or to the delegates themselves would never survive the corruption smell test. But, as with most things festering within the body politic, the stench of these dealings lingers deep enough beneath the surface not to be considered objectionable.

Here's how the dirty little game is played:

As the majority of SDs are, themselves, elected officials, their own reelection rarely drifts far from their thoughts. Neither does the value of their campaign war chests, which apparently can be sweetened by the political action and campaign committees of the candidates without breaking a single law. And sweeten, they do.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Barack and Hillary have each ponied up $698,200 and $205,500, respectively to the coffers of various superdelegates.  And, while those SDs interviewed claimed that "any money flowing from the presidential candidates to the delegates' own campaigns hasn't had any sort of influence on their decisions," both common sense and the numbers CFRP uncovered would certainly suggest otherwise:

"In cases where superdelegates had received contributions from both Clinton and Obama, seven out of eight elected officials who received more money from Clinton have committed to her. The one exception: Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, whose endorsement of Obama was highly publicized, received more from Clinton than from the Illinois senator --$10,000 compared to $4,200. Thirty-four of the 43 superdelegates who received more money from Obama, or 79 percent, are backing him. In every case the Center found in which superdelegates received money from one candidate but not the other, the superdelegate is backing the candidate who gave them money. Four superdelegates who have already pledged received the same amount of contributions from both Clinton and Obama-and all committed to Clinton."

It seems the more we learn about these rogue delegates, the crazier the idea sounds.  Not only might they overrule the country's majority choice of candidate, but they are allowed a financial interest in doing so. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that such a ruling class structure would be unique to a party calling itself "Democratic?"

But it gets even weirder. 

Considering his greater than three-to-one SD payout advantage, might we be witnessing the anti-lobbyist Obama attempting to prevent the pro-affirmative action Clinton from stealing the nomination of a black man by resorting to influence peddling?

Ain't politics grand?

Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  He welcomes your feedback.
While shoppers took advantage of longer store hours and bargain prices this Presidents' Day, the Democrats' two candidates were probably doing some shopping of their own.  But it isn't an HDTV, a new couch, or even the latest hot fashions that Obama and Clinton are shelling out their dollars for, it's superdelegates. 

That's right. Counterintuitive though it may seem, these electoral free agents -- who, by the way, may actually decide the contest -- are not restricted from accepting monetary motivation for their allegiances at the August convention. Any more than the candidates themselves are prevented from providing such fiscal incentive.

Now, a little voice from your brain's rational region is likely whispering that this just can't be so.  After all, such dealings would clearly amount to bribery, right?  Not quite.

Sure, money paid directly to primary voters or to the delegates themselves would never survive the corruption smell test. But, as with most things festering within the body politic, the stench of these dealings lingers deep enough beneath the surface not to be considered objectionable.

Here's how the dirty little game is played:

As the majority of SDs are, themselves, elected officials, their own reelection rarely drifts far from their thoughts. Neither does the value of their campaign war chests, which apparently can be sweetened by the political action and campaign committees of the candidates without breaking a single law. And sweeten, they do.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Barack and Hillary have each ponied up $698,200 and $205,500, respectively to the coffers of various superdelegates.  And, while those SDs interviewed claimed that "any money flowing from the presidential candidates to the delegates' own campaigns hasn't had any sort of influence on their decisions," both common sense and the numbers CFRP uncovered would certainly suggest otherwise:

"In cases where superdelegates had received contributions from both Clinton and Obama, seven out of eight elected officials who received more money from Clinton have committed to her. The one exception: Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, whose endorsement of Obama was highly publicized, received more from Clinton than from the Illinois senator --$10,000 compared to $4,200. Thirty-four of the 43 superdelegates who received more money from Obama, or 79 percent, are backing him. In every case the Center found in which superdelegates received money from one candidate but not the other, the superdelegate is backing the candidate who gave them money. Four superdelegates who have already pledged received the same amount of contributions from both Clinton and Obama-and all committed to Clinton."

It seems the more we learn about these rogue delegates, the crazier the idea sounds.  Not only might they overrule the country's majority choice of candidate, but they are allowed a financial interest in doing so. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that such a ruling class structure would be unique to a party calling itself "Democratic?"

But it gets even weirder. 

Considering his greater than three-to-one SD payout advantage, might we be witnessing the anti-lobbyist Obama attempting to prevent the pro-affirmative action Clinton from stealing the nomination of a black man by resorting to influence peddling?

Ain't politics grand?

Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  He welcomes your feedback.