Will Super-Delegates O’Malley and Mikulski Honor the Will Of MD Voters?
Despite the recent momentum enjoyed by Barack Obama, it looks increasingly likely that the democratic nomination may not be settled until the national convention in late August. Besides the razor close race, there’s other factors which gives this race an aura of unpredictably. First, democrats will have to decide if to count the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Both states had their delegates stripped prior to their respective primaries for not following party rules. If the DNC maintains their rigid position, they risk alienating two states that could ultimately decide the presidency in November. If they change the rules and allow the delegates to count, it’ll come across as grossly unfair since candidates likely avoided heavy campaigning in those states after initially learning the results wouldn’t even count.
If that weren’t enough, there’s that super-delegate dilemma. Essentially, super delegates include Democratic governors and members of Congress, former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former vice president Al Gore, retired congressional leaders, and all Democratic National Committee members. In all, this group comprises approximately 40% of the delegates required to secure the Democratic nomination.
These super-delegates can vote any way they desire regardless of what their electorate decided at the polls. In Maryland, Hillary Clinton currently has three pledged delegates: Dutch Ruppersberger, Martin O’Malley and Barbara Mikulski. Statewide, Barack Obama secured 60% of the Maryland vote on Tuesday.
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I have no doubt that Dutch Ruppersberger ultimately honors the will of the voters. In fact, he’s been most low key about his support for Hillary. He’s a stand up guy who routinely puts constituents’ concerns above all else. Now, with O’Malley and Mikulski, the same cannot be said. O’Malley often appears to act in his own selfish interests. Likewise, his rapidly declining approval ratings indicate a strong disconnect with Maryland voters.
With Mikulski, she gives all indications that’ll she’ll cast her vote for Hillary regardless. She’s been one of the loudest supporters of the former first lady in any jurisdiction anywhere. In turn, there seems to be a bit of sexism with Mikulski. On more than one occasion, Mikulski has made it clear about her inflexible desire to see a woman as president.
On Tuesday, Maryland voters sent a loud and clear message. Our elected officials owe it to the voters to reinforce our interests. Do I think they will in this case? If history provides any indication, it’s highly doubtful.