Grand Theft Delegate
Posted on Mar 9, 2008
Hillary Clinton has returned to the subject of poaching pledged delegates, a topic that was raised and immediately lowered by her campaign earlier in the primary season. In a new interview in Newsweek, Clinton drops the hint: “Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to.”
While it is true that pledged delegates are technically free to go for whomever they wish, the idea of actively lobbying them to ignore the will of the voters who allocated them has traditionally not gone over well.
It’s a tactic the Clinton campaign already disowned once, and while it’s possible that Hillary’s comment below is simply meant to get past the “delegate math” storyline, Time’s Mark Halperin wonders if it isn’t “another trial balloon (on a topic already raised and shot down).”
How can you win the nomination when the math looks so bleak for you?
It doesn’t look bleak at all. I have a very close race with Senator Obama. There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates, all for different reasons, and they’re all equal in their ability to cast their vote for whomever they choose. Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to. This is a very carefully constructed process that goes back years, and we’re going to follow the process.