Though it may seem hard to believe given how opposed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is to the role of superdelegates in the process of selecting the 2016 Democratic nominee for President, just eight years ago Sanders was supportive of superdelegates.
In 2008, Sanders explicitly endorsed then Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination even though Obama hadn’t yet won enough pledged delegates to win the nomination outright.
Yet here we are less than a decade later, and the campaign manager for the Sanders camp, Jeff Weaver, is saying things like this:
“(Superdelegates) don’t count until they vote, and they don’t vote until we get to the convention. So when we arrive at the convention, it will be an open convention, likely with neither candidate having a majority of pledged delegates.”
And we also have the Sanders campaign trying to spin the Senator’s flip-flop, with senior advisor Tad Devine claiming the situation in 2008 is much different from 2016 because:
“By June of 2008, it was very clear to everyone that Obama was going to be the nominee.”
It was? Let’s take a look at the delegate count in June of 2008:
Obama: 1,766.5 pledged delegates (2,118 total delegates were required to secure the nomination)
Clinton: 1,639.5 pledged delegates
That’s a difference of 127 total pledged delegates. Now let’s examine where the race between Clinton and Sanders stands this year:
Clinton: 1,771 pledged delegates won (2,383 delegates needed to secure the nomination)
Sanders: 1,499 pledged delegates won
That’s a difference of 272 pledged delegates. So Clinton is beating Sanders by twice the pledged delegate margin as Obama had over her in 2008, but superdelegates were cool then and not now? Even though I have voted for and given money to Sanders, I have to say his change in position reeks of hypocrisy.
One other thing: Before Sanders supporters say the Senator would make a stronger general election candidate against Donald Trump (and the polls do indeed show that), let me remind you this debate is about the Democratic nomination, not about what takes place on November 8.
All politicians flip-flop on something. They just do. But for Sanders to say he’s different from what takes place each and every day in Washington–that he’s unique–is not exactly true. He had no problem with superdelegates in 2008, but now, when those same superdelegates impact his campaign, he wants them eliminated.
The numbers don’t lie, and while I admire Sanders mission to reform the political system and rid it of the money that is corrupting it to its very core, it’s also important to know that he isn’t exactly a newcomer to this game and he did once tacitly support the concept of superdelegates.
Facts are important, even when you don’t like what they have to tell you.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.