Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

How many superdelegates will Obama's $698,200 buy?

vastleft's picture

Wishin' and hopin' and dreamin' and payin':

Obama, who narrowly leads in the count of pledged, "non-super" delegates, has doled out more than $698,200 to superdelegates from his political action committee, Hope Fund, or campaign committee since 2005. Of the 82 elected officials who had announced as of Feb. 12 that their superdelegate votes would go to the Illinois senator, 35, or 43 percent of this group, have received campaign contributions from him in the 2006 or 2008 election cycles, totaling $232,200. In addition, Obama has been endorsed by 52 superdelegates who haven't held elected office recently and, therefore, didn't receive campaign contributions from him.

Clinton does not appear to have been as openhanded. Her PAC, HILLPAC, and campaign committee appear to have distributed $205,500 to superdelegates. Only 12 percent of her elected superdelegates, or 13 of 109 who have said they will back her, have received campaign contributions, totaling about $95,000 since 2005. An additional 128 unelected superdelegates support Clinton, according to a blog tracking superdelegates and their endorsements, 2008 Democratic Convention Watch.

No doubt, those who rail against the "Clinton Machine" will be loudly outraged by Obama's generous application of grease onto superdelegate palms. Right?

0
No votes yet

Comments

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i went over to opensecrets.org to look up who gave what to whom, and their search function is telling me that no one with the last name 'obama' is in their database. hmm.

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

That makes so much sense. I never figured out what the superdelegate system was for, but bingo... It's about shuffling campaign monies around. I wondered why certain people were Clinton and/or Obama supporters, I never thought about following the money.

Wow. Politics is sooo corrupt (duh). Campaign money should have an expiration date and be non-transferable.

Submitted by lambert on

But even if he didn't give her any money, he made everybody feel good!

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

hypnot's picture
Submitted by hypnot on

No doubt, those who rail against the “Clinton Machine” will be loudly outraged by Obama’s generous application of grease onto superdelegate palms. Right?

If I haven't been railing against the Clinton Machine, can I still be loudly outraged? Simple questions for every Democratic candidate, today and in the future:

1. How do you propose to make the process of nominating and electing Democrats more democratic?

2. How do you propose to eliminate corruption from the process?

3. How do you propose to remove the influence of money on the process?

For starters.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

we could do away with Super Delegates. Or we could make a rule that Super Delegate may not accept money from PAC's connected to Presidential Candidates. Or we could probably do other things.

Submitted by lambert on

instead of disenfranchising those who have to work, those with child care issues, the sick, the old, the poor, and those without cars.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It reeks of groupthink and insider politics. I went to one, and it was the biggest bag job I ever saw. It was clear who you were "supposed" to vote for, and it was very uncomfortable if you had a different opinion.

Submitted by lambert on

It's a primary, so suppose the presumptive nominee has an Eagleton moment between being picked and being formally nominated (which could be months). Something that makes everybody slap their foreheads and say "Had we but known!" (I'm thinking of Primary Colors here.)

There needs to be some sort of institutional check to handle that use case. Maybe the Superdelegate system isn't ideal for that, but what the hey.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

of course, this is bad news for Hillary, because it shows how wasteful she'll be as president.

See, Obama spent on average only $6634 on each of the delegates he bought, but Clinton spent on average $7308 each for hers.

what this tells us is that when it comes time to trade pork for votes in Congress, Obama will be able to buy those votes with 10% less pork, saving the taxpayers money.

/Obot mode off

markg8's picture
Submitted by markg8 on

"Obama, who narrowly leads in the count of pledged, “non-super” delegates, has doled out more than $698,200 to superdelegates from his political action committee, Hope Fund, or campaign committee since 2005." Yet Hillary has only donated $95,000 to her elected super delegates in that time.

My question is why is she so cheap? While she was burying the "Rick Lazio juggernaut" under $30 million in her NY senate race in 2006 there were dozens of Dem House aspirants going begging, some even in her own state she could have helped. She had enough left over to shift $10 million into her presidential warchest last winter but couldn't part with some of her stash to win us a few more House seats?

It really is all about her, just like the DNC was the Clinton's political cash cow in the 90's. That kind of thinking is incredibly shortsighted. Besides showing the Clinton's selfishness it also highlights how Obama is actually helping to elect Dems for a strong working coalition to get things done quickly once he's in office.

I can see why some equate Hillary to Nixon. He never did much for his party either.

Submitted by lambert on

Thank you for commenting, markg8. Your comment is important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Not to get all OFB here but this really is just business as usual, and it does strike me as a bit rich to criticize the guy for playing the game the way that you have to play in order to succeed. If what he's done broke a law or a party rule, then criticism would be justified. If all he did was do what it takes to win and do it within the rules and the law, then he's smart and effective to do so and those are valuable attributes, not flaws.

Curse it all you like but the election process is so big and complicated that there really is no way to work outside it and succeed. There are aspects of Obama I don't care for - total ignorance of foreign affairs and a disturbing arrogance that it doesn't matter; failure to do anything since election to the Senate other than run for President - but working the system? Not only is it not a problem for me but I'm encouraged, because if he is going to change it he had better first understand how to make it work, including the unsavory parts.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

have at it.

and other stuff. in the know people agree: there are no "rules" in this process. rules that matter today, don't matter tomorrow, yesterday, in some cases- whatever. cf: the "rules" say that when states like MI decide to not follow other "rules" and move their primary, they are to be penalized by 50% of their delagates at the convention. or 100%, if a special committee decides. which isn't elected, but appointed. by people who the "rules" say are sort of elected, but not really. before the question of "what rules matter" in the current context is known. but: all of these "rules" are flexible. that is, if some- not elected, party insiders- decide that they want to fight/change/emphasize one set of rules over another, they can. but they get to fight over it, mainly by bribing people who are in the party, but who operate professionally with different goals than "getting a dem majority elected," and most of the time, work outside this framework of "rules."

is that clear enough for you? because if you want to defend any candidate, or this system, go ahead. notice i didn't even talk about the undemocratic overweighting of caucuses. and more, which supports my point.

which is: rules are what you make them, and you make them when you exercise more power than your opponent. and/or money. how much more plain can it be? spare me moral indignation (not just you BIO, but everyone in both camps), your "rules" are as malleable as the taffy i just made.

there are no rules, this is a pure political play that will go on still for some months. enjoy the ride, you could've had (again, not you per se BIO but all dems) a nice, compromising progressive southern white liberal str8 guy. but he had funny hair, and it's more fun to eat away at the margin against the rethug in the fall with all this he said she said race/gender baiting within our own party. /natch, i'm not saying that/

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

guy got my vote today, CD.

The rest of this stuff is a spectator sport for me.

Yeah, I'll vote D in the general -- straight ticket if I can stomach the primary-'winner' for the Texas Supreme Court seat that's open this time 'round. I subjected y'all to a good big snippet of my local Congresscritter on the video of the oil refinery explosion last night -- can you imagine me not wanting to be represented by *anybody* less useless?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Sometimes, dear heart, I wonder if you read my comments all the way through or just stop when you first get pissed off. Sigh.

“A bit rich” as in “excessive, over the top; unjustified.”

From your comment above, near as I can sort it out (and no, “clear” it was not, puff puff) we seem to be in complete agreement. Obama can do whatever the hell he wants to, so can Clinton; what rules there are appear all but infinitely malleable. He’s breaking no law by passing around campaign money; everyone does it so why shouldn’t he if it helps his cause?

I’m not defending the system, it’s jacked, up down and sideways, but to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld you go into an election with the rules that you have, not necessarily the ones you want. No reason for Obama to play by any other rules or honor restrictions that others can ignore. If he’s better/more adept/cleverer about how to use the system well then, good for him and it does not go on my list of issues.

” spare me moral indignation (not just you BIO” Hello? Kettle, meet pot. (cough, hack, snort, whew!) ‘Tis you who are indignant, not I; I’m saying let the "who gave cash to whom" stuff slide and focus on matters of actual substance.

Do tell all about the taffy, please.

markg8's picture
Submitted by markg8 on

Your really made taffy? Who makes taffy? I used to walk by the shabby, quaint hundred year old storefront taffy shops on the Jersey boardwalk where they make it in the window and think to myself who eats that stuff?

I'm sorry if this sounds offensive but you recycle candles (I wish I knew that trick, but I'm afraid I'd burn down the house trying) and make your own taffy. When the world finally does go to hell I'm guessing it's going to be just you and the cockroaches who survive.

dday's picture
Submitted by dday on

stop the presses!

This story is misleading to the extreme. Some "superdelegates" are also, of course, members of Congress. I don't think the article is claiming that Obama paid random DNC members who work second jobs as schoolteachers are anything.

What happens is that Patrick Murphy, for example, runs for Congress. And Obama, wanting to see more Democrats in Congress, does what every single Democrat with a safe seat or no race that year does and gives money from his PAC (by the way, Russ Feingold does a TON of this with his Progressive Patriots PAC). Then in the election, Murphy endorses Obama. And some yahoo writes a story that Obama bought Murphy's vote.

The reason Clinton's money to "superdelegates" is likely because she had a Senate race last year and Obama didn't. Also she way overspent for that race for no good reason.

If "trying to get more Democrats in Congress" now disqualifies you for being President, them's some new rules.

You can criticize WHO Obama decided to support, but he actually went all over the country and pretty much supported everyone in 2006, so that's not that great an argument. I would have loved to see him support Edwards or Ed Fallon, but he's not likely to do that. I recognize his limitations as a candidate. That said, I'm not going to criticize him for party-building.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Pretend the differential were the other way around.

Trust the force of prevailing winds, and the power of "Clinton Rules," and you will know this would be treated as an enormous, shameful scandal.

Imagine if Hillary Clinton had used large swatches of Nancy Pelosi's speeches, and tell me whether it would have been a major scandal. The way Obama's use of Deval Patrick's monologues isn't. (And ironically so, since the cribbed speech is built on both men's appropriation of historically meaningful speeches by others).

What if Obama had suggested that Hillary's presidency wouldn't live up to her campaign hype (the "outrageous" accusation that preceded the purloined pitch)? Would bloggers be gnashing their teeth about it, as they have about HRC's below-the-belt, unprecedented claim that her opponent's flowery rhetoric might not be matched by his deeds. How dare she suggest such a thing, which is beyond the pale?

In this post I offer, with little commentary, an item that suggests Obama's cash just might be buying him some influence (which was, presumably, why the non-partisan [AFAIK] Center for Responsive Politics posted the analysis). If you can tell me with a straight face that this would be a non-issue if HRC had greased more superdelegate palms, that it wouldn't be deemed a manifestation of the vile, pernicious Clinton Machine... If so, I hope I never meet you at a poker table.

dday's picture
Submitted by dday on

shoe-is-on-the-other-foot-ism. It's the most reductive, meaningless kind of argument.

I'll tell you what I would do, in this case, I would be evaluating the evidence and saying the exact same thing, that giving money to help Democrats get elected to Congress is not "buying superdelegates." Entitled to your own opinion but not entitled to your own facts and all that.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i was a little sassy (full moon and all) and i honestly didn't grok what you were saying, i get it now, thanks for the clarification.

and "not clear" was exactly my point. no one, not even hardworking librul bloggers, fully understand "the rules." it seems to be that every time we have a discussion about them, it's like taking a step into a stream...it's different every time. and if i seemed too harsh, it's because yes, i'm getting pissed. the acrimony we're expending on each other is saving republicans money (bad), killing voter interest (worse), and just plain annoying, because as i was saying and you seem to be agreeing, there is no "there" there and we're all arguing about rules that essentially don't really exist.

i think it was BDB who said, and i agree, i hope the convention is a nightmare of confrontation. the dem party deserves that and brought it on itself. feh.

markg8's picture
Submitted by markg8 on

if you were expecting a fair hearing about Obama you've come to the wrong place.

CD said i think it was BDB who said, and i agree, i hope the convention is a nightmare of confrontation. the dem party deserves that and brought it on itself. feh.

I think that was Rush Limbaugh.

Submitted by lambert on

Thank you for commenting, markg8. Your comment is important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

and i have a moral platform from which to look down at them. the motherfuckers disenfranchised me and took my candidate off the ballot. yes, he agreed and yes, clinton did not, but you know, the whole mess started months and years ago and they should've worked it out well before it was my turn to vote, but they didn't. and it's not over yet- i may get to "revote" or otherwise see undemocratic games determine "what i want" as a voter in this state.

you may take disenfranchisement lightly, i don't. this year, i'm punishing them with less support, no money, and regular blogging on how much dems suck. it didn't have to happen this way, and none of this mess is my fault.

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

You know what strikes me. Everywhere I go on the internets, even completely non-blog non-politic places all have a thread or two about have you seen this or that. Any every. single. one. has one adopted OFB ready to chant the mantra. It is really scientology-level creepy that everywhere has one dedicated person to chime in and repeat the OFB creed.

Not saying it is good or bad, i just noticed this recently.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

You know, Unity and all.

But what, actually, is wrong with "other-footism"?

Doesn't that simply mean that one is expecting the goose and gander to be judged by the same standard? To evaluate whether the prevailing standard might be hypocritical?

This election has shown a large number of Democrats embracing "Clinton Rules," a sin for thee but not for me, and so on.

When it comes to judging the Clintons, the rule is that not only when there's smoke, there's fire, but when there were past, debunked allegations of smoke, there's fire. When they run a faucet, there's fire. When they mention MLK and LBJ, there's fire, and so on.

Every move the Clintons make re: delegates is, in the current zeitgeist, evidence of a corrupt, bullying machine. I can't seriously believe that a large cash investment in superdelegates would be treated as "off the table" by much of anyone in the media or blogosphere if they were the bigger spenders.

Whether or not you agree that the superdelegate cash story is a bona fide controversy, do you not see that the candidates are constantly being held to different standards?