Jake Tapper’s interview with the DNC Chair on superdelegates and the train wreck that followed

posted at 8:01 am on February 12, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Just the other day we talked about the Democratic primary superdelegate situation and how it compares to the Republican Party’s rules. (The GOP scheme isn’t a “pure” representation of the voters’ collective will either, but the Democrats make it look like the residents of ancient Athens putting dark or light stones in an urn.) Yesterday we had the chance to see Jake Tapper ask DNC Chair Debby Wasserman-Schultz how it is that new voters should trust a scheme where Bernie Sanders could beat Hillary Clinton by such a wide margin, yet come away with no more delegates than her. The answer she managed was both hilarious and instructive. Let’s go to the video.

(Jake’s questioning on the superdelegates starts right around the 1:10 mark after her non-answer on a brokered convention if you want to skip ahead to it.)

TAPPER: What do you tell voters who are new to the process who say this makes them feel like it’s all rigged?

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Let me just make sure I can clarify what was available during the primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. The unpledged delegates are a separate category. The only thing available on the ballot in a primary and a caucus is the pledged delegates, those that are tied to the candidate that they are pledged to support and they receive a proportional number of delegates going into our convention.

Unpledged delegates exist, really, to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are, as a Democratic Party, really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention and we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention and so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.

TAPPER: I’m not sure that that answer would satisfy an anxious, young voter but let’s move on.

Tapper’s rather droll reply of, I’m not sure that answer would satisfy… seems to professionally but clearly indicate that he wasn’t buying any of the previous, incomprehensible word salad. But if I’d had the chance to script a follow-up question for Jake (or any future reporters who get hold of her) I’d have wanted to see something along these lines:

There were a total of 151,584 votes cast for Bernie Sanders, giving him 15 delegates. That means that 10,105 people had to drag themselves out in the snow for each delegate he received. Why should voters have any faith in a system where one person appointed by the party leadership can cancel out the votes of more than ten thousand people who chose the other candidate?

The DNC Chair’s answer was actually a practiced response, and not a terrible one considering her position. She’s been at this a long time now and has to deal with reporters on a daily basis. Debbie knows that one of the worst things you can do is get caught in one of those deer in the headlights moments, staring in silence or stammering. When you’re asked a question for which you have no plausible answer, you need to fill that potential dead air time with something, so you stock up in advance with a collection of talking points or at least a few buzzwords to carpet over your horrible answer.

But that second paragraph of her answer above might have been plucked out of a word cloud. The first part of her answer, consisting of a dry explanation of the difference between pledged and unpledged delegates, seems like she’s buying some time. You can almost see the thought bubble over her head reading, oh crap. I’d better come up with something here. Then she launches into her stream of consciousness, starting with the idea that party leaders and elected officials shouldn’t wind up running against grassroots activists. What does that even mean? Did she just want to get the word “grassroots” in there to make it sound like she cared what the voters thought? The superdelegates aren’t “running against” anyone. They aren’t running at all. They don’t even need to vote in the election since they get to cast the only votes that really matter at the convention.

Then, after a couple more buzzwords about diversity, she claims that she wants the grassroots activists and diverse committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention. There are a few hundred people who get to “participate” at the convention and they are all hand selected by the leadership. They could hand out tickets to attend and cheer on the speakers to anyone they liked, but she’s being asked about the people chosen to cast votes equal to ten thousand members of their base with no consideration of how they voted.

Hopefully this question can keep bubbling up over and over again as the season wears on. I don’t expect them to change their rules, but their voters deserve to see just how badly they’re getting ripped off if they don’t toe the party line.

DWSsuperdelegates


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Schadenfreude

Bmore on February 12, 2016 at 12:14 PM

You know I have to admit… Debbie is hot in a shave your poodle’s butt and teach him to walk backwards kind of way.

iceman1960 on February 12, 2016 at 11:48 AM

You forgot ‘slather it in mayonnaise that’s been sitting out for a day.’

James on February 12, 2016 at 12:18 PM

Ick!
.
Bmore on February 12, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Schadenfreude
.
Bmore on February 12, 2016 at 12:14 PM

.
Looka’that! … Ya’ see ?

Two (2) adjoining comments … one (1) word each . . . : )

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 12:22 PM

She looks like she is recovering from a weekend at Bernie’s.

woodhull on February 12, 2016 at 8:16 AM

And she was the one being dragged behind the speedboat doing the buoy slalom.

dentarthurdent on February 12, 2016 at 12:27 PM

Looks like Tricky Ted’s pornstar isn’t too happy;
.

Amy Lindsay @amylindsayLA

Extremely disappointed the #TedCruz campaign pulled the national television spot I had a role in… @CNN @Foxnews #moretocome #myvotecounts
11:52 PM – 11 Feb 2016

.
whatcat on February 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

.
I don’t blame her . . . . . if she was fully clothed, and there was nothing even subliminally “sexually arousing” about her part in the commercial, there was no reason to pull it.

For cryin’ out loud, Jenna Jameson could have been in such a commercial.

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 12:36 PM

A vampire abroad in the light of day who speaks with rising intoNATION?

Look at those fangs!

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2016 at 12:42 PM

I wonder if the Democrats would approve of such an arrangement in the general election?

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2016 at 12:44 PM

Looks like Tricky Ted’s pornstar isn’t too happy;
.

Amy Lindsay @amylindsayLA

Extremely disappointed the #TedCruz campaign pulled the national television spot I had a role in… @CNN @Foxnews #moretocome #myvotecounts
11:52 PM – 11 Feb 2016

.
whatcat on February 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

So, the campaign manager for Ted Cruz hires a production company to produce a commercial. The production company hires a cast. A former porn actress auditions and is hired to portray an everyday American; maybe that former porn actress has just that desire- to be an ordinary American. But, the enemies of Ted Cruz see a chance to score some points off of a situation no one believes he had any direct control over. And a woman’s chance at redemption and a normal everyday American life disappears into the spittle of the howler monkey chorus.

You must be so proud.

M240H on February 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM

She is one wretched freak

SpongePuppy on February 12, 2016 at 12:52 PM

It doesn’t matter, Dems will circle the wagons and back whoever has a “D” next their name come November.

Honestly, both parties are starting to see how the old games of fooling their base are no longer sufficient. The Internet makes it too hard to do this outside the sight of their bases. It’s clear the young base of the Dem party wants a Socialist, and the base of the GOP wants to destroy the GOPe.

The only problem is that the GOP base doesn’t show up to vote when the candidate is not their guy, and Dems vote a Dem regardless who it is, because they are brain-washed into believing that Republicans are evil.

The only candidate who breaks the paradigm for both parties is Trump. I know a dozen B.O. voters who are voting Trump this year. I am not a Trump guy, but I really want to punch the GOP establishment in the face. Hard. I’d like Cruz, but I’ll take Trump if it means it puts the GOPe in chaos.

goflyers on February 12, 2016 at 1:11 PM

I am not a Trump guy, but I really want to punch the GOP establishment in the face. Hard. I’d like Cruz, but I’ll take Trump if it means it puts the GOPe in chaos.
goflyers on February 12, 2016 at 1:11 PM

Yep!

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2016 at 1:25 PM

Trapper deserves some kind of medal, something having to do with patience. I saw this and could tolerate only one question and half a Debbie Wasserman answer. It burns! The woman insists on speaking through mirrors reflected across galaxies. She speaks as an alien about other worlds. No, we do not indulge her, not even for a single full answer.

bour3 on February 12, 2016 at 1:34 PM

whatcat on February 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

.
So, the campaign manager for Ted Cruz hires a production company to produce a commercial. The production company hires a cast. A former porn actress auditions and is hired to portray an everyday American; maybe that former porn actress has just that desire- to be an ordinary American. But, the enemies of Ted Cruz see a chance to score some points off of a situation no one believes he had any direct control over. And a woman’s chance at redemption and a normal everyday American life disappears into the spittle of the howler monkey chorus.

You must be so proud.
.
M240H on February 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM

.
I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree with you on that, M240H … the enemies of Ted Cruz could get nowhere with this ‘porn-starlet’ if it wasn’t for the stupidity and hyper-sensitivity of a lot of Christian believers, who make up a generous portion of Ted’s supporters.
Simply announcing that a ‘Cruz campaign ad’ used a porn-star, would be enough to cause some of his supporters to “fall away”, even if they never actually saw the commercial.

I wish that weren’t true, but I’m sure it is . . . : (

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 1:41 PM

I wish that weren’t true, but I’m sure it is . . . : (

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 1:41 PM

The obvious question to Cruz after this would be:

“Is your pulling of the ad a statement or signal that you do not intend to represent people who have a different set of values than you do as the President, that they should be hidden away and ignored? And a follow-up…Are you familiar with the story that contains this passage ‘go and sin no more’ ?”

BobMbx on February 12, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Let’s ask these same questions to the Republicans, who have the same super delegate system.

joecollins on February 12, 2016 at 2:08 PM

Just what job in the Hillary Administration does DWS believe she’s going to fill?

Another Drew on February 12, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I don’t understand why this would bother any Bernie supporter. He reciever do way more that his fair share of votes, all they did was redistribute them in a way that helped poor downtrodden Hillary.

Isn’t that ideology the basis of his entire campaign?

Steele on February 12, 2016 at 2:29 PM

The “Useful Idiots” in the Democrat Party nod their heads in unison as Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks.

Wake up American Voters!!!

wren on February 12, 2016 at 2:49 PM

I wish that weren’t true, but I’m sure it is . . . : (
.
listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 1:41 PM

.
The obvious question to Cruz after this would be:

“Is your pulling of the ad a statement or signal that you do not intend to represent people who have a different set of values than you do as the President, that they should be hidden away and ignored? And a follow-up…Are you familiar with the story that contains this passage ‘go and sin no more’ ?”
.
BobMbx on February 12, 2016 at 1:57 PM

.
The problem isn’t what Ted Cruz thinks about it. I’m quite certain he, personally, had no problem with it.
The problem is how a large segment of his “hyper-sensitive Christian supporters would react to the news, once it became widespread.

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 2:54 PM

You watch, the RNC will try to do the same thing (add hundreds of Establishment Superdelegates) to prevent losing control of the primaries again…

We have to act to prevent that!

ConstantineXI on February 12, 2016 at 9:36 AM

That makes the assumption that a “Republican Party” still exists after any putative 2016 election. I have my doubts. YMMV.

Subotai Bahadur on February 12, 2016 at 3:13 PM

Say, it looks like Debbie found her shampoo bottle . . .

tpitman on February 12, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Her “incomprehensible word salad” really comes down to saying the Dem leadership have rigged the election for Hillary. There is no way to justify the delegate count from NH.

Look at the Hillary super-delegate breakdown by state

Larger numbers in the larger states. It’s primary robbery. Where Bernie might “win” he really loses.
And I wouldn’t believe in the theoretical “they can switch” BS. Look at the list
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Democratic_Party_superdelegates,_2016

Lots of Hillary supporting politicians. Think Bill Clinton might switch?

It’s a robbery but the smug Dem elite figure the dumb democrat voters won’t much notice and there’s nothing these lemmings can do about it anyway.

Chessplayer on February 12, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Trolling, Trolling, Trolling: Whitesplainin’, Blackpanderin’, Blunderin’ Hillary Clinton Gets Buggled
.
Lime in the Coconut on February 12, 2016 at 3:25 PM

.
Very well done, per usual … : )

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 3:55 PM

“Democratic Party” is a misnomer.

WestTexasBirdDog on February 12, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Why should voters have any faith in a system where one person appointed by the party leadership can cancel out the votes of more than ten thousand people who chose the other candidate?

A glance at the GOP clown car parade should answer that handily. Superdelegates give the party a handbrake to slow down a party that may be moving faster than is healthy.

Tlaloc on February 12, 2016 at 5:30 PM

It’s a robbery but the smug Dem elite figure the dumb democrat voters won’t much notice and there’s nothing these lemmings can do about it anyway.

Chessplayer on February 12, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Democrats have known about these rules for a long time. In fact I’ve been pointing out to you guys the superdelegate thing being just one more built in advantage Hillary has for a year now. Yet you act like nobody knew…

Tlaloc on February 12, 2016 at 5:32 PM

And BTW, yet another Democrat debate and no discussion of Blue’s emails (even on the day that it is disclosed that the State Department IG subpoenaed Clinton Foundation records to investigate pay-to-play favoritism).

Jake Tapper did a lame job in the last debate (are you 100% sure nothing will be found) but at least he asked an email-related question.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:22 AM

Well, Bernie doesn’t care about them …

AesopFan on February 12, 2016 at 5:32 PM

Debbie Blabbermouth Dunce @ 3:49

That’s the contrast no matter who the nominees are and the American people will choose to continue to go in the direction we have been, like they have in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections

Clinton Clinton Bush Bush Obama Obama
Because Fractions R Hard.

CapnObvious on February 12, 2016 at 6:39 PM

If I were a young strapping Marine, I would never ask her to go with me to the Marine Ball.

(OK to wipe screens in 3-2-1)

thelaststraw on February 12, 2016 at 6:53 PM

Chessplayer on February 12, 2016 at 3:44 PM

.
Democrats have known about these rules for a long time. In fact I’ve been pointing out to you guys the super delegate thing being just one more built in advantage Hillary has for a year now. Yet you act like nobody knew…
.
Tlaloc on February 12, 2016 at 5:32 PM

.
Baloney … I’ve known about it since 2008.

To be honest, I did not understand it before seeing Glenn’s video.

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 7:56 PM

If I were a young strapping Marine, I would never ask her to go with me to the Marine Ball.
.
thelaststraw on February 12, 2016 at 6:53 PM

.
But of course … most “young strapping Marines” wouldn’t want to ask someone old enough to be their mother.

listens2glenn on February 12, 2016 at 8:00 PM

That’s the contrast no matter who the nominees are and the American people will choose to continue to go in the direction we have been, like they have in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections

Clinton Clinton Bush* Bush Obama Obama
Because Fractions R Hard.

CapnObvious on February 12, 2016 at 6:39 PM

I think they are referencing the popular vote which the dems have in fact won in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.

Tlaloc on February 12, 2016 at 8:39 PM

I think they are referencing the popular vote which the dems have in fact won in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.

Tlaloc on February 12, 2016 at 8:39 PM

She didn’t say popular vote, but if she was trying to play cute games with the numbers, she’s even MORE wrong… neither Clinton election garnered them 50% of the vote.

CapnObvious on February 12, 2016 at 9:06 PM

….

I wake up in the morning on a Friday…and the first thing I see…is THAT FACE!…thanks a lot Jazz!

I see no reason why I should suffer alone…
Jazz Shaw on February 12, 2016 at 8:46 AM

Jazz, that was BRILLIANT. That’s the kind of analysis we want to see. That’s an argument we can use in discussions. Bravo.
I have my moments. Usually before 7 am when I’m still sober.
Jazz Shaw on February 12, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Jazz, would it here be appropriate to recall that old Churchill joke with the tag line, “Madam, you are ugly. You are very ugly. You are very, VERY ugly. BUT, I shall be sober in the morning.“?

RL on February 12, 2016 at 9:03 AM

Tres amusiert.

AesopFan on February 12, 2016 at 11:36 PM

Democrats can do whatever they want. It’s their party.
If you don’t like it don’t join it.

No one is forced to join a political party.

weedisgood on February 12, 2016 at 8:15 AM

And anyone is allowed to criticize the fact that democrats hate using a democratic process to run their party.

Idiot

blink on February 12, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Touche.

AesopFan on February 12, 2016 at 11:36 PM

Are comments bleeding across threads? Wierd. :S

S. D. on February 13, 2016 at 12:22 AM

Let’s ask these same questions to the Republicans, who have the same super delegate system.

joecollins on February 12, 2016 at 2:08 PM

Same system? Republicans have FAR fewer superdelegates and they can not choose whomever they please. They have to vote the same as their states in the primaries.

deltanine on February 13, 2016 at 1:41 AM

I think they are referencing the popular vote which the dems have in fact won in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.

Kenny Bania on February 12, 2016 at 8:39 PM

Not in 2000-Gore only “won” 1/2 of 1% more of the national popular vote than Chimpy did, which was the exact same tiny margin that triggered the Florida recount.

Of course, you’ll call me an “idiot” for not knowing that Florida’s recount standard doesn’t apply nationwide, (I did know, but that’s beside the point) but I’ll throw that idiot right back in your face because you obviously don’t know that the popular vote has never decided the outcome of any Presidential election, except in your BDS Dreams.

F-

Del Dolemonte on February 13, 2016 at 8:58 AM

I think they are referencing the popular vote which the dems have in fact won in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.

Kenny Bania on February 12, 2016 at 8:39 PM

Oh, and you’re desperately ignoring that in two of those 6 elections, 1992 and 1996, your Democrat “candidate” didn’t even get 50% of the national popular vote.

F-#2.

PS, here in New Hampshire on Tuesday, your Democrat “candidate” came in second.

20 years before that here in New Hampshire, the Democrat candidate who came in second was…comedian Patrick Layton Paulsen (D-Smothers Brothers).

So fittingly, Hillario! is in fitting company as a NH Democrat Primary second place finisher! Send in the clowns!

HILLARIO!+

Del Dolemonte on February 13, 2016 at 9:04 AM

Well, yeah. It’s rigged.

soghornetgunner on February 13, 2016 at 10:36 AM

the popular vote which the dems have in fact won in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.

Kenny Bania on February 12, 2016 at 8:39 PM

And another thing-“popular vote” does not equal “popular majority of the vote”.

In those last 6 elections Kenny cites, only once has any candidate, Democrat or Republican, broken the 50% barrier.

And it was the Republican, in 2004. 57%.

Del Dolemonte on February 13, 2016 at 2:09 PM

If the Sanders supporters ever get this, they will trash the convention.

dogsoldier on February 13, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Maybe even burn down the DNC if they can find it on a map

dogsoldier on February 13, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz still looks confused and need to up her finger into the light socket to get recharged and ding her long lost dog Andy and Daddy Warbucks.

MSGTAS on February 14, 2016 at 7:24 AM

LOL!!!

My follow-up question would have been, “What the f*ck did that supposed to mean?!” LOL

dpduq on February 16, 2016 at 12:41 AM

Comment pages: 1 2