Clinton backers warn Pelosi on superdelegate rift
Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:03am EDT
By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group of prominent Hillary Clinton donors sent a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asking her to retract her comments on superdelegates and stay out of the Democratic fight over their role in the presidential race.
The 20 prominent Clinton supporters told Pelosi she should "clarify" recent statements to make it clear superdelegates -- nearly 800 party insiders and elected officials who are free to back any candidate -- could support the candidate they think would be the best nominee.
Pelosi has not publicly endorsed either Clinton or Barack Obama in their hotly contested White House battle, but she recently said superdelegates should support whoever emerges from the nomination contests with the most pledged delegates -- which appears almost certain to be Obama.
Now the only question seems to be whether or not Ms Pelosi has been sufficiently warned. Perhaps her possible desire to be the only Big Girl in Town will keep her rooting for Sen. Obama even if it is sub rosa. This is all so interesting.
Couple this with the recent questions about the legality of Elton John, a British national, campaigning for Hillary Clinton by performing in a fundraising concert, and you have yet another bad week for Sen. Clinton.
From the Hill
Pelosi firm on not allowing superdelegates to tip race
Posted: 03/27/08 11:30 AM [ET] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has reaffirmed her position that superdelegates should not “overturn the will of the voters” in the face of criticism from top donors to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).“The Speaker believes it would do great harm to the Democratic Party if superdelegates are perceived to overturn the will of the voters,” Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said in a statement late Wednesday.
“This has been her position throughout this primary season, regardless of who was ahead at any particular point in delegates or votes.”
In a letter first reported Wednesday on talkingpointsmemo.com, 20 top Hillary fundraisers and donors blasted Pelosi for saying that when the presidential nominating contest nears its conclusion, superdelegates should support whoever leads in pledged delegates.
They cited remarks she made to ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on March 16.
“We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard. None of us should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices and their votes,” the letter said.