DNC Chair Tries to Defend Superdelegates to Rachel Maddow

• February 20, 2016 8:36 pm


Following Hillary Clinton's win in Nevada’s Democratic caucus on Saturday, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz attempted to defend an undemocratic feature of the Democratic Party’s nominating process to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

Maddow noted that socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) beat Hillary Clinton by 22 points in the New Hampshire primary yet came out of that race trailing Clinton in delegates due to "superdelegates" who were selected from the party establishment before the contest, and who overwhelmingly support Clinton.

"Is there an internal dialogue, internal discussion in the Democratic Party about the superdelegate process and whether or not the party's going to stick with it?" Maddow asked.

"I'm glad you're asking me about this, because the way the media has been reporting this is incorrect. There aren’t pledged delegates, i.e. superdelegates earned at any of these primary or caucus contests, Rachel," Schultz said, "Those unpledged delegates are elected officials, party leaders, people who have spent years and years in the Democratic party, members of Congress, our DNC members are superdelegates and they have the ability to decide who they choose to support at the convention at any point."

"But we do that so that we can make sure we maximize the ability of real people to participate in our convention. If you look at our convention, it looks like the rainbow that is America, if you look at the Republican convention, they put a little bit of the rainbow in the front row, and then the rest of the, their convention is not so diverse. So it’s really important that we make sure we separate the types of delegates," Wasserman-Schultz said.

After the interview, Maddow vented about the Democratic Party’s superdelegate system to co-host Brian Williams.

"I don't know how sustainable it is for Democrats to keep using the superdelegate process," Maddow said. "It makes people, whoever they support, it makes people so mad that there might be these sort of VIP votes that are decided some way other than the primary or caucus process."

"But boy, does that make your run-of-the-mill Democrat mad at the process," Maddow said.