MoveOn campaign says superdelegates should stay out of Democratic primary


Story Transcript

MATT PALEVSKY, JOURNALIST: Democratic primary is still extremely close, meaning that the nearly 800 superdelegates will play a decisive role in choosing the nominee. This is why both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been busy courting the superdelegates, trying to secure their vote. But moveon.org has a different approach, asking the super-delegates to stay out of the political battle. Over 400,000 members of moveon.org have signed a petition stating, “the Democratic Party must be democratic. The super-delegates should let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama, then support the people’s choice.” I spoke with Ilyse Hogue, the communications director at moveon.org.

ILYSE HOGUE, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, MOVEON.ORG: It’s looking less and less likely, no matter what happens in the contests that are coming up in the next couple of months, either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is going to have enough pledge delegates to clear the two-thousand-some-odd benchmark that’s required by party rules. And so, then, you know, we believe that what is best reflective of the voters’ will is that the superdelegates vote along with the majority of the pledge delegates. The first thing for the superdelegates to realize is that for them to step aside until all the voters have had their say is the best way to promote this sense of engagement and involvement that we’re seeing among the Democratic voters right now.

PALEVSKY: Given that MoveOn has endorsed senator obama, and since he’s ahead in the pledge delegate count and it looks like he’ll remain ahead, how isn’t this petition kind of a de facto campaign for Senator Obama?

HOGUE: We don’t feel that way, although, yes, our members supported Barack Obama in our endorsement vote. It’s also important to note that while 70 percent of our voting members voted to endorse Senator Obama, also 78 percent voted to say, “We’ll get behind whichever candidates the nominee we’re feeling really good about where we’re at in terms of who’s representing us in the general election.”

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Ilyse Hogue

Ilyse Hogue is the Campaign Director for MoveOn.org. Before joining MoveOn, she spent seven years as a Program Director for the Rainforest Action Network (www.ran.org), working to pressure Wall Street to institute environmental and social screens on lending and investment. A long time social change activist, she is also the co-founder of smartMeme (www.smartMeme.com), a national strategy project that links story telling and social change.