Defeated at Rules Committee, Fight to End Superdelegates Heads to Convention Floor
TRNN speaks to Clinton and Sanders supporters about the failed attempt to eliminate superdelegates from the Democratic Party
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: On Saturday, over raucous protests, voices loyal to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders were defeated in their attempt to eliminate superdelegates at the party’s rules convention. They vowed to take the fight to the convention floor. Superdelegates are party insiders that represent states during the nomination process, but are picked and not elected.
We caught up with Aaron Regunberg, rules committee member, who helped deliver over 600,000 signatures in favor of eliminating superdelegates.
AARON REGUNBERG: I was hopeful in my goal of us bringing this to the floor. And we have been successful thus far in doing that. So we introduced the amendment to eliminate superdelegates. We had, I think, some overwhelmingly persuasive debate. I think the Clinton campaign’s response was not very persuasive at all. They whipped their votes. And so the amendment was defeated. But we have, I have more than enough signatures here to bring, to get a minority report on the amendment to bring it to the floor, where we can have a real conversation on this. So that’s the plan.
NOOR: We asked Clinton supporter and superdelegate Anne Gannon to respond.
ANNE GANNON: Due to the whole discussion about superdelegates, I initially filed to run as a delegate in my community. But what that really did is it actually would have elected me and not someone from my community who’d worked on a grassroots level as a party person. So I’m an elected official. There was another avenue for me to be elected. And I think both those avenues work very well.
NOOR: I was speaking to some Bernie Sanders supporters earlier, and they feel between this defeat here for them, and the pick of Tim Kaine as the vice president, they feel like their votes haven’t counted, their votes haven’t translated into some change, and they haven’t impacted the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party as much as they would like. How do you respond to that?
GANNON: I guess I’m not sure what you’re speaking about, that they don’t like Tim Kaine.
NOOR: Well, people say he has close ties to Wall Street, and that’s why they don’t think he’s a good pick.
GANNON: Well, saying and having those are two different things.
NOOR: Well, say his voting record reflects a pro-Wall Street stance.
GANNON: Well, I haven’t seen his voting record, and I would need some fact-based information to make that accusation, and I don’t have that.
NOOR: So you feel he’s a progressive choice, that progressives should be behind.
GANNON: I know Senator Kaine has worked very hard in his community, particularly in the minority community. He understands their problems, and the way he got elected in his previous position was that he actually went out and talked to the people, one on one.
NOOR: We got a response from Sanders supporter Norman Solomon.
NORMAN SOLOMON: I’m coordinator for the Bernie Delegates Network, which is an independent network of Bernie Sanders delegates nationwide. And myself, I’m a Sanders delegate from California.
Tim Kaine as a senator, and now as a vice presidential candidate, is somebody who represents the corporate center of the Democratic Party hierarchy. There’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton would be very comfortable with his politics. They’re both very much enraptured with, and Wall Street is very much enraptured with them. It’s a mutual alliance that goes back a long ways.
So that’s why I think it’s fair to say that the oligarchy denounced by Bernie Sanders is very much in good hands, as far as it is concerned, when it comes to a Clinton-Kaine ticket. The grassroots upsurge that really catapulted Bernie Sanders to such a strong campaign for president is already expressing overwhelmingly distaste and anger for the selection of Tim Kaine for the vice presidential slot.
And as we speak, on the verge of the beginning of the convention, this is going to play out. I mean, Hillary Clinton has got to have known that by choosing Kaine she was basically thumbing her nose, to put it mildly, at the progressive wing of the party. And voters, the 13 million voters on the whole, for Bernie Sanders and the primary caucuses that we’ve had in the last 6-8 months.
So this is highly problematic, and there’s going to be a clash.
NOOR: Watch our ongoing coverage of the Democratic National Convention starting live at noon Sunday at TheRealNews.com. This is Jaisal Noor.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.