It’s a fairly good bet that whichever Democratic candidate is getting slaughtered in the “Superdelegate” tally is going to hate the idea of Superdelegates, but I actually take Bernie Sanders at his word that he’s truly not a fan of that part of the process. Be that as it may, he told CBS News’ John Dickerson on Sunday that he’s more than willing to poach any Supers he can from Hillary Clinton, and, if you let him finish, not just from states that voted for Bernie:
DICKERSON: One last tactical question, Senator. There’s been a report that you might go to the convention and if you’re behind in delegates try to flip those superdelegates to win through using the superdelegates. Is that a strategy you are looking at?
SANDERS: The whole concept of superdelegates is problematic. But I would say that, in states where we have won by 20, 25 points, you know what? I think it might be good idea for superdelegates to listen to the people in their home state. I just talked to a person the other day who said, you know what, I am going to listen to my state, and if my state votes for you, Bernie, you’re going to have my vote. I think that — I would hope that a lot of the superdelegates will take that factor into consideration.
DICKERSON: So, yes, that is a strategy you’re pursuing?
SANDERS: Well, to say to a superdelegate, Bernie Sanders won your state by 20 or 30 points, you might want to listen to your state, I think that that is common sense and I think superdelegates should do that.
DICKERSON: But if they didn’t — if they didn’t come from a state that you won, they shouldn’t feel compelled to go for you?
SANDERS: Well, that’s — legally, they have their own decision to be made. They have their own right to make that decision. But I would argue that many of these superdelegates, for them, what is most important, as it is for me and Secretary Clinton, by the way, is making sure that no Republican occupies the White House. And if people conclude by the end of this campaign, if we have the energy — and it’s an if — if we win a number of states — that’s also an if — but if that is the factor, and it appears that I am the stronger candidate against Trump, I think you’re going to see some superdelegates saying, you know what? I like Hillary Clinton, but I want to win this thing. Bernie is our guy.
Now, you all know that I think Hillary should be the nominee, but it is going to be richer than a deep-fried croissant to hear Hillary’s supporters get outraged about this without also trashing then-Senator Barack Obama for poaching Supers from Hillary in 2008. It’s not hypocrisy to fight on the playing field you’re given, not the one you wish you had, and Bernie’s spin actually isn’t terrible: three tablespoons of principle and a heavy pinch of realpolitick at the end.
However, this cuts both ways, because this “hypocrisy” argument is often used to say that someone who takes large campaign contributions can’t really be for campaign finance reform because they refuse to unilaterally disarm. I wish somebody would ask Bernie how many $27 donations he thinks he can put up against the $1-$2 billion the Republicans will throw at the Democrats in the general. Being pure isn’t so great if it turns you into a pure loser.