Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ready to Lead

Not exactly confidence building.

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign failed to file a full slate of convention delegate candidates for Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.

This despite the possibility the primary proves critical and despite Clinton owning the full-throated support of Gov. Rendell, state Democratic Party leadership, Mayor Nutter and, presumably, the organizational skill all that entails.

And despite a Rendell-ordered extension of the filing deadline that could be viewed as more than just coincidental.

Missing almost 10% of them.

...adding that people who suggest this is stupid and doesn't matter are wrong, and I think the reporter got it a bit wrong too. Here's how things work in PA:

Pennsylvania's primary is essentially a beauty contest. The outcome of balloting for the actual presidential candidate has absolutely no bearing on the selection of delegates who run in separate races by congressional district. True, the top candidates in the presidential balloting can create a coattail effect for their delegate candidates, but a vote for a specific candidate for president is meaningless unless the voter also casts ballots for that individual's delegate candidates.

The process is a bit simpler for Democrats, whose party rules require candidates for delegate to the national convention to run "committed" and places the name of the candidate to which they are pledged beneath the delegate's name on the ballot. This gives voters a precise guide to which delegates they should vote for on behalf of their preferred presidential candidate.

We vote for delegates, not the candidate, and not having named delegates on the ballot is a problem