Saturday, April 16, 2016

Whining isn’t a campaign strategy

The Trump and Sanders campaigns recently have started singing a whiner’s song about the byzantine delegate selection process which hasn’t delivered an easy victory to either candidate so far.

The primary slog for delegates has been frustratingly inconclusive so far. All of us, of all political persuasions, can agree on that.

The simple fact is that the surprisingly murky process—almost virtually and remarkably different in every state—is or should be completely transparent to the political operatives staffing all of the presidential campaigns. In brief, there are no surprises here for the pols.

So, nasty public complaints about how the delegates are awarded are so much bellywash. Trump, in particular, should be hooted away from the microphone when he complains that the nomination may be “stolen” from him if he fails to secure a majority of delegates. If you don’t get a majority, you don’t win. It’s not rocket science.

On the point that the delegate selection process is obfuscated beyond all human understanding, I have more sympathy with the whiners.

As explained more fully in the April 10 Sunday New York Times, it’s more or less true that no state permits voters to vote in a primary and literally, directly choose party convention delegates who are committed to vote for their preferred candidate. (Read it here).

Typically, the folks who get the primary votes are the first group of candidate advocates who take part in a multi-stage, state-by-state process for selecting convention delegates. The process is more or less unique in every state.

In plain terms: the typical voter really has no idea who he or she is sending to the party convention to choose a presidential nominee. In some states, it’s distinctly possible that your primary vote helps to select a convention delegate who really doesn’t want your candidate to get the nod.

Is this “fair”?  Make your own call.

Admit this: the process is the 21st century incarnation of the way party insiders have always used the smoke-filled rooms in the back of the hall to keep their political power intact.

See if you can figure out who represents your primary vote at your party’s convention this summer.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.

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