Howard Dean: Dems' Supporter Squabbling Is Demoralizing Base
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Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says infighting between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama threatens the party’s chances for winning the White House in November:
“You do not want to demoralize the base of the Democratic Party by having the Democrats attack each other,” he said Thursday during the interview in his office at Democratic National Committee headquarters. “Let the media and the Republicans and the talking heads on cable television attack and carry on, fulminate at the mouth. The supporters should keep their mouths shut about this stuff on both sides because that is harmful to the potential victory of a Democrat.”
Dean says he has a plan for resolving the superdelegate conundrum:
Dean wouldn’t talk in detail about what the plan is, but it likely involves encouraging superdelegates to pick a candidate shortly after the voting ends. He said he will not encourage any delegate to vote one way or another.
“I am going to stand up for the rules, and I know I’m doing the right thing most of the time because I’ve got both Clinton people and Obama people mad at me,” he said.
For instance, while Obama’s campaign has been encouraging superdelegates to support the candidate with the most pledged delegates -- which almost certainly will be Obama -- Dean says the rules don’t require that and superdelegates are free to chose who they want.
On the other side, Clinton has been arguing lately that even pledged delegates -- awarded to a candidate based on the outcome of state contests -- aren’t bound to vote for that candidate at the convention. Dean called that “a very technical argument.”