Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Strategy: A Brokered Democratic Convention, Super Delegates (Randi is one) - I bet on Klobuchar being thei brokered choice

The 700 super delegates benefit if no one wins in the first ballot....  maybe this is only about Bloomberg getting enough delegates to team up with the super delegates to deny Warren or Bernie the nomination. After all, Bloomberg has more to lose in wealth from them and is investing his money now in an effort to stop them. Imagine the centrist candidates putting their delegates together to team up. This article covers some of this ground:

Nomination chaos? Democrats fear primaries won't produce a clear winner. - That could leave matters in the hands of hundreds of unelected super delegates to pick the party's candidate to take on Trump..... The last time Democrats went into their convention without a presumptive nominee already having a majority of delegates was 1984. And you have to go all the way back to 1952 to find the last time it took multiple rounds of ballots to pick the standardbearer.

An Ed Notes correspondent from Newark is a horrified-at-Bloomberg-for- president fellow traveler has been feeding me stories. Remember the charges by Bernie people in 2016 that the super delegates - un-elected and appointed by party powers - played a role in guaranteeing the nomination for Hillary - (she did win more delegates in the primary but the supers put her over the top.)

I republished an article from New Republic the other day (A Brokered Convention Opening for Bloomberg, Obama People Hate Warren, Clinton People Hate Bernie - Analysis from New Republic) pointing to the Bloomberg candidacy as relying on a broken convention where the 700 super delegates pick the candidate. When we went to see Randi at the CUNY Labor Institute on Nov. 15 she talked about her playing a big role in establishing "fairer" rules for super delegates (of which she is one) where they don't get to vote on the first ballot. Thus the super dels interest is also in a non-win for anyone on the first ballot so they get to choose.

This ties into her "freeing" locals for endorsing their own candidate - and I reported on the LA and NYC differing approaches by Labor for Bernie people - I handed this out at the UFT Del Ass: Labor for Bernie UFT members call for a democratic presidential endorsement process.

In her memo to AFT members Randi said she hoped all groups would unite behind the candidate chosen. Do we think that would happen in LA? Maybe, but if it is Bloomberg, chaos will break out and I bet a third party candidate somewhere. I would still bet on a Klobuchar as being a choice for the super delegates and give the anti-union Bloomberg zero chance for the nomination --- maybe this is only about him getting enough delegates to team up with the super delegates to deny Warren or Bernie the nomination. After all, Bloomberg has more to lose in wealth from a Bernie/Warren win and is investing his money now in an effort to stop them. Imagine the centrist candidates putting their delegates together to team up.

My correspondent sent me this article published Nov. 25 on
Who has more to fear from Bloomberg: The Democrats or Trump?
While rival campaigns in the 2020 race dismissed Tom Steyer's money and Deval Patrick's late entry, they're not as quick to write off Bloomberg's billions.
"The businessman has also taken the unusual strategy of skipping the early states, like Iowa and New Hampshire, to run a national campaign focused on winning delegates to next year’s Democratic National Convention. That has some wondering if he’s hoping to win at a potential contested convention when superdelegates— insiders presumably more amenable to his message— would get to vote."
 I followed a link in that article to an Aug. 25 article by the same author that is worth checking out. Since the convention is in the summer, that leaves a lot in the air just months before the election and gives Trump a real advantage since no matter the Dem choice, a whole bunch of people won't be very happy.

(Is there a split of sorts coming to the Dem party post election if Trump wins? And even if the Dems win there will still be political chaos with the new president and by 2024 who knows?)

Nomination chaos? Democrats fear primaries won't produce a clear winner.

That could leave matters in the hands of hundreds of unelected super delegates to pick the party's candidate to take on Trump.



By Alex Seitz-Wald


SAN FRANCISCO — For more than three decades, Democrats have headed into each of their national conventions knowing exactly whom they will nominate for president, making the events little more than made-for-TV pep rallies.
But in the bar and hallways of a meeting here last week of the Democratic National Committee, some party insiders quietly expressed concern that the large field of 2020 candidates, new party rules and a front-loaded primary calendar could conspire to create a chaotic nominating convention next year.
"Unless something cataclysmic happens, I think we're looking at a contested convention," said Jim Zogby, a longtime DNC member and former member of the party's executive committee. "I think we're not going to get to the convention with an outright winner."
All the top campaigns are taking the possibility of a contested convention seriously and have begun wooing the party's 700-plus super delegates, who thanks to a new rule will only get to weigh in on a nominee if next year's primaries and caucuses fail to produce a clear winner.
On the sidelines of the DNC meeting, senior campaign aides charged with hunting for delegates could be seen stalking the halls and schmoozing with super delegates into the wee hours of the mornings, keeping close track of lists of people they wanted to connect with in person. Behind the scenes, candidates have been making calls to super delegates for months and took time at the meeting to make the rounds to gatherings of delegates.
Speculation about contested conventions —when no candidate has secured the nomination heading into the event — bubbles up every four years among political junkies, only to inevitably fizzle out. Some party insiders have fretted for months that the Democratic primaries could devolve into a 'lord of the flies' situation.
The last time Democrats went into their convention without a presumptive nominee already having a majority of delegates was 1984. And you have to go all the way back to 1952 to find the last time it took multiple rounds of ballots to pick the standardbearer.
But this time, it might happen again, according to many of the nearly two dozen state party chairs, DNC members, campaign delegate counters and other officials surveyed here by NBC News, most of whom did not want to speak for the record about the sensitive subject.
"It's more likely than not that there's going to be a brokered convention so those candidates that are really paying attention treated the DNC summer meeting like speed dating trying to make as many touches as possible with one-on-one meetings, speeches at caucuses and delegation meetings trying to lock in support from party activists and leaders," said a campaign aide involved in delegate-hunting operations who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Still, plenty of Democrats here dismissed the doomsaying and predicted a nominee would emerge early next year. Others noted that DNC members have an interest in stoking speculation, since it would put them in the catbird seat of being courted by candidates.
"This seems to be a narrative during every contested primary, but if recent history tells us anything, we feel confident that our party will come together and support whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is," said Patrice Taylor, the DNC's director of party affairs. "Our party understands that Donald Trump is a huge threat to our country, and our party’s entire goal is to be united in the effort to beat him."
But almost everyone agreed candidates were better off preparing for anything.
"Who the f--- knows?" said Harold Ickes, a former Bill Clinton aide and veteran of decades of DNC intrigue, who was the basis of a character Joe Klein's 1996 novel "Primary Colors." "But any candidate that ignores the automatic delegates (super delegates) does so at their own peril."
Super delegates can vote for whomever they want, unlike pledged delegates who have to reflect the will of voters in their states. Under the new rule, super delegates will only vote at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee next year if no candidate is able to secure a majority of the pledged delegates in an initial tally and a second round of balloting is needed.
The rule was intended to decrease the power of super delegates, but could turn them into tiebreakers if the pledged delegates are split among multiple candidates.
"There's a real chance this could be a brokered convention and no one has the nomination locked up heading into Milwaukee," said Kelly Dietrich, a longtime Democratic operative. "We could have four different winners of the first four primary and caucus states. People need to start thinking about it and preparing."
While there are some differences between a "brokered," "contested" and "open" convention, the terms are often used interchangeably. The key factor in all is that the outcome of the convention is not pre-determined going in.
One former top DNC official who currently serves in elective office put the odds at "just shy of 50 percent" of super delegates needing to step in if the race looks anything like it does right now by the time voters start casting ballots.
A handful of factors have converged this year to make a contested convention seem more likely.

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