On Monday evening’s edition of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah confronted DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz with a subject that’s puzzled a lot of folks. That is, the presence of Democratic superdelegates virtually guarantees Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the party’s chosen candidate, which doesn’t seem very democratic. Currently, Clinton boasts 1,243 delegates while Bernie Sanders claims 980. Yet Clinton’s take includes over 400 superdelegates, many of whom pledged their support before the race began. Unless they abruptly switch sides, Clinton gets those numbers without further effort.
The real kicker is this — Sanders, who has claimed several states, could actually win every lingering contest and still not nab the nomination. Noah would like to know why Democrats would allow a candidate to be chosen beyond the will of the people, and he asks Wasserman Schultz whether Sanders is being “cockblocked” from victory. The DNC Chair believes there’s no problem here:
“You know, as powerful as that makes me feel, I’m not doing a very good job of rigging the outcome or blocking anyone from being able to get their message out. The reality is I have a job as a national party chair that, one, requires a thick skin. It requires me to be able to absorb the body blows so our candidates can stay above the fray. If I have to take a few punches in order for them to be able to get their message out, then so be it. I’m all about making sure we can ultimately elect our party’s nominee in the general election.”
Wasserman Schultz points out that Sanders has been winning plenty of states, so even if she wanted to block him, he’s still taking delegates. None of this negates the mindboggling fact that a successful message (or an overwhelming number of votes) may not matter for Sanders. The sheer number of superdelegates in this race can ensure his loss no matter what, but the DNC chair believes their participation is a vital tradition to follow.
Well, a small amount of progress has occurred elsewhere. Sanders and Clinton finally stopped arguing over when they’ll next argue. The next Democratic debate will officially happen on April 14 in Brooklyn.