With Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama less than 100 delegates apart in the chase for the Democratic nomination, the party's so-called super delegates — roughly 20 percent of the total delegates available — are garnering attention from the campaigns.
Consider Colorado Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak (RPCV Brazil). Chelsea Clinton called her cell phone and her home, wanting to talk about her mom. Bill Clinton personally asked her to support his wife. Obama supporters found her private e-mail address, urging her to "fight against back-room deals" and support the man who won the Colorado caucuses Tuesday night. "I'm sure this is just the beginning," Waak said.
Super delegates are party leaders, members of Congress and other VIPs who get an automatic vote on the convention floor — one that they alone decide. For the first time since the Democrats set up the system, super delegates could hold the balance of power. Read more.
Another RPCV super delegate is California Congressman Sam Farr who served as a volunteer in Colombia. Bill Clinton has gone to work Thursday trying to win over Farr, the Monterey Bay Area congressman who has yet to declare his preference. Farr was leaving Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, where he was meeting with local health officials, when the former president rang his cell phone. "I told him I was holding my ground," Farr said Sunday. "He said he understood."
Several in the Democratic Party have suggested that superdelegates like Farr should side with the candidate who won their district "to avoid a possible backlash if the popular vote is overturned. But Farr said he's seen strong support for both candidates locally and didn't feel obligated to one. "I think I can use the statistics either way. Read more.