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Ari Emanuel

Ari Emanuel

Posted: February 10, 2008 09:47 PM

My Brother the Superdelegate and Why I Don't Trust Him to Pick the Next President


My brother Rahm Emanuel is a superdelegate. I love my brother, and I trust my brother. But I gave up letting my brother dictate my life since he determined whether he got the top or bottom bunk in our bedroom back in Chicago.

So, as much as I love and respect him, I don't trust him and his fellow superdelegates to decide for me and the American people who should be the Democratic nominee -- and, therefore, most likely the next president of the United States.

I want voters to make that decision. The superdelegates, my brother included, have not been elected by anybody to name the nominee. They've either been appointed by the Party or, as in my brother's case, have automatically inherited the role simply because they are elected officials. This isn't the place to debate the entire history of superdelegates. Suffice it to say, however, they were created by the Party machine decades ago for the express purpose of giving Party insiders the ability to thwart the popular will.

After what Democrats went through in Florida in 2000, we should be the first to reject any such funny business. We should be as opposed to superdelegates changing the course of an election as we were to the Supreme Court appointing George W. Bush president.

The right thing for my brother, and all the other superdelegates to do, is to support the decision of the voters. Whichever candidate has won the most delegates going into the national convention should be granted the endorsement of the superdelegates. Period. And we should put pressure on them to agree to do so now -- before the jockeying, lobbying, and infighting get really ugly, as they inevitably will.

Likewise, Democrats must firmly oppose any shenanigans regarding delegates from Michigan and Florida. The party and the candidates all agreed that the delegates coming out of those states would not be seated. Unringing that bell after the fact and by fiat would be an outrage. We have only two legitimate options when it comes to Florida and Michigan: either we stick by the original agreement. Or we organize new elections in those states this summer in which both the Obama and Clinton campaigns can evenly compete.

After the democracy-snubbing arrogance of the Bush years, the last thing Democrats should be doing is wavering on our democratic principles on these issues. No super-power granted to superdelegates. And no backroom fudging on Florida and Michigan. Are you listening, bro?