Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Ron Sims Wavers, Wanders, and Wonders About His Superdelegate Responsibilities"

Eli Sanders (SLOG):
Yesterday it was Maria Cantwell. Today it’s Ron Sims, King County Executive and committed Clinton superdelegate, who was on KUOW’s Weekday this morning telling host Steve Scher that he is, at the very least, unhappy with the destructive potential of the Democratic nomination contest. He also said he’s listening very closely to the debate among superdelegates about how they should get Obama and Clinton to, in his words, “Stop it.”
The discussion starts at 49:50, and I’ve transcribed it below. There’s quite a bit of rambling and hedging, but the take-away, for me, is that Sims may be open to the idea of using his superdelegate power to help end the contest before it harms the party’s chances in November (although, classic Sims, he also seemed to suggest he’d be fine with the Democratic nominee not being decided until the convention in late August).

Bottom line: He’s wavering.

Steve Scher: Are you still committed to Hillary Clinton as a superdelegate?

Ron Sims: Oh yeah, I am.

Scher: Nothing’s going to change that?

Sims: I didn’t say that. You asked me, ‘Was I committed to Hillary Clinton…’

Scher: As a superdelegate.

Sims: As a superdelegate. There’s a lot of superdelegate discussion going on right now. The emails are hot and heavy over what we should do and when we should do it. And, again, it goes back to the fact that we’re Democrats and we want to make sure that we come out of the convention with the strongest candidate or combinations of candidates. So, I don’t think anybody’s made a decision to bolt in large numbers now. But, obviously, everyday I have about seven or eight emails because people across the country are on the same list. So they are comparing notes. So, it’s going to be fascinating…

I’ve watched this campaign. I’ve seen two people who I really like. And it just seems, if you look at the polls now, [they] are inflicting great damage on each other and that’s really gotta stop. To have people who support Senator Obama say, ‘I’m not going to support Senator Clinton,’ and to have people who support Senator Clinton say, ‘I’m not going to support Senator Obama’—my issue is, that should not be the national debate. I think we have an opportunity to head in a different direction, and we need to do that, but obviously this campaign is not doing that. And I think more of the superdelegates are beginning to say, “Stop it.” And that’s being heard by the campaigns and the candidates, because they’ve got to stop this madness.

Scher: It seems like I’m just going to have to take 30 seconds to read between the lines there—that you are wavering and considering that your candidate maybe should withdraw in the interest of unity in the party.

Sims: Oh, I didn’t say that.

Scher: I know you didn’t, that’s why I’m reading between the lines and putting words in your mouth to get you to be a little more specific. You’re not changing your vote yet, is what you said.

Sims: Yeah, I’m not changing it yet.

Scher: But you may because of the interest of unity for the party?

Sims: Because I want a, uh—and there’s issues about when that takes place. I think the delegates are going to be talking to each other, especially when the convention comes, and saying, ‘What outcomes do we want?’ Because both candidates are going to come into the convention without enough delegates to put them over the top.

Scher: Unless the superdelegates move sooner. You’re going to wait till the convention?

Sims: There’s issues to me. I want Michigan seated, and I want Florida seated, before the convention and not at the convention.

Scher: Allright, we’ll debate this one again. You superdelegates are just going to dangle it in front of us for a while. Ron Sims is King County Executive. This is KUOW Seattle…

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