Bernie Sanders keeps talking about getting superdelegates to desert Hillary Clinton and vote for him at the convention. Part of his campaign’s argument is that many of them endorsed her before he came into the race, and that, had they but known, they would have waited.
The unspoken premise of this is breathtaking and offensive: the only reason all these superdelegates support her is that they had no other option. That she isn’t deserving of that support.
Months before he announced, rumors of the Sanders candidacy were swirling around. So much so that President Obama mentioned it in his bit at the April 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner (“It seems some people want a pot-smoking socialist in the White House. We just might get that third Obama term!”) Had they wanted to, superdelegates could have waited. They didn’t.
Even after Sanders announced, superdelegates could have switched allegiances, explaining that they had changed their mind — after all, as he is counting on, they’re not bound until they vote at the convention.They didn’t.
Even now, when Bernie Sanders has won far more than anyone could have dreamed of, they could easily announce that they will vote for him in Philadelphia. They aren’t.
What Sanders’ campaign seem to ignore is that many of these people admire Clinton. They think she would make a good — maybe even great — President. They are supporting her for herself, not simply as opposed to him.
This isn’t a matter of settling. It’s a matter of choosing.