Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Hillary Clinton surrogate, acknowledged on Monday what the Democratic party’s superdelegate system is all about: “temper[ing] the raging masses.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” Granholm weighed in on news that the Associated Press and NBC News had named Clinton the party’s presumptive nominee based on a sum of her pledged delegates and superdelegates.
The projection caused a stir among some political observers and Bernie Sanders supporters. Sanders and his backers have argued that the use of superdelegates — a group of 714 party leaders and elders — usurps the democratic process.
About 15 percent of the 4,765 total delegates up for grabs are superdelegates. Clinton holds a 572 to 46 advantage in that category. Clinton’s superdelegate tally plus her 1,812 pledged delegates brought her to the 2,384 threshold needed to secure the party’s nomination, the AP and NBC News announced Monday.
Asked about the use of superdelegates, Granholm suggested that the system should be revised.
“I think it’s definitely worthy of discussion at the convention,” she told Hayes.
“You want the majority of people to have the right to vote, you know, superdelegates were put in place for a specific reason temper the raging masses,” she added, laughing.
“I’m not sure if that’s necessary anymore. Maybe you have a few of them, but as many as we have, perhaps that’s a discussion.”
The party began relying in part on superdelegates in the 1980s following several elections in which nominees chosen from the grassroots populist wing of the party suffered devastating losses against Republicans in the general election.