Opinion: Lindsay Lohan asked to explain Democrats’ delegate rules

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There seems to be some confusion across the country about the Democratic Party’s rules regarding delegates to its national convention. Forgetting for the moment the party’s superdelegates, who were created as an unelected political class of royalty some 20 years ago to confuse the East Germans, the Democrats’ delegate rules are really quite simple. As long as you speak German and understand physics.

So as a public service, The Ticket asked Lindsay Lohan, the noted political observer, to explain the rules, which are becoming increasingly important the longer the race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton remains undecided.

Unfortunately, Lohan was tied up, figuratively speaking, pretending to be Marilyn Monroe doing a nude....

photo shoot for New York magazine. Celebrity websites are explaining now that Lohan was actually paying tribute to Marilyn Monroe by taking off her clothes, a novel approach to paying tribute that, if widely adopted, would make for some unorthodox tributes, benefits, banquets and wedding toasts.

Disrobing in tribute has yet to catch on much in politics, but Ticket readers can rest assured that we’ll be covering that phenomenon here if it does break out among presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, since this is a serious blog about politics that completely rejects America’s shallow, widespread celebrity culture with its superficiality and wanton depravity, we refuse to pander by showing revealing Lohan pictures.


So instead we went straight to the Democratic National Committee, whose fully-clothed website has startlingly already proclaimed Sen. John McCain the winner of the other party’s nomination. (The Republican National Committee website, on the other hand, ignores McCain and proclaims that Obama is not ready to be commander in chief. Neither candidate, by the way, is shown paying tribute in the new way.) Anyway, here’s the DNC’s clarifying explanation of bound vs pledged delegates:

‘Under the Democratic Party’s Rules, pledged delegates are not legally ‘bound’ or required to vote according to their presidential preference on the first ballot at the Convention. Rather, these delegates are, pledged ‘in all good conscience [to] reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.’ [Rule 12.J] ‘Note: Rule 12J was intended to allow the convention to be a deliberative body. This enables pledged delegates to vote for the presumptive nominee even if they were pledged to someone who is no longer in the race. ‘Pledged delegates are not ‘bound’ to vote for the candidate they were elected to represent. They can, and have in the past, cast a vote for the presumptive nominee when their candidate has dropped out of the race. As a sign of good faith, most former candidates will ‘release’ their delegates from voting for them; however, this is not required, and only has a symbolic meaning to it. Delegates can vote for another presidential candidate without being ‘released.’ Are delegates bound? Can a pledged delegate change his or her presidential preference? A delegate goes to the Convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular presidential candidate. At the Convention, while it is assumed that the delegate will cast their vote for the candidate they are publicly pledged to, it is not required. ‘Under the Delegate Selection Rules, a delegate is asked to ‘in good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.’ This provision is designed in part to make the Convention a deliberative body. Delegates are not bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the Convention or on the first ballot. ‘Do the presidential candidates have a say in who becomes their delegate? What is the presidential candidate right of review? ‘Yes, presidential candidates have an opportunity to review the list of individuals who have filed to run for delegate pledged to them. In accordance with Party rules, during candidate right of review, presidential candidates may approve a specific number of delegate candidates in order to ensure they are bona fide supporters. These approved delegate candidates must still be elected by the states.’

So there you have it. For even more naked details on the Democrats’ delegate selection process, go here.

--Andrew Malcolm