Are you, like me, wondering what is going on in the minds of the so-called super-delegates to the Democratic National Convention? It looks more and more like these people will have the ultimate say in choosing their party's nominee for president.Thanks to a response to a column I wrote a few weeks ago, one of them has shared what is going on in his mind. And he has asked for advice.Because he asks for my advice, I am going to give him some and share it with readers. Here is the letter from David Parker, a lawyer in Statesville and a member of the Democratic National Committee:"Dear DG:
"Thanks for the letter to me as a DNC member 'Super-delegate.' There is, though, nothing 'Super' about me -- I am just Unpledged at the Democratic Convention in the same way that you are 'unpledged' when you cast your ballot at the polls."Your letter correctly categorizes virtually all of the pleas and viewpoints that I have heard: (a) friendships, (b) popular votes, (c) coattails, (d) electability, and (e) qualification. The pleas are consistent: folks want a change from these seven years of wandering in W's wilderness. But nerves are fraying, supporters are misspeaking, and the Press is searching for stories to predict the outcome. So, here we are. A few Unpledged Democrats trying to make the best decision."For what it's worth, this is what I think about each category:"Qualification. They are both well-qualified, brilliant, solid, credible, well-intended natural leaders who are as incorruptible as folks can be. They will both strive to educate our children, feed the hungry, heal the sick and wounded, restore our economy, lead the world by our country's example, and remain honorable throughout. They will be different, to be sure, but they are both what we need."Electability. Either candidate's supporters, faced with the potential election of a GOP candidate who does not know squat about the economy and will keep us in Iraq until 2100, will vote for the Democratic nominee. But it will be tight. Very tight. Incredibly tight. If your readers stay home, either will lose. If their friends stay home, either will lose. Lose? Lose."Coattails. All of a President's good ideas will stagnate without enough U.S. senators to carry cloture. North Carolina is an example: We will elect a U.S. senator in 2008. Senator Dole is brilliant, articulate and a tough campaigner, but she is incredibly and undeniably wrong on virtually every issue of importance to our people. Her husband will not vote for her and neither should any of your readers. Are coattails important? Absolutely."Vote of the People. Which people? If NC were to go 60 percent for Obama, there is a good argument for following suit -- but what about the 40 percent that voted for Hillary: shouldn't their vote impact the Unpledged Delegate too? We don't have winner-take-all in the primaries -- why should we for the Unpledged Delegates?"Friendships. Well, DG, my friend, I've taken your advice in the past. I've voted for you ... five times. You've been in my home and been kind to my family. So ... what do you think I should do, my friend? I'll be waiting."-- David Parker
Here is what I think David should do. Seek the wisdom of North Carolinians whose political judgment you respect. Consider the results of the upcoming primary, but do not bind yourself to support the winner. When either candidate oversteps the boundaries of vigorous campaigning, send word that it has a negative impact on your decision. When one takes the high road, send a note of encouragement.If neither candidate has clinched the nomination after the North Carolina primary, be a leader in exploring ways to join with other super-delegates to come to a decision well before the convention.Finally, above all, use your judgment about what is best for your party and, more important, what is best for our country. Good luck. We are counting on you.