Democrats unbound?

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From a story in The Hill, about the possibility that John Edwards could be a kingmaker at the Democratic convention:

At the Democratic convention this August, delegates will be allowed to vote freely even if they are already pledged to a candidate, [Georgetown professor Stephen] Wayne explained. But he expected that Edwards's delegates would do his bidding.

Wayne said that Edwards's delegates have been "hand-picked" because of their loyalty.

"That loyalty would probably extend to the convention, though Democrats have a rule that would not impose loyalty," he explained.

Wayne, however, predicted that either Clinton or Obama would probably wrap up the nomination before the convention, but conceded "anything is possible."

If it's true that Democratic delegates aren't formally pledged to a candidate, that's news to me. In 1980, when Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter, Kennedy tried unsuccessfully to get a convention rule modified (rule 16(c), if memory serves) so that delegates were free to vote their conscience regardless of which candidate they had been bound to support.

Can anyone confirm whether Prof. Wayne is correct?

UPDATE: recyclemichael provides a link to this MyDD article, which cites specific party rules that seem to prove the point. And that article links to this August 12, 1980 New York Times article about Kennedy's rules maneuver at the 1980 convention. My memory was a bit off -- it was rule F(3)(c):

The rule that took force as a result of the vote reads as follows: F. Voting 3) Roll-Call Votes: (c) All delegates to the National Convention shall be bound to vote for the Presidential candidate whom they were elected to support for at least the first convention ballot, unless released in writing by the Presidential candidate. Delegates who seek to violate this rule may be replaced with an alternate of the same Presidential preference by the Presidential candidate or that candidate's authorized representative(s) at any time up to and including the Presidential balloting at the national convention.

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2 Comments

s said:

On the radio this morning, a congressman was saying the John McCain is making some Republican senators and congressmen nervous as being voted our next president because he is like minded with democrats and a well known hot tempered person. Of course when we see him on interviews
he has a false "calm" that has been rehearsed and he is not projecting something that has not been known as the real John McCain to many reporters in Washington. HIllary Clinton and Bill Clinton also have hot tempers -- Bill claiming he gets his from his real father's temperment and Hillary practically had daggers in her eyes on one of the Democratic debates calling attention to the one asking the questions that her demenour would be talked about for quite some time after that debate.

It's a frustrating election John Edwards being the folksy well educated democrat that certainly does not have Oprah behing him or all the cash the two of the popular Democrats have.

Will anyone be happy with who is elected remains to be seen.

The billions of dollars spent on education for children of poor uneducated illegals that have entered the U.S. have already cost the taxpayers of the United States a lot and taken away from the people that are legally here trying to keep our education system for those that are here legally but the drain of money spent from Kind.-through 12th grade is something that tooks years for the law to pass and now other states are seeing that problem.

Democrats do the same careless voting in our own state senate with logrolling so no one voting really knows the waste that some programs are putting on the education system. It has been going on for years in Oklahoma too with the help of the Democrats pushing more money needed without breaking down the cost clear and simple so those voting can really make educated decisions. They do the same in Washington.

RecycleMichael said:

According to this...they are not bound.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/1/20/14034/7446

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 29, 2008 8:14 AM.

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