Hillary Wrote This Letter To Superdelegates In 2008 That Bernie Fans May Find Interesting

Bernie Sanders supporters have been in an uproar about the Democratic National Committee’s rules for primaries, specifically the use of “superdelegates.” A superdelegate is someone chosen by the party to represent their interests in a given state. They are unpledged, meaning they are able to vote for whoever they choose at the convention. Bernie Sanders supporters, especially the “Bernie or Bust” crowd — those who pledge to stay home or vote for Trump if Hillary gets the nomination — have decided that the use of superdelegates circumvents the democratic process, making it impossible for anyone but an establishment Democratic candidate to win.

Let’s put that into perspective real quick: If the RNC had the same rules they wouldn’t be forced to nominate Donald Trump.

Superdelegates act in the best interest of the party. There was a candidate in 2008 who learned first-hand that superdelegates can make or break a candidacy. Her name was Hillary Clinton. The expected nominee from the start of the primary season, Clinton found herself face-to-face with the up and coming Barack Obama, whose candidacy didn’t truly flourish until half of the state primaries were over. As he gained in popularity and it became clear that he was the right choice for America to succeed Dubya, those “corrupt” superdelegates, tasked with securing the best interest of the party, began switching their support to Obama, who was ultimately nominated by quorum call on the convention floor by none other than Hillary Clinton.

That’s the way these things work. Bernie or Bust may be upset that all those independent voters didn’t get to just walk into a Democratic primary and vote, but it really isn’t anyone’s fault but their own that they don’t know the party rules. Primaries aren’t general elections; they’re nominating processes controlled by the parties. Make no mistake: If Bernie Sanders were in the lead or it looked like he was going to pull ahead, those superdelegates would shift their support and make sure the nominee was someone the registered voters of the party want to support.

When Clinton was faced with the exact same scenario in 2008, she wrote a letter to the superdelegates of the party with one last plea for support. Her arguments include things like who polled better against the GOP, who had spent more years arguing progressive causes and who was ultimately more qualified to execute the office of the president:

Dear ___________,

The stakes in this election are so high: with two wars abroad, our economy in crisis here at home, and so many families struggling across America, the need for new leadership has never been greater.

At this point, we do not yet have a nominee – and when the last votes are cast on June 3, neither Senator Obama nor I will have secured the nomination. It will be up to automatic delegates like you to help choose our party’s nominee, and I would like to tell you why I believe I am the stronger candidate against Senator McCain and would be the best President and Commander in Chief.

Voters in every state have made it clear that they want to be heard and counted as part of this historic race. And as we reach the end of the primary season, more than 17 million people have supported me in my effort to become the Democratic nominee – more people than have ever voted for a potential nominee in the history of our party. In the past two weeks alone, record numbers of voters participated in the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries. And with 40 and 35 point margins of victory, it is clear that even when voters are repeatedly told this race is over, they’re not giving up on me – and I am not giving up on them either.

After seven years of feeling invisible to the Bush administration, Americans are seeking a President who is strong, experienced, and ready to take on our toughest challenges, from serving as Commander in Chief and ending the war in Iraq to turning our economy around. They want a President who shares their core beliefs about our country and its future and “gets” what they go through every day to care for their families, pay the bills and try to put something away for the future.

We simply cannot afford another four – or eight – years in the wilderness. That is why, everywhere I go, people come up to me, grip my hand or arm, and urge me to keep on running. That is why I continue in this race: because I believe I am best prepared to lead this country as President – and best prepared to put together a broad coalition of voters to break the lock Republicans have had on the electoral map and beat Senator McCain in November.

Recent polls and election results show a clear trend: I am ahead in states that have been critical to victory in the past two elections. From Ohio, to Pennsylvania, to West Virginia and beyond, the results of recent primaries in battleground states show that I have strong support from the regions and demographics Democrats need to take back the White House. I am also currently ahead of Senator McCain in Gallup national tracking polls, while Senator Obama is behind him. And nearly all independent analyses show that I am in a stronger position to win the Electoral College, primarily because I lead Senator McCain in Florida and Ohio. I’ve enclosed a detailed analysis of recent electoral and polling information, and I hope you will take some time to review it carefully.

In addition, when the primaries are finished, I expect to lead in the popular vote and in delegates earned through primaries. Ultimately, the point of our primary process is to pick our strongest nominee – the one who would be the best President and Commander in Chief, who has the greatest support from members of our party, and who is most likely to win in November. So I hope you will consider not just the strength of the coalition backing me, but also that more people will have cast their votes for me.

I am in this race for them — for all the men and women I meet who wake up every day and work hard to make a difference for their families. People who deserve a shot at the American dream – the chance to save for college, a home and retirement; to afford quality health care for their families; to fill the gas tank and buy the groceries with a little left over each month.

I am in this race for all the women in their nineties who’ve told me they were born before women could vote, and they want to live to see a woman in the White House. For all the women who are energized for the first time, and voting for the first time. For the little girls – and little boys – whose parents lift them onto their shoulders at our rallies, and whisper in their ears, “See, you can be anything you want to be.” As the first woman ever to be in this position, I believe I have a responsibility to them.

Finally, I am in this race because I believe staying in this race will help unite the Democratic Party. I believe that if Senator Obama and I both make our case – and all Democrats have the chance to make their voices heard – everyone will be more likely to rally around the nominee.

In the end, I am committed to unifying this party. What Senator Obama and I share is so much greater than our differences; and no matter who wins this nomination, I will do everything I can to bring us together and move us forward.

But at this point, neither of us has crossed the finish line. I hope that in the time remaining, you will think hard about which candidate has the best chance to lead our party to victory in November. I hope you will consider the results of the recent primaries and what they tell us about the mindset of voters in the key battleground states. I hope you will think about the broad and winning coalition of voters I have built. And most important, I hope you will think about who is ready to stand on that stage with Senator McCain, fight for the deepest principles of our party, and lead our country forward into this new century.

The letter was followed by 11 pages of statistics showing that even though she was behind, the race wasn’t over. In the end it was the support of superdelegates that gave Obama the clear win.

As a Bernie Sanders supporter, I would love to see the last melee of primaries go his way. A big win in California and a couple of other states and there’s a chance Bernie becomes the best choice for the party, at which time he can realistically try to woo the superdelegates away from Clinton. If Hillary can hang on and secure the nomination, those of us who care about the future of our country will put our full support behind her.

Featured image by NBC Newswire/Getty Images