Popular vote will weigh heavily, O'Malley says

April 04, 2008|BY A SUN REPORTER

Gov. Martin O'Malley isn't wavering from his support for Sen. Hillary Clinton, but he's not toeing the party line on how superdelegates should vote or on the idea of her fighting all the way to the Democratic National Convention.

In an interview yesterday with The Sun's editorial board, O'Malley - one of the first governors to endorse Clinton's bid for president - said he agrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it would be dangerous for superdelegates to overturn the popular vote of Democratic primary voters. Pelosi's comments have widely been seen as sympathetic to Clinton's rival for the nomination, Sen. Barack Obama.

"The twists and turns that still have to be made in the remaining states still have to be played out," O'Malley said. "I heard Nancy Pelosi say the superdelegates should not reverse the popular vote, and I think that's a very important consideration that will weigh heavily on all the superdelegates."

O'Malley reverted to the Clinton campaign talking points a bit, saying that it's also important to consider who wins the states with the most electoral votes and who wins primaries instead of caucuses. But later he returned to Pelosi's suggestion: "I do think the popular vote, as Nancy Pelosi suggested, will weigh heavily on the superdelegates. It's an important point for her to have made as a party leader."

O'Malley also said he supports Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen's idea of holding a "superdelegate primary" in June after all the states have had their chance to vote. That would effectively preclude Clinton from fighting all the way to the convention, as her campaign has suggested she might do.

"I kind of like that idea," he said. "I know a lot of people don't."

He said he's talked with Bredesen about the proposal and agrees that Democrats should find a way to settle the race before the party's convention in August.

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