February 10, 2008
The Honorable Al Gore
2100 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
Dear Mr. Vice-President:
As you know, the party you and I belong to is involved in a very tight nomination race. News accounts tell us that the difference in pledged delegates between our candidates is small, and that by the end of the primary season on June 7 the votes of super-delegates may be necessary for either candidate to reach the 2,025 threshold necessary for nomination.
This raises some frightening possibilities: that our party will be bickering and divided during our convention this summer; that the favor of these super-delegates might be bought with promises of jobs and legislation; that the losing side will be left feeling bitter and ill-treated; and worst of all, that the political will of the voters of our party will be overridden by political operatives.
So far this election cycle you have withheld your endorsement from either candidate. This dignified and statesman-like stance, combined with your moral standing and political support in the Democratic Party, put you in a unique position as a party elder. That is why I urge you to pledge your vote as a super-delegate to the candidate who wins the most delegates through primaries and caucuses. Furthermore, I hope you will ask other super-delegates to join you in this pledge.
When our prospects for victory in November 2008 are so bright, it would be terrible for our party and country if crass political gamesmanship decided the outcome. Let’s keep the Democratic Party democratic. Let’s let the people decide the outcome, as – tragically - they were disallowed from doing in November of 2000.
Yes, I am an Obama supporter. But I reject the conventional wisdom that the superdelegates will necessarily break in favor of Hillary Clinton. I think these are people whose livelihood depends on the strength of the Democratic ticket; they read the same polls we do. Many are likely to swing in Barack's direction in coming weeks.
So I don't write this letter from factional interest. In fact, if Barack Obama loses the pledged delegate count, I don't want him as our nominee.