Superdelegates may very well decide the tightening Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, so people might as well know what they are, right? Samantha Bee thought so, taking a segment of her "Full Frontal" show Monday to explain (and defend) the mysterious voting system.
Bee went all the way back to detail the complicated history of how the Democratic party decided to institute superdelegates to gain more control over the party's nomination process. As the comedian explained, party elites had handpicked the nominee for decades, until 1968, when voters rioted at the party's convention and the the Democrats decided to let voters have a bigger say. But by the 1980s, party elites wanted to retake some power and moderate the voters' influence.
"The Democratic Party had [overdosed] on democracy," Bee said. "So, in 1982, the grown-ups said enough. From now on Democratic governors, members of Congress, and party movers and shakers get a say."
Bee noted that the party is free to choose its nominee however it wants.
"Political parties are not the government. They are semi-private clubs. If it [the Democratic Party] wanted to, it could choose the nominee with a sorting hat," Bee joked, referencing "Harry Potter."
The comedian concluded with a prediction that if Sanders did actually catch Clinton in the pledged delegate count — the ones decided by voters — that superdelegates would come around to the Vermont senator. Therefore, she argued, the rage against superdelegates as the product of a rigged system is misplaced, noting that it prevents the possibility of a Democratic Donald Trump.
"Superdelegates' only job is to act in the best interest of the party," Bee continued. "That’s why they have never tried to override the will of the voters. Not because they care about us — they don’t — but because pissing off the voters is bad for their party. If Bernie gets more votes than Hillary, her superdelegates will drop her faster than she drops her fake Southern accent the second she leaves South Carolina."
Watch Samantha Bee explain superdelegates in the clip from TBS' "Full Frontal" below:
Right now, Clinton leads Sanders in the pledged-delegate count with 1,287 delegates to his 1,037. When superdelegates are factored in, Clinton's lead jumps to 1,756 over Sanders' 1,068. Sanders has repeatedly called on the superdelegates to change their minds before the July convention.