The feisty Rep. Pete Stark, the Fremont Democrat who frequently says things that even his friends wish he hadn’t said, is keeping his presidential preference to himself.
Like most of the undeclared “super-delegates,” the 796 people who will have a vote in the nomination of the the Democratic Party’s choice for president in Denver in August, Stark is being wooed by both sides. (The super-delegates are members of Congress and the national Democratic Party board.)
But the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama camps have had little success with Stark.
“I’m holding out for a new bridge or maybe even a new federal building,” Stark quipped in a light-hearted moment during a telephone a interview late Thursday. “So far, the biggest bribe I’ve been offered is dessert with Hillary (Clinton) in Washington, D.C. But I don’t eat dessert and I wasn’t available that evening. Is that the best they can do?”
Seriously, though, Stark says he will not endorse either Clinton or Barack Obama unless the delegates are unable to reach a deal on the floor of the convention.
“I think it’s got to be decided by the delegates,” said Stark. “We have millions of new people who participating in the process and they are not, as (California Attorney General) Jerry Brown said, going to put up with a bunch of old people going into a smoke-filed room and making the decision. We’ll disengage them.”
Let the delegates vote at the convention and if neither candidate prevails, then let the “delegates work the floor. Let them swap and bargain and if they can’t make a deal in two or three or four days and we (super-delegates) have to the tie-breakers, then we can do that,” Stark said.
Stark says he will take no part in any advance super-delegate meeting where the plan is to hash out the selection of a nominee prior to the convention. Some Democratic Party activists fear a convention bloodbath will make it harder for the eventual nominee to beat presumed GOP nominee and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.