An Undecided Superdelegate in Washington David McDonald is a Microsoft lawyer, member of the Democratic National Committee and a superdelegate. He is yet to decide how to cast his vote.
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An Undecided Superdelegate in Washington

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An Undecided Superdelegate in Washington

An Undecided Superdelegate in Washington

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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We've heard that the Democratic race will come down to the superdelegates. In Washington State, nearly half of the 17 superdelegates are officially undecided. One of them is David McDonald.


He's a long-time member of the Democratic National Committee. Austin Jenkins of the Northwest News Network, went to see him in Seattle.

AUSTIN JENKINS: McDonald is one of those superdelegates whose name you don't recognize. He's not a current or former politician. He's a legal wonk, who's represented Microsoft for more than 20 years. And so far, he hasn't picked a horse in the Democratic race.

Mr. DAVID MCDONALD (Lawyer, Superdelegate): I worked pretty hard in not letting myself get committed one way or the other.

CHADWICK: Because McDonald sits on the DNC's Rules Committee, which is dealing with what to do about delegates from Michigan and Florida.

Mr. MCDONALD: It's not a requirement that we stayed neutral in that committee. But it did seem to me, given the level of emotion between the two campaigns, that it might be better to be uncommitted once I saw the issue coming down the pike.

JENKINS: McDonald says he'll pick a candidate by July 1st. At that point, he'll consider a final plea from whichever candidate is trailing in delegates.

Mr. MCDONALD: I suspect, it would be Clinton.

JENKINS: Bottom line, he says, he doesn't feel an obligation to carry out the will of voters.

Mr. MCDONALD: I was not elected to deliver a vote by FedEx that was determined elsewhere. I was elected to exercise my best judgment.

JENKINS: McDonald doesn't think it hurts the Democratic Party if the primary fight goes until the last primaries in June. But he doesn't want it to continue all the way to the convention in August, like it did in 1980. That's when Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy battled it out for the nomination.

Mr. MCDONALD: Enough people, I'm one of them, were at the 1980 convention to realize exactly how stressful on campaigns it is, to have that heated clash right up to the moment of nomination and then, say, on Friday morning after the convention, OK, now we're all one happy family. We got to get moving.

JENKINS: In the meantime, like other superdelegates, McDonald is being lobbied by both sides. I'm looking around your office for the box of gifts from the campaigns.

Mr. MCDONALD: No, no. I haven't seen any.

JENKINS: But McDonald has received more than five thousand emails from supporters of Obama and Clinton. He's also met with Clinton, talked with her husband, the former president, and talked with Obama. Ultimately, he says he'll choose the candidate he thinks has the best chance of winning the presidency. For NPR News, I'm Austin Jenkins in Olympia, Washington.

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