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Ickes And "Automatic Delegates"

Reader MdV writes:

I just had a proposal to share. Harold Ickes made a big deal of renaming superdelegates to be "automatic delegates" (not that I'm sure I ever fully understood why that name would be better). Wouldn't it be useful for the Obama campaign to start calling pledged delegates "voter-selected delegates" instead? Sounds populist and upbeat to me.

Mr. Ickes was working on delegates even before he met Bill Clinton, and he tells me he's been calling them "automatic delegates" ever since they were invented as a category as a result of the Hunt Commission in 1982.

The term "super delegates" is commonly attributed to commission member Susan Estrich, who, in a meeting, disparagingly called them "so-called "super delegates," and it stuck. Ickes, always a stickler, says he has used the terms interchangibly since then.

Obama supporters don't like it when Ickes uses the term, so, courtesy of an Obama supporter, why not reclaim another early term for pledged delegates: call them "earned delegates."