Some superdelegates just want to be left alone.
Leila Medley, the director of the Missouri National Education Association, has found a common-sense solution to deal with the aggressive superdelegate outreach programs of the Clinton and Obama campaigns: she won’t answer their calls – even ones made personally by Hillary Clinton—and deletes their emails.
“I don’t take all the calls that come through,” said Medley. “The secretary screens calls—I’m more likely to take a call from a reporter.”
Medley, 70, said that until she makes up her mind, which she says she wants to do on her own, she is going to continue to play hard-to-get.
“After the first initial call by the president and then a call from Hillary, which I did not take—I left it on my machine—I really haven’t received any pressure from them until last week,” she said. “And then a political operative here in the state of Missouri called me. I thought she wanted something else. And it was really high-pressure.”
She said the Clinton pitch stresses her experience and her positions on the economy and health care.
“I have had a number of follow-up calls from the Clintons by a staffer named Jeff Ratner,” she said. (Linkedin calls Ratner the “assistant director of delegate selection” at the Clinton campaign.)
The Obama campaign has been pushing hard too.
“I have not talked to anybody directly from the Obama campaign,” she said. “What they started about two weeks ago was to have governors from the states call. Chet Culver from Iowa called me, because I had talked to him on his gubernatorial campaign. The governor of Washington State called. I didn’t take either of those calls. The message was left on my voice mail.”
Medley said she’s gotten wise to the Obama campaign’s tactics.
“I kept getting calls twice a day on my cell phone—once in the morning, once in the evening,” she said. “After two or three weeks it kept ringing at a pretty predictable time. I answered it and was the Obama campaign. So they stopped calling and I don’t answer anything where a number doesn’t show up on my phone. So I’m not getting a lot of pressure from the Obama people. I told a friend at SEIU, if the Obama people really want to talk to me, tell them to let their number come through so that I can see where it’s from.”
She has, apparently, enlisted some high profile surrogates of her own to ease the pressure.
“I do have a friend, Senator Clare McCaskell [of Missouri], who said that next time even a governor calls, to tell them I said to lay off of you,” she said.
When asked about the Obama campaign’s argument, that superdelegates should follow the will of the people in their respective states, Medley said that since Missouri went 49 percent to 48 percent in Obama’s favor, she felt “very comfortable” in her position. “If it had been 53 or 54 percent of one over the other, I might have been persuaded. But this was just one percentage-point difference. Not even one percentage point really, so I feel like I can make up my mind either way.”
“I’m going to make up my own my mind,” she said.