House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she favors a reduction in the number of superdelegates — and their oversized influence ...

Share story

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she favors a reduction in the number of superdelegates — and their oversized influence — in choosing the Democratic Party’s nominee.

Superdelegates such as Pelosi have bemoaned the protracted fight between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama for the nomination. Neither candidate can win the nod based solely on pledged delegates. Rather, the nearly 800 superdelegates — members of Congress, election officials and party elders who aren’t bound by state results — will decide the nomination.

Asked how she would make the process more democratic, Pelosi recommended cutting the number of superdelegates.

“I think you diminish the number of them, you make sure everybody knows in advance what their role is, you make sure everybody knows how you can get to be one and you’ll have a more open process,” she said while taping the mtvU “Editorial Board” show at George Washington University.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

Clintons disagree

on trade accord

WASHINGTON — The presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday her husband, the former president, supports a free-trade agreement with Colombia that his wife opposes.

The acknowledgment adds new hurdles to the New York senator’s bid to woo Democratic voters in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who believe free-trade agreements have eliminated thousands of U.S. jobs. On Sunday, she demoted her chief campaign strategist for his role in promoting the Colombia pact.

Hillary Rodham Clinton told union activists Tuesday she would do everything in her power to defeat the Colombia Free Trade Agreement now before Congress.

Her campaign spokesman, Jay Carson, said: “Like other married couples who disagree on issues from time to time, she disagrees with her husband on this issue. President Clinton has been public about his support for Colombia’s request for U.S. trade preferences since 2000.”

Rockefeller apologizes to McCain

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller apologized for suggesting Republican Sen. John McCain doesn’t care about people because he was a Navy fighter pilot who dropped bombs on Vietnam.

Rockefeller supports fellow Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president. He made the comments in Tuesday’s The Charleston Gazette in his home state of West Virginia.

“McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues,” Rockefeller said.

He said he called McCain to apologize. “I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy, and I have extended my sincere apology to him.”

Seattle Times news services

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.