As I read and understand the DNC rules, committed and pledged delegates can, and do, change their minds on which candidate to support.
Roger Simon, from the Politico.com:
"Pledged delegates are not really pledged at all, not even on the first ballot. This has been an open secret in the party for years, but it has never really mattered because there has almost always been a clear victor by the time the convention convened.Totally fine. "All's fair in love and war,"and politics is war, without the guns.
“Delegates are NOT bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the convention or on the first ballot,” a recent DNC memo states. “A delegate goes to the convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular presidential candidate. At the convention, while it is assumed that the delegate will cast their vote for the candidate they are publicly pledged to, it is not required.”
"But one neutral Democratic operative said to me: “If you are Hillary Clinton, you know you can’t get the nomination just with super delegates without splitting the party. You have to go after the pledged delegates.”
BUT here's where it gets ugly. Here's the dream scenario for Republicans. This is what I'm praying for:
When it comes to potential Democratic chaos, brutal intra-party fisticuffs, boycotts, fracturing and convention rioting, I'm a hope monger.
"Winning with superdelegates is potentially party-splitting because it could mean throwing out the choice of the elected delegates and substituting the choice of 795 party big shots.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned against it. “I think there is a concern when the public speaks and there is a counter-decision made to that,” she said. “It would be a problem for the party if the verdict would be something different than the public has decided.”
"Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000 and is a member of the DNC, said recently: “If 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit [the DNC]. I feel very strongly about this.”
"On Sunday, Doug Wilder, the mayor of Richmond and a former governor of Virginia, went even further, predicting riots in the streets if the Clinton campaign were to overturn an Obama lead through the use of superdelegates.
“There will be chaos at the convention,” Wilder told Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”
“If you think 1968 was bad, you watch: In 2008, it will be worse.”
In the end, however, I don't think it's going to matter all that much because I'm growing more optimistic by the day that McCain beats Barack or Hillary going away.