May 27th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
10 years ago

DNC meeting hottest ticket in town

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It promises to be the highest-profile gathering of Democratic heavyweights until the summer nominating convention – and shaping up to be a harder ticket to come by: this Saturday’s Washington meeting to debate the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations is officially the toughest ticket in town.

The members of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee – the panel weighing how both states should be represented at the convention in Denver – will meet very publicly, at a hotel site ringed with protestors and satellite trucks. Inside, they’ll be joined by a swarm of political journalists – and a few rank-and-file Democrats. Only about 300 people – including RBC members, press and public - will be allowed inside.

But hundreds of Democrats eager for a front-row seat to history found themselves out of luck today, as the party’s online registration system for the spots available to the public was overwhelmed at 10 a.m. ET, when it opened. All available seats were claimed in about a minute.

(By comparison: the Hannah Montana concert earlier this year at the Verizon Center – granted, a much larger venue – took roughly 12 minutes to sell out.)

Disgruntled Democrats and party officials alike took to the Web, amid complaints from disappointed would-be attendees that they had successfully registered, only to see that confirmation disappear. DNC officials said some had missed out on their chance by moments. “The difference between getting a spot and not was a matter of seconds,” said DNC Internet Director Josh Hendler in a statement quickly posted on the party’s Web site. “We’re sorry we don’t have enough room for everyone who wanted to be there, but we’ll make sure you can see the meeting if you want to.”

In fact, ticket-holders won’t have much of an advantage over disappointed Democrats forced to watch the proceedings via on television or online: they won’t be allowed to speak, or to express their viewpoint non-verbally through signs or banners.

And there may be almost as much news outside the venue as inside the ballroom where delegates meet, as groups backing both candidates have pledged to bring supporters to press their case on RBC members as they arrive.

As the temperature rose on rhetoric surrounding Saturday’s protests, the organizer of one of the pro-Obama rallies planned for that day told CNN Tuesday they were re-dubbing their gathering a “voter registration event” – a nod to party unity – and not a “counter-protest” that could be viewed as an attempt to disrupt the proceedings.

soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Bill Brown

    Let's face it: curiosity killed the cat and likely the nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    May 27, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. LE

    Hillary you stupid person.
    You want to divide the country.

    May 27, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. Jason, Texas

    50/50 is the only way to do this justice or just don't count them at all...

    May 27, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Shane

    counter protest sounds more like it.

    May 27, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Travis (in the real world)

    I'm sure Bill and Chelsea had their names in for the draw to get into the bi-laws meeting to help LIAR BILLARY...Geez what was I thinking..."they own the committee" quote, well that's what Billary said.

    May 27, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. bigben

    Clinton supporters it is time for anarchy!

    May 27, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. sacto joe

    Sombody should tell Hillary that this isn't the Republican Party: In the Democratic Party, we don't practice political cannibalism.

    May 27, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Garth

    Perhaps the TV show "DIrty Jobs" might like to have Mike be a RBC board member. Because there is going to be some muck and yuck thrown Saturday.

    May 27, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. we want change not more of the same

    You can't change the rules late in the game..Their decision on Florida and Michigan should be reached after we have Obama as the nominee..Barack played by the rules,he followed the rules and therefore he won this primary and anything short of that is stealing and cheating.I'm so tired of people saying he can't beat McCain and for those who say that i'll ask How do you know he can't?Remember Hillary and her supporters said he couldn't beat her either.Google Hillary's comments she said she would lock up the nomination on Super Tuesday so i'll ask again How do you know he can't beat McCain because remember he wasn't suppose to beat Hillary

    May 27, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. True

    If I were the DNC I would secretly move the meeting to PA and leave all those protesters high and dry...

    May 27, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Truth

    DNC should sit Florida delegates without any consideration to the primary vote (i.e.50/50)...
    It doesn't matter what Obama or Hillary will say. It is not up to either. Rules is rules and the party should make all States obey the rules.
    Many people did not vote because they understood that it wouldn't count.
    If Obama wants to help Hillary, he can drop out or make her his VP, but it should not come at the expense of the party integrity

    May 27, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. sophia nyc



    May 27, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Ken

    I don't see how the DNC can possibly seat delegates from Florida and Michigan. Those two states were well informed about when they could hold their primaries, and they chose to ignore the DNC and move up their primaries knowing full well that the DNC would not seat their delegates if they did.

    But what bothers me the most is that all of the presidential candidates agreed with the DNC back in August of 2007. Hillary did not take her name off the ballot in Michigan but she also knew that Barack and John Edwards had taken their names off the ballot. Talk about a cheap and dirty trick. She knew full well what she was doing. If she found she was behind in the delegates and the popular vote, she would insist that the delegates from Michigan and Florida got seated. If she were ahead in the counts, then she would keep her mouth shut. Since she's losing so badly now, she thinks it's okay for her to raise a big stink and claim to be for the voters. She's only for the voters when she needs you. She won't be there for you if she doesn't.

    Do the FAIR THING, HILLARY, and either don't count the delegates (because, after all, you did agree to this last year), or have a re-vote, or split the delegates 50/50 with Barack.

    May 27, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. TEXAN

    OK...if you HAVE to change the rules in the fourth quarter...spit them half and half. 50% for Hillary and 50% for Obama THAT is the only fair thing to do. Too bad still WILL NOT win. Nice try. GIVE IT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Kelly, PA

    It's amazing to me that Clinton has a group of supporters who plan to rally at the meeting. Obama wasn't on the Michigan ballot! How do they explain their support of her accepting the popular vote in that state? It's all puzzling to me. Where's the objectivity Hillary Dems? By the way, I was once one!

    May 27, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. KE

    Some leaders only knew how to conquer, just to conquer.
    Some leaders had great ideas, just ideas.
    They believed conquering the whole world would end all the problem of the world.
    They believed equalizing the world would end all the problem of the world. It never workd.

    Hillary 2008

    May 27, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Chamorrita60

    I'm so glad this meeting will take place, I'm about sick of all this Clinton nonsense. It's getting very depressing and I'm starting to get turned off by both Hillary and Bill's constant spin "theories".

    Americans are just sick and tired of hearing all this foolishness play out over and over. Enough already. Let's move on to beating John McCain's butt!!! Hillary is OLD news, let move on and stop wasting any more time on the Clintons, they are done, finish. Next?

    May 27, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. peter in PA

    You know these things actually takes spot light off of McShame.!!!

    May 27, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Jody Platt

    What did the Republicans do besides criticizing ? Oh I remember, they invaded Iraq on false charges and lies.

    May 27, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. The O

    there will be a riot when hillary does not get her way. and it will be disgusting. and I will blame hillary for this one....


    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. Ed, Santa Fe, NM


    May 27, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Chuks

    of course we are here to make sure democrazy wins by voting OBAMA!

    May 27, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Maggie, Miami

    Listen well DNC-–count all of our Florida votes now or you'll have none to count in November.

    The good citizens of Florida voted in good conscience and don't give a rats a__ about rules made in some backroom by a bunch of Democratic party hacks.

    Remember, a chad in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    May 27, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Terry in Fl

    Why bother? They are just going to undermine Hillary once again. I would just urge Democrats from michigan and florida to vote Mccain and prove to the DNC that we are not a party of "fixed" races. NO OBAMA!

    May 27, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. Independent-Cuban-American-woman-voter-for-Obama

    I bet its the hottest ticket! How silly it is to be debating or discussing the "rules" everyone agreed to. Rules are rules...... maybe not with the DNC.

    There are many FL voters who have expressed their displeasure with the DNC by threatening to vote for McBush. To them I say:

    Go right ahead, if you want more troops dead, more debt acquired, more failed foreign policy, more division, more same-old. The fact is 70% of Americans think Bush has failed, as goes Bush ...... so goes McBush. Just don't complain when your vote causes our nation more grief. Don't utter one single complaint! You want McBush, you are welcome to him.

    May 27, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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