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. Bryan in Michigan

    In response to Kevin:
    "Shame on all candidates for agreeing to leave out these two states from the start. They should all as democrats have demanded that a solution be found before the campaign started. It is very revealing that a man who talks about change was so casual about the voting rights of millions of people."

    ...Kevin, please let's not forget that Hillary ALSO stated in February that the final number to reach would be 2026 (which excluded Michigan and Florida). Now she as well wants it changed.

    It's not the DNC's fault, it's not Hillary's fault, it's not Barack's's the fault of the silly politicians in Michigan and Florida that jumped the gun.

    May 27, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  2. New Yorker

    Independent Voter is right, but you don't have to be so rude.

    Vote for McCain; he's tried and true. Has a backbone and knows how/when to use it. We need someone who isn't a coward to lead this country; someone who knows from history that appeasement is bad policy.

    May 27, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  3. Susy

    This Obama guy wants to show his pride but arrogance. You can't believe this man he'd been telling a lot lies since he started his campaign. His thick lips are his signature.

    May 27, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. Marlie:

    Obama supporters – be very, very careful. She has something up her sleeve. She will pull a rabbit out of a hat. And no one will say anything, even the media – who never, ever correct her.

    May 27, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  5. Jake

    You can't punish MI and FL voters for what officials decided. Nobody can give away your right to vote. Our country was formed on the idea of no taxation without representation. Maybe FL and MI should refuse to pay all Federal taxes for the next four years.

    May 27, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Steve

    COUNT MY MICHIGAN VOTE!!! This process has been completely disenfranchising to all of the Michigan voters. And splitting the votes "50/50" is equally disenfranchising- how would you like YOUR state's vote counted that way??? COUNT THE VOTES! STOP DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS! The Obama campaign really is worse than the Republicans! They want to steal this nomination without Florida and Michigan. Let him try. He'll lose, and he'll have our two states to thank!

    COUNT MICHIGAN'S VOTE!!!! AS – WE – VOTED !!!! NO "50/50" BS !!!!

    May 27, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. Edith Arkansas

    For those who say the M and F votes should be counted or the voters will be disinfranchised I got good NEW, the voters who voted were told the votes would not count therefore voters who heard that news did not vote for their potential candidates because they thought their vote would not count. Therefore the bitter truth of the matter is those voters who didn't vote for their potential candidate. In fairness those votes should not be counted. What moron would argue with those truthful facts. DNC stick to the rules. That lawsuit is a joke I can tell you what the judge will give opinion for the DNC to follow their own rules . This is a one sided argument Hillary argument is nothing but air to attempt to avoid a lawsuit

    May 27, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  8. LT for Obama

    An Ohio Voter

    Please clarify your statement that other states broke the rules. Exactly who are you refering to? MI and FL are the ONLY ones that moved up their primaries and went against the rules. All the others voted according to the calendar that was set up.

    Sharon Minnesota

    I am so sick of your constant negative remarks. Just once, I would love to see you post something contructive. You don't have to post anything about Obama, just something, just once that is positive. I am beginning to think you are an extremely unhappy person. I just want you to be happy and not so angry all the time. Put a smile on when you get ready to post. Say something nice about your candidate instead of attacking all the time. I ask of this for your sake and for your health.

    May 27, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  9. Wayne

    Oabma still has to agree with it.

    If it is other than 50:50 he should say no way !!

    May 27, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. Crush Rush.

    Florida can cecede from the union for all I care.

    May 27, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. vern

    my comments were automatically erased. Is there a problem. I tried entering twice. Has my email been eliminated from responding to CNN's Blogs?

    May 27, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  12. SMART1

    What makes you Clintoninuts think tha we Obama supporters will vote for her if she steal's the elction. We just aren't spewing it all over the internet.

    So you see the Repulse-licans will win either way.

    YEA! we can be as ignorant as you can and who are we hurting our children and grandchildren. I am a women and I am ashamed of how you women look as an example to your children and grandchildren. The lesson you are teaching them is to be a sore loser and make excuses when you lose. Lie if you must!!!!
    If Chelsea stays in the political arena I am sure she learned from the best

    May 27, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    Obama-bots running scared. The protest will be outside dummies.

    May 27, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. Gary in Tucson

    People around me (who are very educated, like PhDs) voted for Obama for the primaries. I asked them why they supported BO. They could not give me any making sense answers, but saying "for a change". I know the fact that none of them really did investigations about him and his past. Yes, they were PhDs and they didn't do any research on BO before voting for him. Now most of them realized that it was all hype about him that was created by the media. I am just shaking my head....hope there is anything can fixed the mess created by the sad. Sham on them.

    May 27, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. Sunny

    Do not let the political leader's problems affect the people of Florida and Michigan. The people have the right to be heard and vote. The citizens did not create the problem. The party leaders did!!

    May 27, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. sjp

    kevin you are a fool, sorry but you and others who post the it should have always been counted know nothing of order and rules. this nominating process has cost millions and will cost millions more if hillary keeps it up. think as a democrat what good that kind of money could have been used for. instead democrats have been going nuts trying to bend the rules, wasting money, wasting effort on subjects that don't matter. just how much fossil fuels are fellow dems burning up to be at this joke of a meeting, threatening to riot. ashamed i am, to even include anyone who puts this process ahead of what is important, as a real democrat!

    May 27, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. tj

    The DNC made a terrible rule, now they have to fix it. If the FL and MI vote are not allowed to count, then we will have McCain as our president and we may lose a few democrati leaders in the future. The people won't forget.

    May 27, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Kaci

    CNN, you are priceless. You continue to stump for HRC. You won't go anywhere near the story about McCain economic advisor, Phill Gramm and his ties to the mortgage crisis, advising McCain on deregulation of the mortgage industry, all the while lobbying for one of the companies central to this national disgrace. Who's paying you to keep this story off your site?

    May 27, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. Wayne

    Shame on you WWat a Crook !!!!!

    May 27, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  20. Bob S.

    The DNC picked a small venue to limit the number of people who could attend. The last thing the DNC wants to do is let the general public see, for itself, how biased and UNDEMOCRATIC the self-described Democratic Party is, but, little by little, the Undemocratic Party is revealing itself. For one thing, it's obviously UNDEMOCRATIC if the superdelegates hand the nomination to the person who loses the popular vote, i.e., goes against "the will of the people." Also, it will show itself to be unfair and UNDEMOCRATIC if it ends up treating Florida and Michigan any differently than it treated Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina–all three of which violated the same Rule 11 as Florida and Michigan by moving their caucus/primaries up to earlier dates than the earliest the DNC said they could hold them (Jan. 3 vs. Jan. 14 for Iowa, Jan. 8 vs. Jan. 22 for New Hampshire, and Jan. 26 vs. Jan. 29 for south Carolina). Someone isn't playing fair!

    May 27, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  21. Simone

    The DNC should never have given into Clinton. This is the most unfair thing done to date. Some of the people didn't vote because they knew the vote wouldn't count. Some of the candidates weren't on the ballot...what kind of a decision will the DNC make that will be fair? If they need to come of with something it better be 50/50. This is all because Hillary is determined to win. What a mockery!!up

    May 27, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  22. Tristan Alexander

    I am more focused on the fact that this event was sold out in one minute! While McCain is having problems selling his tickets... he is has no chance against the Dems. this fall...

    Obama 08!
    Dem 08!

    May 27, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. K in KENTUCKY


    May 27, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  24. Brenda from AZ

    Before commenting I read all the previous comments. I cannot believe the hate spilling forth. What is wrong with you people? Obama won fair and square because he was nominated by the people, right? Clinton fought hard, but lost. We democrats need to stick together and send a DEMOCRAT to Washington, no matter what. I see the same people leave the same type of messages on this blog-I really think that the one's who state they will vote for McCain -if their Hillary doesn't get the vote -are Republicans who deliberately come into this website to try and sway our votes. If Clinton doesn't get the nomination, you will vote for McCain? Sounds like republican bs. ESPECIALLY, since Hillary has admitted that Senator Obama has similar policies!! And if you are a true democrat AND still vote for McCain, you will have to live with the consequences. You would rather the Iraq war continue because you didn't get your way? You would rather have our poor American soldiers die because you didn't win? Pathetic and so selfish its unbelieveable!!

    May 27, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  25. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Well, I've read most of the comments and I find them interesting and humorous. Few have got it right. For the record, FL & MI would NOT be disenfranchised as they get to vote in the GE. That the DNC & RNC hold primary elections is a further move towards democracy. However, both the DNC & RNC could simply pick a name out of a hat (or choose someone independant of the voting process) and then run that candidate as the Dem or Rep nominee. People still get to vote in the GE and from a constitutional perspective nobody has been disenfranchised. In short, the DNC & RNC are doing us a favor by holding primarys and not acting as Kingmakers. Like it or not, it is what it is.

    Face it folks. One side or the other is NOT going to be happy. But contrary to what one side claims, there is a very clear majority in terms of popular vote, pledged-delegates, super-delegates, & states won. Popular vote is the question mark, but it is only a question in Sen. Clintons camp. Everyone else totals up all the votes (incl. the votes in caucus states) and sees quite plainly that in terms of counting every vote that's been cast, Sen. Obama is ahead by 500,000 votes or so. I'm not sure what the fru-fru is about this Sat. It won't have any bearing on who will be the nominee. Sen. Obama is the democratic candidate for POTUS.

    Accept it, or don't accept it. As for me, I'm ready to have some fun with Sen. McCain, the RNC and all those fat, middle aged, so-called conservatives on the Hill. This is gonna be a hoot!

    May 27, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
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