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.
Florida & Michigan should be able to vote.
It is only fair to the people of these two states.
Florida & Michigan should NOT be left out.
We are for the people of these states........and Hillary Clinton.
If they are smart, they will figure out a way to give this to Biden.
Although that was not my first choice, I honestly think the other two contenders are too flawed to win. My first choice was Edwards, but there is too much trouble with the economy and the war for him. He would/will make a great populist prez, once we dig ourselves out of this hole we threw ourselves in. But we won't be getting out anytime soon since the right's new lapdog McCain will be in the oval office. Leave it to the dem's to throw this thing away.
My left testicle! I'll give me left testicle to be a fly on the wall!
Please, whoever is going saturday... stand firm and proud, but don't be stupid. No violence, the GOP would just love that.
Obama 08' (but Clinton would do in a pinch too!)
A "Voter registration event" – Please – Guess the obama group thought a protest might turn into a riot – or – would not look too good to have obama try to BLOCK voters in FL & MI – AGAIN!!!!
This time it will be on TV – and we will ALL watch – not the back room attorney's sent to FL to Stop the Votes! Funny how the obama group constantly cries – he followed the rules – you can't count these votes – BUT – The FACT is that Obama BLOCKED a RE-VOTE – WHY?????
Call it whatever you want – BUT do NOT ever think it will become a
"party unity" rally – because it NEVER will – think your guy of UNITY has made sure of that!
Seattle LOVES Obama!
You must stick by the rules stated by the DNC before this election. I am a high school football coach we do not change the rules so the other team can catch up. You guys need to tell Hillary the rules are the rules. SHE SIGNED AND AGREED TO THAT PLEDGE, WHAT DOES THIS TEACH OUR CHILDREN! Do not be weak on this issue. Obama can get those voters back I campaigned here in Utah for him he won this state by a large margin we actually voted in this state.
Hillary needs to do what’s right; someone needs to explain to her that she needs to do the greater good for America and our children. She is taking the steam out of this campaign. So I ask all of you to stick to the rules and do what’s right. The whole world is watching America right now.
INTEGRITY OR HOUNESTY THE CLINTON’S HAVE PROVEN THEY HAVE NONE!
CNN PLEASE POST
All we need to do is what she has done here it is Hillary the rules are the rules. SHE SIGNED AND AGREED TO THAT PLEDGE, AGAIN SHE HAS NO SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE SIGNED AND AGREED TO THAT PLEDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL ABOUT THE CLINITONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS OVER SHE NEEDS TO TAKE BILL!! AND GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's awesome. The Democratic race is being compared to a Hannah Montana concert!!! Hahahhahaha!!!!
NEXT CLINTON WILL WANT TO MOVE THE ELECTION TO 2009 AND SAY THIS WAS A PRACTICE ELECTION!
I hope CNN plans to cover this.
I want to see the Clinton Camps last ditch effort televised!
Cover it CNN
Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, etc. WELCOME.
Somebody should sit up front with a sign: "No delegates for those who agreed they would not count."
For, you know, Hillary
Clinton / Lewinsky '12
A bunch of party insiders have decided that Obama will be the nominee and have interpeted the rules to further that aim. If Obama does get the nomination, that will split the party and I and many others will leave rather than vote for the most inexperienced and most liberal Senator currently in office. Insiders like Dean/Kemmedy/Kerry would rather control a losing dem party than have Hillary lead a victorious one. No more money or party line votes for me.
Bill talks about disrespecting Hillary..well you have to give respect to get respect and she has respected NO states she has lost, No experts who disagree with her, No ethnic group not in her corner, No result that does not favor her and mostly has not respected the admirable campaign that Obama and his people have put together to defeat the Clinton Machine.
Those that underestimate the skills, abilities and intelligence of Obama are fools and Hillary has the dunce cap on at this time.
This is what real politics is all about. It should be fun to watch.
CNN is biased. They are inviting comments here from liberals so that they can publish them here and all of us readers can read them. They have not published my commetns because I am an independent and I want liars like Barack Obama to fade away. Barack, Go away. Yopu are not fit to govern our country.
We can all thank the "LYING DO ANYTHING AT ANY COST" CLINTONS for more of the devide among democrats that will take place on Saturday.
What a sham on Billary's part to claim this in the name of fairness to voters. She AGREED to the rules regarding MI. and FL. up until she was getting beat by Obama...then all of a sudden......
......THE CRYING AND LYING BEGAN......ANYTHING FOR YOUR BIRTHRIGHT EVIL QUEEN.
You have totally destroyed any legacy you and Bubba had left....
................Enjoy your retirement in the Senate............
The Key to Democrats’ Win: Let FL and MI Redo Primary
Democrats, including Dean, Obama, and Hillary, should know that nothing is more important now than resolving the problem of FL and MI delegates. Without resolving this difficulty will leave an open-ended primary process, create chaos at the convention, and eventually suffer a defeat in the general election. Unless both candidates agree, whatever DNC decide on May 31 still will not solve the problem. Furthermore, if DNC decide to punish FL and MI, they may just as well kiss good bye to these two states and accept the defeat in November. But if Obama and Hillary are unable to agree on any formula, what should DNC do? The only unambiguous way is to redo the primary. Remember, all rules governing the nomination are decided by DNC. There is no such thing as “rule is the rule”, because DNC need to invent rules to fit the situation. For example, what should be the threshold for this year’s nomination? Any number the DNC set will be challenged not only at the convention but also in courts. However, there is a rule that will never change: rules must be fair, legal, and winning. Unless both candidates agree, the only fair, legal, and winning decision that DNC can make now is to redo the primary in Florida and Michigan. After this is done, one candidate surely will get more than half of the total delegates to win the nomination, and the other can humbly accept the result.
The only completely fair way to resolve the Florida and Michigan issue – other than going with the original plan, which was leaving them out – is to completely re-do the primaries for both parties, with at least two weeks of campaigning ahead of time in both states, and all the candidates' names on the ballots, including the ones who have already dropped out. You have to do both parties in order to be fair to voters who would normally have voted in the Democratic Primary, but since they were told well in advance that such a vote wouldn't mean squat, voted in the Republican Primary instead.
Finally, it's not fair to the DNC, RNC, or FL and MI taxpayers to make any of them pay for this garbage, so it should all be funded directly from the wallets of people like the Hillary supporters here on the Ticker, who are aching so badly for those states to count. As the cliche goes, put your money where your mouth is. Maybe the queen herself could also throw in a few crumbs from her $109 million bank account.
This is one big mess. I ,hope when I cry I can get my way. Nothing personal to the people because I think it was unfair to them that they suffer for the mistakes of others, however the party rules were in play and set until Hillary threw a tantrum after Super Tuesday, how could she agree then to disagree. I hope when this comes to a close the people will hve their say and the right one is chosen.
Why do most Obama supporters on these blogs sound like their about 14 years old? Where is the higher education and intelligence we heard so much about?
The Democratic Party has to honor every vote in Florida and Michigan by accurately representing every one of their votes with the full number of delegates at the convention.
If the Party chooses not to respect every one of their votes, then the Party should expect every one of the voters in Florida and Michigan to turn their backs on the Democratic candidate for whom they did not have a say in selecting.
Turn your backs on them, and they'll turn their backs on you. Honor the votes, or you'll just be shooting yourselves in the foot.
HILLARY CLINTON '08
We should be able to see the Clinton campaign for what they really are. I'll be watching.
I hope the voice of the people is heard. Remind everyone that Obama broke the rules when he did a tv ad in Florida before the primary there.