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. What if?

    This is a shame. Obama has maintained and won this nominee fair and square. OBAMA and CLINTON agreed and signed the same legal documents stating that they both agreed to not to count Florida and Michigan votes since they broke the rules, everyone understood the rules.

    “George Bush’s spending has sent the economy in a tailspin and put Social Security in jeopardy,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “Hillary Clinton will stop spending money America doesn’t have.” and “I will get us back to fiscal responsibility,” says Clinton, in a clip drawn from her stump speech. How? she can’t run a campaign without loaning herself money to continue, let's not forget she is in the red for 20+ million. dollars. She actually took a little boys money after he sold his toys for $400. Being our president, please relize we are talking about a lot more then what she and her camp has mismanaged

    Then she goes as far as to say “Some people say the presidential primary in South Dakota doesn’t much matter". If I'm not mistaken she is the one that said the small states votes don't count. Please make sure you check the facts before you go vote on Tuesday.

    “Our purpose is not to divide the party or attack the DNC or Senator Obama. Yea, right another lie........before 3:00 in the AM.

    May 27, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Louis

    Since this meeting is prompted by Hillory's protest that Michigan and Florida delegates be seated according to their recent primaries, will someone please demand that she explain her dispicable HYPOCRISY–she previously agreed publicly for all the nation to hear that these two states would not be seated because they violated DNC rules.
    She had no problem disenfranchising the voters back then. Now that she is losing, she suddenly wants the votes to count from Michigan even if her opponent didn't even appear on the ballot, and from Florida where no major campaigning occurred.

    Would some Clinton supporter please explain how they can vote for such a dishonest candidate?

    May 27, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Patricia Rosado

    I believe it is only "democratic" to count every vote and hear every voice. I agree with Hillary Clinton.

    May 27, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Franky

    I do believe some delegates will be seated and I'm not sure by how much necessarily, to tell you the truth. But I do believe some delegates will be seated..........the only thing that I don't like about this is the fact that it wasn't even done fair and the DNC should not be blame whether they knew they would have to seat the delegates. Don't tell me all of a sudden they've become psychics in one morning....

    Don't get me wrong, they will seat some delegates but I don't expect ALL of them to be seated...........this is literally about listening, not understanding....everyone has to cooperate....

    May 27, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Joyce in Florida

    I really hope that this meeting ends on a positive note. Florida and Michigan should be counted!!! Let Hillary Clinton fight her way to the nomination she so well deserves. I still believe that she is the more qualified candidate to run against John McCain. We need you Senator Clinton so keep fighting for us. Hope to see you in the White House. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Dawn M. Kosiek

    The point being it was his relative's service to his country, not Mr. Obama's service.

    Mr. Obama's relative is not runiing for public office.

    His relative's service is not something the public should take into consideration when casting their vote.

    Mr. Obama seems confused as to who's service is in question and why he should be elected not his relative.

    May 27, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Edwin, Fayetteville, NC

    The DNC should not give in to the Clintons demands simply because they are the Clintons. They are trying to change the rules to fit their needs. It was stated by the DNC agreed at the beginning by the candidates that the votes would not count since the two states voted early. I do think that the two states should be represented and all delegates should be split between Obama and Clinton. There were a lot of voters that did not vote because they were told that it would not count, what is to be done for them? They would be disenfranchised and that would not be fair to them. The Clintons are trying to bully their way into the nomination.

    May 27, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Craig from CT

    Stick to the rules as set forth by the DNC a year ago. Equally divide the delegates. Anything else and the DNC will lose the respect of it's rank and file

    May 27, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. Elizabeth, NC

    This would have been a chance of a life time. I hope both camps together with the leaders follow the rules. I know the old adage that goes 'rules are meant to be broken'. The rules can be tweaked a little but only if all sides are in agreement.

    May 27, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Dawn M. Kosiek

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    The point being it was his relative's service to his country, not Mr. Obama's service.

    Mr. Obama's relative is not running for public office.

    His relative's service is not something the public should take into consideration when casting their vote.

    Mr. Obama seems confused as to who's service is in question and why he should be elected not his relative.

    May 27, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Don't Back Down Now

    Don't rename it a voter registration event!!!! Protest, Protest, Protest. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a liar and a cheat. Show your support for Senator Obama.

    May 27, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. An American in Canada for David

    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 DNC better make good on these two states. They must count the states, in the primary election and not just decide that they will be seated at the convention, without their votes counting in the primaries.

    But perhaps the only solutions would be for the race to continue to the convention and have the whole democratic party decide the nominee at the convention.

    I think that would be the only legitimate solution to the DNC's mismanagement of these primaries.


    May 27, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |

    I just wish that the DNC would go ahead and endorse Senator Obama, divide the MI and FL votes and/or delegates and stop this mudd slinging by the Clintons. Bill Clinton is a lier and a cheat and so is Hillary Clinton. They keep changing the rules to suit them and not follow the rules of the DNC and the Republicans are loving it. Senator Obama's life and his wife's life is on the line and it is like the DNC, Clintons and Bush/McCain & Republicans are loving it. Senator Obama is the best candidate that the USA has ever had and white people cannot believe it and don't want it for the most part. Please get over you royal whiteness and elect this man, endorse him whatever needs to be done to get him in the Oval Office as President of the United States of America. Stop the BULL!

    May 27, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. Turnabout is fair play

    That's cool. Only "Operation Chaos" Repugnican fools and those Hillary supporters stupid enough to be duped by those Chaos idiots are going to be there protesting. We Obama watchguards are just going to be there to make sure her supporters don't get too rowdy and brainlessly insane when the verdict is handed down by the commitee and it doesn't go in Hillarity's favor enough to make a difference in the delegate count.

    Obama/Sebelius '08!!

    May 27, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. American

    On Thursday’s “Tucker” on MSNBC, David Shuster, who was serving as guest-host of the program, made a comment about Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton campaign that was irresponsible and inappropriate. Shuster, who apologized this morning on MSNBC and will again this evening, has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts, other than to make his apology. He has also extended an apology to the Clinton family. NBC News takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks.

    Makes you wonder why Matthews wasn’t suspended.

    May 27, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. Another "what I meant to say" from Obama

    Why is it that when Senator Obama says something, he always has an excuse as to "what I meant to say." And people just keep on letting him slide by. Take the blinders off folks. I'm sure if every American goes back through their history, they will find a great uncle who served too.

    May 27, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. tony

    I live in DC. I have a lot of popcorn. I cannot wait to go watch the feuding party members. The Obama supporters are so superficial. They think a mere "name change" will change the substance of what they are doing.....But that is consistent with his campaign [this probably guarantees that CNN will not post this. Well, maybe they will surprise me.]

    May 27, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. J in Texas

    does anyone else believe that Hillary is really caring about the party, the country, the people she says she wants to help? If she becomes the president, then we are looking at 4 years of lies, mis-spoken statements, and shedding of blame because she was told something and not check out the story first. Maybe we can look forward to pushing the button on the nukes , and think that no one would notice.

    The race is not for the American people, but for her number one fan - herself.

    she needs to be stopped and only the DNC can do it – or we all will pay for it by the defeat of the D-party in Washington Dc to keep the old Bush / new McCain policies in place and the US will be back in the dark ages quicker than you can say "god what have I done"

    May 27, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. James

    The clintons cannot change the math now. Its over.

    May 27, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Bubba

    This should be quite a circus ! I can't wait ! ! !

    May 27, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Kerry

    If Hillary is anywhere on the ticket in Novermber, I will NOT vote that way. I am so sick of her comments, especially the Kennedy comment. There is NO way she is electable in November. Millions and Millions of people will NOT vote for her, more than who would vote for her.

    Hillary is a poor role model for women and she makes me sorry to be a woman.

    May 27, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  22. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Hillary offered to help pay for revotes in Florida and MIchigan months ago. With a race as close as this one, their votes are and will be crucial, now and in Nov. She respects every voter in both states and still thinks that their votes should count.

    Barack and his fans seem never to have understood that making sure that the people in Florida and Michigan are treated fairly is crucial to any Democrat running for President of the United States in Nov. Once it became clear that this race was going to be close, he worked hard to make sure that the voters of Michigan and Florida would continue to be punished for the failures of the political leaders in those states.

    That's right, to win the nomination, Barack Obama was willing to disrespect and disenfranchise the voters of Michigan and Florida by working hard to block any chance for them to have a revote.

    To win the nomination, Barack Obama was and still is wiling to jeopardize the chances of any Democratic candidate winning in Nov.

    To the voters of Michigan and Florida, demand that your votes are accurately and fully reflected with all your delegates at the Party's convention.



    May 27, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Charlotte

    I hope they have the sense to seat the delegates. We must write in Hillary Clinton in November if the delegates do not come to their senses before then. I have a gut feeling Obama is hiding something. I can't put my finger on it but it is there. I don't trust him and I am seldom wrong in my impressions of people. I don't trust Michelle, she seems to be really strange in her message. The plight of blacks in this country is her main concern, she probably believes everything she has heard from Rev. Wright. Obamas' lies are comming home to roost. Selma,Kennedys and now the Uncle in WWll. Obama says' what ever he thinks the droids want to hear.

    May 27, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. jim t

    if both clinton and obama supporters are goin to be there, then its

    goin to get real messy, ooohhhh

    GO OBAMA '08 – '16



    May 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. KE

    Democracy only works in places where a majority of people understand about their rights. A majority can make wrong judgment otherwise (althougth that's in the process). Dictators always use that as an excuse for their existence.

    A handful of elitists have almost suceeded in convincing Americans and the other part of the world with their propaganda what the mainstream average Americans don't represent.

    Democracy for Americans!

    Hillary 2008

    May 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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