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)

    DNC, the Voters know that you hate Senator Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, please tell us why do you hate the Voters???

    Why was Michigan and Florida punished, however other states that broke the same rules, were not punished???




    May 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. noemi in los angeles

    Roland Martin: I couldn't have said it better myself!!! Your article today titled: "Commentary: No graceful bow-out for Clinton" is genius. Clintonistas have failed us and they need to let go of their power-hungry tactics. Clinton supporters think that Clinton really CARES about their votes, but she could really CARE LESS!! Hillary only cares about herself and has ONLY cared about herself throughout her entire life. For those that doubt me, check out Hillary The Movie and see for yourself. Do a little digging and realize that the false speeches of your candidate are anything but true. For those bashing Obama for all the FL-MI mess need a reality check. Last time I checked, it was 2008 and the old Washington politics have failed us and put us where we are today: a sinking hole. Please: it is better to have hope and push for change, than to never have tried at all. That's what you'll get with McShame and Clinton... you will get the same old politics, the same old war, the same old fear tactics, the same old political pandering, and the same old broken America.

    America: WAKE UP!!!

    May 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Toussaint

    Why did hillary say one time that they required each and other, 2026 delegates to win the nomination then changed to 2216 on an other speech as I watched?

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

    One other note, when Ted Kennedy ran he and Jimmy Carter were still at it until August. Why should Hillary get out before all the states have even voted. I say take it to the convention...Look what Carter got us?

    May 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |

    COUNT THE VOTES.................

    COUNT THE VOTES.................

    COUNT THE VOTES.................


    May 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. Greg

    Congrats Hillary!

    What a fine mess you have caused!

    May 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  7. Lisa in GA.

    I would not want to be in this meeting.. first of there shouldn't even be a meeting... they broke the rules and if Florida and Michigan want to be mad they need to be mad at the party leaders.

    1. The people in Florida knew their votes would not count.

    2. The canidates knew that they didn't count.

    3. DNC should honor the rules and stand by their decision.

    4. Hillary needs to grow up and stop whining.

    5. Obama needs to stay on the mark and talk about the issues.

    6. McCain and Bush just needs to go away. far far away!

    No one is perfect.. but if the DNC overturn their decision.. the world better get ready for a long and difficult time to answer to the many protests that are ahead.

    May 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  8. jt

    Best way is to count the millions of voters that voted.

    Common sense tells you that.

    Forget about hurting Obama's feelings. Obama is just one.

    We are talking about millions of voters.

    May 27, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. JC

    This is really exciting. We have to thank DNC, FL and MI for having created the hottest ticket in town. GOP lost a great opportunity for publicity, which can be maneuvered to their advantage in this election. As an Independent, I still can't believe this is happening. DNC is lucky that there are only two states, FL and MI to deal with. After this, they will have another four years to think up a better plan for their primary and superdelegates. Never say never. It will happen again as long as any Clinton stays around. Whatever happens, No more Clinton or Bush. We have had enough American dynasties.

    May 27, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |

    Follow the money...I'm sure that's what this is all about....Who has the most money, DNC????????Who has the most money?????



    May 27, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Jerry in Fresno

    It's the delegate count, stupid.

    May 27, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. andy

    Hillary needs to withdraw from this contest and there will be no more problem.

    May 27, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. tigerakabj

    It really should take about 30 seconds to do.

    All they have to do is hold up the contract that had Clinton's, Obama's, and the other candidates signatures on it that specifically said that the no one could campaign in the penalized states.

    50/50 for both states is the only fair way. A 5 year old could decide this. Man this is unnecessary drama.

    May 27, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |

    I believe that FL and MI delegates should be seated at the convention.
    I feel that the rules were broken and there has to be somrthing put in place to deter this in the future for other states who might consider doing this if nothing happens to those who break the rules.

    At this point it is not about Hillary or Obama

    They should seat them so that they can participate in the GE but the primary votes should not counts as was stated when the candidates signed the rules of engagement for this primary.

    You can never know the oputcome from the primary because voters were told that thier votes would not count and some people did not bother to come out because of that. There were those who were not on the ballot I hear because of the rules that were in place so how can you get a true count as to who voted for whom. It just would not be an accurate count.

    Let them participate in the general election but leave the punishment as it is by not counting the primary votes.

    May 27, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Bridgette - PA

    Ok, we have the DNC meeting, P.R., S.D. and Montana remaining. Within 7-8 days, this will be over. Hopefully, Hillary will come out with an excellent exit speech, stand by Obama and fight for him. Although I think Sebelius has a better chance of being Barack's V.P. than Hillary does at this point, all "true" Democrats must come together over the next week or two and get ready to fight the Republicans. If anyone feels that they can't vote for Barack or will vote for McCain instead or say they will write Hillary's name on the ballot, you are a Republican and we don't need you anyways. Don't be mad at Barack, he's done an excellent job. He was the underdog who fought harder than Hillary or you could ever imagine. She lost because of her. You can't win the nomination or General Election because of your last name. Needless to say, Barack took advantage of her ignorance and that's why he will be the nominee. Join us and if your a Barack supporter and need something to do on the 31st, get down to D.C and join the "Voter Registration Event". We need you!

    May 27, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. judi of michigan

    If every vote does not count the DNC is in fact as bad as the RNC!

    May 27, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. Democrats Unite

    I have witnessed incredible ignorance about the political process, most recently about our candidate selection process. The courts have no say so in how the parties select their candidate. It is the DNC and the RNC who decide the rules and each candidate in order to participate to become that party’s nominee must agree and abide by them. The DNC and RNC are not Government entities, we have no constitutional right to require or direct them to change their rules, particularly three quarters of the way in the process.

    As a Michigan voter, I hold both the Republican and Democratic leaders of my state solely responsible for putting us in this situation. I watched with dismay last year when we Michigan voters were told our primary date would change and that our votes would not count. Our state leaders knew the consequences and their reasoning was that in the future it would make a difference.

    At no time was there any outrage, or protests from either camp. Obama as requested by the DNC took his name off the ballot as did Edwards. Hillary didn’t but remarked she didn’t because our votes wouldn’t count anyway.

    I am tired of the intentional division and intentional misinformation. We are headed down the same path as we have in 2000 and 2004. With ignorance and apathy this nation will end up with a Bush surrogate in the White House with McSame. Everyone who will vote for him believing that he is moderate or a better alternative they will reap the consequences.

    And deservedly so!

    Carol a Michigan voter

    May 27, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. David D Kollie

    "We will unify when all this is over." This is what I heard from Obama and Hillary as speculations were growing about disunity among Demoncrats. But it seems now that is not the case. Unity seems to be far fetch. I hope the people of Fl and MI will understand that Obama has nothing to do with all that is happening right now. A law abiding person will definitely say Obama abided by the DNC rules and regulations. Accordingly, the Executive brunch of government interprets the laws made by the senators and the representatives. IF HILLARY IS NOT ABIDING BY THE INTEPRETATION OF THE BYLAWS OF THE DNC, HOW WILL SHE INTEPRET THE EXECUTIVE LAWS CORRECTLY? This is a shame. Because of one person, the rules and regulations governing a party should be change. I'm totally disappointed with all this.

    May 27, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. JF

    The tine has come when the trumpet of victory will sound. I am not against Hillary. But i think it is high time she caution her supporters to stop what ever they are planning to do. Instead, i think she should go ahead and start looking for ways to rebulid this party and to stand side by side with Obama. As for FL and Mich, there should be no two ways in trying to resolve this issue. While we were young, our parents taught us that, to be a man we should never mak a promise we can never keep. We should make our words and actions to be our bones. all abide to. We were being punished for breaking the laws binding our family. These were rules and laws we Hillary should keep her promise. It is just unfortunate that,Hillary is going through this, that is the reason why she is trying to make sure that she gets the nomination. Well, if truly the bylaws committee members are truly democratic and have conscience, then they are going to do what is right for both candidates. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

    May 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. JENNY


    May 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. joe smith

    seems this candidate, and the others frequently mentioned as potential new commanders in chief of the USA, fail, just as current chief to address the financial markets, and the negative effect oil speculaters are having on our Nation, it's people, and our National security.

    May 27, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. Jackie

    The problem is that if the Dems ignore Florida and Michigan, they will lose the voters in those states come the general election. Despite everyone worrying about breaking the "rules," it wasn't the FL & MI voters that actually chose to move up the primaries. Somehow Dem voters in FL are being punished for the actions of their Republican governor (Charlie Crist).

    No matter what, these protests (on both sides) are becoming fueled by too much anger and hatred. It's going to take a lot to calm down supporters and get everyone working together so we can actually defeat McCain.

    May 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  23. REALLY, CNN? Just Remember Truman/Dewey in 1948!

    "Duplicate comments detected"??? They why don't you post the first one. There is NO OTHER comment on this blog, so it can't be for lack of space.

    May 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Finally the dream ends..The party elders will do the right thing, and deal w/FL and MI. I really don't think they should be seated, but they probably will be. I feel for the people in both states. I blame the republican administations that are in power, and knew this would cause issues for the democrats. However, that plan will blow up on them when this problem is resolved.

    May 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Black College Grad for Hillary

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    See, everyone is clearly not happy with Obama.
    If so, the superdelegates would have made the final push and he would have enough.

    Doesn't matter how you feel about any of the candidates, why do Obama supporter hope for change when the other two candidates have a life time of work that you can just read about and know what they are going to do?

    This man is going to be a laughing stock and disgrace for educated black people, he knows nothing and listens to no one except people hungering for power that are using his popularity to get it.

    This is the worst election season i have ever seen. Democrats just never seem to get it.

    May 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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