May 27th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
6 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. Julie

    Hillary has a right to keep fighting. We live in a democracy and has the right and freedom to go for the top job for as long as she wants!!

    I support her and will not vote for Osama...oops, Obama if she doesn't get the nomination. He might look good now, but just wait. His charisma and smile are covering his inexperience, inability to come up with a plan of his own(stole Hillary's), no back bone, inability to make a decision, act quickly, know what to do from day one, lack of credibility, lack of foreign experience, ability to talk without a prewritten speech/cheat sheet, talk without stumbling and stuttering, superiority complex.... Does he really think he can do what bigger and better Presidents have not been able to? Drink on dreamer.

    Keep fighting Hillary. I will always support your cause!!

    May 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Drew, Central FL

    Glad to see that this is going to be a public meeting. The need for transparency couldn't be any higher. Let's see what matters. Will the party and any hope of a Democrat getting into the White House be sacrificed? Or is the DNC leadership going to show some minerals?

    We will see.

    May 27, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Daniel

    This is very shameful that the super delegates will allow it to even come down to this. The Rules and Bye Laws committee made the rules from the begining. And everybody agreed to them before the first vote was ever casted. Now why the need to try and change the rules? Because someone is so desperate to do and say anything to try and win a nomination. What is the super delegates doing? If you are a super delegate my question to you is what are you waiting for. There is no mathematical probability out there that suggest Clinton can win this. So what is the reluctance in endorsing. At this point, it doesn't matter who you want to endorse. If you want Obama make it known, if you want Hillary make it known. Super Delegate, with all due respect, you are doing more harm by not speaking up. If you can't make up your mind by June 1st as Howard Dean suggested, then you don't need to even speak up. You might as well stay put and never endorse.
    Is this something hard to do? Apples or Oranges....

    May 27, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Gregory

    As a lifelong Republican, I have watched the events of this year's election with great interest. While I was lukewarm about all of the Republican candidates, including McCain, I was disgusted by Clinton's "do-whatever-it-takes" strategy. To hell with ethical behavior, to hell with the truth, to hell with good taste. Of course, we shouldn't be surprised – she is pathetic.

    So recently, I have found the new promise of Obama very appealing. Someone that we all can believe in – even a life-long Republican (with an open mind). But I will be disgusted again if the DNC RBC changes the rules of the game this late in the contest. I will lose all faith in a system that has warranted little faith to begin with.

    Any 10 year old knows that you change the rules only in the NEXT contest, not near the end of the current contest to appease the pitiful whining of the losing team. Imagine a close football game in which two nearly tied teams play to near the end of the game. Team A kicks a very close, but successful field goal. Team B attacks, cries, whines. My fans showed up, they cry, they deserve this victory! Then the referees huddle and decide to move the goal posts back 5 feet, invalidating the goal. Does anyone seriosuly think this fair?

    The DNC RBC better think very carefully about this. I realize they are in a difficult spot, and may consider a "middle ground" to appease Clinton fans. But there is NO middle ground. The rules at the outset of the contest are the only ones that count (Rules that the hypocrite Clinton embraced when she thought she didn't need them). Changing them now would bring the integrity of the process and indeed of the Democratic party into question. And many of us considering a change in our political lives will have to look elsewhere for something to believe in.

    May 27, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. Barbara - Atlanta

    I hope the DNC will make the correct decision. What ponders me is why the DNC would meet anyway when the democrats agreed earlier during the campaign that Florida and Michigan would be penalized for having their election early...

    Bill Clinton's on words, "there's a cover-up going on".

    May 27, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. Debra

    So will Hillary and Obama attend this meeting?

    May 27, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  7. White Marsh

    Simply put, if the Clinton team had won February's Super-Tuesday in a dominating fashion, there would be no DNC-RBC meeting this Saturday. The Clinton's would have taken the Democratic nomination without a second thought regarding the seating of Michigan and Florida delegates. If by magic the Clinton's could hold the cards that are now in Obama’s hands (total delegates) – - – then Michigan & Florida would have no ally in the Clintons.

    May 27, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. Beckie Sue in Montana

    WE LOVE YOU OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    May 27, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. joel

    In as much as i do love the DEMS PARTY, will love the bylaw commitee members to get with the programe and punish FL and Mich. It is unfortunate how good American citizens in both states would have love their votes counted but the same good for nothing party heads that they themselves elected in office went ahead and willfully decided to do the wrong thing for the party by going against the rules set by the DNC not to vote before time. FL and Mich voters should hold their party officials responsible for this nonsense. As a matter of fact they should be voted out of office. These are the most unqualified office holders i have ever seen. They pretend as though they are there for the goodwill of the people, whereas they are there for their private interest. Shame on them.

    May 27, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. MD

    Circus is about to begin.

    May 27, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. KE

    Oh Domination vs. Democracy

    Michigan and Florida will be counted.

    Super delegates will vote in Denver.

    May 27, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. No Hillary

    It is just about time that DNC comes with a final answer to this matter. It has been used constantly by Hillary and even Republicans to confuse voters and create division among democratic minded voters.

    May 27, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Obama 3008!

    Rah, rah, rah!

    May 27, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. jeffturbo

    Has the last 8 years tought you nothing about having a Commander-in-Chief with no foreign policy experience? And BOH has even less than Bush. Does the Kool-Aid taste good?

    May 27, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Say What!

    OH SO YOU BREAK THE RULES AND DONT EXPECT TO PAY!? THE OTHER 48 PLAYED BY THE RULES – HILLARY AND SEN OBAMA BOTH KNEW THE PENALTY HILLARY DIDN'T CARE THEN BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT SHE WOULD WIN THE BIG SUPER TUE FEB 5th BUT WHEN IT DIDN'T GO SO WELL AND SHE FAILED MISERABLY NOWWWWW IS WHEN FL n MI IS A PROBLEM!
    SHE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HERSELF!!!
    UNLESS THE VOTES ARE SPLIT 50/50 DOWN THE MIDDLE, AS A REGISTERED VOTER IN MI, I WILL SUE THE DNC FOR MIS INFORMING ME THAT MY VOTE WOULD NOT COUNT WHEN I TRIED TO VOTE!!!

    May 27, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. John Everett

    Obama supporters will be falling into Hillary's trap if they counter protest. Keep calm. Obama has already won and FL & MI will be seated. Don't be goated into a divisive match with Hillary supporters-we are better than that. We are one party and no one is stealing this election. Hillary is looking for a fight. Don't be manipualated .

    May 27, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Matthew

    Spice Nation. Tell me what you want...

    May 27, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. CKR

    I am very glad to see this is a public meeting, nothing behind closed doors. I want to see how this committee can possibly justify their previous ruling. How can the Democratic Party possibly NOT count votes simply because of the day the election was held? That goes against all we believe as Democrats.

    The Rules Committee made a mistake on their original ruling. They have this chance to fix it. I hope they take the opportunity to correct their error. Too many men and women have fought and died for the freedoms we hold dear, including the right to vote, for ANYONE to infringe on that right. Surely the leaders of our party value these rights as much as the members of our party.

    May 27, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. No McSame

    The Super Delegates can shut it down right now. What is wrong or the hold up. Shut it down and they will come around.
    NAVY Vet. for Obama

    May 27, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Cindy

    Darn insiders/scalpers... or... um... Dayum!! Obama is a bigger rockstar than Hannah Montana!

    May 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. jeannette,GA

    For the good of this country the "Rules Committee" must do what's right and count every vote. I'm old enough and experienced enough to see that nominating Obama will be a huge mistake. He might make a good candidate down the road but not now. Hillary Clinton is ready and will turn this country around.

    Hillary's supporters will not vote for Obama – that's a fact! Nominating Obama will no doubt put John McCain in office.

    May 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. MM

    I wish I could be there. All Obama supporters - make your voices heard through party unity and voter registration!

    May 27, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. Julie

    Obama Chooses Radical Local Band Named after a Russian Uprising and Known for Music Defaming the Jewish People to Kick off his Rally!

    It was reported by all the major news networks that Barack Obama drew a crowd of over 70,000 to hear him speak in Oregon. What the liberal media does not tell you is that the true crowd drawer was the concert that occurred just before his speech. The real rock stars at the Obama event were the members of a popular Oregon beat combo calling itself the Decemberists. Yes, just like the 1825 Russian uprising. Wikipedia states: "The band has used the National Anthem of the Soviet Union as an introduction at many concerts." Oh, no wonder they're opening for Neville Chamberlain

    May 27, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Dmitriy

    So much for Obama being the Unifier.

    May 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. Core Democrat

    The REAL nominee is Hillary Clinton. The QUALIFIED candidate is Hillary!
    The candidate ACTUALLY WINNING THE GENERAL ELECTION is Hillary!
    But a few caucuses, illgal disribution of pledged delegates, extra delegates to N Carolina, early primary in S Carolina (no punishment), and NOT counting votes IN FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN and the Democrat Party thinks they can pull the wool over our eyes. NO WAY!
    WE WILL NOT VOTE FOR YOUR INEXPERIENCED CANDIDATE THAT HAS NO JUDGEMENT AN NO REAL DEEP ROOTS OF LOVE FOR THIS COUNTRY!
    Obama has been trending DOWN since Texas and Ohio! OPEN YOUR EYES DEMOCRATS! OR YOU WILL LOSE IN NOVEMEBER! AND THIS WILL GO DOWN ON RECORD AS THE BIGGEST JOKE EVER!

    May 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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