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. mendemoi

    The delegates have to be seated the way the people voted. The people are more important than those committee rule makers. People have never asked themselves whether the rules themselves were unconstitutional, overbearing and unfair to the voters. All we hear now is how it is fair or unfair to either of the candidates. WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHOSE VOTING RIGHTS WERE STOLEN BY THE COMMITTEE RULE MAKERS? I will vote for McCain if the seating is anything less than the peoples wishes.

    May 27, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. supporter

    The out come will be in Obama's favor anything else will be unfair to the God himself, the Kennedy Demo's rule the DNC

    May 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. Alicia

    I hope the goalpost does not get moved. Someone has to console the whining child who is not getting her way. I used to respect Senator Clinton. I still will if after this, she will shut up and take it like a big girl.

    Amazing when she was frontrunner, WAS, she could have cared next. What will be next? I dress better! My scandal against him will be out anyday hold on folks.

    I just hope they do something to unite. I think Mr. Obama will give her more than what he would be entitled to just to shut her up like a whining child.

    May 27, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. bigg dog

    you people aire my statement longview texas bigg dog aka big O..

    May 27, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  5. Melinda

    Brian Knoxville, TN May 25th, 2008 12:24 pm ET
    You're right, this isn't American Idol. If you have only said that five months ago, maybe most of the people who voted for Obama would have understood that they were voting for the Party's nominee rather than for a popularity contest.
    And you're right about the party having rules. The process doesn't end on June 3 according to the rules. It continues until the convention in August. Decades ago, the Party gave about one quarter of the delegate votes to Party leaders (the so-called superdelegates).
    You're not fooling anyone when all your statements to end the process as early as possible, while your lightweight candidate is ahead IN ALL BUT THE POPULAR VOTE

    May 27, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. taylor richmond virginia

    what are the odds that they find a way to screw things up?

    May 27, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Frances

    The DNC will seat the delegates but will not move the goal post. It won't be worth the risk of moving the goal posts and thereafter requiring a showdown on the convention floor in Denver. Hillary wants the fight but the DNC won't allow it. Watch what I say. McSame has already started to run ads for the presidency. This country will suffer dearly if the democrats won't be able to run a presidential ad until after the convention.

    DNC Meeting – End result. Hillary will get a few more delegates than Barack. And just enough where Florida and Michigan won't feel llike they are left out of the voting process.

    Obama will get the nomination the middle of June and Hillary can go back to her Senate seat.!! Finally!!

    May 27, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Cody

    There are so many people that feel that Clinton's decision to stay in the race is divisive and damaging and will cause the republicans to win the election in November. When really, it is this issue of Florida and Michigan that could potentially undermine the election.

    The DNC should never have stripped delegates from these states and brokered an agreement between the candidates to not campaign. That decision effectively undermines the whole democratic process! They should have punished the ones who actually screwed up by relieving them of their responsiblities as state party leaders. They should not disenfranchise their own voters!

    I do not envy the ones who have to decide where to go from here. But some advise to the ones with that burden: Think of the voters and think of November. Whatever decision you make, remember that those voters deserve a say in their party's nomination and will lose faith in the democratic party if it turns it's back on them. I think the best thing to do is force a revote and allow the candidates to campaign. Or second best, let the vote stand as is.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm an Obama supporter. And I know that it will be an uphill battle for him either way. But if the democrats even want to stand a chance in November, they need to focus on making the voters happy. Yes, these are big states and they are swing states. But even if they were small states, red or blue, they will be affected by the outcome of this election just like anyone else. So let's give them the representation that they deserve.

    May 27, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. Melinda

    t's a shame that you felt you had to explain an inDemocrats forgot about Women May 25th, 2008 12:17 pm ET
    Why does a woman always have to justify herself?! Historically campaigns have run until a nominee has the requisite delegates (often up to the convention). The Democratic Party and Obama should be ashamed of themselves for trying to push aside the first woman candidate (who currently leads the popular vote).
    Shame on democrats for this double standard. I thought the Democratic Party was the party that favored women's rights and respected women – clearly this primary season has shown the sexism that still controls the Democratic establishment. The majority of voters have cast their ballots for Sen. Clinton yet the superdelegates are being blinded by the media and Obama's slick political spin machine.
    I will write in Hillary's name in November if she is not the nominee.

    May 27, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. william

    The DNC needs to understand one thing. That over half of Hillary supporters will not support Obama. I will register as a Republican and Vote for Mccain. DNC think long and hard about what your doing to the party.

    May 27, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  11. Melinda

    Deanna – Charlotte, NC

    May 23rd, 2008 3:01 pm ET
    Some of you ought to be more respectful of Senator Clinton. She has proven herself to be a tireless patriot. I have always believed her motivation for getting into the race was because she cares about people whom the Bush administration wishes would disappear — people who depend on their country to be a democracy and not a dictatorship. This race will go down in history as proof that our country has made strides for equality for blacks BUT we remain without doubt a misogynistic nation.

    May 27, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. Rick Medina,OH

    Sen. Clinton took some 'flak' over her RFK remarks, but her point is well taken that a few primary seasons (in the past 50 years) have extended into June. But, more often, a 'front-runner' has emerged fairly early.

    The Michigan-Florida fiasco is not 'about' dis-enfranchisement of the voters; their dis-enfranchisement is a 'consequence' of efforts by many states' delegations to remain 'relevant.' Let's not forget how 'expanded' Super Tuesday became this year, or the fact that the prima donnas from New Hampshire actually considered moving their primary date back to December of 2007.

    It is likely that the DNC Rules Committee will find (after great rancor) a solution to MI-FL no one likes, but most grumblingly accept. But, they will leave to another day finding a solution to the real issue - finding a way to make all voters relevant.

    May 27, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    I like the comparison lol Hannah Montana lol

    May 27, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. Melinda

    Bill Brown May 27th, 2008 7:00 pm ET

    Let's face it: curiosity killed the cat and likely the nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    May 27, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. aa

    they should seat the delegates according to the voting in primaries...Hillary took a beating this weekend over nothing...out of proportion blown statement by the douche bags on msnbc

    May 27, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. Maria

    I hope CNN covers this live! I would love to see what Clinton's excuse is for not following the rules with Florida and Michigan. Remember when she said that everyone knows those votes don't count. I can't wait to see what web of lies she spins this time. That's what the Clintons do best SPIN.

    May 27, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. Kathy

    My question to the “under 30 generation” who for the first time in their lives “found their voice”… in Obama…..where have you been? Why not until now have you not exercised your right to vote? You place your faith in a man who has not been tested, pocesses little record of accomplishment and little to no experience in international or economic matters. Go back and check the record…Obama released his platform weeks after Clinton released her Solutions For America agenda. His were extremely similar to hers. The Clinton campaign reacted to the release of the Obama platform by saying…”at least his is not that different than ours” So I ask you, what does this man stand for when he copies what it convenient to his campaign? For shame!

    Life to you folks seems rather simple. I suppose in your minds, Obama offers a sense of entitlement both for himself and his supporters - your/his time has come. The simple fact is that if you look past his rhetoric there is little substance. You buy into his chant of “change..yes we can” with little thought or experience as to the complexities involved in bringing about change. Some of you worship him like he is a “messiah”, here to save us from ourselves. He may in fact be anointed the nominee, and you like him, will think nothing can stop you. The simple and relevant truth is……. One can fool some of the people some of the time…but not all the people…. all the time.

    McCain may represent a party for which I may not find a lot of common ground however, I respect his honor, integrity and sacrifice to our country, the scars of which he still bears as a testament to his courage…. And I will place my hope for change in him.-he is not Bush… He has earned my respect and most likely my vote and the votes of millions of others who feel the same way.

    For the sake of our country and that of our future….thank god there are more of us than you, and we will not allow this fantasy to continue past Nov. DNC party chairs and uncommitted superdelgates… either stop this false prophet now….or we will do so with our votes come Nov.

    And to all those, Obama supporters, who have previously responded to my comment, or wish to now I say this…you are being fooled by the joker himself-Obama. Study up on your American history….this man will put up a pretty decent fight, however in the end, he will join the ranks of Kerry and other far-left liberals….bitter and clinging to his religion wondering why he came so far only to have the door slam shut on him.

    May 27, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. Hillary NO VP /no pres.

    This is unbelieveable and they better not give MS. CHANGE THE RULES McClinton more than half.
    What kind of president would she be ?people would not be able to believe one word out of her pie hole.
    If the delegates would give Obama their backing today it would end all this nonsence.
    This was changed in Florida by a Republican to begin with they knew what they were doing to the DNC .
    I would like to see Hillary 3 in the rear view mirror .

    May 27, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. Wen

    The Clintons must be made to understand in no mistakable terms that this country does not belong to them, and indeed, the democratic party does not belong to them.

    We must remember the indiscretion of Bill with Lewinsky that made the Democrats lost the presidency to the Republicans. In some way the Clintons contributed to this present Republican mess: iraq war, brink of recession, gas prices, among others.

    We as a country are ready to move forward. The people are ready for change. The Clintons should not hold us (via the DNC) to ransom for a campaign they failed in and lost so obviously.

    The world is watching!!!

    May 27, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. simpson

    HRC said yesterday that she should get the pledged delegates representing the 55% of Michigan voters that voted for her and should get more than 50% of the Michigan voters that did not vote for her and voted "Uncommitted".

    This is what she means by counting every vote. Every vote should be counted and the votes for her should be counted twice!

    May 27, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  21. Twin Otter

    Interesting that this meeting is taking place on the heels of the so-called docu-drama Recount. The movie of course depicts the mean old Republicans disenfranchising hundreds of voters of Florida. Now, back to the real world, we see the Democrats disenfranchising millions of voters in the same state, and in Michigan. Life imitatiing art I guess. And, who are the real champions of disenfranchisement.

    May 27, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  22. SheWill

    You can't change the rules late in the game..Their decision on Florida and Michigan should be reached after we have Obama as the nominee..Barack played by the rules,he followed the rules and therefore he won this primary and anything short of that is stealing and cheating.I'm so tired of people saying he can't beat McCain and for those who say that i'll ask How do you know he can't?Remember Hillary and her supporters said he couldn't beat her either.Google Hillary's comments she said she would lock up the nomination on Super Tuesday so i'll ask again How do you know he can't beat McCain because remember he wasn't suppose to beat Hillary
    2 words on why he wont beat McCain. African Americans. The same 2 words that bullied him into people voting for him. And he did not play by the rules. He hired an attorney to be sure Michigan voters could not revote. He ran ads in Florida when he was not suppose to be campaigning. There is even a video out there on You Tube of a marching band and parade in one Florida city where they announced his name and he came up to speak. Thats called campaigning people! He broke all the rules because he knows Mich and Fla will put Hillary over the top. Wake up and smell the coffee. Hes not your man. He is as crooked as they come.

    May 27, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  23. ABrown

    What about the people who followed the rules in Florida and Michigan and did not vote? Why is the country still allowing the Clintons to change the rules to benefit them? I truly believe Hillary is doing whatever she can to make sure Obama does not win in Novemeber so she can turn around and run again in 4 years.

    May 27, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  24. rosie

    why are comments closed on the article about Obama "misspeaking and confusing who his uncle was and what torture camp he liberated.......If it was Hillary who "misspoke", the comments would go on and on for days.....

    BO needs some seasoning before he is able to handle the flack the Repubs are going to throw his way. Too bad he is not anywhere near as tough as Hillary.

    May 27, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  25. Trasa

    SIMPLE, those votes should not be counted as is. I just want to say to the Clinton supporters, how is it a fair primary when we truly don't know if Clinton would have won both states..Obama wasn't on the ticket in Michigan and thousands of Floridians didn't come out to vote knowing the delegates were going to be stripped, so what do you say to those voters who didn't have there voices heard... You guys claim you agree with Hillary about every votes counts, but there were many who didn't get to be heard.. True, maybe in the end she might would have one, but will never know... And stop blaming Obama for the mistake that the elected officials of those states made...You guys starting to sound like Bill that there's a conspiracy and cover up....Please! don't be riduclous. And while your at it, I guess to keep from having bad feelings with those states, the caucus states will be disenfranchised which is more of them, which by the way Hillary would need.

    OH, if I get one more person speaking on behalf of me saying Americans want Hillary, CUT THE CRAP, cause I don't want her...I almost was going to stomach the hard feelings I had against her and cast my vote in her direction if she became nominated, but know, FORGET IT!

    May 27, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
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