August 20th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama, DNC call for new primary season calendar

Obama and the DNC are urging for a change in the primary season calendar.

Obama and the DNC are urging for a change in the primary season calendar.

(CNN) - Days before Democrats meet in Denver to name their presidential nominee, Barack Obama’s campaign and the national party leaders called for a new commission to deal with many of the primary season controversies that dogged the party this election cycle, and to develop a system to end the frontloading of the election calendar.

The campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday that they would ask the party’s Rules Committee, which meets Saturday in Denver, to create a new commission that would re-vamp the primary season calendar. The goal would be to make sure no votes were held before March, with the exception of a handful of party-sanctioned contests in February.

The new group would consider reducing the number of superdelegates – elected officials and party leaders who are not bound by primary results.

It would also consider undefined “changes” to the caucus system. The Clinton campaign, which fared poorly in many caucus states, complained during the primary season that the voting system was an unfair one.

Recommendations from a similar group tasked with addressing the issue – and reducing the disproportionate influence of Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential nominating process - led the party to adopt a plan last summer that prohibited nearly every state, except those that won a special lottery, from holding their primary before the first Tuesday in February.

South Carolina and Nevada were chosen; later, Iowa and New Hampshire were granted special exceptions that also allowed them to vote in January. Florida and Michigan’s decision to hold their primaries that month, in violation of the party’s instructions, resulted in the loss of all of their delegates to the national convention.

At the Rules and Bylaws Committee’s June meeting, those delegates were restored at half a vote each. Earlier this month, Barack Obama’s campaign sent a letter to party leaders asking them to seat both states’ delegations at full voting strength, a major Clinton demand after the primary voting season began.

The new “Democratic Change Commission” would be charged with delivering its report no later than January 1, 2010.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. ANGEL



    August 20, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Teresa

    The DNC process is SO undemocratic. The republican and democratic primaries NEED to be on the same day and we all vote for the same number of candidates. True democracy!! It would end the polls and all the mud slinging. Obama supporters please stop scapegoating all your oponents for your candidates lack of merit.

    August 20, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |

    I truly hope that Senator Obama will keep the Clintons' off the ticket. If not he will have to have his back watched on a constant. I for one feel like Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill are trying to destroy the Democratic Party and Democrats. She is out for herself and her family and that is that. She cannot be trusted nor can her husband. KEEP THE CLINTON FAMILY AWAY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE !

    August 20, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Ray

    as a 23 yr old college grad i'm tired of all the ignorance in this country. people are going to f' around and elect someone who has voted with the current president 95% of the time because they're too stupid to realize what's going on.
    obama 08!

    August 20, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. hillybilly

    good idea.but if people like clinton and some of her most radical supporters complain about the rules ,next time ,after they signed off on them, then they should be banned from the party for's their whiny and incessant behavior and attacks and smears and attempts to change the existing rules during the contest,that has so called 'divided the party', and they still continue to vent their rage on obama and the party.these are vindictive and hateful people and they should not be allowed to remain in the party.let them join nader or barr or mccain .

    August 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Nando



    100% OBAMA
    0% MCCAIN


    August 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Rob

    I love the Obama supporter who said the polls must be false because SHE wasn't contacted. That makes about as much sense as Obama supporters usually do– which is to say, none.

    August 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |

    This is all fine and good but what happened in Florida was the direct result of the republican parties slim machine.

    August 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Bill

    It's amazing how the vast majority of Americans think for themselves and won't be swayed by the liberal press establishment.

    August 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. B J

    Get rid of the superdelegates and the caucuses, those are idiotic.

    August 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Oneof18Million

    Hillary for 2012, Obama might lose, big mistake by democrats! Hoorah for Hillary!!

    August 20, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Lee Isenberg

    Obqama is falling backwards. This country wanted change that was good for them.....Hillary would be good for Obama Think of the votes
    !!!!!!! Women want representation.....ITS TIME FOR IT DON'T BE STUPID....WE STILL WANT HILLARY

    August 20, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Linda K.

    First, I have to say that I don't know why so many people are devoted to Hillary. She's smart. So are many other women. Being a former first lady does not entitle her to anything. That's one reason why my primary vote went to Obama.

    On to the primaries. I would like to see a regional approach, with different regions of the country voting each week. This would drastically cut down on candidate travel expenses and just be more manageable. There could be a lottery system to see which region goes first, etc. I live in Kentucky and our primary wasn't until May 20 so I had no sympathy for the line-jumpers, Michigan and Florida. Also, it was ridiculous to have a six-week break without a primary this year.

    I don't think we should have all primaries on the same day. What's the point?

    August 20, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. hillybilly

    fla and mi were lucky to get 1/2 a vote after breaking the rules ,lisa.why do you care?you are a republican who only crossed party lines to support hillary.

    August 20, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. KC

    This guy is smart.

    August 20, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Enlightened Voter

    Realistic – be careful what you wish for love...All i know is that she and morons like you ruined it for her. Remember he had more votes than her. People don't like her. Even those that knew the clintons didn't want any part of her. That's realistic. And pay off her debt that she MISMANAGED. Say goodbye to hillary forever, thankfully she's toast!
    "In a recent outreach program to find contributors for Hillary, only about 250,000 responded. Fund raising events for Hillary since she lost the primary have been very sparsly attended."
    Steve – AMEN! Amen! Amen! You are so right. But thankfully her supporters and her ruined her political career. She won't even win her seat back and that should serve them right.

    August 20, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Jatovi, NC

    Is it me or is the ugly truth about America showing its ugly head. The truth that America is not ready to have its first black president. Let's all be honest, there are big differences between these two candidates. People over and over have said Obama in his speeches does not talk policy, but in reality that is all he has talked about. McCain's only claims to fame are drill and POW. This is all he has talked about, rarely any policy talk, yet they say he talks more on policy???

    This is what I think is great, the big "no experience" talk. Who would you rather have:

    A guy who was never in the senate but governor of a state for 4 years or a guy who, lets say has spent 4 years in the HoR another 2 years in the senate and for fun say he spen 8 years as VP. you choose who did you want?

    My guess is you just re-elected Nixon over FDR, great job.

    August 20, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Here's one Republican loving the Obamaborgs bashing the Hillirites and vice versa. Hope you make your convention interesting.

    August 20, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Teresa

    I read the headline and it is as follows: "Obama, DNC call for new primary season calendar" how can this be miscontrued into a HRC hate fest....keep to the subject please.

    August 20, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Lynn in NM

    With any luck, the primary season will be one week long, and only one month before the convention. That way we won't have to listen to all the hot air that comes out of both sides of the candidates mouth at the same time, for 2 years. Sorry folks, but I am disgusted by all of them.

    August 20, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. observer from ottawa

    From up north it has been clear months and months ago that Obama was all talk, hype, celebrity with little substance, originality or experience. I do not even think he has conviction.

    I am amazed but pleased the American public woke up before it is too late. HRC would have been the best choice and it looks like his highness will not even pick her for VP....if I were Hilary I would refuse him now. Would be interesting to see if he can keep all of his delegates and superdelegates in a role call at the convention....of course if he loses, he/his supporters will cry foul or is really just him/lack of experience, nothing to do with race or gender, HRC is more experienced and if not, then John McCain is the only choice...if McCain picks a woman, no hope at all for Obama or democrats.

    August 20, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Marc PDX

    The Marquis D'Obama calls for change, change, change for the sake of change and more change...

    August 20, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. A house divided

    Well... the great pretender has been exposed.

    Obama has a gift for self-promotion and gloating and bragging that initially appears as charismatic, wisdom and a gift for orating.

    A second look is enough for the truly wise person to see that he is just a phony repeating great one-liners from truly great visionaries, and a self-serving politician (wasn't first defending and then totally disavowing Wright proof enough of that?).

    Then to unite by dividing, to inspirie by inflamming hatred and then pretending to be ABOVE it all... is the final act.

    August 20, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. a Patriot in Georgia

    I might've voted for HRC but was denied the chance. I'm a life long Republican and I've can't do a McBush 3rd time.

    I'm turning to the Libertarian Party, it's the one best suited to run the White House

    Barr/Root 2008

    August 20, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. anonymous

    Get a grip on it. Hillary is out of the race. She LOST. Face up to it, she is not going to be President nor V-Pres. People that have any intelligence at all knows that she is not the one for a leader of our country. Sorry.

    August 20, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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