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. Phyllis/ PA

    I really do not want Hillary as VP. She would be blamed for all of Obama's mistakes. I hope that the super delegate do what they are suppose to do. This is what is best for the party so we can win back the white house. I am sure that Hillary would grit her teeth and select Obama as her VP in order to keep party unity and win back the white house.

    PS. Yes, I could and can vote for McCain because he has experience and will based all his decisions on what is best for the county during these difficult times.

    Hillary for President. Obama for VP. This would give him the experience that he presently lacks. No Obama

    August 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Critical View

    The DNC and the Democratic primary processes have stolen Hillary Clinton's nomination. Obama has taken advantages of these undemocratic processes. People have lost confidence in the whole polictical system. Let's promote a new simultaneous election system that counts every vote in the primaries and in the general election. Many countries have already achieved this. Why United States is so far behind?

    August 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. henry

    makes sense to me!

    August 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Frank

    Oh Sure, and when Hillary Clinton said this, everyone punched her to death!!!! DNC shall crash and burn and a new party shall arise out of the ashes! DNC has become a joke with their primary season to their inexperienced junior presidential candidate! This is United States of America not Disney Land!

    August 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Denise Groves

    I agree with him. Those same states should not be the ones deciding the presidency every four years

    August 20, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Milka

    I don't care much about Polls. Hillary Clinton was leading in polls in 2007.

    Go Obama!

    August 20, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Obama can hum haw with the best of them. How he got this far is beyond me. He should pick Caroline Kenney as his VP, he owes her Uncle a bunch. Maybe Kerry has an older child? Caroline was a young child when her father was killed in Dallas. She only knew about Obamas so called similarities, probably from Teddy. I don't think Obama is that stupid, but then again??

    August 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. St. Paulite

    Too bad, to late Mr. Obama and his friends at the DNC. The media have totalled about 23% of Hillary supporters "still holding out" from supporting Mr. Obama. They continue to try to delude the public with what that means. I'll tell you what that means! Those are folks like myself, who are changing parties and committed to getting Mr. McCain into the presidency! The DNC can choke on that one!

    August 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Daki

    The only reason Hillary would have a lead on McCain is that:

    1.Obama supporters are smart and understand what is at stake

    2.Obama supporters are not racist

    3.Obama supporters are not sore losers

    4.Obama supporters will vote in thier best interest,even if it is not the best candidate

    5.And Hillary lost fair and square,she needs to stop crying sexism

    August 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Tjaye in LA

    Frank....stop being a girl! Hillary wanted to change the rules in the middle of the game. If you were even slightly honest and not so angry about backing a loser who can't balance the budget of her campaign, then you would honestly admit that. She was fine with ALL OF THE RULES when she thought she was a shoe in. None of this was a problem for her UNTIL she started losing.

    August 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Down with the DNC

    Nicole In NE August 20th, 2008 5:11 pm ET

    "But the problem is even Hillary's people agreed to the rules and everything for this primary season. They are complaining because THEY lost."

    First, she DIDN'T lose – she suspended her campaign. I thought my neighbors in NE were a little more informed than that. By party rules, Obama can still lose. Do you think that is fair?! I support Hillary but the nominee should not be elected by the supers (AKA DNC) – you'd be pi$$ed if they selected Hillary and I'd have to tell you: Those are the rules, he LOST. It's not democratic. It's not fair. It's the whole point of this conversation.

    Do you think it's fair Iowa gets to vote first? I live here and I don't! It makes no sense...when did suggesting a correction to a flawed process become whining? Because you say so?

    Looks like Obama would agree, hmm?

    Get your head out of the clouds and look at the process with an objective eye. This is bigger than you, bigger than Hillary, and definitely bigger than Obama.

    August 20, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Colin

    Dear Hilary diehards: If McCain wins, Roe v. Wade is gone. Think about it.

    August 20, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Jill in Chicago

    Obama should worry about McCain closing the gap and possibly taking the lead. Change the rules if and when you win the election.

    August 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    jeffrey August 20th, 2008 4:39 pm ET

    the ground work is being layed for 2012… obama you beter hope you didnt make a HUGE mistake not putting mrs clinton on your ticket….because SHE WILL BE PRESIDENT……the question is if……its when….it could have been as your successor in 2016…..but it looking more and more everyday like she will be our canidate in 2012….i hope shes better to you than your were to her….but that wont be hard…..


    Dude, why don't you just try to make an intelligent comment about the primary season calendar and whether it needs changing, instead of blustering stupid threats to Obama that he is never going to read anyway?

    August 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Anyone is free to go and caucus. They represent the will of the people who bother to show up, just like primary and general election voting. We've had caucuses for decades. Now all of a sudden, because they didn't favor your candidate, caucuses are evil? Because your candidate didn't plan for them, tried to blow them off (because she had an idiot for a strategist who didn't even know that the delegate system was proportional and that she couldn't get all 370 delegates from California), and the strategy backfired on her, now you want to get rid of them?

    Sorry, you have to come up with a better reason than that.

    August 20, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Daryl Jones

    She'd work... but does she have any executive or legislative experience?

    August 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Kathryn, Nevada

    Oh sure, now reduce the number of deligates. But hurry up. You've got to do it before the convention. BO, Pelosi, and Dean are really getting scared that many of the deligates are going to switch and go with Hillary durring the roll call. Kind of like once Hillary was out of the picture (so they thought), then the DNC and Obama wanted to give Fla. and Mich. full votes!
    Hmmmmmm Now I wonder which deligates they will be eliminating?
    Looks like another ploy to make sure Hillary supporters don't make a fool of Oboma and the DNC.

    August 20, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Brian

    More stupid ideas from the democrats. Man I'm glad they tear themselves apart every year.

    August 20, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Brian

    The new "wonder" commission will probably have the same players as the one that voided the votes in MI and FL. Too little, too late. Until the special interests of IA, NH and SC are ignored, nothing will be fixed. The Democratic Party needs to sweep the house clean and start again!

    August 20, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. Thomas Paine

    It's about time, change is sorely needed.
    I believe that our political system is so compromised that we have to change the way we select Presidential candidates.
    No more party primaries, all you need to do is be on the ballot come November.
    Clinton, Huckelbee, McCain,Obama, Romney and Ron Paul, all duking it out to the President. Finally taking the choice of candidates out of the hands of the few and into the hands of the many.

    August 20, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Enlightened Voter

    Nick – read your own blog entry twice and then tell me who is more ignorant. If you can't get the right people to manage your campaign you can't get the right people to manage your country moron. Did you forget or block out her lies? Her horribly planned campaign? Boy, you need therapy, seriously.

    August 20, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Erika, KS

    OMG! Can you believe this guy? Now that he's the democratic contender he wants to change the rules? What a joke he is.

    August 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Lisa

    I tried to explain to the Obama supporters that Obama was going to lose, unfortunately they didn't want to listen. You can't blame them though, when I was 18 years old I didn't want to listen either.

    August 20, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. Mark

    Hillary was proclaimed and embraced by the media as a front runner a year ago, Bob Schieffer declared it game over last fall. Bill Clinton stepped over the line in the primaries and cost her a shot at it. We have to remember that in this country there is a segment who will not vote for a woman, a black man, a Mormon, a Jew etc. So Obama or Clinton start in the whole to begin with. If Obama chose a woman as a running mate, he would make it worse.

    August 20, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Lynn

    Caucuses should be eliminated first. . My sister-in-law and others in her Texas precinct were shoved around and many went home without their support for Hillary Clinton counted. A complaint was filed, one of many. Kathryn – Obama has eliminated some of Hillary delegates and replaced them with his. I read some in FL, at least one in KY and some in other states. It sounds like to me the roll call vote will be a fraud.

    August 20, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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