August 20th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
6 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. Anonymous

    Obama's story is getting OLDDDDDD!!!, as it happens with every single fad and rock star. Poor democrats.

    August 20, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. Michael

    Oh my gosh, I was just reading through the posts on Mitt going to Denver for the DNC convention. Such unwelcome remarks from I would guess Democrats. You'd think old Mitt had steped on Super Man's(being Obama) cape or something.

    Do all the Republicans who live in Denver have to leave town too for the DNC convention? What a snarly crowd. I think if I was a Republican living in Denver, I'd stay inside and lock the doors and watch the DNC convention on TV. Next to McCain, O'Riley and Hannity are pretty much our favorite heros. But old Mitt is moving up a notch going into this war zone.

    If the DNC take him prisioner, I hope they stick to their position to not torture terrorists.

    August 20, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. bob

    I second that!

    August 20, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Lisa

    We should have listened to Hillary, but no everyone was so hunky doory over Obama just because he had a Myspace page.

    August 20, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. marianna

    Yeah, it's time to do primaries. Many Dems are not too happy with the current outcome.

    Clinton/Obama '08

    August 20, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. non black nonwhite

    Phantom of the Oprah,Anonymous,Lynn,Erika KS,Al-NYC

    YOu are real idiots! you have no brains

    August 20, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. non black nonwhite

    hey brainless people what experience does McCain have, getting caught by the enemy???

    he hasn't co-authored any legislation. He doesn't even know where Georgia is.

    August 20, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. jason, tx

    Those voting for McCain are ignorant.

    That said, it seems to me that the democratic party is catering to the Clintons. I'm not a Dem, so I feel like an outsider to this conversation. But, Hilary has done so much damage that it's insane. She felt entitled to the nomination and couldn't even manage her own campaign.

    Obama 08

    August 20, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. wilfred

    How can you run a country when you can't even get your state primaries in order.

    August 20, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Why do you never post my comments?

    '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.'

    How is this any different? Is this like when Iowa and New Hampshire were instructed not to hold their primary until February and then received a 'special exception' to vote in January?

    The Democratic party is full of numbskulls. Glad I switched to the Independent Party after my vote was ignored in MI.

    August 20, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. ron

    didn't obama vote to change the rules regarding public financing before the primaries then decided it wasn't to his advantage so he broke the rules. I'm sure whatever they come up with will have a loop hole just in case he runs again. Michigan Florida half vote the rule is the rule and we must follow the rule. after the primaries I BELIEVE FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN should have a full vote. YOU sen. OBAMA can believe whatever YOU want but WE don't believe YOU. you can fool some of the people ect

    August 20, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Tejano

    My friend called me and invited me to the Republican Convention and I said no way, I may be a Republican, but the Democratic Convention will be more fun to watch. I love a good fight. Can someone get me a ticket to Denver. Go Hillary you can still pull this off, Obama does not have all the votes.

    August 20, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It is clear to me that most people blogging don't really understand the reasoning behind this call for a primary calendar. Republicans Governors and their constituents out numbered democrats and controlled the changes that were made which created this whole mess. With the primary calendars changed it will prevent them from doing this and Obama is right on.

    August 20, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Sue in MI

    I live in Michigan; I voted "against the rules" in a LEGAL election, and my vote must count. This was a stupid DNC rule, not a law, folks. In the US, LEGAL votes cast must be counted (except in Florida, evidently...thank you Supreme Court for the last 8 horrendous years!)
    Regardless, I believe MANY Republicans voted in Democratic primaries to wreak havoc, because McCain was the nominee so early, so they had nothing to vote for in their own primary. And I do believe those people voted for Obama because they see him as easier to beat.
    I pray that Hillary earns LOTS of votes at the convention, and then is named VP. Can someone think of a time when a race was so close and the two candidates DIDN'T make up the ticket? He needs her, badly. If he doesn't want a riot at the convention, he should name her VP before then! Then it really would just be a solidarity vote. If he names someone else this weekend, I think he's in trouble. Dems are getting very worried about McCain's teflon suit.

    August 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. jt

    Change, this new politics, this is our momment, we will change the world, we will start to heal the sick.

    Sound like from Obama, yes, that is right and voters are getting very tired of all of these baloney.

    Vote McCain an American Hero. Obama did not even served as a boy scout.

    August 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. PUMA-Jessie

    To the party that said 80% of the comments are from Obama supporters is about right. They have paid staff and volunteers who do nothing but blog all day. They attempt to control the comment sections on all the news oranization. They attack all negative articles and add compliments to all of the postive one's and thereby control the story.They engage in name calling, mean, nasty and degrading remarks. Most of them don't even act like adults

    August 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. Ovitshio Branco

    My dad also was an officer in the navy in WWII, my uncle Tommy a west point graduate and decorated war hero in Korean and i served from 63-65. My dad was republican chairman for our county, everyone in my family thinks it's a sin to vote for a democrat but i have to say this time I AM BITTER ABOUT THE WAR YOU AND BUSH AND CLINTON GOT US IN WHEN THERE WAS ZERO REASON AND NOW WE CAN'T GET OUT WITHOUT A WORSE PROBLEM. I AM BITTER that there are families welcoming their loved ones back from iraq in a casket, I AM BITTER that we had a republican president and congress and did not help the people who the Bible says we are supposed to. I am voting for Obama and I am not a kid—I am old enough to see what you have done to this great country of ours and I am so ashamed. If you meet St. Peter in Heaven please explain why the greatest country in the world is so self serving and why we have babies going to bed hungry—-in this country. I AM BITTER AT WHAT YOU AND BUSH HAVE DONE TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY and see a young A. Lincoln in Obama who one day will have students studying his works as we do Lincoln. SHAME SHAME SHAME

    August 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Honest Abe

    YOU JUST HAVE TO LAUGH at the republicans that talk all that crap about how terrible Obama is.
    You know you aren't in the upper 5% of the population that is filthy rich!!! First tell yourself that truth IDIOTS! Second of all – do you realize the fact that we have been under a 'republican control' for the last 8 yrs???? Have your economics improved over the last few years??? I highly doubt it!!!! AND NOW YOU WANT JOHN MCCAIN IN OFFICE?????
    But at least men will still have medical coverage for Viagra – and women will have no coverage for birth control – and no choice for abortion..
    WEWYOO... Stupidity is still alive and well..

    August 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. A Woman In California For Obama

    To fella from Chicago: for once, I find myself actually agreeing with you.

    August 20, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Obama all the way

    No controversies, just whining Hillary.

    Obama won it period, Hillary tried to ruin everything, but failed.
    We have a united party, but HillyBilly trying to spoil it. Wont succeed.

    August 20, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    puma jess from 7:00, you may be right and you may be wrong. I can tell you I'm not paid by anyone to blog on these sites.
    I'll tell you one other thing, as a Clinton backer.
    I'm tired of the 8 years of Republican rule in the white house, and 6 years of rep rule in congress.
    It's amuising and also sad to see the stand-in in congress by reps who NOW want to do something about energy prices when they were in TOTAL CONTROL just 2 years ago at this same time. I don't remember any of them then, with a Rep president, asking to be called back into session for anything.
    Look, Clinton didn't win. Period. You can argue all you want, but she didn't win.
    You're left with two choices – one who oppoes virtually everything she champions in McCain. Or, a person who champions 95% of everything Clinton pushed for in Obama. If you want the vote against yourself, please don't complain when someone (perhaps yourself after realizing what you did by not voting for Obama) looks to have you institutionalized at a mental facility.
    Not being ugly, rather I'm being real because we're in a big world of hurt and only an overwrought, uber emotional person who voted for Clinton is going to now support McCain and continue that big can of whupp arse we've had for the last 8 years.

    August 20, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. Why do you never post my comments?

    Bloggers on CNN who write shame on this or shame on that are idiots. What are we, bad dogs?

    August 20, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Peter E

    Let's just have one national primary day. And only people registered in their own party should be eligible to vote in their election. I'm tired of political positionings and medlings for people who don't even belong or believe in these parties.

    August 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Dem 08

    Why are people complaining about caucuses? The caucus system did not start this year. Other candidates had competed in caucuses and go on to win the presidency, like Bill Clinton. Why do we need to change the rule just because Hillary cannot win in caucuses?

    August 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Peter E

    Obama: speaks about how bankrupt the system is and how we should abandon it... but when it comes to action he sticks to and plays the system as it is, criticizing his rivals for going against the rules... Do you still consider him an 'outsider?'

    August 20, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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