[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption="Blitzer: Democrats are already starting to look past 2008."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic presidential nominating process is still being played out. It certainly looks like Barack Obama is very close to wrapping it up, but Hillary Clinton is not yet giving up.
There are still three more contests left, on June 1 in Puerto Rico, and on June 3 in Montana and South Dakota. And now, Senator Clinton and her advisers are even leaving open the possibility that this process could drag on to the Democratic convention in Denver at the end of August, especially if there is no change in the party’s refusal to seat the full Michigan and Florida delegations.
Back in early January, just before the first caucuses in Iowa, few would have thought that this process could continue into June. Many pundits actually predicted the Republican nominating process could drag on. But the widely-held assumption then was that the Democrats would wrap it up quickly, probably with Hillary Clinton winning the nomination. All of this goes to show that making political predictions can be a risky business.
Now, Democratic insiders are already starting to look beyond this year. Some are questioning the entire nominating process.
For example, should the party do away with its superdelegates. “I never supported superdelegates to begin with – 25 years ago,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, herself a superdelegate, said today. “I ran for the Chair of the National Committee opposed to superdelegates. You can imagine what a winning platform that was.”
She wants the Democratic Party to reconsider its rules. “There should be some representation of that leadership of the party and the congressional, gubernatorial and other manifestations of the party, but I think 800 is far too many.”
Is it too early for the Democrats to rethink their rules for 2012 based on what has happened this year?