May 22nd, 2008
03:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: Could Democrats scrap the current delegate system?

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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?

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. noemi in los angeles

    Rules are the rules.

    Hillary agreed to the rule that disenfranchised FL and MI voters.

    She is only trying to break them for her own political gain.

    If this is what she does in the open, it makes me wonder what rules she breaks behind closed doors. No wonder she takes lobbyists money. She's not for the People, by the People....... she's for the Clintons, by the Clintons.

    May 22, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Ron

    There is nothing wrong with the current system. This is simply an unusual year as there are two strong contenders. What I can't stomach is the fact that HillDog wants to stir the pot to change something she originally agreed to. She will continue with her self-serving efforts and the outcome will be severe damage to the DEM party. The party won't be pulled back together will a couple of months to the general election. She should be held accountable..the party is over for her.

    May 22, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Mary WA

    Definately need a new system. The DNC has really screwed this up and Clinton has been taking advantage of it all the way. She baited FL and MI into voting knowing she'd use it to upset the process if things didn't go her way.

    May 22, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. David from Whittier, CA

    I totally agree. They should start with the caucuses, though — get rid of them and put back plain simple primaries. Then it would be a cinch to just record the popular vote tallies every primary season. They don't have to worry about ANY delegates, pledged or super!

    May 22, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Tyler

    Everyone wants to scrap the electoral college system, why would we change the primary system to something that no one likes?

    May 22, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. George

    Not only the delegate system, but they should also revamp the entire primary system. All nomination contest should be caucus only and limited to registered Democrats. This would prevent the Republicans from crossing over in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Democratic contest. The Primary is an intramural contest and does not disenfrnchise anyone being excluded by party affiliation. The current process is unnecessarily long and far too expensive. It should never take in excess of $500 million to select the nominees for president.

    May 22, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Steven Dison

    Ann, I can't believe that you've fallen into clinton's rhetoric. First off, she's not "more electable." He'll win those "swing states" that she keeps boasting. And if you're fine with Hillary winning because of racist voters and Operation Chaos republicans than I don't think the democratic party wants your vote anyway.

    So, I find it hard to believe that she's deserving of the nomination.






    Obama has at least spoken about his scandals, but clinton just acts as if they never happened. But I urge you, please google "Paul v. Clinton"

    It's very interesting that she might go to jail and that no news sites have ever mentioned it. That's partially due to the clinton's keeping it low.

    May 22, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    Ann – Hillary is the only democrat deserving of the nomination…

    Now that is one of the funniest statements I have read yet. Hillary should win the nomination because she deserves it???? UGH

    I do think this whole delegate thing should be changed before 2012.

    NOBILLARY ever

    May 22, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Justice

    Who cares?

    Obama is a legend in his own mind. I'm not worried, he's not going to win in November anyway.

    May 22, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Who's idea was it to have a primary season that runs through June if all they are going to do is complain that it ends too close to the August convention? I think all states should have the opportunity to weigh in. I don't think any candidate should be bullied into dropping out of the race until the last vote is counted. With that being said, move the end of the primary season up to the end of April if it's such a problem, but for this year and this election – quit whining about it or blaming one candidate for hanging on until the end of the primary period.

    May 22, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. kelly WI

    The system is something out of the 1800s. We have communications now days. Don't need delegates to choose the nominee.
    This has been a farce from the beginning. The dem. establishment is tired of the Clintons and want them gone. They have been grooming obamma since 04.
    The left stream media has been gushing and pushing Obama at us for months.
    The Supers were invented to make sure "the right" person got the nom.

    May 22, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Chris _ Hemet, Ca.

    Scrap the superdelegates, keep the pledged delegates won and shorten the primary season.

    May 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. noemi in los angeles

    Listen, ALL THE WAY TO DENVER, Obama is not against them re-voting, it's the party rules and the leaders. It's the FL and MI state election officials who are to blame for this mess. If you think that Hillary REALLY cares about "counting every single vote", she would not have signed the agreement to rule out FL and MI votes and now to want to rule out the caucus votes.

    She's not for the People, by the People.....
    She's for the Clintons, by the Clintons.

    Let's face it.

    May 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Ben

    I write this stuff because its kind of therapy even if you do not print it.
    I have been a republican all my life. I even voted for Bush the first time. I did not vote for him the second time.The democrats nominated the only man on the planet who could not beat bush. So four years more of destucting my country.
    This time the democrats have an exiting inspiring candidate in Obama. What will this stupid party do? They will screw their chances up again. They seem to revel in defeat!

    May 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. mt

    the entire nomination system is no good, the entire voting system is not good. Please, come up with something better, effective and fair to all – candidates and voters. What is going on now is very discouraging, disturbing.
    One feels like no fairness is out there, that our voices are being twisted, that there are intrigues etc. Feels foul as of now. Whom can we trust?

    I do purely hate all this humbuk around, all this forcing, speeches, hype, shows, money wasting, people's minds brainwashed, dirt being thrown to opposition, no respect for older, wiser, for anyone .......
    it is a mess, chaos! How can we trust? Whom to trust? The media is making a soap opera, reality show from elections.

    It is not good for anyone. Everyone from the supporters thinks he/she has the right to criticize others, that their opinions are the right ones, Oh, my, how to get out of this mess?

    Let everyone vote, then count the votes. Forget superdelegates and all those complicated ways – they make it worse and not accurate.
    Bye bye politics. I – we want to live our lives the best we can.

    I am so tired and repulsed by this whole process, by the mean, nasty words I read in blogs. I am tired of brainwashed people.

    May 22, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Donna

    What a farce and shame the DNC is. I am mad as you know what that Mi and Fl was ever told that their votes would not count in the primary if they did not go by the DNC rules. What kind of country are we living in anyway??? I should not matter who goes first just so long as all states vote prior to convention. If all votes are not counted in MI and Fl I will not vote Democratic ticket in November and I am not alone. I does not matter who the nominee is it does matter if the votes are counted.

    May 22, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Jonf

    Hillary Clinton has made politics a more disgusting process that I have ever seen before. I cannot believe the people of this country even come close to buying the garbage she spews at the press and the electorate.

    She has probably accomplished the unthinkable – to run the election, to ruin the part, to ruin all of it.

    May 22, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. EC

    Wolf –

    I think the Super Delegates are a waste of time and energy. When you give people any level of power, their egos get in the way of their basic common sense.

    These Super Dummies are acting like they are GOD right now, they are holding out for what? What?

    Sen. Obama only needs 61 more pledged delegates and he's going to get that easily from the next primary. So why would the Super Delegates even matter at that point?


    We're giving the Super Delegates too much credit, much more than they deserve. Jesus enough already.

    May 22, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. OGirl

    How can any Democrat argue for "Rules" that disenfranchise any voter? Didn't we fight long and hard enough to make sure African_Americans and others had the right to vote? How can we now say that people in Florida and Michigan can't have their votes counted. Just because they were "rules? Isn't the right answer to change "rules" that disenfranchise any voter. I can understand that maybe the primaries that were held in January were not fair (with Obama not even being on the ballot in Michigan), but isn't the Democratic (and right) response to hold new primaries, Obama vs. Clinton, head to head? EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND TO HAVE THEIR VOTE COUNTED!!! If the rules say no, change the rules!!!

    May 22, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Ed

    As an Independent – I was leaning away from the GOP this year and toward the Democrats – but the perception I have now is of a party that can not even establish and follow a set of rules for selecting a delegate.

    The farm bill fiasco of the past couple days hasn't helped that image.

    How can changing the rules in the middle of the game be justified? Why couldn't these "bright folks" establish a workable set of rules up front? The only justification I can see for changing the rules now is purely political. The people who are Democrats in Michigan and Florida should be axing their party leaders for the poor judgement that has kept their votes from counting. Instead there is a wimpy tiptoeing around the fairness issue for fear of alienating the rule breakers in these states.

    In my opinion, it will be Independents who decide who the next president will be. Most of us will vote for a Democrat or Republican for lack of a viable alternate choice. In my opinion, the Democrats may do more to win the election in November by growing some backbone and standing up to the rule breakers in their own party then by pandering. This independent is frustrated with the softness of the Democratic party.

    May 22, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. Scott Glenn in Wa

    I have taught my children that they cannot just change the rules of a game just to please themselves, and they understand that it is their integrity that is at stake (they are 9 and 11 years old). Lets all hold HRC and McCrutch to the same standard! For our country's sake, for our children’s sake, for our sake, for gods sake, stand up for what’s right and vote for a president who will do the same!
    Barack Obama

    May 22, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Chris in Va.

    The media is responsible for continuing to give coverage to this insane woman. By giving her coverage you are just promoting her insanity. Wouldn't air time be best used by not covering her irrelevant campaign and covering canidates of other parties and their positions?

    May 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Cindi South Carolina

    Not until this election is over, then they can go back and revisit the idea. This is a way for the Clinton's to have their way.

    May 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Tony

    If you win the state, you should receive all the delegates. Anything else is crazy.

    I did not get a chance to vote. My state is a caucus state and I HAD TO WORK. My party took away my chance to vote.

    May 22, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. marldeml

    Yes, superdelagates needs to go. Replace the stupid caucuses with Winner Take All primaries. After all life is Winner Take All not awarding trophies to runner ups.

    May 22, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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