May 27th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
15 years ago

DNC meeting hottest ticket in town

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It promises to be the highest-profile gathering of Democratic heavyweights until the summer nominating convention – and shaping up to be a harder ticket to come by: this Saturday’s Washington meeting to debate the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations is officially the toughest ticket in town.

The members of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee – the panel weighing how both states should be represented at the convention in Denver – will meet very publicly, at a hotel site ringed with protestors and satellite trucks. Inside, they’ll be joined by a swarm of political journalists – and a few rank-and-file Democrats. Only about 300 people – including RBC members, press and public - will be allowed inside.

But hundreds of Democrats eager for a front-row seat to history found themselves out of luck today, as the party’s online registration system for the spots available to the public was overwhelmed at 10 a.m. ET, when it opened. All available seats were claimed in about a minute.

(By comparison: the Hannah Montana concert earlier this year at the Verizon Center – granted, a much larger venue – took roughly 12 minutes to sell out.)

Disgruntled Democrats and party officials alike took to the Web, amid complaints from disappointed would-be attendees that they had successfully registered, only to see that confirmation disappear. DNC officials said some had missed out on their chance by moments. “The difference between getting a spot and not was a matter of seconds,” said DNC Internet Director Josh Hendler in a statement quickly posted on the party’s Web site. “We’re sorry we don’t have enough room for everyone who wanted to be there, but we’ll make sure you can see the meeting if you want to.”

In fact, ticket-holders won’t have much of an advantage over disappointed Democrats forced to watch the proceedings via on television or online: they won’t be allowed to speak, or to express their viewpoint non-verbally through signs or banners.

And there may be almost as much news outside the venue as inside the ballroom where delegates meet, as groups backing both candidates have pledged to bring supporters to press their case on RBC members as they arrive.

As the temperature rose on rhetoric surrounding Saturday’s protests, the organizer of one of the pro-Obama rallies planned for that day told CNN Tuesday they were re-dubbing their gathering a “voter registration event” – a nod to party unity – and not a “counter-protest” that could be viewed as an attempt to disrupt the proceedings.

soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Charles

    And for all to note, the rules that Micheal posted are the ones that McAuliffe used to tell Michigan in '04 that the closest they would get to the convention was the television.........

    May 27, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. Joe Texas

    Hillary nor Obama had nothing to do with the elections being moved up, But your talking of millions of people in those two states, Now Hillary has the advantage because she won both states and Obama is saying that those states don't count, well then why spend millions of dollars having elections that don't matter, Obama will lose if he does not make an effort to revote completley or leave the votes like they are, Now MI he was no on the ballot so they should revote to give the candidates the benefit of doubt, Now if Obama say's that everybody new that they wouldn't count than why did over 2.3 million went out to cast there votes, I feel that in the future they need to have people watching the elections because at the end, It's going to hurt everybody, Obama has to much hidden secrets and he will not win the GE Clinton agreed to get those elections paid and he didn't want, what is he afraid of that those states won't vote for him, well at the end alienating all this people will not give him the nomination. Hillary has been a fighter and we will back her up all the way. There is nothing to be confused about people don't trust Obama, with all that has come out of himm Atleast Hillary life is out . Texas loves Hillary, she won the primary and Obama got more deligates, People work they can't be in line to vote for a stupid caucus, she beat him by like 200 thousand votes, Obama can only inspire people with speaches, but when it comes to delivering , he does not do anything, Times were good in the 90's when they were in office, Let's compare a Freshman Senator to a Senior Senator with all the experience. People think Hillary is our only hope...

    May 27, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. cheryl

    I want the DNC, Clinton, & Obama to follow the DNC rules, which indicate that a state that violates the primary date loses only 50% of their original delegates (not 100%). That's what the Republicans did, and that's what the Democrats should do.

    But it's all really moot. The nominee is the person who gets the most pledged delegates, and that will be Obama unless something very unexpected happens. The popular vote has NEVER counted in a primary (just as, unfortunately, it doesn't matter in the general). The only way that Clinton can win is to convince the superdelegates to move her way because of the popular vote. As she keeps making this argument, the superdelegates are moving to Obama, knowing full well what the vote count is.

    Obama '08

    May 27, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. Jeanne

    I hope the DNC will carefully consider that by the time November rolls around, for most Americans the top priorities, rightly so, will be national / homeland security / foreign policy and the economy. With the issues of nuclear proliferation and the possibility of another terrorist attack, as well as the weak economy, on the front burner, we will be looking to someone who is strong on all these issues. Senator McCain is much stronger than Senator Obama on foreign policy, and Senator Obama's economic policies are stronger than McCain's (although half the country does not believe that Senator Obama has the ability to make a difference). However, Senator Clinton is strong on both the foreign and domestic fronts. She will be a stalwart against our enemies and for our allies, while reinstating diplomacy abroad. In addition, she will improve the economy, which will put the U.S. in a stronger position worldwide. This powerhouse combination will strengthen the U.S. and move it forward again. This is the bottom line for the DNC and all Americans. We cannot screw this up again. Hillary Clinton must be the Democratic nominee.

    May 27, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  5. Ben

    Most of these Hillary supporters have got to be Republicans freelancing on their 'god' Limbaugh's Operation Chaos. Either that or they are plain stupid people.

    May 27, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
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