August 20th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama, DNC call for new primary season calendar

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Peter E

    Have you noticed how staunchly Obama stands up against the current corrupt system and advocates for change? I bet you have. Have you then also noticed that not once did he actually break the rules, but instead played by the rules and used them against his rivals at every opportunity? I bet you haven't. In fact I bet that you yourself have criticized the system, but when that system worked for Obama and against his rival you immediately retorted to 'rules are rules.'

    August 20, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Carolyn

    Interesting that Hillary complained about the caucuses. But it was the Clintons who pushed for the frontloaded primaries because they thought she would win quickly. Now they are crying because their master plan didn't work.

    August 20, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Derek CO

    The really funny thing about this is back when there were still slaves, we came up with a compromise that made a slave 3/5 of a person. Hmmm.. 3/5> 1/2.... Ouch, Florida and Michigan are now considered less than slaves in the eyes of the Dems.

    Who cares when you vote, nothing changes in the views of the candidates, unless they decide to jump on the bandwagon (Offshore Drilling anyone?). By voting earlier the states only hurt themselves for not taking the time to become more informed.

    August 20, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Redneck from Kentucky

    Hillary is already working behind the scenes to change the rules to her advantage for her run in 2012. You can bet that she and Slick Willie are working behind the scenes to get Obama defeated.

    August 20, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. Sue

    "pat – It's time for this young, educated Democrat to go Republican in 08. Hillary Clinton would have been a great choice – even if he choses her as VP, I doubt I will vote for the losing Obama ticket."

    I am a young, female and educated Democrat. I could never vote for a party that has a belief system that is polar opposite of mine. HRC was not, and will never be my choice.

    August 20, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. susie

    Obama probably wants to move the White House to Chicago too. How could the Democratic Party move their headquarters to Chicago, that was so wrong. He is just a human being not a Messiah that the Media and the Democratic Party made him into.

    August 20, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. John Allen

    No Clinton on VP ticket !? Obama say bye bye to this election.
    Who is #2 ? 19-million People have spoken. So why go against people's choice !!! Play by democracy. Listen to people, remember at the end DNC to end the primary, he won the primary only because of unpledged (or super) delegates.

    By the people, for the people = is democracy.

    No wonder why his polls are reducing against McCain. & I'll not be suprised even Obama looses with no Clinton for VP.

    So now we are going to say in addition to born citizen, if your family member was already a President then you can't run for presidency !!?

    August 20, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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