A Primary Change?

Friday, August 22nd 2008, 2:35 pm
By: News 9

Aug. 22, 2008

By Samantha Hayes, for NEWS 9           

WASHINGTON -- Now that we are in the final months of the presidential election, it seems like a long time ago that the chaos of the primary and caucus schedule dominated political discussion.

Those days may be gone, but not forgotten. Barack Obama and the Democratic party are calling for change -to the nomination contests. The party's rules committee, the one that got so much attention over the penalization of Florida and Michigan, is meeting in Denver, the site of the upcoming Democratic convention, on Saturday. They will be charged with creating a system that would prevent front loading of the nomination contests. Just a year ago, states were already trying to leap-frog each other in an effort to secure an earlier voting date, and play a heavier hand in the process. That's one of the reasons voters endured a bitter cold night in Iowa on January 3rd, and New Hampshire five days later. Those states received special sanctions to preserve their first in the nation status after other states tried to take their place. The compressed schedule made for frenzied campaigning among the many candidates.

Obama and the DNC are going to ask the rules committee to come up with a system so that next time around, there will be no voting before March, with the exception of a few contests hand picked to go in February. Another consideration might be the number of superdelegates- those elected Democrats and party leaders we heard so much about during the Clinton-Obama nomination fight. And speaking of that intraparty struggle, Clinton's complaints about the nature of caucus contests being "unfair" might also be addressed by the rules committee.  Clinton did not perform as well as Obama in states that hold caucuses, including Iowa, which voted first and where Clinton came in third behind Obama and John Edwards.  

So to quote one of Obama's favorite campaign slogans, could this be a change we can believe in? Obama's campaign and the DNC want the "Democratic Change Commission" to get to work and have a report ready no later than Jan. 1, 2010.