August 31, 2007

Will Anyone Notice?

Three Democratic presidential candidates have committed to staying out of states who have defied party rules and bumped up their primaries. The blow to these states will be tempered by the fact that no one would have noticed them in any case:

Democrats Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden on Friday became the first presidential candidates to promise not to campaign in states that hold early nominating contests in violation of party rules.

The three quickly signed onto a pledge circulated by Democratic leaders of the four states that have the party's blessing to hold early contests — Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The pledge says they will avoid competing in any other states that vote before Feb. 5.

Aides to Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton said they were reviewing the pledge. Clinton's aides have previously said she is committed to competing wherever there is a primary or a caucus.

Party rules for this cycle had Iowa's caucuses on Jan. 14, with tests in Nevada Jan. 19, New Hampshire Jan. 22 and South Carolina Jan. 29.

The announcement keeps the three candidates out of Florida and Michigan, both of which have defiantly announced that they would not adhere to the party rules. Given that both states have a wealth of donor resources, especially in union-heavy Michigan, the pledge to stay out of the state will cost the candidates in funding as well as support. And if any of the three had a hope in hell of contending for the nomination, it would be a splendid gesture.

It's easy to sacrifice when nothing is at stake. The leading three candidates won't be offering to take one (or two) for the DNC or Howard Dean. Hillary Clinton could probably afford to do it if all she considered was the primary, but offending Michigan could come back to haunt her in the general election. Barack Obama needs every vote he can get while he slips farther behind Hillary. John Edwards is in even worse shape.

One cheer for the trio for standing up for the rules. In the end, though, it just saves them a lot of money and gives them a face-saving way to lose badly in both states.


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Comments (18)

Posted by Thor-Zone | August 31, 2007 5:57 PM

What do they mean "in violation of party rules"? Doesn't each state's legislature decide on election policies? Do the political parties think they are gods?

Posted by Bennett | August 31, 2007 6:27 PM

You mean here in Florida we're going to miss out on the March of the Mental Munchkins? Darn. And I was hoping to get up close enough to see how Joe Biden's hair plugs are doing.

Ok, now I'm just being cruel. Sorry.

Posted by HitNRun | August 31, 2007 6:46 PM

That's true, Thor, but the candidates and campaigns are national.

It's simply the way politics works. You can't have states constantly playing Chinese checkers all of a sudden just because the primary dates aren't ironclad the way the First Tuesday After Monday is.

The Constitution says apropos this:

"The Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations..."

The way things stand right this second is only slightly awkward. However, we all know where these moveups are headed and pretty shortly we'll be voting for primary candidates on The Feast of St. Nicholas if this continues.

Posted by Jeff | August 31, 2007 7:16 PM

Bennett, not to get overly philosophical, but is there really a difference between Joe Biden's hair plugs the artificial focus-group genesis of every single public statement by Hillary Clinton?

I mean, if Hillary were 50 years younger, or whatever it would take to make her president-eligible 35 years old, she'd be getting breast implants and her minions would be leaking stories about how she just "hooked up" with someone really popular among amoral hedonist child-libs.

The fact is, you either have superficial attractiveness, or you pay for someone to package you with superficial attractiveness.

Hillary is just Biden with a more effective circle of thugs.

Posted by Clyde | August 31, 2007 7:33 PM

I think that the DNC fails to appreciate that here in Florida, even dyed-in-the-wool Democrats and their institutions (like my left-leaning local fishwrapper, the News-Press) perceive the DNC to be a bunch of bullies in a smoke-filled room. That's what the News-Press called the DNC in today's editorial, anyway, as well as noting that it's long past time for larger states like Florida to have more influence in the selection of party nominees, rather than have it be a foregone conclusion by the time our primary is held. An early primary means that the politicians can't ignore you; they have to come and campaign in your state and at least pretend to listen to your opinions about the issues that affect your state.

The DNC mouthpiece sniffed that there were 49 other states that were just as important as Florida. I call bullcrap on that. Most of those other 49 states have far fewer electoral votes than Florida, and the ones that have more, like California and New York, are perennial Democrat locks. Florida, however, is a swing state, and as such, is probably the MOST important state for a Democrat who wants to win the general election. Offend the Sunshine State at your peril!

Posted by Carol Herman | August 31, 2007 7:36 PM

Oh, geez. Joe Biden's still running, with his hair plugs, hoping to get elected outside of his own state? Ditto, Chris Dodd. And, Bill Richardson? I thought he's supposed to be Hillary's saddle. Um. Veep da' seat.

While ALL the early primaries are spooking me, now. Where the big condendah states complained that we "lost our voices" for 1988, and again, in 2000. The next race isn't about McCain. And, the "push calls."

Do you know why?

All that happened before the Internet traded places with the media.

And, anybody who gets an early win in this cycle? Still gets to keep on running until November 2008?

Heck, Fred's waited two months, and is "about to announce," and it seems the bloom's arleady off the rose. As we speak.

The other thing I'm noticing ... sort'a like hand-signals under the men's room doors ... Is that a lot can be done WITHOUT SAYING A WORD.

It's as if we have to figure out what's in the silences.

What can go "wrong."

And, how men men dreamed of becoming president; only to see this stuff shatter.

Did you know James McGreevey (before he ran into his homosexual problems), actually dreamed of winning the White House?

Then there was Grey Davis; done in by Enron. And, circumstance. Only to lose to Schwartzenegger.

Life's full of surprises.

Heck, the current governor of New Jersey; except for having been flipped out from his speeding car; was also planning on spending his own money. To run. Now? He's spending money on learning to walk again. You remember senator Corzine, don't cha?

Anyway, while people "talk" debates; it seems these races depend on making NO MISSTEPS. Candidates are expected to dance better than Fred Astaire. (As long as they foot doesn't get caught playing footsie with a guy urinating "next door." Or "next stall, over.")

It's gonna be a very long time before Americans get together to vote.

Iowa? New Hampshire? The stinky choices we got in 2000 turned a lot of conventional political stuff into background noise.

You know where I hesitate most? Betting that hillary runs. The lady's got one of the safest seats in the senate. And, she can stay there until she's old. Why would she pitch it away; in a race where she'd be most unwelcome?

Sure, Bill Clinton never met a crowd he couldn't fool. But she's just his wife. The magic doesn't transfer.

And, if hillary does run? I expect the hostility against her to "show." She carries negatives.

You think negatives sell?

Posted by Rhymes With Right | August 31, 2007 7:45 PM

Interestingly enough, none of the relevant candidates have made this commitment.

Posted by Bennett | August 31, 2007 7:50 PM

"The fact is, you either have superficial attractiveness, or you pay for someone to package you with superficial attractiveness."

I actually like Joe Biden. I'd never vote for him and I think he's a bit of a pompous twit, but all in all, I kind of like him.

Hillary, I can't say the same. And I don't find her even superficially attractive. She's a homely woman. Neatly dressed, well made up, hair nicely coiffed, but a homely woman. Not to go all psychobabble, but personally I think that explains her whole life really.

I think we're supposed to take her seriously because she isn't good looking. This is how it works with women. The pretty ones? That's all that anyone notices, that's who they are. The ugly ones? Well they have to be really smart, smarter than everyone else and then we have to take them seriously.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 31, 2007 8:03 PM

Ya know what? Both parties are affected by Floriduh's decision of advancing their primary date; so that now? There' going among the first. On January 29, 2008.

BOTH PARTIES! With only Howie Dean tossing around a monkey wrench.


Most of us are sleeping through this noise.

But Floriduh's edge? A republican governor, and a republican legislature. PULLED THIS ONE OUT OF THEIR HATS!

What's got Howie Dean all lathered up? I thought Hillary is supposed to be a shoo-shoe-in. Is there a foot tapping noise, now coming out of the "Stall next door?"

Are the Bonkeys afraid that IF Hillary "seats early" no one "over there" can stop her?

Forget about Biden, and Chris Dodd. They just lack what's been called "national appeal."

I know. I know. Hillary's negatives interferes with "national appeal."

But what's got Howie Dean so upset, he's threatening FLORIDUH DEMOCRATS. You know, the Bonkey convention doesn't seat republican's at its convention.

What's going on?

Is there some fears that Hillary has an "early advantage?" I cannot believe3 Howie Dean is worried, much, about Joe Biden, or Chris Dodd.

Not buying it.

But something's got Howie Dean in a lather. And, I think the "public's ignorant on the hand signals."

As far as I'm concerned, though, I see this as insiders moving against seating Hillary "early." Somebody seems hell bent on "short-sheeting" the list. I'll just keep shrugging, until I find out more. (As to the Floriduh delegates? When the time comes, they get seated.) Howie Dean's threats may be without teeth, ya know?

Posted by Joshua | August 31, 2007 9:02 PM

This "pledge" seems like a really bad idea to me, and nobody should have asked these candidates to pledge not to campaign in any particular state.

There are 50 states in this country and every candidate should feel free to campaign in any of them, regardless of whether the primary in that state is being held in conformity with party rules.

Posted by Captain Ed | August 31, 2007 10:09 PM

Biden may actually qualify as the most reasonable and statesmanlike Democratic candidate ... which tells you all you need to know about this year's crop.

Posted by Edward Cropper | August 31, 2007 10:10 PM


if Miss Teen South Carolina was ugly , such as, would we take her seriously?

Posted by Bennett | August 31, 2007 11:28 PM

"if Miss Teen South Carolina was ugly , such as, would we take her seriously?"

Lol, is she the one who was a little confused at the pageant? Yes, I think we probably would! Actually I read somewhere that she's actually a smart girl, she was just overwhelmed by the moment. But pretty she is, definitely.

I was trying to make a half thought out comment about Hillary, more having to do with the time she comes out of. In the 50s and before, women were expected to maximize their physical attributes, designed to attract a husband.

With the 60s and the (so called) women's lib movement, suddenly looking pretty became passe, instead women were supposed to want to be taken seriously, for their brains. And a lot of women benefited from that who would have lost in the looking good dept. anyway. It became okay to walk around looking like yesterday's newspaper, even preferable, because it was a sign that you had rejected the old paradigm. And that worked very well for some women because being taken seriously for their brains was all they had to offer anyway.

I said it was psychobabble.

Posted by ck | August 31, 2007 11:58 PM

Joe Biden is not genuine... that's all I got to say about that.

Posted by davod | September 1, 2007 3:23 AM

The states should stick to their positions.
The states have the DNC and the RNC over a barrel. The conventions would be meaningless if the winner was calculated without taking into account the votes for several states.

Posted by David M | September 1, 2007 8:10 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/01/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.

Posted by athingortwo | September 1, 2007 8:41 AM

Hey, Carol Herman - not only are your posts too loonnggg and mostly incomprensible, but now you resort to using third grade playground insults directed at an entire state (i.e., your incomparably witty "Floriduh" terminology).

Why don't you just buzz off to your elementary school playground and go back to taunting the other children, and leave the serious political discussion to the adults? Please!

Now, as to the actual topic at hand ... oh, yeah.

Obviously the three mini-candidates who took Dean's pledge, as Cap'n Ed pointed out, have nothing to lose by sucking up to the DNC. But the Democratic Party and its Presidential candidate (and actually, the down-ballot candidates too) have a great deal to lose by pissing off two of the largest states' electorates (that's "Florida", Carole Herman, which I offer as a helpful spelling guide in case they don't teach children in your state how to spell the names of the other 49 states ... plus Michigan).

If the DNC were to persist with its enforcement of their scheduling rules, they can kiss off the 2008 election. The Dem voters here in Florida are already mouthing off loudly, and at least one lawsuit has already been filed by state Dems against the DNC. I can easily see the State itself filing its own lawsuit against the DNC that would likely get pushed quickly to the Supreme Court level ... the Dems screamed loudly about a couple of voters in two counties supposedly getting disenfranchised back in 2000 - what excuse will they have for intentionally disenfranchising something like eight to ten million Dems in two major states?

That will not stand.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 2, 2007 2:51 PM

Sorry, but I'm not leaving. Can't follow my reasoning? I can tell ya I didn't invent "Floriduh." It's been out there. And, I happen to like this one, because it translates the State's political interests well enough; over the whole nifty-fifty. (Didn't invent that term, either.)

As to what Howie Dean just did; which is to threaten Floriduh's delegate status at the Bonkey's convention; is to probably have gained headlines with a whopping LIE.

Because? His threats won't amount to a hill of beans, when the customers come into the tent. To decide on the next presidential ticket. That's why.

As to the "front runners," for the Bonkeys: Hillary, Obama, and John Edwards; what they're gaining now is MONEY. Each and every one of these politicians is growing bank accounts.

Which doesn't mean a thing down the road.

As to the Bonkey party and lawyers; they're practically one and the same thing.

Early primaries? Well, that's gonna give nature a good shot at running her own course. Since a lot can happen between the process where one candidate is selected; and is then forced to run at full speed, just to stay on top.

In the old days? Nominations were solved by those who held real political powers. You never saw their faces. And, they sat, backstage, in a smoke filled room. While FIST-FIGHTS broke out among delegates out on the floor. Has it been awhile since you've seen one of those?

Has the process taken on a quality of being scripted?

Will it matter, ahead?

As to the Supreme-O's "touching this one, again," I'd tend to doubt it. Where are there the 4-votes to bring this turkey into Chambers?

Howie Dean just screams a lot. That is his wont.

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