Hey, I’m honest enough to admit when I’m wrong about something – and although I could weasel out of this, I won’t: it is clear from context here that my expectations were that the Democratic party would redesign their Presidential primary system (to prevent someone doing unto the President as he did unto Clinton) at some point in 2010. Well, that was flat-out wrong of me, and I’m sorry that I called it so badly. It wasn’t going to start within a year at all.
It was actually going to start within three days.
Andrew Malcolm sums it up:
As The Ticket reported here in March, it’s a delicate delegate process because certain states — we’ll call them Iowa and New Hampshire — believe they have a right handed down by Thomas Jefferson to go first in the selection process, which is deemed to make them more important. Or at least help fill the state’s hotels and restaurants and empty the rental car lots during a normal winter’s months when inbound flights to Des Moines often have vacant seats.
At the “suggestion” of its nominee at last summer’s Democratic National Convention in Denver, delegates voted to establish a commission to examine everything including improving the caucus process, which can seem even longer than Iowa winters, reducing the number of unpledged delegates and quite possibly tinkering with the calendar window for the caucuses and primaries for the 2012 presidential election cycle.
To translate: ‘improving the caucus process’ means ‘removing the benefits that comes from flash-mobbing states that won’t vote Democratic in 2012 anyway;’ ‘reducing the number of unpledged delegates’ means ‘getting rid of as many votes as possible that aren’t locked to a specific candidate on the first ballot;’ and ‘tinkering with the calendar window’ means ‘shoving as many states together as possible to keep an insurgent campaign from gaining momentum.’ In other words, they’re going to eliminate or at least cripple probably every mechanism that might allow somebody to challenge the front-runner.
The funny part? Depending on how the mid-terms go, the Democratic establishment may enthusiastically support that. Not so much for 2012, but 2016…
Crossposted to Moe Lane.