Well, my official duties for the Democratic National Convention are done. If you were following my Twitter feed, you got a blow by blow of the "action" in the Rules Committee meeting today. Somehow, I ended up being the only member of the committee from Indiana to show up for the meeting. I hope I represented well.
Though the work is indeed important, I must admit it was not an exciting meeting. Sure, it had potential to get raucous with just under 50% of the committee members being Hillary Clinton supporters, but the Obama campaign, the DNC and the Clinton campaign headed most of the drama off at the pass with their very well thought out resolution that was placed before us.
More about the meeting, the resolution, and what's coming next after the jump.
Most of the meeting of the Rules Committee can be considered a "rubber stamping" of the Rules of Procedure for the convention, the nomination of the convention officers, and the passage of the convention agenda. All of this is presented to us for an up or down vote and nothing more. It is the proposal of resolutions where committee members get their say.
A resolution that passes in the Rules Committee must be commended to the entire convention for their consideration. Originally, there were 3 resolutions before us today. Two resolutions were coming from state delegations and the resolution to create the Democratic Change Commission.
The other two resolutions were withdrawn in favor of the creation of the commission with the caveat that the concerns contained within each resolution gets passed on to the commission once it is created. It's the kind of well-reasoned compromise that gives me hope for the Democratic party.
The Commission will be charged with looking at 3 areas of the Democratic primary election process:
- The caucus process and how to make it better. Some committee members want ed to see the caucuses abolished while others felt the caucus process is a proud tradition that particularly appeals to youth voters.
- The primary calendar. We had contests in January this year, which doesn't give candidates time to really campaign and get before the voters in all the states that were front-loading the process. More than 50% of the primary contests were done before the end of February. The most likely outcome will be to push the regular contests back to March and allow the "special" states to have their contests in February.
- And finally the number and influence of super-delegates. More than 20% of the delegates electing Barack Obama as the nominee are super-delegates, who are un-pledged party leaders and insiders. This is too high a number and it was suggested that perhaps there would be more pledged delegate spots created, a simple reduction in the total number of super-delegates, or a combination of the two.
I enthusiastically supported this resolution and I am hopeful it will help make the 2012 primary process smoother and more fair for whomever becomes the nominee in four years. It also served the purpose of making this meeting drama free, which can't hurt Obama's chances this year.
If you haven't already done so, subscribe to my Twitter feed. I am updating on Twitter with far more frequency since I can do it from my phone. Security is far too tight for me to carry around my laptop.
Tomorrow should be a slow day. Many of the delegates are arriving tomorrow and there are a few convention kick-off events, but nothing official on the schedule. If there is something worth reporting, I'll blog it here, otherwise, look for my tweets on Twitter.
Monday is when my work on the Rules Committee will see the light of day. The second order of business after the 3PM first gavel of the convention is to pass for the entire convention to pass the rules we commended to them, the permanent convention officers, and adoption of the resolution we passed.
Bil will be covering angles I can't and vice-versa, so follow his Twitter feed too. There's a lot going on and we've got some of the best vantage points for covering the action.